Infant massage is a wonderful skill to learn. You want to connect with your baby in the most natural way possible. Touch is an excellent way to bond and infant massages allow you to build a bond in the most gentle, soothing way.
- Undress your baby to the diaper, or take off the diaper if you’d like. Make sure that your baby has been fed and feels good. You may be able to use massage to calm your fussy baby, but as you are both learning about infant massage it is best to do it at a time when your baby is content.
- When choosing a massage oil, choose a baby-safe oil like our Herbal Medicated Oil to reduce friction and prevent your baby from catching a chill.
- Use light but confident touch as you massage your baby. Babies do not want the deep pressure that you might like. They do like for you to use long and firm strokes.
- Begin at your baby’s legs. This is an area that baby is used to having touched. It’s a good place to start with. You can begin with the feet and work up the body to the top of your baby’s head. Rub your baby’s feet firmly and use a “milking motion” up the legs.
- After your baby’s feet and legs move on to the stomach. Use firm and gentle motions. Begin on your baby’s right side (your left) and massage from the hip-bone up to the belly button. Then massage from the same hip-bone and over across the belly button. Finally, begin at the hip-bone, move up, over, and across the belly button and back down to your baby’s left hip-bone. This is often called an “I Love You” massage because you first stroke is an “I” shape, the second stroke is an “L” shape, and the third stroke is a “U” shape.
- After the tummy, gently massage baby’s chest then move on to the arms and hands. You can use the same “milking” motion on the arms and gently but firmly rub the palms of your baby’s hands.
- Next, you can go to the face, brushing gently all across tension points to help relax your baby. Finally, turn your baby over and work on massage the back. Remember to use firm but gentle strokes.
- Re-apply oil whenever needed to help smooth over baby’s body. You may wish to learn even more strokes to give the baby a longer, soothing massage. There are many baby massage courses you can learn from.
Infant massages have many benefits to both you and your baby. Besides encouraging important bond to form between you and your child, it helps your baby relax, build trust, and become healthier.