Having a good bedtime routine is essential to establishing healthy sleeping habits for your baby, and including a simple massage into the routine could do a lot of good!
Babies aren’t exactly the best sleepers in the world. Forget sleeping through the night – it’s sometimes a challenge to even get them to sleep for more than two hours before the sun comes up! But there are several reasons why your baby may not be sleeping long hours at night – here’s a few of them:
- They’re hungry, probably due to an increase in appetite which comes with a growth spurt;
- They’re feeling a little uncomfortable from teething, a gassy tummy, or (ugh) colic;
- The dreaded fourth, sixth, eighth, and 12th month sleep regression;
- They are (temporarily) confused with changes to their environment or daily schedule.
Well, we have some good news. If your little one is struggling to stay asleep due to any of the latter three reasons, you might want to consider incorporating a simple massage into bub’s bedtime routine. Not only is it a good way to establish a sleep routine, massages also help them sleep a lot better! Here’s why:
Benefits of a bedtime massage for babies
1. Massages stimulate production of melatonin
Popularly known as the sleep hormone, melatonin is responsible for regulating our sleep-and-wake cycles. It’s naturally produced by our bodies, which calms us down and prepares the body for sleep. Researchers found that babies with massages in their bedtime routine exhibit higher melatonin production compared to those who don’t. It’s believed that massages act as a cue that aligns the little ones’ sleep-wake cycle to that of their mothers, which helps them sleep more peacefully.
2. It helps with with digestion
Gassiness is probably the most common cause of discomfort for most babies. Giving them a tummy massage helps to get that trapped gas moving through their digestive systems and eventually out of their bodies. As such, massage is also great for babies going through the dreaded colic stage.
3. Massages are a great way to relieve stress
Massages are especially useful if your baby has been overstimulated during the day, or if they’ve just experienced a change in environment (eg. baby has started sleeping alone, or you’ve just moved into a new place). This is all thanks to Endorphins (happy hormones) which are released during a massage, whereas the level of stress hormones (like cortisol) decrease during the massage session. This helps your baby feel more relaxed, making it easier for them to fall asleep.
Sounds great? Here’s how to give a simple bedtime massage to your baby
Step 1: Apply some massage oil on your palms then gently massage your baby’s tummy in a circular motion.
Step 2: Use your index finger and draw little clockwise circles on your baby’s tummy. Then draw an upside down “U” with your thumb.
Step 3: Gently glide your hands from your baby’s shoulders to their tummy, drawing an “X”.
Step 4: Use your thumb and draw tiny circles on your baby’s palms and feet.
Step 5: Finish up with some bicycle kicks.
Top tip: Be sure to pick a baby-friendly massage oil
While there are many different massage oils available on the market for adults, not all of them are baby-friendly. You’ll want to choose one that is gentle on your baby’s skin: preferably one that’s made from natural ingredients, and free from fragrance as well as harsh chemicals.
You can try Mama’s Choice Baby Calming Tummy Oil for bub’s bedtime massages. Not only is it made from 100% carefully selected natural ingredients, it’s also free from minerals (which can clog pores and damage your baby’s natural skin barrier), fragrance, parabens, and preservatives. One of its main ingredients is nutmeg oil, known for its ability to aid with digestive issues and relieve trapped wind. The tummy oil also contains lavender and chamomile oil, both known for their relaxation properties, making this a great bedtime massage oil for your little one.
It’s also worth noting that these ingredients are of halal origin and the Baby Calming Tummy Oil is certified halal, so Muslim families can use it without worry. On top of that, it has been lab-tested in Singapore to guarantee safe usage for infants.
Thinking of getting a bottle for your baby’s bedtime routine? The Baby Calming Tummy Oil is available on Mama’s Choice’s official Shopee store, so grab yours today!
This post is in partnership with Mama’s Choice