Massage is a wonderful way to bond with your baby.
The practice of baby massage has been around for many years. Asian and Indian cultures have developed a range of massage strokes over time that are widely used today.
The benefits of baby massage
As well as the fact that baby’s love it (and mum’s don’t seem to have any complaints either), daily massage has been shown to have several positive effects. Here are just a few:
- Increased brain development through nervous system stimulation
- Improved physical health and improved immunity
- Decreased stress hormones and a release of endorphins
- Weight increase in premature or underweight babies
- Deeper, easier and more restful sleep
Getting started is easy!
A great time to massage your bub is after a warm bath, when they are cosy and relaxed. Just a few gentle strokes and loving words will help your baby feel calm and will ease the way for them to drift off to sleep.
If you’d like to learn more about different kinds of baby massage, we can show you how. It doesn’t have to be complicated. Just take a look at our baby massage video and baby massages guide for some practical ideas and tips to get started.
Watch the video
How to start baby massage
Ready to get started?
Why not start by taking a look at our tips on the best preparation for massage? That will give you some ideas for setting up a relaxing space for you and your bub. Next, take a look at the baby massages strokes page for your guide to the basic strokes that cover the entire body.
Set aside anywhere between five and 30 minutes for a baby massage. Sessions may get longer and longer, as you go. Many babies respond well to starting with the soles of the feet and toes.
Remember to pay attention to your baby’s mood and movements. Do they seem relaxed? Are they tensing in certain areas? If they seem uncomfortable, move to another area, or have a rest for the day.
The best age for baby massage
You can use baby massage at any age – just remember that newborns may be especially sensitive to massage and may tire easily.
If you’re starting nice and early, it’s a good idea to a look at our information on newborn massage. This will run you through some important advice about areas and reflexes to be mindful of, in those first precious days.
Premature babies have special care needs, especially when it comes to being held close and feeling secure. Take a look at our tips for premature baby massage. With the guidance of your health professional, your premmie baby can really benefit find a lot of benefit in daily touch from the people who love them.
Older babies and toddlers also love massage but will of course be more interactive. They tend to giggle a lot too. At this age you can include songs and games while you massage your bub. Our growing baby massage page and toddler massage pages are full of ideas to make massage with your toddler even more fun.
Most importantly, baby massage is a special time of relaxation and love for both carers and bubs. Make it fun and you will find it’s a great way to care for your little one, and a lovely way to express your happiness and love.