A time-honored childcare practice in many cultures around the world, find out how massaging your baby can soothe almost every ill and ache that causes your little one to cry… and help them become healthier and happier.
Let’s start with the all-too-familiar story of two mothers helping soothe their little one’s first bout of colds…
It’s late at night. There’s a mom in America right now, scrolling past Google results on her phone, looking worriedly at her baby finally asleep after a full 5 hours of on and off crying and general fussiness, her baby’s tiny nose all red and stuffed up and chubby cheeks flushed pink as she is experiencing her first bout of colds.
She might find a hundred different results online telling her what to do, what not to do, when to worry and when to take her baby to the doctor. She’ll find a few bits and pieces of advice that are helpful and maybe an article or two that will tell her how to deal with her sick baby but it still doesn’t completely ease her worries. She sees an article on baby massages but she’s not so sure. She’s never done it before. Something about essential oils, too? She checks out a few more articles until she feels very drowsy.
“I’ll take her to the doctor tomorrow,” will be her last thought as she drifts off to sleep, well aware that she’ll be up again in a few hours.
Meanwhile in another part of the world:
The sun just rose in Southeast Asia. Somewhere in a quiet, rural town, there’s another young mother whose baby is also having the sniffles for the first time in his young life. She is calmly preparing for a quick morning massage session for her baby which she learned from her mother. The baby, also quite fussy, is in the crib fresh from a warm bath.
Wrapped up in a towel, she carries him to the bed where she gently massages the baby’s chest area, front and back in gentle, rotating motions with a bit of home-made massage oil while softly humming a lullaby. She concludes her baby’s massage with some quick strokes at the forehead and towards the nostrils.
Her baby, now visibly calmer, is ready and relaxed for his morning nap. Although she openly embraces the traditional ways of soothing her baby, she also knows that her baby may need to be taken to the doctor if the colds persist. She’ll wait and see in two to three days. For the moment, her baby is calm and feeling better; that is what’s most important. She herself grew up being given regular massages. Massages, as far she has known, were weaved into the fabric of her everyday life.
The two moms discussed above are from different parts of the globe, both worried about their baby’s first colds and both doing the very best they can to soothe their little ones. One is not better than the other, of course. Both are simply finding ways to make their babies feel better based on what they know.
Their stories simply illustrate that while Western parents do not tend to instinctually look to baby massages as a way to soothe their baby through common illnesses, baby massages are often practiced by mothers in other parts of the world taught to them by their mothers and grandmothers before them. [Read more…]