How to massage your baby

Mother & Baby Corner > Baby Massage

Massaging your baby can have a soothing and calming effect on her. Baby massage is safe to practice from birth and can help create a bond between you and your baby due to the skin-to-skin contact. Make sure that the room you massage your baby in is warm and comfortable and that the atmosphere is calm and quiet. Don’t massage your baby straight after a feed though as the rubbing movements may make her sick.

The right time
The best time of day to massage your baby is when you both feel relaxed and calm. Lay your baby on a soft towel and undress her. Rub cream or olive oil into your hands and always make sure they are nice and warm. If your baby doesn’t seem to like the massage then stop and leave it for another time. If your baby doesn’t like being naked then just massage her through her babygro instead.

Legs, feet and toes
How to massage your baby 1

Lift one of her legs by the ankle and relax it by lightly tapping the upper thigh.

Hold her ankle with one hand and hold your other hand in a C-shape, thumb down, around your baby's upper thigh. Stroke from her thigh down to her foot.

On the sole of her foot, use a thumb-over-thumb motion to massage from heel to toes.

Use your whole hand to stroke the bottom of her foot from heel to toes.

Massage around her ankle using small circles.

How to massage your baby 2

Using flat hand, make clockwise strokes around your baby’s navel. Only do clockwise strokes, which may help infants with colic or wind.

How to massage your baby 3

For her chest gently massage in a circular way. While you do this, keep eye contact with your baby to stimulate her senses and establish a visual communication.

Place both hands on your baby's chest and stroke outward from her sternum to her shoulders.

Beginning at her sternum, trace a heart shape bringing both hands up to her shoulders, then down and back together.

In a crisscross pattern, stroke diagonally from one side of your baby's hip, up and over the opposite shoulder, and back down to her hip.

Arms and Hands
How to massage your baby 4

With one hand, hold baby's wrist. Relax her upper arm by tapping it lightly.

Hold her wrist with one hand and hold your other hand in a C-shape around baby's upper arm; stroke from her shoulder down to her wrist.

Massage her palm, moving thumb over thumb from heel of her hand to her fingers.

Head and face
How to massage your baby 5

Cradling your baby's head in both hands, massage the scalp with your fingertips, as if you're shampooing. (Avoid the fontanel, the soft spot on top of baby's head.)

Massage her ears between your thumb and index finger.

Trace a heart shape on your baby's face, bringing your hands together at the chin.

Place your thumbs between your baby's eyebrows, and stroke out.

Again with your thumbs, stroke gently out over baby's closed eyelids.

Stroke from the bridge of the nose out over the cheeks.

Using your fingertips, massage the jaw in small circles.

How to massage your baby 6

Place baby on tummy horizontally in front of you. Keep her hands in front of her, not at her sides.

With both of your hands on baby's back, move each hand back and forth (keeping them going in opposite directions) from the base of the neck to her buttocks.

Using your fingertips, massage in small circles down one side of baby's spine and up the other. Avoid pressing on her spine directly.

Massage her shoulders with small circular motions.

Massage her buttocks with big circular motions.

Holding your fingers like a rake, stroke down her back.

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