Nourishing Babies With a Massage
Babies not only need food, warmth and sleep to grow up healthy. They also need emotional warmth and physical contact through touch. The Indian baby massage according to Frédérick Leboyer gives the child lots of caresses.
Children like to be massaged. Whether baby, toddler or schoolchild. On the one hand they enjoy the attention that is given to them in these minutes, on the other hand they enjoy the touch. Two good reasons to massage your children from time to time or even regularly.
Babies especially enjoy this kind of attention. They love to lie naked on a blanket in a warm room, rub with a fragrant oil and be gently massaged. You will feel safe and cared for. This is extremely important for babies because their need for intensive contact with their parents is just as strong as their need to eat, drink and sleep. A full, well-rested child is by no means a happy child. It must also be “nourished” through touch. The traditional Indian baby massage satisfies this basic need.
Indian baby massage after Frédérick Leboyer
The French doctor Frédérick Leboyer brought this massage technique from India to Europe and describes it in his book “Gentle Hands. The traditional art of Indian baby massage”. Leboyer assumes that it is a primal need of children to be touched and stroked. The aim is to satisfy this need and a massage is ideally suited for this purpose.
Massage helps with restlessness and stomach aches
Today, Indian baby massage is taught to mothers and fathers in courses. Parents learn how it is done and what it does. In this way it contributes decisively to the development of the children’s sensitivity, but also helps against flatulence and restlessness. It has a stimulating or calming effect.
It often works wonders, especially for infants between the ages of four and six weeks, six months and toddlers up to two years old. An infant who suffers from stomach pains experiences relief, a restless baby finds sleep.
Ten or 45 minutes of massage – anything is possible
Ten to 15 minutes of massage are sufficient at the beginning and for very young children. If the child gets older and knows the procedures, it can be extended up to 45 minutes. A massage before falling asleep is good for many babies, they become tired and relaxed. It helps others to become more mobile and open-minded during the day. Those who manage to integrate a massage appointment with their baby into their daily routine every day – great! Who realizes it one, two or three times a week – also great. It is important that the procedure is the same for each massage hour, so that the child knows what to expect.
Children who have fever, severe diarrhoea, an infectious disease with eczema such as measles or scarlet fever should not be massaged. Even a hungry or newly fed child will refuse to cooperate.
How is the Indian baby massage performed?
Make yourself comfortable with the child in a quiet, warm place and place the naked child on the back on a blanket (don’t forget the waterproof underlay!) on the floor or on the changing table. This can include relaxing music, singing or humming. Always remember: The masseur should also be well. Therefore the favourite CD of the adult can be inserted also times.
Then the massage takes place in a fixed order: First the chest and the shoulders, then the arms, the hands, the stomach, the legs, the feet, the back and finally the face. For this purpose a skin or massage oil is used that has been warmed up a little with the hands before. You can get detailed instructions in courses offered in many cities and towns. You can also find them in Frédérick Leboyer’s book.
Important pampering moments: How baby massage succeeds
Touching is worth a thousand words. A baby who is stroked feels safe. The natural doctor Elké Richter-Diehl explains why a baby massage is so good for your child and how it is performed.
“To be touched, stroked and massaged is food for the child. Food that is just as important as minerals, vitamins and proteins. Food that is love. If a child has to do without it, it prefers to die, and it often dies,” wrote Frédérick Leboyer, who introduced the baby massage in Europe.
The Parisian gynaecologist and obstetrician developed a new perspective on birth and motherhood after his stays in India in the 1970s. There he had observed that Indian mothers naturally massaged their newborns and that this contributed decisively to their well-being.
Baby massages promote mental and physical health
Today we know that touch is vital for the healthy mental development of babies. You can also relieve abdominal pain, flatulence or restlessness physically. In the case of sleep disorders, a baby massage can be performed every evening as a ritual half an hour before going to bed.
Body contact is also one of the most important ways you can communicate with your child. Touch is one of the greatest and most meaningful languages of love. Stroking, knocking, patting and massaging are food for the body, mind and soul. Touch is important for the development of a healthy body feeling, no matter how old you are.