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Newborn Colic:

Can Infant Massage Help Infants With Tummy Ache?

Parents dealing with a newborn with colic often feel powerless to stop the crying. However, there are many things that parents can do to help soothe a colicky newborn, including infant massage. Massage techniques designed especially for babies can help with bonding, and can also help to relax your baby so that she is less fussy and more readily soothed.

When looking for a reputable means to learn infant massage, there are several ways to get started:

1.    Read a book. There have been many books written about infant massage techniques. When choosing a book, be certain that it was written by someone knowledgeable in the field, and if possible, skim through to be certain that there are plenty of illustrations or photographs so that the massage techniques are clear.

2.    Hire a professional. There are many masseuses who specialize in massage for babies and who can help you to learn some basic techniques that you can do on your own as well. Be prepared to do your research to find a reputable massage therapist, and don’t hesitate to ask for references or other information. If possible, speak with other parents and find out firsthand how effective the massage techniques were in their case.

3.    Take a class. If you can’t afford a private session with a masseuse, try a group class for baby massage. Infant massage classes are more popular than ever, and it can be a good way to bond with your baby in a group setting. If your little one suffers from newborn colic, be certain to mention that to the instructor beforehand – some places have classes especially tailored to colicky infants.

4.    Get everyone involved. Infant massage can be performed by any caregiver – mom, dad, or even older siblings. Get the family involved and build your own support group as you learn to massage your baby and help diminish newborn colic and fussiness. This can be a great time for dad to bond with baby or for siblings to get to know the new arrival better.

5.    Practice, practice, practice – but not too much. You’ll need to use what you’ve learned often in order to get better with your techniques, and your baby will benefit from the extra attention. However, if your baby is easily overwhelmed by too many external stimuli, you may need to carefully plan those practice times to coincide with the times that your baby is most receptive to being touched hand held.

Remember that learning proper massage techniques can take time, just like any other newborn colic treatment. Don’t get frustrated if you don’t see results right away. Take your time, and learn what types of massage your baby likes best. Soon you will be able to help her learn to relax, and in so doing, you will give your baby a powerful means of self-soothing when she is older.

By bonding with your baby through infant massage, you help to build a strong sense of security that can also reduce fussiness over time. Not all babies will like the same types of massage, so don’t give up until you’ve attempted a few different techniques. Remember to choose someone reputable if you do decide to take lessons, and be willing to try different techniques until you find one that your baby likes best.

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