This video describes a massage routine to help your baby release flatulence and to help with reflux too. It shows you a short tummy massage of 10-15 seconds per spot, and then takes you through the different areas to massage.
Constipated babies can be a real pain, but they generally release constipation rather quickly. This yoga baby massage routine is a great way to help your baby move their bowels quickly, it also makes them feel really good.
In this video, one of our consultants will show you a tummy massage technique for helping your baby get the gas out.
Baby Tummy Massage For Gas Relief
Gas may be a natural element of infant development, but it can still be uncomfortable for babies and frustrating for their parents. While this problem can be difficult to treat, common solutions include burping newborns and holding them upright after feedings.
To help their babies find relief, parents may look to alternate solutions, such as gas drops, gripe water, or herbal supplements. However, these aren’t always effective and can sometimes be harmful in. Performed correctly, infant massage can be a safer option to get gas moving, while also promoting stronger bonding between parents and their babies.
How to Massage Your Baby to Help Relieve Gas
Infant massages focused on gas relief may look a bit different than conventional baby massages. Traditional massage tends to be less focused and involves a lot less pressure. Use the following steps to determine when and how to safely give your baby a massage to relieve gas:
Consult your doctor. If you suspect that your baby has significant health issues prompting gas, check with a doctor before beginning a massage regimen. Depending on the issue, other remedies may prove more effective. Otherwise, your doctor can provide suggestions for administering a safe massage.
Massage at the right time. Avoid massages right after feedings, as these can cause vomiting. Massaging tends to be most effective as a gas preventative measure if your baby is already calm. Many parents prefer to incorporate massages in their babies’ nighttime routine to promote a peaceful atmosphere to help them fall asleep.
Use oil safely. Some parents prefer to massage their babies while using oil, which reduces friction. But, this is not required. Select an edible oil that will be safe if your baby accidentally consumes it. Coconut oil is a great option, but products marketed to infants may also work, depending on the ingredients. Be sure to test it on a small patch of skin to determine whether allergies might be a problem.
Techniques for a safe baby massage. Use some of these techniques when you’re giving your baby a massage:
- Paddling. This basic massage uses the sides of the hand, moving them one at a time from your baby’s rib cage to pelvis. As soon as one hand reaches the bottom of the massage area, the other should already be starting to move down from the ribs.
- Bicycle legs. A common gas-relieving technique among new parents, bicycle legs look exactly as they sound: your baby will appear to be riding a tiny bike. Place your baby in a reclined position with bent legs. Hold one foot or leg in each hand and create slow vertical circles, bending the knee in and stretching the leg back out, one side at a time. Watch your infant carefully for a response and stop if your baby appears uncomfortable.
- “I love you” technique. This massage approach can bring quick relief for a gassy tummy. Use your hand to trace an upside-down letter ‘I’ on the left side of your babies’ belly. Follow with an upside-down ‘L,’ again beginning on the left side of the tummy and moving across. The final step calls for an upside-down ‘U,’ which will cross over your babies’ tummy.
- Hands of the clock. Involving strategic, continuous circles, this style of massage moves left to right from your perspective (or for your baby, right to left) to move gas through the intestinal tract and towards the bowel. Use your right hand to massage slowly in a clockwise motion, while your left hand begins at 10 o’clock and moves in a crescent shape until reaching 5 o’clock.
Why Massages Help Babies With Gas
The above massages were designed for infant gas relief because they aim to get trapped air moving through the body. They can also be deeply relaxing, which makes them worthwhile even if they are not successful with preventing or resolving gas. What’s more, parents find that massages make them enjoy childrearing more, regardless of whether their babies are currently suffering gas, colic, or other problematic conditions.
Some studies suggest that infant massage may help to increase insulin levels or activity of the vagus nerve. This, in turn, can reduce gastric mobility and promote efficient nutrient absorption. Conflicting research exists for these effects, but experts believe that the duration of massage as a gas remedy may impact its efficacy in both studies and the general public.
How to Tell If Your Baby Has Gas
Gas is a common problem for newborns but can continue into later infanthood as babies start eating solids. How the gas presents itself may depend somewhat on the baby’s age, but common signs include arching the back, pulling the legs up to the stomach, and general squirminess. Some parents report that their babies’ cries sound different when they are gassy compared to when they are hungry or have dirty diapers.
Newborn Baby Tummy Massage
I had the pleasure of taking a series of infant massage classes with doula and infant massage instructor Brigitte Arle, CD (DONA), CEIM, and one of her classes focused on encouraging digestion and gas elimination to ease the tummy troubles that may be keeping your little one up at night. Here are some of the techniques I learned for relieving colic and gas pain.
- Water Wheel – Place one hand under your baby’s rib cage with the pinky side down and palm facing your baby’s feet. Gently scoop your hand down his abdomen, stopping above his pelvis. Repeat the motion with your other hand, and continue alternating hands fluidly.
- Knees Up – Bring your baby’s bent knees together toward his belly, taking care to provide support behind his knees with your index fingers. Gently press and bounce his knees into his tummy.
- Sun and Moon – Draw your right hand around your baby’s belly in a clockwise full circle and let your left hand follow, drawing a partial clockwise circle.
- I Love You – Hold your index and middle finger together, like you’re taking a Girl Scout oath. Gently press the pads of your index and middle finger down the left side of your baby’s belly, from under the rib cage to the leg crease, like an “I”. Then, starting on the left side of your baby’s belly, drag your index and middle finger across to the right and then down, like an inverted “L”. After that, starting at your baby’s right leg crease, drag your fingers in the shape of an upside-down “U” over the bellybutton and all the way to the left leg crease.
- Thumbs to Sides – Hold your baby at the waist with both your thumbs in the center of his belly. Draw both thumbs out to the sides of his abdomen simultaneously.
Before you begin a massage, always check in with your baby and ask permission to massage him. If he’s open and receptive to massage at that time, place a few drops of gentle, scent-free massage oil, such as organic sunflower oil, into your palms and rub your hands together near your baby’s head. The sound of your palms rubbing will become a non-verbal cue that lets your baby know he’ll be receiving a massage. Now rest your open hands on his belly and take several cleansing breaths to relax before you start.
Vimala McClure, founder of the International Association of Infant Massage and author of Infant Massage: A Handbook for Loving Parents, recommends repeating what she refers to as “The Colic-Relief Routine” twice a day for at least two weeks. This routine involves doing the following in succession for six counts each: Water Wheel, followed by Knees Up, Sun and Moon, and, lastly, Knees Up again.
How To Massage Baby Back For Gas
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.
To massage baby’s back to help relieve gas, first locate the hands on a clock on the 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.
To massage your baby’s tummy for gas, place your hands around the face of a clock. 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. Watch your baby flop around like crazy as you work out her gas!
Use the hands of a clock to massage your baby. Starting at 7 or 8 o’clock, move from left to right in a semi-circle, pressing and sliding the palms of your hands across your baby’s tummy in a gentle clockwise motion.