How to give your baby an infant massage

Are you looking for ways to relax and bond with your baby? Infant massage can have wonderful benefits for both you and your baby.

Are you wondering how infant massage can benefit your baby? The advantages of baby massage are numerous. To begin with, touch is critical for a baby’s healthy growth. It aids their physical and emotional development. Your baby will thrive if you hold, touch, and massage her frequently.

Massage for your infant can also help your baby sleep better, improve her overall health, and help you bond with her.

Here’s how to give your baby an infant massage:

A step-by-step guide to baby massage

  1. Make sure that there are no distractions. Turn off your phone and put some background music on.
  2. The room temperature should be comfortable.
  3. You’ll need a soft, firm surface to massage your baby on. Start by sitting on the floor with your baby in front of you. You can sit on a cushion with your legs crossed, or with your legs outstretched on either side of your baby.
  4. Once you’re ready to start, take off your baby’s clothes and nappy and lie her down in front of you, with her feet towards your body.
  5. Smooth a few drops of baby massage oil into your warm hands and massage the soles of your baby’s feet.
  6. Massage from the ankle up to the thigh and over the hip.
  7. Massage your baby’s tummy with circular, clockwise strokes.
  8. Massage your baby’s arms by stroking from shoulders down towards wrists.
  9. Use your finger pads to massage your baby’s face.

How much pressure to apply

The younger your baby is, the lighter the strokes you should use. However, little ones don’t like tickling sensations so don’t go too light. One hand should be in contact with your baby at all times, and remember to keep eye contact to make her feel safe and secure. This also helps to promote a better bonding experience.

The best time to massage your baby

Giving your baby a massage after bath time and before bedtime is ideal. Don’t massage your baby within an hour after feeding, as this can induce vomiting. However, don’t wait until she’s hungry, as she’ll be unsettled and unable to enjoy the experience.

Expert baby massage tips

  • Massage incorporates all the senses, and is something that a baby should get used to gradually. To avoid over-stimulation and exhaustion, don’t introduce all massage techniques at once.
  • Allow about half an hour for a massage. As you learn to understand your baby’s likes and needs, shorter sessions of 15–20 minutes are possible and still valuable.
  • Never do a full-touch session if your baby has a high fever or is unwell.
  • When choosing massage oil, always do a patch test to exclude sensitivities. Apply some oil on a patch of skin on the inside of your baby’s arm. If no reaction develops within 24 hours, it should be safe to use.
  • If your baby is allergic to nuts, or if a strong family history of nut allergies is present, be sure to use nut-free products.
  • Avoid using essential oils (aromatherapy oils) to massage your baby, unless under the supervision of a trained aromatherapist.
  • Oil can make your baby slippery, so take care not to drop her. After massaging, wrap your baby in a towel before carrying her around.


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