Home > Children's Relaxation > Massage for Babies

Massage for Babies

By: Libby Pelham BA - Updated: 15 Sep 2012 | comments*Discuss
Baby Babies Massage Massages Masseuse

Many people may not realize it, but massaging a baby is a great way to build an emotional bond with a newborn. While moms may already have an emotional bond through feeding, the father and siblings often feel left out. Massage for babies is a great way to get the whole family involved with the baby’s well being. It can also help calm the baby, improve sleep patterns (something all parents will probably appreciate!), and even help the baby’s digestion. Some studies have shown that massage for babies can also help improve their growth and development, especially if the baby is born premature. One study showed that premature babies that were massaged at least three times daily for ten days saw a growth in weight of almost 50%. The same study showed the preemies were more active, alert, and ready to leave the hospital an average of six days earlier than babies that did not receive massage.

Getting Prepared

You should allow plenty of time for the massage so you do not feel hurried. You should not massage the baby after he or she has just eaten or if he or she is hungry. You can sit on the floor, bed, or the sofa to do the massage. You can hold the baby in your lap or lay the baby on his or her back (massage the front of the baby, then the back). Have a terry cloth towel to place the baby on to prevent from getting oil on everything. The room should be warm, but not uncomfortably so – about 75 degrees. While doing the massage, you can sing or talk to the baby or even play calming music in the background.

As for oils, natural oils are best. You can use almond oil or even vegetable oil with a drop of lemon, vanilla, or lavender to make it smell better. Do not use the oil on the baby’s face or head.

Giving the Massage

With oil free hands, start the massage by making tiny circles on the baby’s head. Move to the forehead, smoothing it with both hands from the center outwards. Massage tiny circles around the baby’s jaw. If the baby has started teething, you can massage his or her mouth to help relieve pain.

Put a small drop of oil on your hands and rub them together to warm it. Start in the middle of the baby’s chest and stroke both hands outward. Take one arm between your hands and gently roll it, then use your fingers to massage the baby’s arm. Repeat these steps on the other arm.

Massage the baby’s stomach from the right side to the left side, with one hand following the other. Roll each leg between your hands, just like the arms, then massage with your fingers. Massage the baby’s feet with your fingers as well.

Turn the baby over and stroke his or her back from one side to the other, alternating hands. In a long sweeping line, stroke downward from the baby’s shoulder down to his or her feet. Of course, after the massage, you can always shower the baby with kisses!

For newborns, you may only want to do a two to five minute massage, while an older baby may enjoy a longer massage.

The massage time you get to spend with the baby is not only beneficial to the baby, but you as well. This allows you take some time out of your busy schedule to just relax and enjoy time with the baby.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopefully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
Enter word: