Answers to Your Baby Massage Questions

Who doesn’t love a good massage? Babies are no different from adults when it comes to soothing, skin-to-skin contact. Consider giving your little one a massage a couple of times a week to see how she reacts; if she enjoys it, you can do it more often. Ready to start? Read on for tips on when (and why) to give your baby a soothing rubdown.

Reap the benefits.
The advantages of infant massages are vast and varied: It builds a stronger bond, improves relaxation, encourages better sleep, and reduces crying. And, believe it or not, moms (and dads!) enjoy a few perks, too, including better self-esteem and confidence in their ability to care for their newborns and respond to their cues.

Perfect the timing.
Pay attention to your new baby’s mood and decide whether she’s ready for an infant massage. Most tots are rather content in the morning and may welcome a rubdown; others might like it just before an afternoon nap or after bath time as part of the bedtime routine. Avoid a baby massage right after she eats, however, as it may cause her to vomit (wait about 45 minutes after a feeding).

Watch the response.
See how your baby reacts to an infant massage so you can gauge her enjoyment. If she’s wiggling her arms, cooing, or smiling, then you can continue the good work! But if you notice her turning her head away, or she seems restless or cranky, give it a rest and try again another day.

Make the most of the massage.
The best part about any baby massage is the bond that forms when you gently touch your infant. Boost this connection while you stroke your baby by talking to her, singing a quiet song, or chanting her name softly so she can relax and release any tension she may feel.

Massage is an ancient art, one that babies all over the world enjoy. Don’t worry if your infant massage technique isn’t perfect or you think your new baby isn’t having a good time. Practice it when you can, and you’ll soon find the rhythm and touch that best suits your baby.