loading image


Baby Massage

How to massage your baby:

These massage techniques can be done for babies of all ages although you'll find that when your baby starts crawling, she might not lie still for long enough to do all of them. For the best chance of success, don't try to massage your baby just before or after a meal or when she's tired. Also make sure the temperature in the room is comfortable. If your baby is hungry, tired or cold, she is not likely to enjoy her massage.

When you think she's ready, set yourself up on the bed or the floor with a towel and some baby massage oil. If your baby seems to be uncomfortable or starts crying before you have finished the massage, stop and give her a cuddle instead.

The Legs

Your baby's legs are a good place to begin the massage, as they're less sensitive than some parts of her body.

Using a little oil, wrap your hands around one of her thighs and pull down, one hand after the other, squeezing gently, as if you're "milking" her leg.

Switch legs and repeat.

The Feet

Take one foot and gently rotate it a few times in each direction, then stroke the top of her foot from the ankle down to the toes.

Switch legs and repeat.

The Soles

Use your thumbs to trace circles all over the bottom of each foot.

The Toes

To finish off the feet, take each toe between your thumb and forefinger and gently pull until your fingers slip off the end. Repeat for all ten toes.

The Arms

Take one of her arms in your hands and repeat the milking motion from her armpit all the way to her wrist. Then, take her hand and gently rotate her wrist a few times in each direction. Switch arms and repeat.

The Hands

Trace tiny circles over the palm of each of her hands with your thumbs.

The Fingers

Gently take a finger between your thumb and forefinger and pull, letting her finger slip through your grasp. Repeat for all her fingers and both thumbs.

The Chest

Place your hands together in prayer position over her heart. Then, opening out your hands slowly, stroke outward and lightly flatten the palms over her chest. Repeat several times.

The Chest (continued)

Place one hand flat across the top of her chest. Stroke it gently down to her thighs. Repeat the motion, alternating hands, several times.

The Back

Roll your baby onto her tummy. Using your fingertips, trace tiny circles on either side of her spine from the neck down to the buttocks. You can also use your thumbs to move up from the base of her back to her shoulders making circular movements on either side of her spine.

The Head

No massage is complete without a head massage. But some babies don't like them.

Yours does, then keep the following in mind:

  • Your baby's fontanelle will be soft till she is around 18 months old. So don't apply any pressure while giving your baby a head massage.
  • Just pat the oil gently onto all parts of the head and let the oil soak in on its own. You can also gently stroke her head to spread the oil and soothe your baby.
  • As long as your baby cannot hold her own head up, put the oil on her head while she is lying on her back.

Wrap up with a bath or bedtime

Traditionally, babies are massaged just before their bath. This usually happens in the morning. You could finish the massage session with a nice bath.

A massage before bedtime will help your baby to wind down after the stimulation of the day and become calm, ready for sleep.

When you have finished, put on her nappy and cuddle or breastfeed her. She'll probably doze off!

Health Care Video