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Giving your baby a gentle massage can help with relaxation and bonding.
Narrator: A good way to connect with your newborn is by giving a little massage. Midwife Miriam Maldonado teaches new parents how to massage their newborn.
Midwife Miriam Maldonado: A newborn massage is very good so you can relax your baby and also bond with your baby.
Narrator: Make sure your baby is ready. Wait at least 45 minutes after a feeding to reduce the chance that he'll spit up.
Adjust the room temperature so it's nice and warm.
Midwife: So to start the massage we are going to get a flat surface and you put a cover on it.
Narrator: You can also use a bed or the floor.
To massage your baby's body, you can use a small amount of baby oil, lotion, or a natural oil like olive or coconut. Before starting, it's a good idea to try the product on a small patch of your baby's skin to test for sensitivity or allergies.
Have a washcloth and some warm water handy to clean your baby's skin after the massage.
Take off rings or other jewelry that could hurt your baby and make sure your nails are trimmed.
Place your baby on the towel with just a diaper on.
Start the massage on your baby's head. Don't use oil or lotion yet. Gently, without pressure, stroke the scalp, temples, and outside of the ears.
After doing the head, rub a little oil or lotion between your hands. Stroke your baby's legs. Use a very light touch, with circular movements.
With newborn massage, always be careful not to apply too much pressure. A gentle touch provides plenty of stimulation.
Massage the ankles and the toes individually.
Continue with the arms in soft, up-and-down, circular motions. Don't put lotion or oil on your baby's hands because she may suck on her hands and get the product in her mouth.
Turn your baby over for a back massage. If your baby doesn't like being on her tummy, you can skip this part. Use your whole hand to give gentle, wide strokes, starting on the shoulders and moving down.
You can leave your baby's diaper on and massage over it, or you can remove the diaper and massage her bottom directly.
Massage the back of the legs and the soles of the feet.
Turn your baby over for a soft belly massage. Be sure to avoid the umbilical cord stump, if it's still attached. Then massage the inner thighs.
Remove the excess oil or lotion with a damp cloth and dress your baby.
You'll probably have a very relaxed baby in your arms.