Caring for Your Baby recipes

Infant massage more effective than rocking for relieving colic: study

A study carried out at a university in Iran has found that infant massage is a more effective approach to help relieve the symptoms of colic than rocking a baby.

Colic is characterised by bouts of extreme crying in otherwise healthy infants three months old and under. There is usually no specific underlying cause.

The study involved 100 babies who had been referred for help with colic, between 1 and 2 weeks of age.  The mothers were assigned to one group who used massage or a second group who held and rocked their babies. In the massage group, mothers were asked to massage their child three times per day over a period of 7 days. In the rocking group mothers rocked their child during the periods of crying every day over 7 days. In both groups mothers recorded the duration of their infant’s cries by using a checklist.

In the massage group the average crying time and duration of crying for infants was more at the start of the week than in the rocking group. However by the end of the week the results showed a mean difference in crying time duration reduce to 1.32 hours/day in the massage group compared to 2.14 hours/day in the rocking group. There was also a more significant reduction in the times per day a baby cried in the massage group than in the rocking group.

The researchers therefore concluded that infant massage not only reduces how many times a baby cries and duration of crying in infants with colic but can also enhance the relationship between mother and child.


Gazerani, N., Nahidi, F., Yousefi, P., & Abadi, R. (2012). The effect of infant massage in comparison with rocking on the duration and frequency of crying time in patients with infantile colic. Arak Medical University Journal. 15 (60), 9 -103.

Tips for Coping with a Crying Baby

There are few things more stressful for a parent than a distressed baby that will not stop crying. When a baby is upset and screaming, it can be hard to believe that their crying is perfectly normal; in fact, many frazzled parents automatically assume that crying is always a sign that something is very wrong with their baby.

However, the reality is that all babies cry and frequent and lengthy bouts of crying characterise the behaviour of some babies. Because babies have no way to tell us what they want or what is wrong, they cry in order to draw our attention and let us know that they need something. As many parents get to know their baby better, they more quickly realise the different cries of their baby and what each one means.

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3 Tips from Experienced Mums

There is no guide book or instruction manual that is given to you when you enter the exciting, wonderful but also very challenging world of motherhood. It seems true that every child is different and that just when the mothers feel that they have mastered routines and understood their child’s specific needs, these routines and needs change.

Motherhood brings moments of unparalleled joy and love so great that you may have never before recognised as possible. It is also a time of incredible learning and adjustment as your own life changes markedly and your child’s world becomes your world.

With these things in mind, it can be very helpful to have some tips from women who have ‘been there’ before you. Of course, there is no prescriptive treatment or ‘cure all’ response that provides an answer to every challenge or query that a Mum’s face. However, the following tips from experienced mothers are likely to help:

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3 Relaxation Techniques to Which Babies Respond

In order to soothe and comfort their babies, many parents search for effective baby relaxation techniques. The good news is that there is a variety of relaxation techniques which can be enjoyed and are beneficial to both babies and their parents.

Here we take a look at three of these relaxation techniques:

1:  Baby massage

There is abundant evidence to show the positive benefits of touch for bonding and attachment and, more particularly, baby massage offers a very effective way for touch to be imparted.

Parents can undertake infant massage courses in order to learn the most nurturing and correct infant massage techniques and acquire knowledge to help them understand how infant massage directly benefits their baby. Infant massage is also known to provide a range of significant benefits for parents and when a parent learns how to massage their baby, they will readily appreciate and understand the ways that they too are positively influenced.

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5 Commonly Asked Questions About Baby Massage

Awareness of the benefits of baby massage is growing and although most people have a general idea of what the practice entails, they are not always confident that it is right for them or their baby. It then follows that there are a number of questions that are most commonly asked about baby massage and here we present five of these questions with their answers.

1:  At what age should I start to massage my baby?

There really are no rules about when to begin massaging your baby. A baby can be massaged from birth and there is an emerging body of evidence to show the positive results that can occur when children are massaged from very early in life.

It is also well understood that the power of touch and gentle massage delivers a positive effect for premature babies.

The best advice is to undertake your baby massage training when both you and your baby are ready.

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4 Tips for Dealing with Baby Tantrums

Experiencing a tantrum from your baby can be incredibly confronting. In all likelihood, you will not be ready for the screaming, shrieking, stiffening, hitting, kicking and writhing that you may see and it is possible that you will not see this reaction coming from whatever it is that has upset your baby.

Knowing how to respond to a baby or child’s tantrum is not always easy, but here we provide you with a range of tips and strategies for dealing with this behaviour.

#1:  It isn’t you

Possibly the most important thing to keep in mind when your baby is having a tantrum is that the tantrum is not necessarily a reaction to you. Just as importantly, your child’s behaviour is not necessarily an indication that they have a bad temper. Because your child is probably too young to really show a bad temper, the ways that you react when they are an infant, will be quite different to how you may react when they are older.

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How to Relax Your Baby

Many parents will agree that there are few things that they want more than their baby drifting off to sleep without fuss or resistance.

Assisting your child to relax and prepare for sleep is rarely easy – little ones commonly protest and behave as though rest is the worst thing that could happen to them. However, it doesn’t have to be quite so difficult as there are a number of things that a parent can try to relax their baby and prepare them for sleep.
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Eight Reasons to Learn Baby Massage

The benefits of baby massage are gaining increasing recognition and many parents have some awareness that massage is known for its soothing and calming qualities.

While general awareness of the benefits of baby massage is good, there are many good reasons why baby massage should be learnt and practiced. Here we provide an overview of eight of these reasons:

#1:  Reduces stress…for Mum!

An increasing body of evidence shows that massaging your baby can help to relieve stress and tension and even reduce the effects of post natal depression. The power of massage to have this effect on mothers speaks volumes about its importance and wide reaching benefits.
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6 Ways to Ensure Your Baby Sleeps Better

Taking care of a newborn is an extremely stressful task for many parents. One of the main reasons for this is that a child’s sleep patterns are erratic. Ideally, you want your baby to sleep for as long as possible during the night, as well as taking naps during the day, but it rarely runs as smoothly as you’d like. Here we look at a few ways to promote restful sleep, from swaddling techniques to using baby massage to decrease stresses.

Introduce consistent nap routines

Choose a couple of times per day when you would ideally like your child to nap — say, for example, 10am and 4pm. When these times roll around, use a ritual, such as rocking and nursing your baby to sleep. If your baby gets used to regular nap routines during the day, he or she is more likely to sleep better at night.
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5 Ways to Deal With Postnatal Depression

While the joys of bringing a child into the world are plentiful, having a baby is also an incredible ordeal for any woman to go through. After nine months of undergoing significant changes to her body, mothers then need to adapt to caring for their newborn child, which is just as tough an ordeal. Sometimes, postnatal depression can result, which is a serious health issue and should be of immediate concern. In this article we’ll look at ways to deal with postnatal depression, from eating nutritiously to practising baby massage techniques.

More than just the baby blues

Up to 80 per cent of mothers experience the ‘baby blues’ in the first 10 days after pregnancy; this often involves crying and a feeling of being overwhelmed. However, a small but still significant percentage — one in six, according to the beyondblue organisation — suffer serious postnatal depression, which can develop one month after childbirth. Postnatal depression could involve disturbed thoughts, hallucinations, and extreme paranoia.
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