The magic touch: Your guide to baby massage

3 minutes

Key takeaways

  • Baby massage is a wonderful way to bond with your little one, promote relaxation
  • Baby massage may have a calming effect on your baby, helping ease tummy discomfort and fussiness

Have you ever noticed how a gentle touch can instantly calm a fussy baby? A practice used for centuries, baby massage is a wonderful way to bond with your little one, promote relaxation, and even ease common discomforts like gas and constipation.

Is there a best way for baby massages? This guide will walk you through the wonderful world of baby massage.


What is Baby Massage?

Baby massage involves gently rubbing and stroking your baby's body with your hands. It's a way to connect with your baby, provide comfort, and promote their physical and emotional well-being. The gentle touch and rhythmic movements can have a calming effect on your baby, helping to reduce crying and fussiness.


When to start?

The good news is, you can start massaging your baby as soon as their umbilical cord has healed (usually around 2 weeks). Always check with your paediatrician before starting any new routines, especially if your baby has any health concerns.


A baby massage with oil?

While some oils are safe for babies, it's not always necessary. You can give your baby a great massage using just your bare hands! However, if you do choose to use oil, make sure it's a gentle, fragrance-free oil specifically designed for babies.

If you choose to use an oil, always perform a patch test on a small area of your baby's skin before to ensure there is no adverse reaction.


How to massage your baby

Here's a simple routine you can try at home:

  • Create a calm environment: Find a warm, quiet room and lay your baby on a soft towel or blanket. Make sure both you and your baby are comfortable.

  • Warm the oil: If you're using oil, warm a small amount in your hands before applying it to your baby's skin.

  • Start with the legs: Gently hold one of your baby’s legs and start with light, circular motions from the thigh down to the ankle. Repeat on the other leg.

  • Move to the arms: Using the same circular motions, massage from the shoulders down to the hands, one arm at a time.

  • Massage the chest and tummy: Place both hands flat on your baby’s chest and make gentle, circular motions. For the tummy, use your fingertips to make small circles around the belly button.


How to massage a baby’s tummy to relieve gas

If your baby seems gassy or constipated, a gentle tummy massage may help. Here’s how:

  • Warm your hands: Rub a little oil between your palms to warm it up.

  • Circular motions: Use your fingertips to make small, clockwise circles around your baby’s navel. The direction is important as it follows the natural direction of the intestines.

  • Knee-to-tummy: Gently press your baby’s knees towards their tummy and hold for a few seconds. This can help release trapped gas.

  • Bicycle legs: Lay your baby on their back and gently move their legs in a bicycling motion. This helps to stimulate their intestines.


Baby massage is a beautiful way to connect with your child and promote their well-being. Remember to be gentle and responsive to your baby's cues. If they seem uncomfortable or fussy, take a break and try again later. With practice, you may find that baby massage becomes a cherished part of your daily routine. Happy massaging!


All content within this article is provided for general information only, and should not be treated as a substitute for the medical advice of health care professionals.

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