Having a new baby is an exciting time but it can also be a time of uncertainty and worry, not just for first-time parents but even for more experienced parents. Each baby is unique and can present a whole new parenting experience.
As parents, we want to prevent or treat conditions that cause discomfort to our babies. However, there are conditions common among infants that can frustrate parents.
Beware of GER
For example, gastro-oesophageal reflux (GER) is common among young infants. It causes the baby to frequently spit up or regurgitate after feeding. It’s often accompanied by abdominal pain or general crankiness in the hours after feeding.
This condition is very common in the first few weeks and months of life as the ring of muscle at the base of the oesophagus has not yet matured. GER causes some of the mixture of food, drink, and acid from the baby’s stomach to travel back up the oesophagus, instead of passing through to the large and small intestines, thus irritating the lining of the oesophagus.
As the signs and symptoms can be similar to colic, GER can sometimes be mistaken for colic. In Chinese culture, GER is colloquially called ‘one hundred days of crying’ as it is most commonly observed in the first 100 days after a baby’s birth.
Starting off the right way
Before starting the massage, always remember to warm the oil with your hands to body temperature. Talking to your baby as part of the massage process can also cue them to look forward to the massage and strengthen your bond with the baby.
#1 Top-Down Baby Massage
One popular style of tummy massage is the Top-Down. As shown in the picture, put both hands on your baby’s tummy and gently push downwards with a little pressure. This helps to dispel the wind inside the baby stomach through the intestinal tract.
You can do about four to six rounds for the Top-Down style but it is best to gauge your baby’s reaction to the massage before further proceeding.
#2 I Love You Baby Massage
There is also a very special style of tummy massage named I Love You to represent a set of three continuous steps that mimic the letters ‘I’, ‘L’ and ‘U’. The I Love You massage is suitable for babies that have excess gas or constipation. It is inspired by the clockwise arrangement of human intestines.
1) The first letter ‘I’ represents putting your hand on the right side of your baby’s abdomen and gently moving your hand downward once – similar to the letter ‘I’.
2) Then continue with ‘L’ by placing your hand on the baby’s tummy and gently pushing towards the right horizontally and down vertically, in an inside-to-outside direction, forming a shape similar to an inverted letter ‘L’.
3) For ‘U’, the action mimics an upside-down letter ‘U’, starting from the small intestines in an outwards direction.
So, from ‘I’ to ‘L’ to ‘U’, the movements of the massage help create a pushing movement to help the baby dispel gas and relieve constipation. Remember to always do so gently.
Four to six sets of the ‘I Love You’ massage per session will be sufficient to see results. However, just like other massage styles, it depends on the baby’s reaction, whether they take well to the baby massage.
For additional benefits like reducing friction, warming up the body and making your baby smell wonderful during the massage, try our TYT Herbal Medicated Oil. Formulated to be gentle on delicate baby skin, this herbal oil does not leave a stinging sensation and therefore is safe for babies to use.