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Newborn Baby Massage Techniques Every New Parent Should Know

Team AckoFeb 8, 2024

Every person, from old to young, have a need to feel nurtured and loved and yearns for human touch. This need is even more important for every baby. According to studies, even the newborn babies can sense when they are loved, and that this is most easily communicated through touch.



So, what else could be a better way to give your baby that loving feeling than through massage?

Massage helps you to build an emotional relationship and closeness with your child and the benefit are numerous. The positive effects of massaging can go beyond the emotional side; it can aid in physical health as well.

Are you ready to give your baby a rubdown? Here’s everything you need to know about baby massage techniques:

What is Baby Massage?

Baby massage, as it says, is the gentle, rhythmic stroking by you on each area of your baby’s body using baby massage oil or lotion. Your touch while massaging your baby is a wonderful way to strengthen your bond with your little angel and help stimulate growth and development in them.

If you are wondering when to start massaging your baby then you must wait for your baby to complete at least 15 days of his life or as soon as your baby is medically cleared to be massaged. The reason for 15 days’ time is to allow your baby’s skin to become completely water-tight. Also, your baby will shed his umbilical cord stub, which can get infected if rubbed or if it comes in touch with some essential oils.

Some doctors advise waiting for a month before you start giving massage to your baby. So, before starting wih newborn baby massage, get the clinical approval from your pediatrician.

Baby Massage Techniques and Tips

Before you proceed with newborn baby massage techniques, you need to keep certain things in place and handy:

 Keep a towel in front of you to place your baby over it. This helps in absorbing the extra oil.  Take the baby massage oil in a non-breakable container.

 A set of your baby’s clothes

 Nappies

Effective Tips:

Read on to know some important tips before you start with your newborn baby's massage:

 Choose a time to massage your baby when he is not hungry or cranky and is feeling relaxed.

 Seek permission from your baby before you start massaging him. The simple way to do so is to take some oil in your palm and gently rub it on your little one’s tummy and behind the ears. If he resists your touch and becomes cranky, then this is probably not the right time to continue with the massage.

 Do not apply too much pressure while massaging your baby. Your gentle touch is enough for your little bundle of joy to feel calm and relaxed.

 Ensure the room temperature is maintained. It should not be cold. During the summers too, make sure you have turned off your AC and maintained a normal temperature before massaging.

 Use a safe and comfortable place like a bed to massage your baby. Position him in such a way that he can clearly see your face.

 Do not use scented oils. Select baby massaging oil with natural fragrances and no added perfumes. Check for any allergy from the oil by first rubbing it on your baby's palms or behind the earlobes.

 Wash your hands and remove your jewellery before massaging your baby.

 Do not massage if your baby has a temperature.

Baby massage Techniques

 Start with the baby's legs

Rub a few drops of massaging oil on your palm and begin massaging your baby’s soles. Use firm, gentle, slow strokes from heel to toe. Then using your palm, stroke the bottom and top of the baby’s foot. Do long smooth strokes up the baby’s leg. Massage from the ankle up to the thigh and over the hip. Massage both legs at once or one at a time.

 Avoid the genital area

Hold the baby’s leg under the knee and gently press it towards the tummy and move them in bicycling motion to help release wind. End the leg massage by gently grasping the thighs and stroke down from thigh to the foot.

 Move to the arms

The technique of massaging the arms is quite similar to the legs. Massage the baby’s arms by stroking from the shoulders down towards the wrists. Make circular strokes on your baby’s palms. Try to avoid oil on your baby’s fingers as there is a chance he could suck them. Wipe his fingers properly.

 Chest and Shoulder massage

Start the upper body massage with your hands on the baby’s shoulders. Make gentle strokes towards the chest. Place both your hands on your baby's chest and stroke outward from his sternum to his shoulders.

 Tummy Time

Place your palm just below the chest bone and massage his belly with circular, clockwise strokes. Avoid the belly button area if the baby’s cord stump still hasn’t healed. Don't put pressure on the baby's diaphragm.

 Massaging the face and head

Use your finger pads to massage baby’s face. Stroke from the middle of the baby’s forehead, down the outside of his face, and in towards his cheeks. Massage the scalp in small circles like you shampooing his hair.

 Finally, relaxing back massage

It's finally time to turn your baby around and massage his back. Place your fingertips on your baby’s upper back and trace clockwise circles while stroking towards his buttocks. Place your index and middle finger on either side of the spine and gently stroke downwards. Do not put pressure on his spine.

Benefits of massaging the baby

In addition to parent-child bonding, massaging boosts the psychological and social development of the baby. Regular baby massage may benefit your little one in many ways such as:

 Relieves stress and relax muscles

 Soothes your cranky baby

 Aids in digestion and helps in relieving colic, gas, and constipation

 Help your baby sleep better

 Helps in relieving from nasal and chest congestion and teething discomfort

 Helps develop good muscle tone of your baby

 Strengthens your baby’s immune system

 Improves skin texture

 Relieves pain after vaccination

Massaging not only benefits your child but is an effective way for you to deal with postnatal depression as well. There is no specific time or age when you should stop massaging your baby. You can continue massaging until the time you and your little one feels good about it. Maintain a daily schedule for massaging your baby. 

Disclaimer: This content is for informational purposes only, based on industry experience and secondary sources. It is not a substitute for professional advice. Please consult a qualified expert for health or insurance-related decisions. Content is subject to change, refer to current policy wordings for specific ACKO details.



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