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Basic baby massage

A Basic Guide

Every day we ‘massage’ our children without even realising that we are doing it – a gentle touch on the arm, a stroke of the head, or a rub on the back to help them feel better. The power of touch is part of our everyday life, so it makes sense to extend this to a massage routine that can be used every day.

  • Giving a massage after the bath is a popular time for many parents.

  • Dedicate your chosen time to your baby and avoid juggling other tasks during the massage, e.g. watching television or talking on the phone.

  • Ensure that the room is warm and your baby is not lying in a draft.

  • Choose a comfortable surface for both of you. Ideally you will not need to bend over and place strain on your back.

  • If your baby is not wearing a nappy, place either a folded towel under them, or open out a new nappy and place this under their bottom, ready to pull up if needed.

  • Make sure that you have everything you need at hand, so that your baby is not left unattended.

  • Only proceed with the massage if you are feeling relaxed and your baby is generally settled, unless you are performing the massage to help relieve pain.

  • Let your baby or toddler know that you are going to start the massage by talking to them, and giving them some visual cues, such as rubbing your hands together to warm them up.

  • Use eye contact and talk gently to them, telling your baby what you are doing.

  • Use a baby lotion or a cold-pressed almond oil. These will be beneficial to your baby’s skin and are easily absorbed.

  • Warm your hands by shaking them or rubbing them together.

  • Start on the legs and move upward through the body.

  • Use long firm strokes.

  • Do not place any pressure on the abdomen.

  • When massaging to relieve pain from colic, use a circular motion, starting on the right-hand side of your baby’s stomach.

  • End the massage with a long cuddle and dress your baby quickly so that they don’t get cold.