Guide to Newborn Massage
Routine massage helps lead to happy, healthy baby development.
Touch is a powerful way to communicate your love to your baby. Through newborn massage, you can gain increased awareness of how your baby communicates. Watch this video to get some tips and tricks for massaging your baby.
In the first few weeks, use slow and positive strokes, not spending too much time on one area. Newborn babies may find their senses over-stimulated and most will seek solace in the arms of their parents for the first few weeks and some may just want a gentle stroke down their backs, over their clothes. Start easing into a routine with these newborn massage techniques and when your baby is older, visit our baby massage guide for more information on this important ritual.
Always begin every massage with a resting hand. It can also be used when your baby needs a break during the massage. This is a good way for your baby to feel secure and enjoy touch.
Check you have enough massage oil or lotion on your hands before you start. With one hand, gently hold your baby’s ankle. Place your other hand at the top of your baby’s thigh, molding it around the leg, then slide it to the ankle. Repeat with firm yet gentle rhythmic strokes, one hand after the other.
Start with your hands on both sides of your baby’s head, then run your hands down both sides of his/her body, from his/her head to his/her toes. Next, draw tiny circles on your baby’s head with your fingertips.
Babies usually love having their feet massaged. Watch your baby’s reactions in case of sensitivity. A little newborn foot massage can have a positive effect on the whole body. Gently squeeze and roll each toe between your thumb and index finger. Using alternate thumbs stroke the top of the foot from toes to the ankle.
When baby’s umbilical cord is healed, a gentle newborn tummy massage can help with digestion and tummy troubles. Start by making contact with your baby’s tummy with a reassuring relaxed hand. If your baby is happy, make gentle paddling strokes, with one hand following the other.
Start your massage beginning at your baby’s neck, swooping down to their bottom. You can also use skin-to-skin contact to enhance the bonding experience between baby, and mom/dad.