Learn about some of the benefits of touch and massage.
Newborn Massage Guide
Although your newborn seems so delicate, don’t be afraid to start a massaging routine shortly after birth. Routine massage helps you grow your bond and leads to their happy, healthy baby development.
Massaging Your Newborn
Touch is a powerful way to communicate your love to your baby. In the first few weeks, use slow and positive strokes, not spending too much time on one area. Newborn babies may find their senses over-stimulated and most will seek solace in the arms of their parents for the first few weeks and some may just want a gentle stroke down their backs, over their clothes.
Begin massage by just 'resting your hand' on your newborn baby. This resting hand technique is used before massaging any body area. It can also be used when your baby needs a break during the massage. This is a good way for your baby to feel secure and enjoy touch.
Check you have enough oil on your hands before you start.. For the first few times, you may just want to massage your baby's legs until they get used to the sensation. It's a good place to begin because your baby is used to having their legs touched during nappy changes.
Babies usually love having their feet massaged. Watch your baby’s reactions in case of sensitivity. A little foot massage can have a positive effect on the whole body.
Gently squeeze and roll each toe between your thumb and index finger. Using alternate thumbs stroke the top of the foot from toes to the ankle. Repeat several times.
When baby’s umbilical cord is healed, gentle massage on the tummy can help with digestion and tummy troubles.
Start by making contact with your baby’s tummy with a reassuring relaxed hand. If your baby is happy, make gentle paddling strokes, with one hand following the other.
Skin-to-skin contact can enhance the bonding experience between baby, mum and dad. Holding the baby close to your chest, massage your baby’s back beginning at the neck, swooping down to their bottom.