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Each and every person, especially parents, like to cuddle and caress babies. Massage is thus an extension of these feelings, which, on one hand helps the parents to connect with their baby and, on the other hand helps the baby to become alert to their touch and feel. It also helps in enhancing the baby's immune system, relieves colic and encourages sleep which, is extremely essential for the development of the baby.  

While massaging a baby usage of light vegetable oil is preferred and the movements too should be gentle and flowing. Place the baby gently between your legs, or on your lap, whichever is most comfortable. Ensure that the room is warm and comfortable, then, take about 1 teaspoon (5 ml) of oil into a small dish. Once you are ready, hold your baby's head with your hands and gently increase the pressure. Make gentle circular motion to cover the entire head, then, by supporting the head, massage both the ears. Finally repeat the circular strokes on your baby's face for some more time.

Slowly and gently now, smooth a little of the oil all over the front of the baby’s shoulders to feet. Lightly stroke down the chest and abdomen, with the tips of your fingers. Smooth both hands over the abdomen in continuous circular strokes by keeping the pressure very light, then work up on the baby’s right side, across and down the baby’s left side. Keep the movement continuous by lifting your left hand when your arms cross. Repeat this movement several times.

Squeeze out along the arms and then massage the wrist and palms with light, circular thumb movements. Then stretch out each finger with a slight pull. Moving to the legs and feet, work on one leg at a time. Support the leg with both hands and gently squeeze and release the fleshy part of the thigh. Then supporting the leg with one hand, stroke the leg from the knee to the thigh and back down again. Move your supporting hand down to behind the ankle. Gently smooth the palm of your other hand over the top of the foot from toe to ankle and back again. When you get to the toes, very gently stretch each one turn by turn.

Time to move on to the back. Turn the baby over on the front and start stroking up the whole back to spread a little oil. Stroke around the sides as well and then up the legs, back and out over the arms. Then gently knead and squeeze the buttocks to stimulate the circulation. Gently stroke up one side of the back to the shoulders and down again, by alternating your hands, one over the other. Repeat on the other side of the back.

Use your thumbs to massage gently up the back upto the base of the neck, and down again. Include some gentle massage with the thumbs on the shoulders. Finally, repeat the feather strokes, working all over the back from neck to buttocks. Continue the strokes provided that your baby is truly enjoying them.


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