You don’t always have to take your baby to the doctor when he or she is suffering from colic and constipation. All you have to do is to work a simple tummy massage!
Colic and Diarrhoea
There are many causes of colic, but the most common of them include stomach gas, due to poor burping or milk flow issues; and intestinal gas (pocketed in the intestinal tract). This causes the baby to feel a great deal of discomfort. This results in babies with sudden, severe, unexplained crying lasting less than three hours a day. At the final stages of colic that has worsened for a few weeks, babies cry and fuss for more than three hours a day, more than three days a week, for more than three weeks.
For the parent, persistent infant crying in exhausting. It can trigger relationship stress and even breastfeeding failure.
When it comes to a baby’s bowel movements, look out for signs of constipation. These include a hard belly; crying before a poo; dry, hard pellet-like poo; fewer than three bowel movements a week. Constipation is a pain and your baby will feel the effects of tough bowel movement.
While constipation and colic often triggers a panicked trip to the doctors and bag of medicine to give your baby, there is something else that you could do to help your baby. A simple stomach massage can do wonders to relieve stomach gas or to aid the movement of hard poo along the intestine. Just follow these easy steps.
1. Place the baby in a lying down position, with his body facing you.
2. Think of his stomach as a clock face with the 12 o’ clock position at the top of his stomach, 6 O’ clock towards the groin and 3 and 9 at the sides.
3. Lean in, use your fingertips and gently circle the baby’s head. Maintain eye contact and look for signs and signals that the baby is happy and you can proceed with the massage.
4. Take a little bit of baby oil and place an amount the size of a small coin in your palm. Rub your hands together with the oil to create heat especially around the fingertips.
5. Place your right hand across the baby’s stomach and gently smooth the hand down towards the groin before lifting the hand clear. Repeat the motion with your other hand until you get a ‘water wheel’ motion. This establishes first contact and helps apply the oil.
6. Next, place your thumbs together on the centre of the baby’s stomach and slide your hands towards the waist. Keep your actions firm but gentle.
7. Start with the ‘sun motion’. With your left hand, find the 7 o’ clock position with the flat of your palm and rub in a circle around the stomach, ending back at 7 o’ clock.
8. Move on to the ‘crescent moon motion’. With your right hand, start at 12 o’ clock and move around the stomach, ending at 6 o’ clock.
9. The trick now, is to combine both the ‘sun and crescent moon motions’. With your left hand do the sun motion, while your right hand does the moon simultaneously.
10. To specifically relax the stomach in cases of colic, hold your baby’s ankles and gently bounce.
11. Next, gently press the knees towards the stomach and hold for counts of five. Repeat several times.
12. At the end, place both palms on the baby’s stomach for a few moments. End with a cuddle.
Do the massage right and it would not only alleviate the pains of colic and diarrhoea, but it would also create a special time for you and your baby to bond in an intimate environment of love and care.