And you don’t need a degree in massage therapy to enjoy the benefits of infant massage! So how do you massage infants? Let’s find out.
Infant Massage: What You Need To Know Before You Begin
First, prepare the location. Select a flat, comfortable surface. Place your materials within reach before you begin. These include baby lotion, a cloth or towel, a clean diaper, and clothing for after you are finished. Make sure that the space is relaxing and peaceful. Remember to talk to your baby. Your baby has heard your voice since before birth and will respond positively to the familiar sounds. Communication also increases listening and vocal skills.
Remember that each baby is unique. As you massage your baby, you may find a reaction to particular strokes. These responses inform what feels good to your infant and help build that special parent-child bond.
Massage to relieve gas in infants your baby relaxes them and supports their health and well-being . It increases blood circulation and stimulates the nervous system which in turn encourages muscle use. Massage can also create a unique bond between the baby and parents. Premature infants and those who suffer from colic especially benefit from massage .
Infant Massage: Step by Step Guide
How Is Infant Massage Performed Step 1 – Head and Face Massage
How to massage baby’s head and face:
- Use both hands to cradle your baby’s head.
- Use movements that are similar to when you shampoo your little one’s head.
- Gently move your thumb and index finger to the ears and massage them.
- Trace the shape of a heart from the forehead to the chin of your baby.
- For the eyebrows, use your thumbs to stroke outward.
- Gently repeat the same movements on your baby’s closed lids.
- Stroke your baby’s nose from the bridge making sure you massage the cheeks.
- Finally, massage small circles over the jaw area.
How Is Infant Massage Performed Step 2 – Chest Massage
How to massage baby’s chest:
- Position both of your hands on the chest of your baby.
- Stroke outward from the sternum (breastbone) to the shoulders.
- Return to the sternum, and trace another heart shape.
- Bring both of your hands up to the shoulders, and then stroke down the front and back up to the shoulders.
- This massage to relieve gas in infants is helpful on the chest and belly.
How Is Infant Massage Performed Step 3 – Back Massage
How to massage baby’s back:
- Position your baby horizontally on your lap or in front of you with their hands in front.
- Make sure you do not disrupt the airflow.
- Place your hands on the baby’s back. Move hands in opposite directions starting from the base of the neck all the way down to the buttocks.
- With one hand, hold your baby’s bottom, then use your other hand to stroke down from neck to the bottom.
- With your fingertips, massage moving up and down the sides of the spine using small circles.
- Finally, using your fingers as a “rake.” Press lightly as you gently drag them down the back of your baby.
How Is Infant Massage Performed Step 4 – Arm Massage
How to massage baby’s arms:
- Hold your baby’s wrist with one hand while tapping the upper arm lightly. This action aids in relaxation.
- While still holding the wrist, cup your baby’s upper arm then stroke downwards from shoulder to wrist.
- Place both hands on the arm of your baby stroke downwards with each hand moving in the opposing direction. Think of the action as gently wringing a towel.
- Massage the palm of your baby by making a thumb-over-thumb motion.
- Start from the heel of the hand and go all the way to the fingers.
- Stroke in a downward motion from wrist all the way to the fingertips. Give each finger a gentle squeeze and pull.
- Finally, roll your baby’s arm between your hands.
- Repeat on the other arm.
How Is Infant Massage Performed Step 5 – Leg Massage
How to massage baby’s legs:
- Lift one leg.
- Hold the ankle while tapping the upper thigh lightly. While still holding the leg, use your thumb on your other hand to stroke downward from thigh to foot.
- Starting at the thigh, gently wring the leg as you did with the arms.
- Make a thumb-over-thumb motion to massage the soles of your baby’s feet.
- With your whole hand, stroke the bottom of the foot starting from the heel to the toes, then stroke the top of the foot of your baby.
- Squeeze and pull the toes gently.
- Massage the ankle using small circles.
- Finally, roll the leg between your hands.
- Repeat on the other leg.
How Is Infant Massage Performed Last Word
Nurturing touch is a vital source of comfort and non-verbal communication. This parent-child interaction benefits both parties from before birth. Massage should be a part of your child’s daily routine. If your baby is irritable, massage can be soothing . If you find that it does not provide comfort, hold off for that day. In general, massaging your baby encourages emotional growth and strengthens your baby’s immune system, mental development, and motor skills. Your baby will look forward to these sessions  .
How Is Infant Massage Performed and Massage Go Relieve Gas In Infants Resources; US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health; Preterm Infant Massage Therapy Research: A Review, Tiffany Field, Miguel Diego, Maria Hernandez-Reif, April 01, 2011.
 ScienceDirect, Asian Nursing Research; The Effects of Baby Massage on Attachment between Mother and their Infants, AyşeGürolPhD, RN, SevinçPolatPhD, RN, February 2012.
 Raising Children Network; Baby massage: in pictures, February 22, 2018.
 British Journal of Midwifery; Infant massage: The practice and evidence-base to support it, Alison Cooke, March 09, 2015.
 Parents; Intellectual Growth.