What Age Should You Start Baby Massage?

The best time to start infant massage is within the first three months, as babies begin to develop important physical and intellectual abilities, including motor skills. The infant massage techniques will be very light and gentle. By the end of this training course, you will have all you need to confidently provide an enjoyable experience for your baby.

Baby massage is an excellent way to calm and soothe your baby. It also helps to establish an important bond between you, making them feel loved and secure. The best time to start infant massage is within the first three months, as babies begin to develop important physical and intellectual abilities

Infant massage is a great way to bond with your baby, boost his or her development and help ease some of the unpleasantness of being a newborn. But when should you start? The best time is as early as possible: during the first three months of life, according to infant massage expert Gail Bosco. “It’s never too early to begin teaching your child about touch and how affection can be expressed through it,” Bosco says.

Infant massage is a great way to bond with your baby, as well as calm and soothe her. It can also help your child get comfortable with being touched. Start when your baby is young (no later than three months), and go slowly—remember that the massage techniques will be very light and gentle.

There are no set guidelines regarding when to start baby massage. However, some experts recommend waiting between 10 days and two weeks before starting with an oil or lotion massage on your baby.

Also, while babies thrive on a loving touch and skin-to-skin contact, some may not be ready to enjoy long structured oil massages in the very early days.

In many homes, it’s a tradition to give your baby a daily massage right from the time you bring her home for the first time. But a newborn’s skin barrier is not fully developed yet, which makes her skin vulnerable to getting dry or reacting to a substance you might apply on it during the massage.

Waiting a few days before you start with oil massages gives the skin barrier time to develop. This also allows time for your baby’s umbilical stump to dry and fall off, which usually takes between five and 15 days. Any residual oil on your baby’s stump after her massage could increase the risk of an infection in the area.

If you or your family members want to give your baby an oil massage right from birth, choose an oil or lotion suitable for babies. Not all oils, even natural ones, are gentle enough for your baby’s delicate skin. Learn more about which oils are good for your baby’s massage.

Remember to steer clear of the stomach and umbilical stump during the massage. Wait until the umbilical stump falls off to give a complete body massage.

If you have a premature baby, follow your doctor’s advice for baby massage and daily routines. If you want to use oil, ask your paediatrician if your baby’s skin is ready for this, and what type to use.

Doctors recommend that it’s best that you, your husband or your baby’s grandmother massage your premature baby. So, hold off hiring a japa maid or maalishwali for your preterm baby’s massage.

Most families give a daily massage to their baby for the first year. Many families continue giving massages, though less frequently, until their child is five years or six years of age.

There is no age limit to giving a massage or stopping them. You can continue giving massages to your baby for as long as you wish. See how it fits into your routine and family traditions and how your child responds to them.

As your baby grows and starts getting mobile, it might be hard to keep her still, long enough for a full body massage. Even if your baby loves a massage, she may become impatient if she needs to lie for the massage for long. Keep massages short. As soon as she starts to fidget and you see that she’s ready for the next step, you can take her for her bath.

As she gets older, you might even need to experiment with giving her a massage as she stands or sits. You may end up massaging her occasionally or only on weekends. Or, like some mums you may choose to only stick with regular head massages.

Once your child is old enough, you can even teach her to massage herself. It will not be the same kind of body massage that you have been giving her, but it can become part of her bathing routine to either oil her skin before a bath or moisturise it with cream afterwards. This might help keep her skin well moisturised.

Why Baby Massage Is Important

Massaging your baby has a variety of benefits, including improved bonding and sleep. Your baby will feel nurtured and loved, strengthening the bond between you.

Baby massages can help your baby feel more relaxed, which will make them less fussy and thus promote better sleep. Massages also provide a great bonding experience between you and your baby that can strengthen their trust in you.

Baby massage sessions will provide your baby with a variety of benefits, most notably improved sleep and relaxation. A massage is also a great way to bond with your little one, especially as they grow older.

Babies love to be touched and massaged. As infants grow older, they will learn to enjoy the feeling of being gently stroked, hugged and patted. Massage can benefit your baby in many ways: it helps with bonding between parent and child, babies may feel more relaxed after a massage, and these types of practices can improve his or her sleep patterns

Can I Massage My 2 Year Old Baby?

When it comes to infant massage, it’s up to you. Some parents prefer to use oil during infant massage to prevent friction between their hands and the baby’s skin, while others find it too messy. The choice really depends on your preference, but always keep in mind that it’s always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to your child’s safety

It’s up to you whether or not to massage your infant. Some parents prefer to use oil during infant massage to prevent friction between their hands and the baby’s skin, while others find it too messy. In general, your best bet is to start out slow until you get comfortable and then work up to more vigorous massages.

Whether or not you can massage your baby is up to you. Some parents prefer to use oil during infant massage to prevent friction between their hands and the baby’s skin, while others find it too messy. Remember that your touch should always be gentle and soothing.

Massaging your child is not a one-size-fits-all activity. Some parents prefer to use oil during infant massage to prevent friction between their hands and the baby’s skin, while others find it too messy. While some babies love being massaged, others may squirm and cry, or they may get soothed by the motion of their mother’s arms. If you’re unsure whether your baby will enjoy being massaged or not, try gently running your hands over his body — he’ll let you know if it feels good or not.

What Oil To Use For Baby Massage

The right massage oil can make all the difference. It helps protect your baby’s soft, delicate skin and moisturises at the same time.

Baby massage is a great way to bond with your little one and helps them develop motor skills. The right oil can keep your baby’s skin healthy and moisturised during the massage, minimizing the risk of irritation caused by too much friction.

Giving your baby a massage is a great way to bond and help soothe little one to sleep. Many oils are gentle and safe for babies, but others can cause irritation, so it’s important to choose the right product for your child.

Your baby’s skin is soft and delicate, and needs extra care. Make sure you only use baby-safe oils while massaging your child.

Advantages of baby massage

Regular baby massages can help you and baby bond. Touch is a language both adults and babies can understand. Baby massages can help comfort and relax both of you!

During a baby massage, you and your little one are facing each other — without an embarrassing dirty diaper in the middle — and making eye contact. This helps your baby learn your facial expressions and develop their communication skills.

Massaging your baby regularly can also help develop their brain and nervous system.

Plenty of medical studiesTrusted Source show that regular touch and attachment with a parent or caregiver are necessary for healthy brain and emotional development in a baby. The benefits of are lifelong!

Which oils are best?

You can choose from a variety of oils that are normally safe for baby’s tender skin. Try these oils during a baby massage and for moisturizing their skin. Some might suit your baby’s skin better than others.

The best oils to use during a baby massage — in no particular order — include:

Coconut oil

2020 medical study found that applying virgin coconut oil on premature newborns helped improve and strengthen their skin. It can do the same for newborns and older babies as a massage oil and moisturizer.

Several other studies also support these findings, but more research is needed.

Almond oil

Almond oil is rich in vitamin E, and clinical research from 2020 shows that it’s safe to use as a baby massage oil. The researchers found that using almond oil on premature babies improved their skin’s thickness and strength — and didn’t cause any side effects.

Petroleum jelly

Petroleum ointment or jelly (also known by the brand name Vaseline) may have been your mother’s choice of baby lotion, and for good reasons — this tried-and-true product is good for your baby’s skin as a massage oil.

Baby oil

Baby oil is actually a mineral oil. A 2012 medical reviewTrusted Source showed that, like petroleum jelly, mineral oils are safe to use on baby’s skin.

Shea butter

Shea butter is a creamy natural moisturizer that’s safe for your baby’s thin skin. Look for pure shea butter that doesn’t have any added perfumes or chemicals.

Safflower oil

Safflower oil is a cold-pressed vegetable oil that contains vitamin E. Cold-pressed means that it’s less processed than other kinds of oils.

This makes it a good choice to use as a massage oil for your baby.

Grapeseed oil

Grapeseed oil is a cold-pressed oil that’s normally safe to use as a massage oil on your baby.

Chamomile lotion

Chamomile lotion is soothing for baby eczema and diaper rashes and safe to use as a baby massage oil. It helps heal and soothe dry, itchy skin and can also help your little one relax!

Jojoba oil

Jojoba oil is recommended for babies with eczema because it helps heal the skin. It’s also high in vitamin E. Use cold-pressed jojoba oil for your baby’s massages.

Borage seed oil

Borage seed oil is high in a fatty acid that can help soothe and heal your baby’s skin. It’s safe to use as a massage oil even if your baby has eczema.

Rose hip oil

Rose hip oil is high in fats that are good for baby’s skin and help build it up. It helps soothe redness and irritation in baby eczema and other skin rashes.

Oat oil

You might find oat oil listed as “Avena sativa” in your body lotion. This common skin care ingredient helps heal skin rashes and get rid of dry, itchy skin.

Oat oil is generally safe for baby’s skin.

Eczema cream

If your baby has mild to severe eczema, it may be best to use the cream your pediatrician has prescribed for them. Baby’s very sensitive skin or eczema rashes may have reactions to oils that are otherwise safe to use.

Which oils should you avoid?

Even natural oils can cause skin irritation and may not be safe for your baby. Oils to avoid using on your baby’s skin include:

Olive oil

While olive oil is a heart-healthy choice for your daily diet, it’s not good for your baby’s delicate skin (or your skin).

One of the fats in olive oil is called oleic acid. This fat can break down skin instead of improving it. Olive oil is especially not safe if you or your baby have eczema or other skin rashes.

Avocado oil

While mashed avocados are a great baby food for when your little one starts on solids, avocado oil is not great for baby’s skin.

Like olive oil, avocado oil contains the fat oleic acid. This can lead to skin irritation and breakdown.

Peanut oil

Peanut oil contains peanut proteins. Some babies may be sensitive to peanuts or develop an allergy to peanuts. Using peanut oil can result in skin irritation and may lead to reactions in your baby.

Mustard oil

This “spicy” oil can irritate and heat up your baby’s skin.

Soybean oil

Like olive oil, soybean oil may break down the skin’s barrier and cause irritation and redness.

Tea tree oil

Tea tree oil has antibacterial and antiviral properties but can cause irritation on baby’s delicate skin.

Other essential oils

Essential oils are very concentrated and can be irritating for both babies and adults, so be careful in selecting other oils for baby massage. (Some are safe, but essential oils must always be diluted before use on skin.)

Healthline Parenthood’s picks of the best baby massage oils

Burt’s Bees Baby Nourishing Baby Oil


You can feel good about using this hypoallergenic baby oil that’s made with natural ingredients and is packed with antioxidants and vitamins. With a base of apricot and grapeseed oil, this baby oil is designed to relieve any irritation caused by dry skin. As an added bonus, you can use this oil to moisturize your own skin as well.

Cocobelle Baby Organic Coconut Oil


Recent research has shown that applying virgin coconut oil to premature newborns can help to improve and strengthen their skin. It can provide the same benefits for newborns and older babies when used as a massage oil and moisturizer.

This product is made with 100 percent virgin coconut oil and is known to be gentle on the skin, in addition to being useful for other needs such as makeup removal or chapped lips.

Blue Nectar Schubhr Baby Body Massage Oil


One 2020 study showed that almond oil is safe to use as a baby massage oil on premature babies to improve their skin’s thickness and strength without associated side effects. This oil is composed of almond oil, which is rich in vitamin E, along with organic ghee and coconut oil for added moisture.

Johnson’s Baby Oil with Shea and Cocoa Butter


Johnson’s baby products have been on the market and trusted forever. Paired with shea and cocoa butter — ingredients commonly found in body moisturizers and known to be safe for babies’ thin skin — this oil is an affordable find that you can trust to get the job done.

Vaseline Baby Petroleum Jelly


Petroleum jelly is a tried-and-true product to moisturize dry, chafed and irritated skin. Vaseline is known to be the gold standard, so it’s no surprise that it offers a hypoallergenic formula to soothe baby skin and relieve diaper rash. The baby formula also offers a nice and subtle baby powder fragrance.

Earth Mama Calendula Baby Oil


This fragrance-free moisturizing oil combines calendula and grapeseed oils for an irritant-free option to soothe your baby’s dry skin. It’s also a good option for massage and cradle cap treatment.

Motherlove Birth & Baby Oil


This oil is made with just two ingredients, lavender and apricot oil, and no essential oils or fragrances. In addition to using for massaging and moisturizing your baby’s skin, this oil can also be used to bring you soothing comfort during labor.

Tips on giving your baby a massage

Here’s a step-by-step guide and tips for giving your baby a massage. Remember, there’s no one right way to do it!

  1. If you haven’t used a certain kind of massage oil on your baby before, do a test patch the day before. Rub a small amount of the oil on the inside of your baby’s elbow or on their stomach. Check the area in an hour or longer for any reaction.
  2. Make sure the room is warm enough to remove all your baby’s clothes except their diaper.
  3. Undress your baby and lay them on a soft but firm surface so that they’re facing you.
  4. Warm up the massage oil slightly before using it on your baby. If it’s not too cold, you can leave it at room temperature and just warm it up by rubbing your hands together.
  5. Talk to your baby and show them that you’re rubbing your hands, so they know the massage is about to start.
  6. Gently place your hands on your baby’s tummy or chest.
  7. Massage their tummy and chest with clockwise circular motions.
  8. Move on to your baby’s arms or legs. Hold their wrist or ankle to support their arm or leg as you massage.
  9. Use gentle strokes with your hands or just your fingers touching your baby’s skin. Stroke their limbs and body in the direction of their heart.
  10. Use your fingers only to gently massage your baby’s neck, face, and head.
  11. Turn your baby over and massage their back.
  12. If your baby gets upset or too wiggly, stop the massage (it’s hard to handle a slippery baby!).
  13. If your baby falls asleep, stop the massage.
  14. Leave the massage oil on after the massage and dress your baby. The massage oil will help moisturize and soothe your baby’s skin.

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