Infant Massage: How to help your baby relax and sleep
Good Bubble Founder Amy Wordsworth talks about the wonders of coconut oil and the ama’zzz’ing way baby massage can help to promote sleep (see what we did there?):
I have a one-year old little boy and he’s always been an “OK” kind of sleeper. Not the best but not the worst. He does, however, have this knack of busting out into an all-night rave whenever I have an important meeting or event the next day. It’s like a sixth-sense. “Hey mum, want to feel energised and on-top of things tomorrow? Well sorry but I have an impulsive urge to rattle the cot bars like a boxing kangaroo escaping Alcatraz and I win, because I’m cute.”
I came across infant massage during a taster session at our local children’s centre and after trying some of the techniques on him; I was amazed at how relaxed he seemed versus his usual live wire self. I tried the same methods after bath time that evening and, sure enough, he drifted off much easier and slept more soundly than he had done all week. Intrigued by what was happening, I delved into the science behind baby massage and sleep and here’s what I discovered:
Like with adults, a baby’s sleep pattern is dictated by their circadian rhythm. This is basically our 24-hour internal clock which is affected by the daily pattern of feeding, body temperature and hormone release. The hormone levels dip and rise throughout the day, so when they are low we become sleepy and when they rise we become wakeful and energetic.
A regular infant massage before bedtime can help your baby to relax and prepare them for sleep by easing them into their circadian rhythm. Massage is also brilliant for bonding with your baby through touch and could help aid ailments such as colic, wind and constipation.
Why not try a simple massage with your baby to help them wind down. Choose a time when they are alert, not too hungry and not too full. After bath time is usually a good time. Dim the lights before you start and make sure the room is cosy and warm. Wash your hands, remove any jewellery and use oil that is suitable for babies. Good Bubble Organic Coconut Oil is ideal for baby massage as it is suitable for newborns, has been dermatologically tested and can help to soothe and protect their delicate skin too.
We love these simple techniques from BabyCentre for a calming massage.
NOTE: Don’t massage your baby if they are sick or if they have just been immunised.
Amy founded Good Bubble with the mission “to make safer, happier bath times for families” After setting up Good Bubble in 2014 Amy entered BBC’s Dragons’ Den and was successful in securing backing from Deborah Meaden. Since then Amy and Deborah have been developing the Good Bubble range and have recently gained the Leaping Bunny certification from Cruelty Free International.