Numerous studies have found that massage plays a significant role in promoting healthy growth and development of infants. All that skin-to-skin contact not only helps you and your baby bond, it can also relieve a host of childhood complaints from colic to constipation.
The following easy three-step "I Love You" massage is particularly effective in soothing stomach distress. "Most colicky babies will have their worst periods in late afternoon or early evening," says Dr. William Sears, author of Keys to Calming the Fussy Baby, so it's a good idea to massage your baby in the late afternoon to relieve tension before it becomes a colicky episode.
Preparation tipsChoose a warm, draft-free and quiet room, where you can lay your baby – a blanket or pillow on a carpeted floor or on the bed is fine. If possible, place him near a warm, sunlit window. Pour a little baby oil in your palms and rub your hands together to warm the oil.
When you're ready to begin, tell your baby it's massage time and remove his clothing. Try talking or singing to him as you do the massage, and pay attention to your baby's signals: If he's showing signs of discomfort (turning away, fussing, closing arms, crawling away), try a lighter touch or simply stop.