Using child and baby massage can help you bond with your baby using the principles of Theraplay, relieve growing pains in legs, and help skin products like Bubbsi’s Whipped Coconut Oil body Cream and Coconut Oil Balm get deep into skin for maximum hydration. Baby massage has also been proven to improve sleep in infants, while massaging older kids before bed prevents growing pains in legs from waking them up during the night. Baby massage and facial massage in kids can improve lymphatic drainage and make it easier for kids to handle stress.
How Massage Can Benefit Little Ones
You probably know from firsthand experience how massages can help relieve tension, increase circulation, and improve your sleep, among many other benefits—so why not apply some of those techniques to your kids so they can feel the same benefits?
According to a 2019 narrative study published in Children, research done in the past decade suggests pediatric massage has been proven to help with a whole host of issues, from helping with pre-term infant growth to relieving anxiety, pain, and even seasonal allergy symptoms, just to name a few. There’s also the benefits you see firsthand as a parent, like dedicated time for bonding and easing congestion during a cold. Bubbsi founder Sweta Doshi discovered the benefits of massaging her daughter Juhi with coconut oil between baths, which improved her dry skin and proved to be a calming bonding time together.
If you can’t tell, we believe massage has a multitude of benefits for kids of all ages. Here’s a guide to the key reasons for adding some simple massage techniques into your regular routine.
1. Baby Massage Helps Protect Infant Skin
That silky soft baby skin we all love is pretty magical, but it’s also not as resilient as our adult epidermis. Massaging with a hydrating product like Bubbsi’s Whipped Coconut Oil Body Cream or Coconut Oil Balm can help get hydration deep into your baby’s skin to protect from dryness and discomfort, while improving circulation to the skin. This gentle baby massage not only feels good, it provides skin benefits as well.
Plus, coconut oil has natural antibacterial properties that can keep potential skin irritants at bay. A 2012 study in The Journal of Caring Sciences also suggested that doctors massaging premature infants with sunflower or coconut oils for just a few minutes a day could relieve stress and help them cope with the ordeal of the NICU.
2. Child and Baby Massage Can Soothe Growing Pains in Legs
If you’ve ever woken up to a child crying from growing pains, you know how disruptive it can be to sleep and their general mood. While a 2019 study in Orthopade stresses that growing pains aren’t harmful, they can certainly be uncomfortable. Most common in pre-schoolers and adolescents, the exact origins of these aches still hasn’t been pinpointed, but researchers did find that massaging and simple stretching can help prevent them and alleviate pain while they’re happening. Consider including massage during storytime before bed, while your child is already sitting still and entertained, to prevent growing pains in legs interrupting their sleep. This can also help them wind down before bed by lowering cortisol and releasing melatonin!
3. Facial Baby Massage Can Help with Congestion and Lymphatic Drainage
You might have heard about gua sha, the Chinese skin scraping technique that’s recently gained popularity for depuffing, reducing sinus pressure, and more. While gua sha can be used on kids once you’ve studied up, some basic facial massage can offer similar benefits when it comes to alleviating the symptoms of congestion in little ones.
Gently pressing away from the nose can encourage mucus and other fluids to move away from the nasal passages, to provide some relief. This kind of attention also just feels great to sick kiddos looking for skin contact.
The same theories apply when it comes to seasonal allergies like hay fever—gentle child and baby massage can stimulate lymphatic drainage and potentially relieve some of the headaches and stuffiness. Some research has also suggested that allergy-induced asthma can be exacerbated by stress, and soothing massage before bed kept symptoms to a minimum.
4. Exploring is Hard on Little Feet and Hands, and Massage Can Help
It’s not uncommon for kids to overdo it when it comes to playing, especially during something exciting like a soccer game or hide and seek. If they’re burnt out from too much running around, transition to calm time and treat their muscles to a foot or hand massage.
You can make a playful game out of it—and as a bonus, the skin contact can help them relax after so much stimulation. To go deeper, read up on some introductory reflexology techniques, designed to stimulate pressure points on the hands and feet and offer relief of many different types of discomfort, both internal and external.
5. Baby Massage Fosters Strong Attachments and Bonding—as Proven by Theraplay
Physical touch is key to forming strong bonds with your child and learning how to communicate with each other. A recent 2020 study published in Infant Behavior Development stressed the importance of touch in bonding with infants not just for the child, but for you as the parent as well. Incorporating baby massage will help keep you in tune with their needs and notice if something changes.
Touch is also at the heart of Theraplay, a longtime therapy that addresses behavioral and parent-child relationship issues through guided, intentional touch. In Theraplay sessions, practitioners guide parents and children through playful, engaging, and structured activities designed to strengthen their bond and make the child feel seen. The success of Theraplay is just another reason why using similar techniques at home to incorporate soothing and sometimes even silly baby massage time can make your relationship with your child even stronger.
Bubbsi’s rich, naturally healing Whipped Coconut Oil Body Cream and Coconut Oil Balm make child and baby massage smooth and soothing. Use the Coconut Oil Balm as a gentle massage oil by warming it between your hands, or massage the Whipped Coconut Oil body Cream into skin after bathtime for the best absorption. Both are included in Bubbsi’s Newborn Starter Set and Head to Toe Moisture Starter Set, so you can get a headstart on making baby massage a key part of your daily routine with your you kids, to lower their stress, improve skin health, reduce discomfort from things like allergies and growing pains in legs, and create a strong foundation for your relationship as it evolves over time.