Infant Massage: Step by Step
Touch, when given with love, is a universal language, and one that babies can understand before they can talk. Find out how to perform a gentle massage on your baby, which will calm her and help the two of you to bond.
Benefits of infant massage
- Promotes parent-child bonding.
- Calms a fussy baby and helps her release tension, anxiety and irritability.
- Helps the baby to relax and fall asleep easily.
- Enhances circulation and digestion.
- Reduces ‘wind’, colic and digestive problems.
- Contributes to healthy weight gain.
- Improves the baby’s immune development.
- Promotes emotional growth.
Tips on infant massage
- It is best to do it after a warm bath, before bedtime, when your baby is still alert, but not drowsy.
- Lay your baby on a flat surface, like a bed. You can also sit on the floor and make a diamond shape with your legs, your soles facing each other. Place a blanket over your legs to form a “cradle” for the baby to lie in.
- Remember to dress the baby in her diaper.
- Use a little baby oil or lotion. It makes the massage smoother. Do a patch test first, to make sure that the oil or lotion is not too harsh for your baby’s delicate skin. Do not use pure concentrated essential oils.
- Rub the oil or lotion between your palms to warm it up before putting your hands on your baby, so that she does not get a shock if your hands are cold.
- Sing, hum or talk softly to your baby as you massage her. She will like that! You can try attending infant massage workshops to learn more about the techniques of baby massage. Check with the parent craft centres in hospitals for more details of the workshops.
Step-by-step guide for massage
Express your love with a baby massage while moisturising her delicate skin. For newborns, a massage up to 10 minutes is sufficient, while older babies can enjoy a massage for up to 20 minutes.
Information courtesy of Johnson & Johnson
The text of this article was originally published on the website of the Health Promotion Board. Reproduced with some modifications with permission from HPB.