Shantala massage: what it is, how to do it and benefits for the baby

Shantala massage is a type of Indian massage, excellent to calm the baby, making him more aware of his own body and which increases the emotional bond between the mother / father and the baby. For this it is necessary the attentive and tender look of the mother or the father for the baby during the whole massage, which can be performed right after the bath, daily, still with the baby naked, but completely comfortable.

This massage generates tactile, brain and motor stimuli in the baby, which can improve his digestive, respiratory and circulatory health, in addition to allowing greater interaction between the caregiver and the baby. This massage can be done from the 1st month of life, as long as the baby is receptive, that is, he is not hungry, dirty or uncomfortable. You can choose the time that you find most convenient to perform this massage and it is important that during the entire massage you are 100% present, not watching TV or on your cell phone.

How to do Shantala massage

Before starting the massage, put a little massage oil on the palm, which can be sweet almonds or grape seed, and rub it in your hands in order to warm it slightly and follow these steps:

  • Face: Place the baby in front of you and trace small horizontal lines with the thumbs on the face, massage the cheeks and make circular movements near the corner of the eyes.
  • Chest: Slide your hands from the middle of the baby's chest towards the armpits.
  • Torso: With a gentle touch, slide your hands from the belly towards the shoulders, forming an X over the baby's abdomen.
  • Arms: Slide your hands from the middle of the baby's chest towards the armpits. Massage one arm at a time.
  • Hands: Rub your thumbs from the baby's palm to your little fingers. One by one, gently, trying to make the movement constant.
  • Belly: Using the side of your hands, slide your hands over the baby's abdomen, from the end of the ribs, through the navel to the genitals.
  • Legs: With the hand in the form of a bracelet, slide your hand from the thigh to the feet and then, with both hands, make a rotating movement, back and forth, from the groin to the ankle. Do one leg at a time.
  • Feet: Slide your thumbs on the sole of your foot, making a gentle massage on each little toe at the end.
  • Back and butt: Turn the baby on their stomach and slide their hands from the back to the butt.
  • Stretches: Cross the baby's arms over his tummy and then open the arms, then cross the baby's legs over the abdomen and stretch the legs.

Each movement should be repeated about 3 to 4 times.

Tips for a good massage

When doing this massage always try to look into the baby's eyes and talk to him at all times and enjoy every moment. This massage lasts an average of 10 minutes and can be done every day, better results are observed when it is performed right after the bath.

It is not necessary to use a large amount of oil during the massage, only what is necessary for the hands to slide, but if you overdo the dose at some point, you can remove the excess oil from the baby's body with a towel or paper towel that should be used with light pressure on the region, without rubbing the skin.

Some parents prefer to do the massage first, and bathe the baby next, and in this case, the immersion bath in the tub keeping only the baby's head out of the water is a relaxing way to end this moment.

Main advantages of Shantala massage

The Shantala massage manages to keep the baby calmer in their day-to-day life, improves blood circulation, makes parents and the baby closer, strengthening the bond of trust between them. With this type of stimulus, the baby learns to be more aware of his own body, and there are still other benefits such as:

  • Improves digestion, which helps to combat reflux and intestinal cramps;
  • Improved breathing;
  • The baby is calmer when he sees that he has daily attention;
  • Promotes well-being;
  • Improves sleep, making it more peaceful and with less nighttime awakenings.

Shantala is also considered an art, of giving and receiving love, and can be done from the first month of life until when the parents and the baby wish, but it should not be performed if the baby has a fever, crying or looks irritated.

See also how to stop your baby's crying at: 6 ways to make your baby stop crying.