Get in touch with your baby through baby massage.
Baby massage is more than just making baby relaxed. It is skin stimulation improving brain development that fosters a deep connection with baby creating trust and bonding.
There are emotional and physical benefits to massage for baby too.
Physically, babies love soft touch. Massage can improve circulation, relax the muscles and create joint flexibility.
Emotionally, babies have a release of endorphins making them feel relaxed and comforted.
Prep work before baby’s massage.
Create a warm environment where soft touch can make a baby feel calm and safe.
- Remove jewellery
- Wash hands
- Dim the lights or close the curtains
- Find a safe comfortable place
- Place a towel down to protect carpet or furnishings from oil.
Make strokes gentle but firm and follow baby’s signals about when to stop.
- With baby on their back, bend baby’s knees up towards their tummy gently and rotate their knees clockwise over their tummy.
- Make sure your hands and nice and warm and place your hand on baby’s chest. Make strokes down the abdomen, then down one leg. Repeat with the other leg.
- Place your hands on your baby’s chest, massage up and over the shoulders and down to the hands. Then repeat.
- Lay baby on their tummy, using long firm strokes, stroke from the top of the head down towards the feet.
Baby massage is best from around 8 weeks of age when they are having more periods of being awake and alert. Avoid massage just after a feed or when they are due a nap.
Just after a bath or after a nappy change when they are awake but settled is best.
A massage can last 10 to 20 minutes, depending on how settled and content baby is.
Baby massage oil
Using an oil can make massage easier and more relaxing for your baby. There are some fantastic baby massage oils on the market including oil blends from Weleda, Nature Baby, The Herb Farm, Mummy and Me Skincare and Less by Nature.
If you have your own oils at home please research and find out what is safe for baby. From 3 months old Lavender and Chamomile oil are safe diluted in a carrier oil. Lavender has relaxing qualities and its antimicrobial, anti-fungal, and antibacterial properties. Chamomile is anti-inflammatory and calming.
For any massage oil for baby, a good guide is 3 drops of essential oil (chamomile or Lavender oil) to every 30ml of carrier oil. Keep safe with essential oils around babies, always use a carrier oil and keep oils away from little hands and mouths.
Certain carrier oils are generally not recommended for babies skin including mustard oil (may cause irritation) and olive oil (is high oleic acid which can make skin more permeable and damage the skin barrier).
Jojoba, coconut oil calendula oil, sunflower seed oil and almond oil are recommended by many as being fantastic carrier oils for baby.
Please do a spot check of any essential oils and carrier oil mix you plan to place on babies skin 24 hours before hand. Look out for any reactions or redness and discontinue use and contact your doctor.
All content here should be considered as opinion only. Please always seek the advice of your own doctor with any questions or issues you may have regarding the health of your baby or toddler.