By massaging your baby’s abdomen, you can help ease stomach discomfort and colic. The gentle pressure will stimulate the intestinal muscles and relieve gas pains, according to Rachel Tsosie, MD, a pediatrician at the Children’s Hospital of Indiana. Start by making sure your baby is lying on his or her back. Starting just above the belly button on the left side, gently walk and slide your pointer and middle fingers across baby’s torso parallel to each other in a semicircle shape. Repeat this motion three times in five seconds each time.”
Moonwalking is the perfect way to calm down a fussy baby. Start just above the belly button on the left side and slide your pointer and middle fingers across baby’s torso. This simple massage will soothe your baby and help her drift off to sleep.
Keeping your thumb on one side of the baby’s torso, move your fingers from one rib cage to the other. Imagine that you are “walking” across your baby’s tummy. Be sure not to tickle or poke – the goal is simply to loosen any gas that may be trapped in the abdominal area.
Start by massaging with your fingers in a lightly patting motion. Using both hands, start with the right side of baby’s belly just below the pant line, and walk across the stomach in a gentle kneading motion.
How To Massage Baby Tummy To Poop
Gas: For older children it may seem funny. For adults, there are medical products for to help resolve it. But for a baby, gas may mean discomfort and pain.
If your little one is having gas problems that keep them in distress, it can mean long nights with little sleep, lots of crying, and a baby who just can’t settle. You may be willing to try just about anything to make your baby feel better.
Baby massage is often a recommended solution for gas. But if you’re new to this, you might be wondering: What type of massage works? Are there special techniques you should use? How do you do it? We’ve got you covered.
How to massage your baby
First and foremost, it’s always a good idea to talk to your pediatrician about any at-home remedies you want to try. Your doctor might share important considerations for safety or effectiveness, or offer solutions you hadn’t thought of!
If you get the go-ahead to try giving your baby a massage for gas, start by assessing your child’s mood. Ideally, for a massage to be successful, they are calm, alert, and content when you begin. If at any time, your baby seems uncomfortable or fussy, stop the massage.
It may be easiest to massage your baby at the beginning of the day or before they go to bed, as part of their bedtime routine. You can massage them every day or only occasionally. Follow your baby’s cues on the best time of day for a massage and how frequently to try it.
Begin with asking your baby for permission — an important step, according to the International Association of Infant Massage. Maintain eye contact throughout the massage, and start with a very gentle touch. You can always increase the pressure as the massage progresses, if your baby seems content and happy.
If your baby is stiffening their arms or looking away, it may not be a good time for a massage. The Mayo Clinic suggests waiting at least 45 minutes after a feed to reduce the risk of baby vomiting.
Massage your baby in a warm, quiet place. Place them on their back on a soft towel and explain what you’re doing.
You may want to use an oil or lotion to make it more comfortable, but be mindful of the ingredients. It’s best to use a product specifically for babies so it is less likely irritate their sensitive skin.
Baby tummy massage for gas
Stomach strokes that massage the belly are designed to encourage trapped air to move. The goal is to move gas and other matter in the intestines towards the bowels.
Many of the stomach strokes suggested for gas begin at the lower right of your baby’s belly (where the large intestine begins) and end at the lower left of your baby’s belly (where the colon begins). When looking at your baby, this means moving from your left to right.
Some of the infant stomach massage techniques listed in the book “Infant Massage: A Handbook for Loving Parents” by Vimala McClure include:
- Hands of a Clock. Envision the face on a clock on your baby’s tummy. Start at 7 or 8 o’clock and move from left to right in a half moon shape, gently pressing and sliding your hands in a clockwise motion. One hand follows the other.
- Paddling. Using the long, broad, pinky-side of your hands horizontally across your baby’s belly, gently press in near the rib cage and slide down the length of baby’s tummy. One hand follows the other.
- Fulling. Lay your two thumbs flat across your baby’s belly, above the belly button. Gently pressing in, slide the thumbs away from each other.
- I Love You. Starting on the right side of your baby’s belly button, trace the letter I. Follow it by tracing the letter L, sideways, starting at the top left corner of baby’s belly, moving across and down the right side. Finish with an inverted U shape, starting at the bottom left corner of baby’s belly and tracing up, then across the torso above the belly button, and back down the right side. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to tell your baby how much you love them during this, too!
- Moonwalking. Starting just above the belly button on the left side, gently walk and slide your pointer and middle fingers across baby’s torso to the right side.
Baby foot massage for gas
Proponents of foot reflexology say the practice can improve conditions like gas and indigestion, but scientific evidence is lackingTrusted Source. Again, it’s best to talk to your pediatrician as a precaution before beginning any at-home remedy like reflexology.
If your doctor says it’s okay to give it a go, consider the pressure point for the stomach and intestines that’s located around the upper middle of the foot, just below the pad. Gently stroking this area of your baby’s foot may bring some gas relief.
Baby massage for colic
There is no single known cause of colic. While gas has been suggested as one of the possible causes, treatments aimed at reducing gas do not always lessen colic symptoms.
The Mayo Clinic suggests massage as a possible soothing method for colicky babies, but notes that no soothing method is guaranteed to help all babies or work every time.
Parents of a colicky baby should be prepared to rely on a wide range of soothing measures, and this may include baby massage if you so choose.
If you notice that your little one’s burps include excessive spit-up or projectile vomit, or if your baby seems to be in pain during or following feeds, consult their doctor.
Your pediatrician can rule out other possible causes for the discomfort including gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and suggest other treatments as necessary.
Other tips for managing gas
If massage doesn’t seem to be working for your little one or you’re looking for some additional comfort measures, there are plenty of things you can try to help manage and prevent gas:
- Bicycle your child’s legs in the air while they lie on their back. This may help move gas through the system and encourage a poop if your little one is constipated.
- Gently twist baby’s legs and hips from side to side, which may help move things along the digestive track.
- Spend some extra time burping your baby during feeds to help air escape early in the digestive process.
- If you’re bottle-feeding, check the nipple flow. If the flow is too fast, your child may be gulping air when they drink.
- Change bottle brands. Though no one brand is perfect for eliminating gas, there may be one that works better at reducing gas for your baby.
- Switch to a ready-made version of your baby’s powdered formula. Though if you don’t note any change, you can go back to the (less expensive) powdered version.
Some caregivers report that over-the-counter medications like gripe water or gas drops help their babies with gas. Make sure to check with your child’s doctor before going this route.
Newborn Baby Tummy Massage
Welcoming your little bundle of joy into your lives brings a lot of happiness and responsibilities! The biggest challenge being the baby is unable to convey the difficulties experienced. Gas formation is one of the most common problems newborn babies suffer from and often experts recommend a baby massage. Gas trouble can keep your baby distressed during nights leading to sleepless long nights for both the mother and the baby. Learning these simple massage techniques can be a lifesaver when your child is in pain. Here we have come up with some massaging techniques which you may try.
Things to Remember Before Starting Baby Belly Massage for Gas
Baby massage can be a wonderful way to connect and bond with your little one! But there are certain things to remember before you begin with baby massage:
- It is very important to speak to a pediatrician about any remedies including the massage you are going to try at home.
- The doctor will share more vital details regarding the safety and effectiveness of the solutions you may want to try.
- Once, you get the approval from your doctor you can start by checking with the mood of your baby before trying out a massage. It is recommended that she is calm, and happy when you start with a massage.
- While massaging your baby, if at any time they become fussy or uncomfortable, stop the massage immediately.
- It is highly recommended massaging your baby early in the morning or just before bedtime as a part of the night-time ritual.
- You may massage your baby daily or occasionally depending upon how your baby is responding to the massage therapy.
- Always maintain eye contact with the baby while massaging. Start with a gentle touch and slowly increase the pressure as you progress and make sure that the baby remains happy and content all the while.
- If the baby starts stiffening the arms or looking away then it may not be an ideal time for a massage. If your baby is experiencing any kind of pain then first use indirect techniques like leg pumping, stretching etc. to help let out the gas first.
- Wait for at least an hour after feeding the baby for the massage to avoid the risk of indigestion or vomiting.
- If the baby pushes her legs straight and tenses up then you may place your hands under her buttocks, bend the knees and slowly rock her hips from side to side. This will most likely relax her and also allow you to perform the massage peacefully without force.
- Always massage your baby in a warm and quiet place while placing them on their back on a soft mat or towel. Keep talking gentle and soothing words to the baby while massaging.
- To make the massage more comfortable it is recommended to use an oil or lotion but make sure that you always use baby specific products so that it’s gentle on the skin of your baby. Completely avoid nut oils, instead use an organic or edible oil and always do a patch test before proceeding with the massage.
- Make it a ritual to pour a few drops of oil into your palms and rub your hands together near your baby’s ears. The soothing sound of your palms rubbing on a regular basis will convey the message to your baby that it will be followed by a massage.
Baby Tummy Massage for Gas
Massaging your baby can be a wonderful experience for both you and the baby, it not only helps remove the trapped air but also stimulates the overall growth and development of your baby. The baby stomach massage strokes are designed to move the trapped air from the tummy and intestine towards the bowels. Most of the belly massage strokes begin from the lower right side of the baby’s belly and end towards the left side of the belly. Some of the massage techniques are listed below:
1. Knees Up Press
Support your baby’s knees by trapping your index finger behind the knees and bring the knees bent together towards her belly. Now, gently press and bounce the knees into her tummy. This one is an easy and effective technique to relieve gas.
2. Hands of a Clock Movement
Imagine that your baby’s tummy is the face of a clock. Now, starting at 7’o clock gently press and move your hand in a clockwise motion (starting from left to right). Follow the motion with the other hand.
3. I Love You Baby Gas Massage
For this, you need to hold your index finger and middle finger together. Now, starting from the right side of your baby’s belly end trace the letter ‘I.’ Next, follow it by tracing the letter ‘L’ in sideways, you can start from the top left corner of your baby’s tummy moving across and down the right side of the tummy. Trace all the alphabets and you can finish with an inverted U starting from the bottom left corner of the belly tracing upwards across the torso (above the belly button) and coming back down towards the right side. Do tell your baby how much you love her while doing this special massage for her!
4. Paddling Massage
For this technique, place the long, broadside of your hands on your baby’s belly horizontally (such that the little finger is towards the tummy). Now, gently press below the rib cage and slide your hands down towards the length of the baby’s tummy. Follow the same with the other hand.
5. Thumb Fulling
For this, firmly hold your baby at the waist and now place both the thumbs firmly across your baby’s tummy, just above the belly button. Now, gently press in and slide the thumbs to the sides of her abdomen simultaneously (in such a motion that the thumbs move away from one another in the opposite direction).
6. Sun and Moon Massage Technique
Use your fingertips to draw imaginary circles around your baby’s belly button in a clockwise direction. Continue tracing full circle strokes with one hand, while the other hand follows behind the first hand to trace a half-circle. Make it more interesting by singing the songs of sun and moon aloud to your baby while performing the massage. Perform this in a clockwise direction.
7. Moon-walking Technique
For this massage technique, start just above the belly button on the left side of your baby’s tummy. Now, slide your pointer and middle fingers across the baby’s torso towards the right side.
Each of the above massage techniques can be performed 3-4 times at a time and can be repeated twice a day for two weeks or more until the time gas trouble persists. Always end the massage with ‘touch relaxation’ by placing your hands firmly on the baby’s tummy, this will help you connect with your baby’s breathing and also send messages of love and warmth to her!
Baby Foot Reflexology Massage for Gas
Apart from doing a tummy massage, you can also try baby foot massage for gas. Foot reflexology is associated with improving the conditions of gas, constipation, and indigestion; however, scientific evidence is still lacking in this regard. As a precaution, it’s best to consult with your pediatrician before beginning with foot reflexology at home. If your doctor gives a go-ahead symbol then only go for this massage technique. The pressure point for the stomach and intestine is located around the upper middle part of the foot, just below the pad. Place your hands on this spot and gently stroke this area to help relieve the gas.
Trying out the infant gas relief massage at home with your baby can be really fun and help you create a great bonding with your child. Gas relief massage for a newborn is quite easy to perform and is also very effective. However, you need to take proper precautions before beginning with the massage in order to avoid any unpleasant situation for your little one.