Simple Guide to Giving Baby a Massage

A baby massage is an easy and enjoyable activity to fit into your baby’s day that has countless benefits! Evidence shows that massaging your baby for about five minutes a few times a day can improve your baby’s physical health in many ways. This includes enhanced blood circulation, improved digestive functions, and relieved gas or constipation. On top of this, baby massages benefit your baby’s mental health and cognitive development as they help reduce stress hormones and decrease the risk of developing depression or anxiety. Wow! So how do we give a baby massage to ensure our little ones are getting the most out of them? Here are a few simple steps to follow:

1. Create a relaxed, soothing environment.

Find a quiet space in the house. Turn off your phone and get rid of any distractions. Make sure the room is warm enough that your baby won’t get cold.

2. Lay your baby on a flat surface.

Find a comfortable, safe, and flat surface to place your baby down. This may be the floor, a changing table, or a bed but make sure not to leave the room with them unattended.

3. Undress your baby

It’s up to you if you want to keep the diaper on or take it off. Just be sure if you remove it to place a towel underneath to avoid any accidents, and if you keep it on maybe loosen it a little for comfort.

4. Start to gently massage the right areas

Keep your strokes smooth and soft strokes – your baby is fragile so don’t do any hard rubbing or digging.

5. Work your way up their body

  • Start with their little feet, gently rubbing under their sole, stroking from heel to toe.Gently tug each of the toes.
  • Then begin to massage the legs. Hold one foot in one of your hands then hook your other hand around the top of their under thigh and and slide it down toward the ankle. Do this a few times then repeat on the other side.
  • Massage your baby’s stomach in a clockwise direction, as this is the way your little one’s digestive system moves.
  • Massage the shoulders, arms and hands.
  • Massage the chest, using gentle, circular motions.
  • Gently turn your baby onto their stomach and massage their back.

6. Engage and bond with your baby

Connect with your child by using eye contact. Speak or sing to them to allow them to become familiar with your voice.

7. Stop if your baby begins to fuss

Your baby might start to move around or cry if they’re hungry, cold or uncomfortable. Stop massaging them and return to it later.

If you want to massage baby, it can prove beneficial to attend a baby massage class in your area.

Things to avoid:

  • Avoid massaging the head because your baby still has soft spots.
  • Avoid using any oils until the baby is one month old.
  • Avoid deep massages.
  • Avoid continuing to massage after 5 or 10 minutes.

Research shows that those who attend a Childbirth Class have an increased likelihood of vaginal birth, a lower rate of induction, are more likely to breastfeed, feel more confident during labor and birth with a decreased need for medication in labor. Attending a Childbirth Class helps with the psychological and physical recovery of childbirth. Sign up for our FREE Baby Care Workshop below.