5 Important Baby exercises and 8 Important massages for your baby
It is exciting to watch as your child develops in every aspect, especially physically. As his muscle strength and co-ordination increase, your baby’s body control will also improve.
You may want to start your baby on some gentle exercises:
1. The Diaper Time Massage
When you are changing your baby’s diapers, you can do this exercise. Take your baby’s feet gently by the ankles and bend and straighten his legs a few times. Do it slowly, and stop if your baby seems uncomfortable.
2. The Leg Muscle Exercise
Hold your baby facing you with his feet on your lap, touching your knees; raise and lower him, making sure that his neck is supported. This exercise will strengthen his leg muscles as a preparation for walking.
3. The Arm Exercise
Lie on your back with your knees drawn up and balance your baby on his stomach, on your knees and shins. Stretches his arms out to the side- this should make him raise his head- and then bring his arms back to the original position and begin again.
4. The Army Hand March
Lay your baby on his back so that he can look at you and follow your movements with his eyes. Let him grasp your thumbs. Stretch one arm above his head. As you lower it, raise the other arm above his head.
5. The Open-Close Hand Exercise
Holding your baby’s hands, stretch his arms to the side, then back across his chest. Repeat.
Massage is beneficial for both parents and babies. It helps you to bond with your baby; it is a valuable activity for parent and baby. If you massage your baby everyday, he will look forward to it with pleasure.
I’ve seen a lot Indian ladies sitting outdoors especially in winter in the morning sun. It is quite usual to see babies stretched on the ladies’ legs, being massaged with great love and gentleness.
Massage not only soothes babies, it strengthens their muscles. You can lay your baby on a mat, keeping the room at a comfortable temperature.
1. Feet and Toes: Rub your baby’s ankles and feet, stroking from heel to toe, and then concentrate on each toe individually.
2. Legs: You can massage your baby’s legs, working from his thighs down to his knees. Stroke down the shins and move around to his calves and ankles. Gently squeeze all the way down.
3. Chest and Tummy: Stroke down your baby’s chest following the curves of his ribs. Rub his tummy gently in a circular motion, working outwards from the navel.
4. Neck and shoulders: gently massage your baby’s neck from his ears to his shoulders and from his chin to his chest. Then stroke his shoulders from neck outwards.
5. Arms: Stroke down his arms to his finger tips. Use your fingers and thumb to gently squeeze all along his arm, starting at the top.
6. Head: Lightly massage the crown of your baby’s head, using a circular motion, then stroke down the sides of his face. Gently massage his forehead, working from the center out and moving over the eyebrows and cheeks to finish around his ears.
7. End the massage of the front part of the body with some long light strokes running the whole length of the baby’s body.
8. Back: Once you’ve massaged your baby on the front, turn him over and work on his back.