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Baby Massage: A ‘How To’ Guide

So, you’ve already managed the fine art of diaper-changing acrobatics and can practically assemble a stroller blindfolded. But have you considered giving your little one a massage? Here’s a secret — the power of touch isn’t just for relaxation, it’s also a secret weapon to boost your child’s development.

In this guide we’ll be covering:

  • The benefits of baby massages
  • How to perform a baby massage

Why Should I Massage My Baby?

Let’s talk about the magic that happens when you combine gentle touches with growing brains. You see, baby massages aren’t just about making your little one coo and chuckle (though that’s a pretty awesome bonus). It’s also about creating a harmonious connection between their developing minds and bodies which lays the foundation for healthy emotional and cognitive development. 

  • Neural pathways, activate!: As you gently stroke, knead, and tickle, you’re sending a flurry of sensory signals to their brain, sparking a symphony of neural connections. It might just give their brain cells a boost that even Einstein would envy.
  • From coos to conversations: By engaging in this delightful bonding ritual, you’re nurturing your baby’s ability to recognize non-verbal cues and respond to social interactions.
  • Happy tummy, happy baby: Got a tiny tummy that’s acting up? Baby massage can be your secret weapon against those gassy grumbles. No more baby farts that could rival a windstorm!
  • Superbaby immunity: A 2022 study suggests that a regular rubdown can boost your baby’s immune system. So, with regular massages, your baby’s immune system becomes more resilient against those pesky germs and colds.

How To Perform A Baby Massage

little baby feet and toes being massaged and rubbed

Remember — babies are delicate creatures. Consider a baby massage as a spa day for your tiny human, minus the fluffy robes and cucumber slices..

  • Setting the scene: First things first, make sure you’re both in the mood. No one likes a forced massage, not even a baby – imagine trying to relax while someone’s rearranging your tiny toes when all you want is a nap.
  • Oil Up: Opt for gentle, baby-safe oils that’ll have your baby sliding around like a buttered-up cutie pie. And remember, less is more – we’re aiming for a massage, not a slip-and-slide contest!
  • “I’m Not a Pretzel” Rule: Babies are many things, but yogis they are not. So, go easy on the twisty stretches and stick to gentle strokes and cuddly rubs.

Here comes the fun part — the massage itself. Here’s a step-by-step guide that’ll help you become a baby massage maestro in no time.

cute baby in nappies being massaged by mum and holding onto a stuffed toy
  1. Gently lay your baby on a soft surface and start with their little tootsies. Rub those feet like you’re trying to elicit baby giggles.
  2. Onto the tummy! Use smooth, circular motions with your fingertips. And remember, it’s tummy rubs, not kneading bread dough. 
  3. Flip your tiny baby over, and it’s time for the back rub. Stroke from shoulders to tiny tush, using gentle, rhythmic motions.
  4. Don’t neglect that adorable face! Use your fingertips to trace their eyebrows, cheeks, and even that cute button nose. Make eye contact and shower them with smiles and silly faces.

Congratulations, dear parents! You’ve created a spa experience that rivals the fanciest of resorts, right in the comfort of your own home. Your little one might not be able to say “thank you” yet, but those radiant smiles and joyful giggles speak volumes. Happy massaging! 👶

Want To Stay Ahead Of The Curve?

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Rather than worrying about your little one’s developmental progress after they’re born, leave that to us. Take a look at our Grow with Me development toy boxes. We provide a monthly, research-based, sensory box of educational and useful goodies – all with the aim of developing cognitive & motor skills through play, in 0-24 month olds. This leaves you to focus on spending quality time with your little one!