8 Mar 2022 | 7 min Read
Author | 799 Articles
Massages offer several health benefits for babies. They aid in their overall development and also improve blood circulation. A study published in the Journal of American Academy of Pediatrics determined that massages can help calm colicky babies.
Moreover, massages can help parents bond with their little ones, as they interact and communicate with them. Read on to know about the health benefits of baby massage and a few safe techniques to do so.
Although there are no set guidelines on the minimum age to start baby massage, there’s a general opinion that you must wait till your baby completes one month of their life before starting the massage. This is because a baby’s skin barrier is underdeveloped at birth, and takes around 15 days to become water-resistant.
Babies usually shed their umbilical cord stub after 15 days of age. And any oil trapped in it can lead to a serious infection. Therefore, it’s ideal to wait for one month before starting the massage, as by then, your baby’s skin would be less sensitive, and they would be more responsive to touch.
There are multiple benefits that massage can provide to your baby, such as:
It relieves stress, relaxes muscles, and works particularly great on babies suffering from colic.
Massage before bedtime also helps in faster muscle growth and improved immune function.
You can choose to fix a massage routine for your baby. Ensure that your baby is well-fed so that they don’t get fussy during massage time. However, it’s not advisable to give them a massage as soon as they are fed.
Usually, a massage before bath time is ideal, as it will help wash away the oil and prevent the accumulation of residual oil in your baby’s sensitive skin. It will also help your baby to relax and you can even tuck them for a nap quickly after the bath.
What Oil Should You Choose?
It is recommended to always use an oil that is fragrance-free, designed with mild ingredients, and edible. This is to prevent any serious problem even if your baby ingests the oil by mistake.
You can consult your pediatrician to know more about what oil is suitable for your baby, and what ingredients you should look for while choosing a baby oil.
Setup for A Baby Massage
Before you give your baby a soothing massage, follow this setup process:
Here’s a step-by-step guide to massaging your baby the right way:
Lift their legs and make a gentle stroke on their ankle and slowly extend towards the thighs. You can end the massage by grasping their thighs lightly.
Move your strokes towards the upper and forearm. Massage gently in circular motions as if you are wringing a towel.
After that, massage your baby’s scalp with the fingertips like you are shampooing their hair. Use gentle pressure from your fingertip. You can also massage their forehead by gently moving your fingers outwards from the centre of the forehead.
Next, place your index finger on either side of their upper spine and move the fingers all the way to the buttocks. Repeat the strokes a few times and wash off the oil with a soothing bath.
Here are some tips that you should remember while massaging your baby:
Massage is a great way of enabling your baby to grow stronger and improving your bond with them. Maintain a schedule, follow the steps recommended, and consult your doctor in case of any queries.
Suggestions offered by doctors on BabyChakra are of advisory nature i.e., for educational and informational purposes only. Content posted on, created for, or compiled by BabyChakra is not intended or designed to replace your doctor's independent judgment about any symptom, condition, or the appropriateness or risks of a procedure or treatment for a given person.