Baby Massage Techniques for Wind, Colic and Constipation.
Many babies experience tummy discomfort as a result of trapped wind, as a symptom of colic or due to constipation. Baby massage is a natural and gentle way to give your baby some much needed relief from these common ailments.
If your baby is experiencing tummy discomfort its important to find a time of day in which they are relaxed, happy, awake and haven’t had a feed in the last 30 minutes to ensure the experience is a calm, comfortable and positive experience for both you and your baby.
Before you start your massage its best to get prepared so that during the massage you can really focus on your baby and enjoy this special time together. One of the beauties of baby massage is that you need very little to get started, a towel or blanket for your baby to lie on to keep them comfortable and warm and some massage oil. Little Butterfly London’s ‘fall into dreams’ mother & baby massage oil is perfect for this occasion. Once you are ready, dim any overhead lights so they don’t dazzle your little one, pop on some soothing music and begin your massage strokes.
3 simple massage strokes to soothe your baby’s tummy:
Before starting the massage remove baby’s nappy to give them some nappy free time or alternatively loosen it and fold it down so you have full access to their tummy. Rest your hands gently over the tummy area and reassure them with smiles, eye contact and talking to them to ensure they are relaxed and happy before starting.
- Massage stroke 1: Massage a large circle in a clockwise direction around baby’s tummy. As your hand glides around the belly button ensure you remain on the squishy tummy area. Keep your massage stroke under the ribs as you sweep over the top of the belly button using a medium pressure and then lighten the pressure as you come under the belly button as this is where the bladder is situated, and we don’t want to cause any additional discomfort. Repeat these soothing circles approximately 10 times depending on your little one’s comfort levels.
- Massage stroke 2: Still working in clockwise direction change the stroke to massage smaller circles around the belly button. Imagine the belly button is the centre of a flower and the circles you are massaging are the petals. Work slowly keeping the strokes relaxed and soothing. This works a little deeper into the tummy area and stimulates the digestive system a little more. Repeat this stroke 5-10 times depending on your baby’s comfort levels.
- Massage stroke 3: Gently take hold of your baby’s ankles, slowly tuck their knees in towards their tummy and gently move both legs in a clockwise, circular motion so the knees massage across the tummy area, extend out a little and then come back into the tummy to create a full circle. Repeat 5 times. SAFETY POINTS: Please do not use this technique if your baby is currently being investigated for or has any ongoing joint/hip issues. Never force a movement further than baby is comfortable doing so and always work within baby’s limits.
For best results use these techniques 2-3 times a day for 2 weeks, after this initial period try reducing the frequency down to 1-2 times a day and see how baby responds. Adjust the frequency as needed but always ensure your massage time is baby led.
Hayley is a Perinatal Wellbeing Practitioner and baby massage expert offering online, in person and self-paced pregnancy, birth and postnatal services.