Essential do’s and don’ts of massaging your baby

By Parentlane

Newborn Massaging

The moment your baby arrives home, you would hear all the elders in the house giving you all kinds of tips on how to handle and take care of your baby. The main tip would revolve around giving your baby a soothing massage.

Baby massage is one of the most important aspects that contribute to the growth and health of your baby. It stimulates the central nervous system of your baby. The affectionate touch with the rhythmic movement while massaging soothes your baby. Massaging is one of the best ways of communicating with your baby, which also helps in better bonding.

Since your baby most of the times lies down in the same position, chances are high that her/his movements are restricted. This can cause some pain. Body massage relieves the pain and you would automatically see that your baby is less fussy and cranky.

Baby massage techniques

Some of the points to be noted before starting the massage are:

• The room has to be quiet, calm and warm

• Choose a time when your baby is calm and happy. If you try to massage your baby when he/she is fussy, you may end up irritating them more.

• Take off the jewellery from your hand like rings as they could come in the way while massaging. Make sure your fingernails are cut

• Keep all the things needed for the massage handy right next to you like baby oil, a soft towel and a pillow

Do’s and don’ts of massaging your baby

While massaging the back:


Follow downward strokes on your baby’s back

Massage their shoulders in gentle circles


Do not exert pressure on your baby’s spine

While massaging the legs:


Follow circular motion and proceed downward from your baby's thighs to their ankles

Use your thumb to gently massage from the heels to their toes

The lower and upper part of your baby's feet should be massaged with your palm


When you make downward strokes from your little one's thigh to their feet, do not forget to support their thighs

While massaging the chest and tummy:


Apply outwards strokes on your baby’s chest.

For the abdomen massage, use circular motions


Tummy massage should not be done till your baby’s umbilical cord has fallen off and the area has completely healed

While massaging the hands:


Use circular strokes and proceed downwards gently from your baby's upper arm to the wrist

Massage your little one's palms in gentle circles and gently use a milking motion to massage the fingers


Do not pull your baby's fingers too tight

Do not forget to support the wrist while massaging their palms

Grandma’s Tip:

It would be pleasant if the massage is easy on your baby, the oil should be light in application and should be easily absorbed by your baby’s skin. You can opt for something edible, unscented or either cold-pressed fruit or vegetable oil. For example, coconut, canola, olive, grapeseed, avocado, etc. Weather conditions also need to be taken into consideration while selecting the oil.