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Giving your baby a massage

Giving your baby a massage

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Your baby loves to feel your gentle touch. It also increases the bonding between the two of you.

Friday, March 10th, 2017

Here are some simple guidelines and tips to help you get started.

General guidelines

  • It’s generally considered safe to gently massage babies at any age, even newborns. However, don’t massage your baby if she’s ill, has had recent surgery, or has any cuts or skin abrasions. When in doubt, ask your paediatrician
  • Massage your little one when she’s awake, content, and relaxed. Be sure to wait until at least an hour after your baby has eaten
  • Place your baby on a soft flat surface such as a blanket or a pillow
  • Keep your baby warm and cover areas you will not be massaging
  • Before you begin, talk soothingly to your baby and smile at her. This will help stimulate her senses and make her feel more comfortable. Take your time
  • Allow your baby to move to different positions if she chooses to
  • Apply a little bit of non-scented baby oil to your hands. Always use very light pressure while massaging your baby

Head

  • Softly touch your baby’s forehead and temples
  • Gently touch her eyebrows and eyelids. Then work your way down her face to her nose, ears, cheeks, and around her mouth

Shoulders and arms

  • With your forefinger and thumb forming the shape of a ring, encircle your baby’s arm
  • Beginning at her armpit slowly move down towards her hand. Be extra gentle around her sensitive elbows
  • Make gentle turning motions around her wrist

Back

  • Turn your baby around so she’s lying on her tummy
  • Softly stroke your baby’s shoulders and back in circular motions with your fingertips
  • Don’t massage the spinal cord. You can gently rest your warm hand over her spine
  • Use your fingers in a circular motion on your baby’s buttocks. Massage one at a time while gently holding the opposite ankle to keep her steady
  • Move your hands on her back in one direction only, towards her feet

Legs and feet

  • Press gently on your baby’s thighs
  • Gently move her legs and knees, and press her thighs carefully against her body
  • For her feet, begin with her toes. Place very delicate pressure on each toe
  • Press gently and with a circular motion on her heels
  • When you’re done massaging your baby’s feet, start again from her head

Tummy

  • Using only light pressure, make clockwise circles with your palms over your baby’s tummy

This is intended as general information that should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your physician. Massaging is a very good practice to relax your child and increase interaction with you. Follow the rules and make her smile with your touch!

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