Baby Massage for Colic | Guide & Benefits

Have you ever known a baby that, despite a full tummy, clean diaper, and plenty of cuddles, won’t just stop crying? There are no words to adequately convey the gut-wrenching experience of your child crying and screaming for no apparent reason. Nothing appears to exist at that time except for their crying and your instinctive desire to calm them down. 

One of the reasons for your baby’s continuous crying episodes may be colic. Colic is considered one of the most common yet challenging conditions concerning babies without a particular cure. But this condition is the cause of distress for parents who want nothing more than a calm infant.

Infant massage, a centuries-old technique, has lately regained prominence as a treatment for colic. In as little as 15 minutes per day, one simple baby colic massage method might completely transform your relationship with your kid. Let us have in-depth knowledge about the different types of baby colic massages and several other aspects of colic.

What is Colic

Colic is the term for frequent, intense crying of your baby that generally occurs in the late afternoon or early evening. These extreme crying episodes might last for several hours and are typically uncontrollable. 

Usually, the babies having colic do not show any other symptoms of illness and tend to be completely fine between within bouts of colic. Colic massage techniques may prove to be beneficial for your baby’s colic. 

When babies are massaged, they tend to cry less and be less distressed. Massage can also aid digestion by pushing blocked wind and feces through your baby’s system. This may assist in making him feel more at ease.

Also read: What is the Witching Hour | Causes & Solution

Causes of Colic in Babies

Colic in healthy newborns is still a mystery. However, it is commonly assumed to be caused by wind or gas in the babies’ tummy, but there’s no confirmation. Whatever the source may be, a baby’s incessant crying, screaming, tightening of the belly, and hand-sucking may make even the most self-assured mother cry and doubt her skills.

Baby Massage for Colic

Baby massages for colic in the stomach are intended to help release the trapped air. The objective is to release the gas and other waste from the intestines to the bowels. 

Many baby massages for reflux and gas are recommended to start from the bottom right of your baby’s abdomen (beginning location of the baby’s large intestine) and finish at the lower left (beginning location of your baby’s colon). 

It means while looking at your baby, moving in a motion from left to right. Vimala McClure’s book “Infant Massage: A Handbook for Loving Parents” lists the following infant colic massage techniques:

1. Hands of a Clock

  • Consider your baby’s belly as a clock’s face. 
  • Begin at 7 or 8 o’clock and proceed in a half-moon shape from left to right, softly pushing and sliding your hands clockwise. 
  • One hand moves ahead of the other.

2. Fulling

  • This technique would need you to place your thumbs of both hands above the baby’s belly button across their belly.
  • Follow by pressing in gently and sliding away from your thumbs from each other without applying a lot of pressure on your baby’s belly.

3. Paddling

  • Paddling requires you to press in near your baby’s rib cage gently with the help of the broad and long pink side of your hands.  
  • Place your hands horizontally and start sliding down along your baby’s tummy length.
  • One hand moves ahead of the other.

4. I Love You

  • You can begin by tracing the letter “I” on the right side of your baby’s belly button. 
  • Proceed with tracing the letter “L” sideways. The L should begin at the top left corner of the baby’s belly and move across and down the right side.
  • Finally, complete it with an inverted U tracing up from the bottom left corner of the baby’s belly button, over the body above the belly button, and down the right side.
  • You might as well tell your little bundle of joy how much you love them while you’re at it.

5. Moonwalking

  • Start by gently walking as well as sliding your index and middle fingers above the belly button on the left side
  • Proceed with moving over the baby’s body to the right side.
Baby Massage for Colic

Benefits of Baby Massage for Colic

Benefits of Baby Massage for Colic

Baby massage for colic is being practiced by parents all across the world for thousands of years. This gentle yet practical approach to your baby’s health can aid in the relief of fussy newborns. 

Colic massage is a safe and effective way to treat newborn colic. The danger of adverse effects is extremely minimal compared to other potential colic therapies, and the treatment itself is pleasurable for both the parent and the kid. 

The colic massages have resulted in less crying and more sleeping of the babies. These 15-20 mins baby colic massages work way better than rocking your babies. Do it once a day and again before bedtime, and you will see amazing results.

Apart from relieving colic, baby massage has a myriad of other advantages as well. Baby massage has been shown to improve the “mother-baby” bond, a useful tool for parents who want to make sure their child feels secure and loved. Baby massage can also enhance paternal-infant connections, which is wonderful for new dads. In addition, it can also improve your baby’s sleeping pattern.

Reports have also shown that by applying moderate pressure on your baby’s limbs, you can help them gain weight and increase their bone density. Because the newborns who receive massage gains weight more quickly, their hospital stay is usually cut short, allowing them to return home sooner.

When not to Massage a Baby

It is strictly advised:

  • Not to massage your baby within 24 hours of their immunizations.
  • Not to massage your baby’s bruised or broken skin while they are hungry or for roughly 30 minutes after a meal.
  • Not to massage your baby if they do not enjoy it or if they are asleep.

When will Colic Stop?

It usually begins within the first few weeks of birth and ends around the age of 4 months. It can last up to 6 months in very extreme situations. However, there is no cure (scientifically/medically) for colic. But you might want to try a few things that can help make both (the baby and you) comfortable, like colic massages. Always consult your pediatrician to rule out any other potential causes of your baby’s crying.

Our Advice

Colic massage may be beneficial to your baby’s colic condition. When babies are massaged, they tend to scream less and be less anxious. Massage can also facilitate digestion by pushing blocked wind and feces through your baby’s system. This may assist in making him/her feel more at ease.

Baby massage is both free and pleasurable when compared to other colic therapies. As a result, it’s worth a shot. It’s advisable to ask your nursery nurse or a health visitor for assistance. They’ve mastered the art of massage techniques. Alternatively, you might attend a baby massage class as well.

Laura is a trained primary teacher who takes a profound liking in interacting with and bringing out the best in children. She is also an ISSA certified pediatrician with an extensive practice of over 12 years. Laura comprehends the needs of infants and now compresses her expertise into writing thorough parenting guides to aid new parents.

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