Newborn Baby Massage Steps

Lay your baby on her back and kneel close to her head. Start upper body massage by placing your hands on baby’s shoulders. Make gentle strokes in towards the chest. Massage baby’s arms by stroking from wrist to fingers and back again. Massage lower body by gently pressing on each limb as shown, working down from the top to bottom

Start upper body massage with your hands on baby’s shoulders. Make gentle strokes in towards the chest, with palms facing up; brush your fingers against baby’s ultra-soft and sensitive skin.

Start with your fingertips on baby’s shoulders. Make little circles, moving in towards her chest. Stroke from her shoulders down to her hands and then back up again. Then move on to the arms: hold each arm separately and make gentle strokes from the shoulder to above the elbow, across her body.

Start at baby’s shoulders. Make firm strokes towards the chest, starting with her arms and working your way up to her shoulders. Massage her upper body in this way for approximately 5 minutes.

Start your baby’s massage with a gentle, circular movement on his or her upper body. Then, work towards the neck and shoulders. Gently stroke baby’s arms to relax them before moving onto other parts of the body.

When To Start Oil Massage For Newborn Baby

  1. Make the baby comfortable. Plan to do the massage in a warm room with dim lighting. It’s important to make sure the temperature isn’t too cold, since the baby’s clothes will be removed during the massage. Lay the baby on their back on a soft towel or blanket placed on the floor or a safe flat surface. Put on some soft music if you wish.
    • You can massage your baby with everything removed or just a diaper on in case of an accident. Choose the option that will make your baby more comfortable.
    • If you want to massage your baby as a way to calm them down before going down for a nap, you might wish to use the baby’s nursery as the massage room. That way you can easily put them in their crib if they fall asleep during the massage.
  2. 2Use edible oil. If you want to use massage oil, choose olive oil, avocado oil or another edible oil, since the baby’s fingers might end up in their mouth. Don’t use mineral oil or another inedible oil, since these aren’t digestible and could hurt your baby’s stomach.
    • You can also use baby oil, if you prefer.[2]
    • Don’t use peanut oil, almond oil or other oils produced from foods that are common allergens.
    • Also, avoid using essential oils or other scented oils, as they may be too concentrated or harsh for your baby’s skin.[3]
    • If the oil is cool, rub it between your hands to warm it up before applying it to your baby’s body.
  3. 3Use gentle rubbing motions. Do not massage a baby using the same force you’d use for an adult. Use your fingers to gently rub your baby’s body, never pushing too hard or kneading. The goal is not to work out knots or do a deep tissue massage, as it would be with an adult; rather, you want to use soft, circular rubbing motions to gently stimulate the baby’s skin.
    • You’ll want to massage the baby’s back, tummy, arms, legs, head and neck. Handle all parts of your baby’s body with gentle care.
    • As the baby grows, you can apply a little more pressure. A toddler can handle a slightly firmer massage than an infant.
  4. 4Massage in one direction. The general practice is to massage the skin away from the direction of the heart. This has a calming effect on the body, so it’s a good technique to use if you want to help them get to sleep more easily. You can also massage toward the heart instead, but bear in mind this has a stimulating effect. Massage toward the heart when you want your baby to feel more active.
    • Choose the direction depending on the time of day you massage them. If it’s playtime, a stimulating massage might make them feel like having some fun. But massaging this way right before bedtime probably won’t have the effect you want.
    • Massaging away from the heart is a great way to calm down a baby who’s feeling fussy.
  5. 5Try a milking massage. This is a good technique to use on your baby’s arms and legs. Make a loose circle or C-shape around your baby’s arm or leg with your forefinger and thumb. Use a very gently pulling motion to pull downward toward their foot or hand, as though you were milking a cow. Repeat the motion several times.
    • Never grip too tightly, and take care not to wrench their limbs.
    • Continue until you’ve massaged all their limbs.
  6. 6Try a rolling massage. Your baby might enjoy the feeling of having their arms and legs “rolled.” Gently roll your hands over a limb at a time, as though you were rolling out dough. Rock the limb back and forth against the blanket or towel your baby is resting on. Repeat with all four limbs.
  7. 7Don’t tickle your baby when you massage them. The massage is meant to be relaxing, and this could be irritating to your baby. Help your baby come to associate massage time as a relaxing, calming bonding session. They should know what to expect, and a tickle could be shocking or overstimulating.

Part2Choosing the Right Time for a MassageDownload Article

  1. 1Massage your baby before their bedtime. As stated above, massage is an excellent way to help your baby calm down and get ready to go to sleep.[4] Doing it at regularly scheduled times will help them get into a good bedtime routine. Make it part of your nightly ritual following their bath and other routines your family has established. Plan to start about a half hour before their scheduled bedtime.
  2. 2Massage them when they’re fussy. Massage can be a great way to connect with your baby and help them feel less agitated any time of day. Babies often cry when they want attention, and massaging your baby lets them know you’re present. It has a deeply calming effect, and many parents find it to be an effective tool for quieting a baby during especially fussy times.
    • Be sure their other needs are met first, so they’re comfortable during the massage. Your baby might be crying because they’re hungry, tired, or for another reason. They won’t enjoy the massage as much if they haven’t yet had dinner.
    • Wait 45 minutes after meals. Massaging a baby right after they eat can cause them to get an upset stomach. Babies spit up quite easily, and any sort of massaging motion has the potential to make them lose their last meal. Make sure they have plenty of time to digest their food before you give them a massage.
  3. 3Massage them when they’re in the mood. Sometimes babies don’t feel like being massaged, and it’s important to stop if they’re exhibiting signs of distress. If they stiffen and cry, let it go for now and try massaging them another time, when they’re in the mood to be touched.
    • If they seem as though they’re in pain when you massage them, make sure your technique is gentle enough. If your technique doesn’t seem to be the problem, you might want to take them in to see the pediatrician to see why they seem to feel pain during massage.
    • If they’re enjoying the massage, they’ll seem relaxed and receptive to your touch.
  4. 4Work up to a half-hour massage. Start by massaging for just five minutes. This will give your baby time to get used to the feeling of being massaged, and decide that they like it. Go a little longer each time until you work up to half an hour or so. This is the optimal amount of time per day to spend massaging your baby.[5]
    • Massage benefits are myriad. Massage helps to stimulate your baby’s growth, boost the immune system, and help their digestive system stay healthy. It also reduces stress and aids in emotional development.
    • As well, massaging your baby helps the two of you bond. It’s a great way for fathers to bond with their babies.

Baby Massage Video Newborn

Baby massage involves stroking a baby’s body in gentle and rhythmic strokes with hands. You may use oils, creams or moisturisers for massaging as it is helpful in making the massaging strokes smoother. You may massage the chest, tummy, back, arms, legs and head of your baby. Singing or humming to your baby during a massage helps the baby to feel relaxed and calm. Massaging your baby aids in the release of the feel-good hormone, also known as oxytocin, in your baby and you. The release of oxytocin helps in generating a feeling of love and warmth.

Benefits of Massage for Your Baby

Babies love the touch of their parents, and it is one of the ways of communicating with your little one. You may even notice that a crying or irritable baby can be put at ease by cuddling, hugging, or stroking their back. Massaging is an extension of touch and thus has many benefits for your baby, such as:

Benefits of baby massage

1. It is Good for the Baby’s Health

Massaging helps in improving blood circulation and gastrointestinal functions. It also has physiological benefits for your baby which include improved breathing.

2. It Relaxes the Baby

By calming the nervous system, massaging helps your baby’s colic and sleep problems. Massaging also relaxes the baby’s muscles and provides nourishment to the skin.

3. It Strengthens the Bond

Massaging is one of the most effective ways of bonding with your little one as while massaging your baby you get to spend some intimate moments with him. It also helps you to understand the needs of your baby.

4. It Provides Relief to Your Baby

Massaging the tummy of your baby helps to ease various stomach related problems, such as gas, constipation and even colic.

5. It Helps You Become More Confident in Handling Your Baby

Massaging is an excellent way of getting to know your newborn baby, and you also get confident in handling your baby. Spending time with your baby helps you in getting cues about your baby’s needs and requirements.

Best Time to Give a Massage to Your Baby

The best time to give massage to your baby would be when your baby is not hungry, sleepy, or tired. You may choose any time of the day for the massagemorning or evening. Baby massage is an efficient way of getting your baby into the routine of bathing, feeding and sleeping.

It is recommended to follow a massage routine by doing the things in the similar order every day. This is because your baby loves predictability, and developing a routine will help your baby to know, what is going to happen next. The predictability also gives your baby a sense of security and happiness.

It is also a good idea to massage your baby, just before bedtime. Massaging before bedtime can help your baby sleep better and longer during the night. Although initially, you may find it difficult to set a pattern or routine for your newborn baby, as your baby grows, you will be able to make a set routine for your baby.

Many new mothers often wonder when to start baby massage? Well, it is recommended to wait for 10 to 14 days before you start off any oil or lotion massage for your newborn baby. Though for preterm or premature babies, it is advised to seek your doctor’s approval before starting any massage.

What Should You Do Before Massaging Your Baby?

The very first thing that you need to do before massaging your baby is to find the best place for the massage. The area should be comfortable for both you and your baby. You may place your baby on the towel or blanket. Make sure the room is cosy and warm for the baby (neither too hot nor cold).

It is recommended to keep away any distractions such as pets or mobile phones. You may play some music or sing to your baby while massaging. You may take any good baby oil or lotion for the massage, as it helps your hands to glide smoothly on your baby’s skin. If your baby has some skin condition such as eczema, it is recommended to consult your doctor before starting any massage.

However, there are certain oils and lotions such as, mustard oil, aqueous cream, unrefined peanut oil and others, which should not be used for baby massages, as these oils may harm the soft and delicate skin of your baby.

Baby Massage Moves to Get Started

1. Head

You may take some oil and pat it on your baby’s head. You may apply gentle strokes for spreading the oil over your baby’s head. Take care of the fontanel (the soft spot on your baby’s head) and do not apply pressure to it.

Massaging baby's  head

2. Face

Apply some oil on your baby’s face and tap with your fingers. Work your fingers from the forehead towards the chin. By putting gentle pressure on the eyebrows, stroke your fingers in an outward direction. Apply gentle strokes on the cheeks, chin and nose of your baby.

Massaging baby's face

3. Colic-Relief

After doing the belly massage, fold your baby’s knees up to the tummy and apply gentle pressure. Hold this position for approximately 30 seconds, and repeat it a few times if needed. Massage your baby’s tummy, from below the naval area, in a downward motion. This helps in releasing gas.

Colic relief massage

4. Back

Make your baby lie on the tummy. Massage with both your hands, from the base of your baby’s neck to the buttocks, by back and forth movements of your hand. Apply gentle pressure in a circular motion with your fingers, on your baby’s spine.

Massaging baby's back

5. Chest

You may place both your hands on the centre of your baby’s chest and make outward strokes towards the shoulders. You may repeat this motion for a few times. You may place your hand horizontally and make downward movements too.

Massaging baby's chest

6. Tummy

Starting at the base of your baby’s rib cage, use your fingers to massage your baby’s tummy in circular motions. Take your fingers around the naval area and massage in a clockwise direction. You may place your hand horizontally on your baby’s tummy and move your hands side to side. You should avoid infant abdominal massage if the cord has not completely dried and healed properly.

Massaging baby's tummy

7. Legs and Feet

Take your baby’s legs and apply downward stroke from the thighs to the ankle. Hold your baby’s thigh and slide down both your hands by rotating in opposite directions but do it gently. (the way you wring the clothes after washing).

Massaging baby's legs and feet

Take your baby’s foot and apply gentle pressure using your thumb in an upward motion, from the heel to toe. Make use of your hand to stroke the whole foot of your baby. You may gently pull each toe while massaging and by using small circular motions massage around the ankles of your baby.

You may follow the baby massage steps as mentioned above, however, make sure you do not apply more pressure on any of part of your baby’s body.

Some Tips

Here are some of the tips that you may follow for massaging your baby:

Mother massaging her baby

1. Apply Gentle Pressure

Your baby is very delicate and soft, therefore refrain from applying excessive pressure or stronger strokes during massages. It is also recommended to refrain from massaging the genitals and around the groin area of your baby.

2. Make Sure the Baby is in a Good Mood

Never massage a cranky or irritable baby. If you find that your baby is uncomfortable during massaging a particular body part, it is advised to skip that part and move to the other part. However, if the baby appears to be unhappy or uncomfortable, stop the massage session.

3. Talk to Your Baby

You may smile, giggle or talk to your baby during the massage sessions. You may even sing or hum to your baby. Engaging your baby in talks keeps your baby interested and happy.

4. Try to Make a Routine

It is advisable to adhere to the massage timings and not bring in many changes. Sticking to the schedules helps the baby to get into a routine and thus more comfortable and ready for the massage sessions.

5. Wipe Off Excess Oil

After you finish the massage, you should wipe off your baby’s palm and fingers nicely, as the babies usually put their fingers inside their mouths. It is also recommended to choose an oil that is safe for your baby.

Baby massage is one of the best ways to bond with your baby. You may continue massaging as long as you want. However, if you have concerns or queries regarding baby massage, it is advised to talk to your doctor.

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