Newborn Baby Massage For 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.

Giving your baby a massage will relax them and give them an easy way to cure constipation. Gently turn the baby’s legs in a cycling motion, moving from top to bottom. This will make their stomach muscles move and help relieve constipation.

Looking for a natural way to help your newborn baby relieve constipation? Move your baby’s legs in a cycling motion to help trigger their bowel movements.

Constipation is a common problem for babies and the recommended treatment is massage. Massaging your baby’s stomach may cause the muscles in their intestines to work better. This increases peristaltic movement of food through the digestive system. Try holding your baby so they are resting on their back, legs lifted and held together at knee level. Roll/move your hands up and down over their thighs as if you were cycling, gently pushing down as you cycle up past the knees.”

If you are looking for ways to help relieve your baby’s constipation, try a gentle massage. Place your baby facedown along your forearm, with their head resting on the inside of your elbow. Then begin moving your hand up and down over their stomach in a cycling motion to help relieve them of constipation naturally.

Baby Massage For Constipation Nhs

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.

Tummy Massage For Constipation

Little digestive systems sometimes need some support to keep things running smoothly. If your baby’s tummy is a little stopped up, you can ease this discomfort by giving them a massage for constipation.

With all the breastmilk or formula your little one is consuming, you would assume that pooping comfortably and very often wouldn’t be a problem. But constipation is surprisingly common in children of all ages.

In babies, the challenging part is that they don’t have the vocabulary to communicate how they’re feeling. You may just notice them looking uncomfortable or in pain when they’re trying to poop.

If you suspect your little one is constipated, keep reading for all of our tips to help them with their tummy troubles.

But first, let’s talk about how effective baby massages can be at solving stomach woes.

How Does A Baby Massage For Constipation Help?

Mom doing a massage for constipation on baby

Releases Air That’s Stuck In The Tummy

It’s no secret that babies cry and eat…a lot! And when they do these activities, they can take in excess air as they open their mouths. Sometimes, this air doesn’t make its way out of the body but instead gets stuck in the bowels.

Over time, these tiny air bubbles can form one large pocket of air that causes discomfort, and a baby’s tummy might end up hard or sore as a result.

With a baby massage, you can use your hands to gently move this built-up air out of the digestive tract so your little one can find relief and feel like themself again.

Helps With The Rate Of Digestion

In addition to air bubbles, there are other things that can affect little tummies. For instance, the vagus nerve — the nerve that helps control the rate of digestion — is not fully developed in infants. This means regular digestion may be a challenge.

By gently rubbing your baby’s tummy area, you can help stimulate the nerve and relieve constipation and air bubbles.

Strengthens Muscles In The Gut Wall

Since babies are all unique, the development of muscles in their gut walls will naturally be different. This is why some little ones experience more constipation and air bubble issues than others.

By massaging your baby’s tummy, you increase blood flow to the gut wall. This type of massage can allow more nutrients and oxygen to flood the area and strengthen the wall as well. All of this stimulation can mean less constipation for your little one (and less stress for you).

Baby massages also have lots of other great benefits, too, including:

  • Helping them sleep better
  • Improving muscle tone
  • Encouraging focus
  • Improving the immune system

Now that we understand how a baby massage for constipation can work and why it’s beneficial, let’s focus on how to prepare for it.

How To Prepare For The Massage

Parent preparing baby with a massage for constipation

Pick The Right Time

Choosing the right time for a massage is extremely important. For example, you don’t want to give a massage for constipation just before or after feeding, as this might lead to vomiting.

So, when is the right time? About 45 minutes after your little one has eaten is usually the best option. But you can also do it just after a bath or during playtime when your baby is nice and relaxed.

Our Gentle Cleansing Gel is one of our favorite products to use on delicate baby skin at bath time. This special formula cleanses and soothes skin and hair while ensuring the skin’s natural oils stay intact.

Create A Relaxing Environment

Before starting your massage, you’ll also want to make your little one cozy.

Here are a few tips to help:

  • Set the room to the right temperature.
  • Play lullabies or other soothing music.
  • Dim the lights in the room or shut your curtains or blinds to block out sunlight.
  • Choose a familiar space.
  • Place stuffed animals or any other toys they love nearby.
  • Turn your TV, phone, or any other distractions off.

Choose The Right Oils

Parent using oil for a massage for constipation

While you can leave your little one’s clothing on during a massage for constipation, if you decide to take their clothes off, consider using baby oil while giving them a massage.

But not just any oil. Some “baby oils” contain harmful chemicals and aren’t safe to use on little ones. Be sure to check the label for any icky ingredients, like phenoxyethanol, and opt for natural products, like our Baby Oil.

Composed of 99% natural ingredients, it’s safe to use on babies and soothes their delicate skin. It’s also packed with avocado oilpomegranate seed oil, and sunflower oil to leave your little one’s skin feeling well-nourished and hydrated after every application.

Another great natural option beyond a baby-safe oil is our Melting Massage Balm. Made with 100% natural ingredients that are good for your baby and the environment, this specially formulated balm moisturizes the skin while providing a stimulating experience.

You can also use our EWG Verified Soothing Moisturizing Body Lotion for very sensitive skin. It delivers immediate hydration and is perfect for babies prone to rashes or who have very reactive skin.

With all of this in mind, let’s move on to discuss the best massaging techniques to help your baby with constipation.

5 Ways To Give Your Baby A Massage For Constipation

1) Toes To Nose

massage for constipation to help baby

To use this technique, start by placing your little one’s feet together.

Then, gently rock their feet toward their nose (or as far as possible) and then return their feet back to the starting position. Repeat this motion three to five times.

This is an excellent method to shift stubborn bubbles in the tummy and aid with constipation.

2) Tummy Spirals

Start by rubbing some baby oil in your hands to warm it up. Then, gently place your forefinger near your little one’s belly button and move it clockwise in little circles, out to the side or edge of the belly.

After doing this motion a few times with one finger, progress to two fingers, then three fingers, and so on until you have your whole palm making this same motion.

Pro Tip: Remember to always move your fingers in a clockwise direction for this technique. This is important because the clockwise motion follows your little one’s line of digestion.

3) Thumb Circles

Mom getting ready to change her baby

Rub some massage oil on your hands and hold your little one’s feet up (with their top half still laying down). In this position, massage the soles of their feet and the palms of their hands by moving your thumbs in a circular motion.

This is a calming technique and can soothe your baby’s digestive system. If you do this while feeding, it can also help your little one swallow less air and, in turn, keep air pockets from building up inside their digestive tracts.

4) Twists

This massaging technique can be done while your little one is fully dressed.

Start by placing your baby down on their back. Then, grab their legs and use them to move their hips gently from side to side while keeping their top half on the floor. Do this motion five to ten times.

This movement helps squeeze the digestive system in different directions and releases any built-up air bubbles or discomfort from constipation.

5) 3-Part Stroke

The 3-part stroke is a way to sweetly trace “I L U” on your little one’s body while relieving constipation.

Simply rub some massage oil in your hands, and then use your fingers to write the letter “I” on your little one’s left side (just under their arm) three to five times. Next, trace the letter “L” in this place three to five times as well.

Repeat the same letters on their right side.

For the shape of the “U,” start by tracing an “I” on their right side, cross your little one’s tummy, and end with an “I” on the left side.

You can also use this massage technique to trace the full letters (I, L, and U) on the tummy alone. Using this fluid movement, you can help move trapped air out of the bowels and relieve constipation pain.

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