Bonding with your baby is an important bit of the first year of life. Harnessing the power of touch through a baby massage can assist further in strengthening this bond. The benefits of baby massage include:

  • Gain in weight
  • Reduces risk of jaundice
  • Reduces stress in your baby
  • Reduces colic
  • Enhances sleep
  • Reduces gas and constipation
  • Especially beneficial for babies who have cerebral palsy and down syndrome.

Considerations to Make for Baby Massage

The best time to massage your baby should be immediately after their bath. Pick a time when your baby is alert.

  • Pick a suitable massage oil. Stay clear of those oils that are petroleum based and scented as they may end up in your baby’s mouth.
  • You could consider removing your baby’s diaper/nappy if you’re not too worried about your baby soiling the towel.
  • Ensure the room is warm and comfortable for your baby. Remember, babies can lose heat very quickly.
  • Look out for your baby’s reaction.

How to Massage Your Baby.

The following steps should make massaging your baby a little easier

      Step 1

  • Place your baby on a safe surface, floor bed or changing mat.

      Step 2

  • Undress your baby

      Step 3

Use oil and start working your way up from toe to top

 Feet and Legs

  • Massage your baby’s feet by gently but firmly stroking them. If your baby isn’t comfortable with the foot massage, consider stopping or moving further up.

     Step 4


  • Place your hands on the baby’s shoulder and stroke gently towards the chest. Then do the same from shoulders but this time go towards arms and fingers. Remember to wipe the baby’s hands to avoid them licking oil.

      Step 5


  • Stroke tummy gently with one hand clockwise and circular. Move from lower right side of the abdomen and work yourself to the lower left side.
  • Make sure that your baby’s stomach is not full or taut when starting. It should feel soft when massaging it.
  • If your baby squirms or is unsettled by the tummy massage, you can skip it.

      Step 6


  • Massage across your baby’s cheeks and forehead using your middle and index finger. Start with the nose and move towards the outer side of the face.

      Step 7

  • Flip your baby, tummy down and stroke down gently from head to toe

When Not to Give Your Baby a Massage

A massage should be comfortable for both mother and child. However, some situations demand that you avoid the massage. These include:

  • When your baby has a skin rash
  • If your baby cries and looks uncomfortable
  • When you are unwell
  • When your baby has a fever
  • When your baby has a stomach ache.

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Please note that development differs from one child to another. 

Content intended for educational purposes only, and should not be substituted for medical advice from your doctor.

Be careful when using any products mentioned on this website. We hold no regulations for such products or their providers.

Last reviewed March 2019 

Sources: healthandfitness, mamanatural, curejoy, worldofmoms

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