Shishu Abhyanga, also known as baby massage, is a traditional practice in India that has been used for centuries to promote relaxation and improve overall health in infants. This gentle massage technique involves using warm oil and gentle strokes to soothe and calm your baby. In this article, we’ll explore the benefits of Shishu Abhyanga and provide step-by-step instructions on how to do it safely and effectively.
Oil Massage for Babies
Oil massage, also known as Shishu Abhyanga, is a traditional practice in many cultures that involves massaging a baby’s body with oil. This practice has many benefits, including improved circulation, better sleep, and a stronger immune system. It is a great way for parents or caregivers to bond with their baby, while also providing a nurturing and comforting experience. When performing an oil massage on a baby, it is important to choose a natural, non-toxic oil that is safe for the baby’s delicate skin, such as coconut oil, olive oil, or almond oil.
The oil should be warmed to a comfortable temperature before beginning the massage, and gentle and soothing motions should be used to massage the baby’s scalp, body, and limbs. It is essential to pay attention to the baby’s cues and adjust the massage technique accordingly to ensure that it is a positive experience for both the baby and the caregiver. According to Ayurvedic Doctors oil massage is a safe and beneficial practice for babies, but it is important to use caution and follow proper techniques to avoid causing harm to the baby’s delicate skin or body.
Benefits of Abhyanga for Babies
It is an ancient Ayurvedic practice used at many of the best wellness centres that involves massaging the body with warm oil. This practice is believed to have many benefits for babies, including:
- Improved circulation: Abhyanga can help improve blood circulation, which can in turn promote better overall health and wellbeing.
- Better sleep: The soothing motions and gentle pressure of Abhyanga can help promote relaxation and better sleep in babies.
- Improved digestion: Abhyanga can help stimulate the digestive system and promote healthy digestion in babies.
- Increased immunity: The warm oil used in Abhyanga can help boost the immune system and promote better overall health in babies.
- Better skin health: Abhyanga can help moisturise and nourish the skin, promoting better skin health and preventing common skin problems like dryness and rashes.
- Promotes bonding: The act of performing Abhyanga can help promote bonding between parents or caregivers and babies, as it provides a nurturing and comforting experience.
- Overall, Abhyanga can be a beneficial practice for babies, providing numerous physical and emotional benefits. However, it is important to use caution and follow proper techniques when performing Abhyanga, as incorrect or aggressive massage techniques can be harmful to babies. It is always best to consult with a healthcare professional or certified Ayurvedic Doctor of any of the best Yoga Centres in Prayagraj before beginning any new practice with your baby.
When & How to Massage a Newborn Baby
Massaging a newborn baby can be a wonderful way for parents or caregivers to bond with their baby, while also providing numerous physical and emotional benefits. Here are some tips on when and how to massage a newborn baby:
- When to massage a newborn baby:
- Massaging a newborn baby can provide numerous physical and emotional benefits, but it is important to choose the right time to do so. Here are some tips on when to massage a newborn baby:
- Wait until the umbilical cord stump falls off: It is important to wait until the umbilical cord stump falls off before beginning any type of massage. This typically happens within the first week or two of life, but it can vary from baby to baby.
- Choose a calm and relaxed time: It is important to choose a time when the baby is calm and relaxed, such as after a feeding or a diaper change. Avoid massaging the baby when they are fussy or upset, as this can overstimulate them and make the massage less effective.
- Avoid massaging the baby after a bath: While it may be tempting to massage a baby after a bath, it is important to avoid doing so, as the baby’s skin may be more sensitive and prone to irritation after being exposed to water.
- How to massage a newborn baby:
- Choose a warm, quiet, and comfortable place for the massage.
- Make sure your hands are clean and warm.
- Undress your baby and place them on a soft, warm surface.
- Start with gentle strokes on your baby’s back, using a small amount of baby oil or lotion to help your hands glide smoothly.
- Move on to massage your baby’s arms, legs, and feet using gentle, circular motions.
- Use soft strokes on your baby’s chest and tummy, being gentle and careful around the umbilical cord stump.
- You can finish the massage by placing your hands on your baby’s body for a few moments to provide a sense of warmth and comfort.
Ayurvedic Baby Massage Oils:
When it comes to choosing the right oil for a baby massage, it is important to select a natural and non-toxic oil that is safe for a baby’s delicate skin. Here are some of the most popular and beneficial oils for baby massage suggested by the experts of the Ayurveda Wellness Centre in Prayagraj:
- Coconut oil: Coconut oil is a popular choice for baby massage, as it is a natural and non-toxic oil that is safe for babies with sensitive skin. It is also known to have anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties, making it a great choice for preventing diaper rash or other skin irritations.
- Olive oil: Olive oil is another popular choice for baby massage, as it is a natural and non-toxic oil that is safe for babies with sensitive skin. It is also rich in antioxidants and has moisturising properties, making it a great choice for promoting healthy skin.
- Almond oil: Almond oil is a gentle and nourishing oil that is safe for babies with sensitive skin. It is rich in vitamins and minerals, making it a great choice for promoting healthy skin and overall health and wellbeing.
- Sunflower oil: Sunflower oil is a lightweight and non-greasy oil that is safe for babies with sensitive skin. It is rich in vitamins and minerals, making it a great choice for promoting healthy skin and overall health and wellbeing.
- When choosing an oil for baby massage, it is important to select a high-quality, organic oil that is free of additives or synthetic fragrances. It is also important to patch test the oil on a small area of the baby’s skin before using it for massage, to ensure that the baby is not allergic or sensitive to the oil.
Shishu Abhyanga, or baby massage, is an ancient Indian practice that has numerous benefits for babies, including promoting relaxation, better sleep, and improving digestion. To incorporate Shishu Abhyanga into your baby’s routine, you should choose a natural and organic oil, find a warm and quiet space, and start with gentle massage. According to the experts of the wellness centre, it’s also essential to pay attention to your baby’s cues and adjust your movements accordingly. Keeping the massage sessions short and sweet, and following a consistent routine can help your baby feel comfortable and familiar with the process. By incorporating Shishu Abhyanga into your baby’s daily routine, you can create a positive bonding experience and promote your baby’s overall health and well-being.