Baby massage - 10 tips for getting started

We're all familiar with the feeling of a relaxing massage ... It's a guaranteed way to relax the body and release stress-fighting endorphins in the brain.

... But did you know it's the same for babies?  Babies love massage in the same way we do! Massaging your little one can help them calm, soothe and relax. Not only that, it is a beautiful way to facilitate bonding, and can also help reduce crying and encourage them to sleep more soundly (who'd say no to that?!)

Why not give it a go? Here's 10 tips to get your started:

  1. The best time to massage your baby is when they are quiet and content. Avoid times when they are fussy or overtired. It’s also important to make sure you yourself are completely relaxed and ready to be with your baby.

  2. Always use an unscented, cold-pressed vegetable oil. Vegetable oils are absorbed easily (without leaving an oily residue) and contain additional skin benefits.

  3. Choose an environment that is warm and comfortable with no distractions. You can massage your baby lying on a bed (never leave them unattended), or on a towel on the floor.

  4. Soothing music is a lovely way to create a relaxing environment for you and your baby. Maintain eye contact with your baby throughout the massage while talking and singing to them.

  5. When first introducing massage, start with the legs as they are less sensitive than other parts of the body.

  6. Use strokes that are long and firm. Try not to be too light and feathery.

  7. When introducing massage for the first time start small! You don’t have to massage the whole body to begin with. Start by offering a leg massage and then build from there as your baby becomes more familiar with the feeling.

  8. Build massage into your baby’s routine. Many people have achieved good results introducing massage into their baby’s bedtime ritual; however the most important thing is to find a time that suits both of you.

  9. Always keep an eye on your baby’s cues – if your baby has had enough then stop. A massage can last for five minutes or 25 minutes depending on your baby.

  10. For an older baby, improvise with rhyme and song. Older babies become more easily distracted so this is a great way to keep them engaged.