How To Massage a Baby
A gentle massage can calm your baby, aid in his/her development and even help him/her sleep better. All it takes is a few minutes and these five easy steps.
Belly & Chest
Use both hands and follow baby’s rib cage in the shape of a heart.
Roll Arms & Legs
Gently roll your hands up and down baby’s arms and legs— moving from ankle to hip, shoulder to wrist.
End With Back Rub
Finish off with a light back rub. Move your hands in opposite directions, from shoulders to hips to back again.
Did you know?
Researchers believe that a positive maternal childhood helps to form the basis for future relationships.
8 Baby Massage Tips & Tricks
- Choose a time when your baby is awake and alert, not too hungry or too full.
- Ensure the room is warm and lighting not too bright.
- Have what you need ready: baby massage oil or lotion, towel, clean diapers and clothes.
- Wash your hands and remove jewelry.
- Find a comfortable place to massage so they can see your face clearly.
- Before starting, relax with a few full breaths — this can help your baby relax too.
- Babies are always changing. Some may feel more secure if they’re close to their parents.
- Use baby oil or lotion and glide comfortably over baby’s skin.
WARNING: Keep all products out of reach of children. Keep any baby oil out of children’s reach to avoid drinking and accidental inhalation, which can cause serious injury. Should breathing problems occur, consult a doctor immediately.
The Benefits of Baby Massage
Touch: Our First Language
In many hospitals and birth centers, newborns are places on the mother’s chest to give them as much skin-to skin contact as possible. Gentle and loving touch can help small babies grow stronger and feel less anxiety. Infants who experience routine touch show 50% more eye contact and are 3 times more likely to have an overall positive expression than infants who do not.
Touch: What It Does
Infant massage may soothe your baby and reduce his/her crying, aid digestion and help relieve colic, gas and constipation, increase daily weight gain, enhance your baby’s adjustment to nighttime sleep, and help him/her sleep more deeply, relieve nasal congestion and teething discomfort, help develop good muscle tone, coordination and suppleness, enhance body awareness, boost the immune system, improve skin texture, help calm and relax both you and your baby, and boost your confidence.
Don’t be afraid to start a massaging routine shortly after birth. Routine massage helps you grow your bond and leads to baby’s happy, healthy development. Through newborn massage, you can gain increased awareness of how your baby communicates and ideas on ways to support your baby in his/her first few months. You and your baby will discover what is best for you both. It is important to be mindful that massage is something you do with, rather than to your baby. Start easing into a routine with these newborn massage techniques.