Baby Tummy Massage For Constipation

To massage your baby’s tummy, place warmed hands on their tummy at or below the belly button. This is a small area, but it’s important to target the bowel. Using flat palms gently stroke downward, using hand over hand, a paddling type motion.

Constipation is a common problem for babies. Massaging their tummy can help relieve constipation by encouraging bowel movements. Place warmed hands on their tummy at or below the belly button. This is a small area, but it’s important to target the bowel. Using flat palms gently stroke downward, using hand over hand, a paddling type motion.

Your baby’s belly can become hard, tense and uncomfortable. Massaging your baby’s tummy can help ease the discomfort. Start with warm hands on their tummy at or below the belly button. This is a small area, but it’s important to target the bowel. Using flat palms gently stroke downward, using hand over hand, a paddling type motion.

Encourage your baby’s bowel movements by massaging their belly. Place warmed hands on their tummy, using flat palms to gently move downward in a hand over hand, paddling type motion.

Constipation can be a common problem for babies, so it is important to know how to massage your baby’s tummy. Use warmed hands to massage your baby’s tummy at or below the belly button. A gentle downward stroke using hand over hand, or a paddling type motion will help move things along.

Newborn Baby Tummy Massage

Constipation is a condition where stools become firmer and harder. Your child will be troubled or in pain when they need to empty their bowels, and the bowels will not be emptied as often as usual. There are a number of conservative ways you can assist your child in treating constipation without having to resort to medications.

Massage your baby’s tummy

Massage can be used to help encourage your baby’s bowels to move. Before starting any massage on your baby:

  • Ensure the room is warm enough (especially if removing your child’s clothing)
  • Warm your hands by rubbing them together, or running them under some warm water for a few minutes
  • Create a relaxing environment by performing massage in a comforting room with familiar surrounding, such as favourite toys or music to keep your baby as relaxed as possible
  • Remain relaxed yourself

You can massage over clothing, but for tummy massage, we would recommend you use a little oil and massage directly on the skin. The warmth of the skin to skin contact can be very helpful for constipation as well.

Suitable oil

Use baby oil or all natural vegetable or fruit based oil. Good choices that you may already have at home include: grape seed oil or olive oil. Put a small drop of oil in your hands, about the size of a coin, and rub together to warm. Show your baby what you are doing, this way they’ll start to associate the sight and sound with what comes next.

When doing these massage strokes, use a firm but gentle pressure. Always observe your baby to make sure they are comfortable with the massage. Feel free to try a lighter pressure or use a different stroke as you become more confident. Cease massage if your baby becomes agitated.

To massage your baby’s tummy, place warmed hands on their tummy at or below the belly button. This is a small area, but it’s important to target the bowel. Using flat palms gently stroke downward, using hand over hand, a paddling type motion. Next moving hands in a clockwise motion, (very important to move clockwise – if you go the wrong way, you’ll create more issues), stroke baby’s tummy in a circle.

3-part stroke

Now try a 3-part stroke, easily remembered by the phrase “I Love You” . With baby laying on the floor facing you (remember clockwise motion):

  • First trace the letter “I” on baby’s left side
  • Next draw an “L” starting on baby’s right side, across the top of the tummy and down baby’s left side
  • Then draw an upside-down “U”
  • Finish on the tummy by stroking down a few times.

During tummy massage your baby may have a bowel movement or release some air – great! You may wish to leave their nappy off during the massage session. Babies like to have the freedom of movement they gain without a nappy, so if you decide to leave it off, just have something underneath in case of any accidents.

Move your baby’s legs in a cycling motion

If your baby does not tolerate massage well, there are other options available which can assist with the treatment of constipation. Try moving your baby’s legs in a cycling motion.

Place your baby so they are lying on their back. Hold their legs and turn them gently in a cycling motion. This will make the stomach muscles move and, in turn, put gentle pressure on the intestines to make them move.

Give your baby a bath

A warm bath can make your baby relax so the stools are passed more easily. Once your baby has relaxed in the bath, you can also massage their stomach.

Constipated Newborn

Gentle massage can help to soothe your baby’s tummy troubles. Whether your baby’s suffering with colic or constipation, these easy-to-follow techniques may offer relief.

  • Mum holding her baby's legs1 / 9About digestion massageDigestion massage can help your baby with any of the following:You can give your baby this massage from six weeks onwards. All you need to get started is a warm, quiet and calming environment and some good-quality baby massage cream or oil that’s suitable for your baby’s delicate skin.
  • Happy baby lying half up on a towel2 / 9Before you begin1. Time it right: don’t try to massage your baby just before or after a meal, or when she needs a nap.2. Remove any jewellery that may catch, rub or irritate your baby’s skin.3. Place your baby on a soft, warm towel in the centre of the bed or on the floor.4. Rub the cream or oil in your hands before touching your baby, to warm both your hands and the cream.5. Watch your baby’s reaction to each movement and if she doesn’t like something, stop what you’re doing and give her a cuddle instead.
  • Adult finger on a baby's belly button3 / 9Tummy spirals onePlace your forefinger near your baby’s belly button and start to move in a clockwise motion, spiralling out to the edge of her belly. Progress from one finger gently circling, to the whole palm gently pressing. Hold her tummy to finish. The warmth of your hands will help soothe and calm your baby.
  • Hand gently rubbing a baby's belly4 / 9Tummy spirals twoWhen you are doing tummy spirals, always make sure you’re moving your hands in a clockwise, circular motion. This follows your baby’s line of digestion and helps to create internal movement.
  • Baby with her toes on her nose5 / 9Toes to nosePlace your baby’s feet together, soles touching. Holding this shape, rock your baby’s feet as far towards her nose as is comfortable for her, before returning to the starting position. And repeat. This technique is really great for shifting stubborn wind.
  • Baby having her legs moved from side to side6 / 9TwistsStraighten your baby’s legs or bend her knees and slowly rock her hips from side to side, aiming to keep her top half flat on the floor. This really squeezes the digestive system, helping constipation in particular.
  • Baby having her legs moved in a jumping motion while laying7 / 9JumpingHolding your baby’s feet, gently push her knees up to her belly button before straightening her legs out again, as if she were doing a little jump. Repeat this action in a rhythmic manner. This can be an effective way of releasing wind immediately!
  • Baby having the soles of her feet massaged8 / 9Thumb circlesMassage the palms of your baby’s hands and the soles of her feet by moving your thumbs in a circular motion. You can also do this during feeding to soothe your baby’s digestive system and calm her. It can encourage her to swallow less air while she’s feeding, which may result in less wind later on!

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