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Infant massage is a great way for parents to bond and interact with baby! Some studies have suggested that infant massage can actually be very beneficial for baby! Below are some basic infant massage techniques on how to do baby massage at home. I’ve also listed some of the benefits of infant massage therapy!
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Benefits of Infant Massage
Some benefits of Infant Massage include:
- Bonding Time with Mom and/or Dad- When you’re massaging baby you’re giving a nurturing touch and doing skin to skin contact. Making it a great way to bond with baby! This article about infant massage states that it has a positive effect on parents as well.
- Helps With Gas and Colic
- Helps with Constipation
- Reduces Tension and Growing Pains
- Relieves Cramps
- Helps With Teething Discomfort
- Improves Sleep
- Increases Flexibility and Muscle Tone
- Reduces Stress
- Helps Reduce Crying and Fussiness
- Boosts Muscle Development
- Helps Calm Baby
- Helps Improve Sensory and Body Awareness
- Can Help Them Learn Words for Body Parts- Say what part you’re massaging while giving your baby a massage! It can help them learn words for different body parts!
Don’t Massage Baby if:
- Baby has eaten within the last 30-45 minutes- If you do, they WILL puke!
- Has a High Fever
- Unhealed Umbilical Cord
- Skin Infections
- Skin Wounds (burns, cuts, bruises, open wounds, fractures, etc.)
- Has had Immunizations within the last few days
- After a Recent Surgery
- Has undiagnosed lumps
I am not a massage therapist. These are just basic techniques that I have learned over the years and have used on my own child. The ‘Techniques’ listed below aren’t guaranteed to help baby with any/all of the ‘Benefits’ that are listed above.
If you want a better understanding of infant massage and how to do it, look for an infant massage class near you. You may also take your baby to get a massage by a licensed massage therapist who offers Infant Massage as well.
Items You’ll Need:
- A Place to Massage Baby
- Towel or Blanket
- A Pad to Put Underneath- If you plan on massaging baby with no diaper, you’ll need some kind of absorbent pad in case they decide to go potty!
- A Natural Lotion or a Safe Oil- You can use coconut oil, almond oil, jojoba oil, olive oil, or some kind of other gentle natural lotion to use on baby for the massage. Be sure though to test the lotion/oil on baby’s skin BEFORE you start putting it all over them! Just put a dab of it somewhere on their skin and see if they get a reaction from it first.
Mommy Tip: The best time to massage baby is when they’re in the quiet-alert stage. Choose a place to massage baby that is quiet, warm, and comfortable. When massaging infants be firm but GENTLE. Like you don’t need to feather touch them, but you also don’t want to be hard and rough with them either.
Infant Massage Techniques:
- Before giving the massage, lay baby down and ask if they would like a massage. Do this while rubbing lotion in your hands so baby can see. This will help them know that it’s massage time! If they start crying or making a fuss, wipe the lotion off your hands and try again later. There’s no need to force it! They’ll let you know when they’re ready for their massage.
- When doing the legs there’s a technique called “milking the cow”. Why? Cause the motion is similar to milking a cow! Alright, so start at the top of their leg (base of the thigh) and do a long smooth stroke going all the way down their leg to their foot. Do it a couple of times while alternating hands. You can do this going up their leg as well (foot to thigh).
- Repeat the same motion but on the arms. Starting at the shoulder then going down to their hand. You can also go up their arm (starting at the hand and then going up to the shoulder).
- When doing their hands and feet, just swipe your thumbs on their palms and soles of their feet. You can do this on top of their hands and feet as well.
- On their tummy start on the right side and do circular motions going clockwise. Have your hands flat and use the upper halves of your fingers.
- For the back, start at their low back (above their hips), and do circular motions on both sides of the spine going up (toward their head).
Related Posts: Prenatal Massage Benefits and What to Expect
Related Posts: What to Expect With Your Newborn Baby
(Please keep in mind that I am not a doctor or a licensed massage therapist. I’m only a Mom who is going off her own experiences and research. If you’d like to know more you can read my full disclaimer policy here.)
Have you done infant massage before? How did it go? Did baby like it? Let me know in the comments! And if you liked this post, give it a share! Thanks!