4 Oct 2022 | 4 min Read
Author | 740 Articles
When it comes to starting a baby massage, there are no set rules. However, experts recommend waiting between 10 days and two weeks before you begin with an oil or lotion massage on your baby.
It’s also a great way to bond with your baby and with a loving touch and skin-to-skin contact, some of them may not be ready to enjoy the long structured oil massages during their early days.
For many households, it’s a tradition to give the baby a daily massage right from the time he/she is brought home for the first time. However, a newborn’s skin barrier is not fully developed yet. This makes their skin vulnerable to getting dry or reacting to anything you might apply during the massage.
Wait a few days before you start with oil massages for your baby as it gives the skin barrier time to develop. Plus, this period allows time for your baby’s umbilical cord stump to dry and fall off, which normally takes between five and 15 days.
Remember that any residual oil on your baby’s stump after you give a massage can usually increase the risk of an infection in the area.
If you or anyone in your family wants to give your baby an oil massage right from birth, it is important that you choose an oil or lotion which is made for babies. It is important that you #LabelPadhoMoms because not all oils, even natural ones, are gentle enough for your baby’s delicate skin.
Pick a nourishing baby massage oil made with natural ingredients like moringa oil, almond oil, saffron oil, sesame oil and vitamin e which nourishes and protects the baby’s skin. The oil should be free from any toxins and harmful chemicals like parabens, preservatives and mineral oils. Go for the ones which are paediatrician-approved.
Remember to avoid the stomach and umbilical stump during the massage. It’s best to wait until the umbilical stump falls off to give your baby a complete body massage.
Follow your doctor’s advice for giving a baby massage if you have a premature baby. If you want to use oil, talk to your paediatrician if your baby’s skin is ready for massage and which one you can use.
Doctors recommend when it comes to massaging your premature baby, it’s best that you or your husband or your baby’s grandmother do it rather than getting help from outside.
Most families give a massage to their baby every day for the first year. There are many families who continue giving massages but less frequently until their child turns about five years or six years of age.
However, there is no age limit to giving a massage to a child or stopping them. You can continue giving a massage to your little one for as long as you wish. See what fits best into your routine along with the family traditions and how comfortable your child is with them.
As your baby grows and starts moving around, it might be hard for you to keep him/her still, long enough to give a full body massage. Even if your little one loves a massage, he/she may not be patient enough to lie down for the massage for a long time. Hence, you can keep the massage short and as soon as he/she starts to move around, you can take him/her for a bath.
Once your child gets older, you might even consider giving a massage as he/she stands or sits. You may end up massaging your child occasionally or only during the weekends.
Once your child gets old enough, teach him/her to self-massage and you can stop massaging your baby. It will not be the same kind of body massage that you give. However, it can become a part of your child’s bathing routine to either oil the skin before going for a bath or moisturise it using a lotion afterwards.
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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.