Three Ways to Bond with Your Baby through Massage

Looking for an easy way to bond with your baby? In today’s blog, Juelaine Druckrey, OTR/L, NTMC an Occupational Therapist in Madison since 1984 who has specialized in pediatrics for 26 years shares three massage techniques you can use to bond with your baby.

The experience of offering massage to your baby can be enriching for any parent. Each parent and each child has the potential to reap different benefits depending upon their needs. Right now, I would like to share with you three essential ways you will bond with your baby through the use of infant massage:

When you have a newborn baby you can give them very slow, hand-over-hand strokes directly to their back during skin to skin holding with your baby nestled at your chest. Benefits to you and your baby can include calming, relaxation, increased breast milk supply, and in Hanst communication and feelings of connection.

When your baby is newborn and older, you may find facial massage to be very rewarding. Holding your baby on your lap face-to-face with you is a great way to increase eye contact and communication are you seeing your facial expressions, voice, in touch to interact. Massage strokes offered to their head and face are very soothing to most babies. If your baby tends to be extra sensitive, or irritable in response to touch on their face, your massage strokes can help them adapt to touch on their face and come to experience it as nurturing. This can enhance their enjoyment of feeding and overall sensory development.

And finally, abdominal massage! I believe I have yet to meet the baby who does not appreciate a tummy massage. This is beneficial for babies and children of all ages. Learning to offer the “I Love You strokes“ for tummy massage is something every parent and child will benefit from. Essentially, what we accomplish with tummy massage is helping baby’s digestive system move their feedings and any painful gas bubbles through their system to avoid discomfort and associated crying/fussiness.

I recall a dad I worked with who found the “Sleeping Tiger” position of cradling his baby over one forearm while offering tummy massage with his other hand was absolutely priceless for their family’s peaceful evenings.What a gift!

In my practice as a developmental therapist with full term babies, as well as premature babies in the NICU I have become a fan and advocate of baby massage because I see how it is such a simple, nurturing, and practical tool for parents to help their babies to be happier and healthier. And who doesn’t want that?!

Want to learn more? Sign up for our Happy Baby massage workshops with Juelaine. She will teach you these hands on techniques and more. Click here for more info and to sign up:

Happy Baby Infant Massage