Why Try Baby Massage For Gas Relief?
Massage therapy has long been known to provide relief help for digestive problems, and babymassage is an ideal way to deal with infant gas. When new parents learn how to deal with a gassy or colic baby, they can save the child, and themselves, hours of stress and discomfort. The technique below is designed for gas relief for babies, but can be used just as easily on toddlers, young children, and adults for flatulence and constipation.
Find a soft surface to lay your baby on, in a comfortably warm area (your infant enjoys the same things you’d enjoy for a massage).
Use an edible, non-toxic oil for the massage, since infants are known for putting their fingers and toes in their mouth. Avoid nut oils (because of possible allergies) and always test it on a tiny area of your child’s skin to ensure there are no reactions. It’s best to have the massage oil at skin temperature. A simple method, if the container is small enough, is to carry it in your pants pocket or tucked into your waistband for about 15 minutes. If you warm it in water, use skin temperature water and be patient — using hot water to try and speed up the process is too risky for your infant.
It’s best to leave your baby in a diaper for the gas relief massage, to avoid accidents that will interfere with the treatment.
Leg Pumping Gas Relief
If you feel your baby is in too much pain for you to massage the abdomen, begin with some leg-pumping first to try and relieve some of the gas. Lay your infant face up on your lap or on a soft surface. You can also do this with the baby lying on the floor or a changing table. Hold the baby’s feet and pump them back and forth, in a pedaling motion, as though the child was riding a bicycle. Then take both feet and gently push both of them at the same time, making your baby’s legs bend, with the knees moving up toward their chest. Gently pump the baby’s legs a few times in this manner to help move some of the gas through the child’s digestive system and provide some initial relief.
Start gas relief massage by applying the oil or cream to your baby’s chest and draw it down toward the knees with long, soft, slow strokes. Think relaxation.
Bring your baby’s knees together and slowly move them up and then into the stomach. In a clockwise direction — the same direction your digestive system works — draw a circle on the tummy. To help get the gas moving, apply a little pressure for the upper part of the circle, and ease the pressure on the lower part.
Often, an infant will react to this part of the gas relief massage by tensing up slightly and trying to straighten his legs. It’s a natural reaction and does not indicate pain. You can try and relax him by placing your hands under his cute little baby butt, bending the knees, and slowly rock the infant from side to side at the hips.
Moving on, place a hand just below the baby’s navel and draw your hand towards you in a firm, slow, scooping motion. Alternate your hands, repeating the motion a few times.
Baby Belly Massage
Now it’s time to use the infamous Baby Belly Button Box Massage. Actually, it’s probably not called that at all, but it’s fun to say. Imagine a box that’s about two inches (four centimeters) on each side. with the infant’s navel in the middle. Or, in other words, each side of the box is about one inch from the belly button. Gently outline the box with your fingertips, again in a clockwise motion, rounding off the corners, In fact, a circle with a one inch radius, centered on the belly button works as well. Here’s where the explanation gets a little complicated. To give baby the full benefit of the gas relieving massage, start the circular motion with your right hand at the 9 o’clock position. As your right hand moves clockwise and reaches the 3 o’clock position, start with your left hand at the 9 o’clock position. Move both hands at the same time until the right hand reaches 9 o’clock again, and the left reaches 3 o’clock. One full circle with the right hand, and a half circle with the left. Don’t quote me on this, but in yoga circles I believe it’s called the Sun Moon Technique.
Hopefully your baby is already feeling some gas relief, but there’s still some more massage you can use to help the farts along.
Imagine the same Beautiful Baby Belly Button Box. Now picture a uppercase I, and backwards 7, and an upside down, squared off U. Using your fingertips, draw the upper case I starting at the upper left corner, massaging down to the bottom left corner. Then draw the backwards 7 starting at the top right corner, to the upper left, and then down to the lower left corner. Then it’s time for the upside down U — bottom right, to top right, to top left, to bottom left. Repeat this part of the massage a few times.
Now the massage moves onto the baby bicycle pedaling described above. However, this time, bring one knee up to the tummy, apply pressure to the abdomen with it and hold for five seconds. Then do the same with the other leg and continue to alternate legs. Remember — it’s a massage, not an infant workout — keep things gentle and slow.
If the above massage technique doe not give your baby any gas relief, or if you feel it’s needed too often, consult your doctor.