massage mom

The benefits of your baby's massage can be heightened by the use of herbs and essential oils. For example, use the essential oil of chamomile in a vaporizer or room spray to help calm your baby.


Often parents think their baby is smiling when colic is causing a grimace. Colic is pain caused by contractions of the intestines and can be distressful for babies.

 1. Prepare a chamomile tea in water that is just slightly warmer than usual for a baby's bath. Lie your baby faces upon your hand. While gliding your baby through the bathwater, massage the abdomen in a clockwise direction with your other hand.

2. When too big for this technique, the baby can be seated at the end of a baby bath. Massage the abdomen as shown.

3. Whenever possible support the massaging with the use of herbs. For example, give your baby warm chamomile tea in a bottle and use the essential oil on a burner or room spray. These additional ideas will enhance the massage.

4. Any fruits high in acid, like pineapple, or over indulgences of most sorts, may cause colic in a breast-fed baby.


Crying is most often caused by:

• tiredness

• hunger or thirst

• soiled diapers

• uncomfortable surfaces in the baby's bed

• pain due to medical problems

 As you get to know your baby you will be able to distinguish the various causes of crying by the tone and intensity of the crying. Unless the crying is due to a serious problem or medical condition for which you will take appropriate action, holding the baby and massaging as suggested is pacifying for minor causes of distress.

Hold your baby across your chest and repeatedly stroke from the head down to the feet. Combine these strokes with peaceful rocking.



When the teeth are ready to come through, the gums will be red and swollen and sore to the touch. Giving your baby a rusk or other teething device will assist the teeth and give some relief to the baby. You can also buy a suitable commercial ointment to massage into the gums.

 Remember that essential oils should never be used internally, and are not to be used directly on babies.

1. Taking care not to damage the delicate mucous membranes in the baby's mouth, use a finger dipped in iced water to work the ointment into the inflamed gums. If there is no ointment available, the cooling action of a cold finger or teething device will be almost as effective. As more teeth come, beware of the bite.

2. At the teething time you can also use general massage strokes that you know are soothing to your baby. Stroke your baby's face or give a general body massage.

Note: At the teething time some babies develop diaper rash. Because they tend to dribble more while teething, they lose more fluid than usual, making the urine more concentrated. The increased ammonia in the urine causes skin irritation.


baby constipation

This is more common with bottle-fed babies than those receiving breast milk, although breast-fed babies also may suffer constipation at times. The abdomen massage increases the blood flow, which in turn improves the peristaltic action. Ensure an increased fluid intake to assist in overcoming this problem.

Rotate the palm of your hand clockwise in a smooth continuous movement. Having slightly warmed a teaspoon (5 ml) of sweet almond oil, add one drop of lavender to it and rub it in well. This circling will soothe the abdomen and encourage the movement of the bowel.

To ease constipation, you can also massage the abdomen while the baby is in the bath.



Although massage usually "soothes", stimulating massage will benefit all systems, generating energy and enlivening the lethargic baby. Use a light touch at the beginning, then increase the pressure slightly and move quickly to stimulate the circulation and the neural response. Seek medical advice if the baby is always slow and lethargic.

Burn tangerine oil to improve the atmosphere and play sounds your baby enjoys. Avoid interruptions or distractions.

child birth


The back is the area with the greatest number of accessible nerves, so begin by pressing with your fingertips down either side of the baby's spine, from the neck to the tail bone. Alternatively, work with the baby lying on the back.

Talk quietly, or repeat a rhyme, while squeezing along the shoulders and down the body. Hold the baby's body closely between your hands as you move down the trunk. When you reach the feet squeeze and play with them.

As undressing may cause the irritable baby to become more unsettled, leave the clothes on.

giving birth

 Poor weight gain

1. Lie your baby face downwards across your legs close to your body. Keep both your hands close together so you cover the maximum area with each stroke and effleurage the baby's back and legs. Stroke the feet and squeeze them.

2. Turn your baby and again using both hands effleurage the baby's front.

3. For extra skin nourishment, add one drop of tangerine oil to a teaspoon of olive oil. Diffuse the air with a drop of each of bergamot and orange essential oils in a vaporizer or bowl of hot water.

Dry skin Add one drop of rose, roman chamomile, or lavender oil to 1 oz (30 ml) sweet almond oil or jojoba oil and apply a little to the baby's skin by stroking on gently after bathing or changing. Note that except for overdue babies it is unusual for babies’ skin to be dry.

If the baby is under six months old or not developing well, use the carrier oil only.

 Premature babies

While in a humidicrib, the premature baby is the focus of attention. Attached to electronic equipment, the baby is given constant care by the specialist nursing staff and parents. When strong enough to go home the baby will at first miss the movements of the hospital. The closeness of the mother's touch is vital in establishing bonding and normal growth patterns.

While supporting your baby in a way that enables skin-to-skin contact, stroke all over the baby's back and front. Cup your hands to give your baby a "held" feeling. Hold the head between both your hands. Let your baby lean on you while you gently squeeze the hands and feet.

Chafing and rashes

One drop of calendula oil may be added to 1oz (30 ml) sweet almond oil. Gently pat a small quantity of this mixture into the affected area.

An unguent made from 1 teaspoon (5 ml) melted beeswax, 2 teaspoons (10 ml) sweet almond oil, to which one drop of the calendula oil is added, can be used as a barrier cream on the skin as it will keep the skin drier and hold the calendula oil longer.

For an alternative add 1 drop of lavender oil to 1 oz (30 ml) sweet almond or jojoba oil. Use half a teaspoon and apply gently to the baby's bottom.

If the rash persists this is one place where mineral baby oil is suitable as it is a barrier to urine if the baby cannot be changed constantly.

Other wise talk to your pharmacist to recommend a suitable cream. One drop of myrrh or roman chamomile or benzoin mixed into the cream and patted onto the rash will soothe and help to heal the skin. Just pat, never rub a sore area.

As a treatment for diaper rash, calendula petals may be added to a small bowl of warm water. Place your baby into the bowl for a few minutes after every diaper change. Alternatively, one drop of sandalwood oil or myrrh oil could be added to the water. Swish the water around to disperse the oil before bathing the baby.

Take care to ensure the baby does not splash this water in the eyes.

Baby cold



Leave your baby clothed. Place a bowl of hot water nearby but out of the baby's reach. Add one drop each of lemon, sandalwood and, eucalyptus essential oils to the water. Hold your baby against you and rub the baby's back while the prepared oil diffuses nearby. Avoid subjecting your baby to sudden temperature changes while the cold is evident.

Try to breathe in the same rhythm as your baby, which will be faster than your normal rate. When you and your baby are synchronized with each other, slow your breathing a little to help your baby copy you and use the lungs more efficiently.


Shallow breathing

Place your hand on your child's rib cage, with a firm but not heavy pressure. Now stroke elsewhere using your other hand. This stroking is to divert attention, while the hand held over the lungs will remind your baby's brain that there is no movement under your hand and that the chest cavity (thoracic) can expand more fully. After a short while the breathing will become deeper and more even. Strengthening neural pathways in this fashion will improve the baby's respiratory system. Take a moment to carry out this procedure each time you massage your baby.

As well as massage, a bath can be a good way to treat minor troubles such as restlessness, irritability and rashes. Often the best time for the baby's massage is after the bath. Keep a bath toy handy to occupy the baby and have plenty of towels at the ready.


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