Babies Love a Good Massage

by Arindam Chattopadhyaya

Babies, too, like a massage, and it helps them to relax, sleep better, and sometimes, digest their food. Strokes that are used to massage an adult can be used on babies. You need to learn by practice what your child enjoys most.

Some points to remember while massaging your baby:

  • He/she will not stay still for long periods of time
  • The strokes will have to be gentle, and smaller to adapt to the baby's body
  • Depending on the age, the child can be placed in your lap or on a floor towel during the massage
  • Do not persist with the massage if the baby is distinctly uncomfortable

The easy guide to massage your baby:

  • The baby should be turned on his/her back
  • Stroke the face first
    • From the forehead out to the temples
    • From nose to the ears and from cheeks to chin
  • Massage the front upwards, and then outwards from the arms
  • With both hands, make clockwise circles around the navel
  • Make gentle wringing actions on the abdomen and upwards
  • Alternately, lift and stroke each arm with both hands and then squeeze with one hand
  • Hand should be massaged and each finger rotated individually
  • Legs should be first wrung gently or squeezed upwards and then stroked lightly with feather touches downwards
  • Turn the baby on their stomach
  • Gently stroke the back, upwards and outwards on the arms
  • Shoulders require a gentle kneading
  • Massage the buttocks with small pinching or kneading strokes
  • Using alternate hands, work gently down the spine from the neck to the base
  • Using gliding strokes on the legs, work on the feet by bending at the knee
  • Rotate the foot by clasping it between the heels of both hands
  • Hold each toe, squeeze, rotate and pull in turn
  • Massage up the sole of the foot with the thumb, while squeezing the heel
  • End with light strokes down the body, from the head to the toes

Try these simple massage techniques on your baby and watch her/him gurgle away.

Arindam Chattopadhyaya is an information publisher on alternate therapy.

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