Massage of the newborn, how to do it

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Marie-Ange Demory
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Newborn massage

Il massage to the newborn it can be important: cuddles and caresses contribute significantly to the harmonious development of the baby and help to strengthen the relationship between parents and children.




For this reason it is useful to know how to practice the massage to the newborn. Here are the various steps and the benefits of this action.

In this article

  • Newborn massage, what is it 
  • Newborn massage, how to do it 
  • The benefits

Newborn massage, what is it

Il massage to the newborn is a practice developed in the seventies in the United States by Vimala McClure, combining some traditional Indian massages with elements of Swedish massage, reflexology and yoga.


Fundamental is observation of the child's reactions, in order to modulate the massage in relation to the responses received by the child.

It is possible to start practicing the massage from birth to 12 months, but also beyond, because this action changes according to the stages of the child's development.

Ma where to do it? According to some, the changing table would be the ideal place. In fact, even for added security, it's better get down on a carpet, with the baby in front, resting on comfortable cushions.

Read also: Infant massage: the importance

Newborn massage, how to do it

It is difficult to establish in advance how long a massage lasts and which parts to massage the most: it will be the parent and child who decide, from time to time. Here are the various stages of the baby massage.


  1. In general, we start with il leg massage. In fact, the legs are less sensitive than other parts of the body. Using a little mild oil, wrap your hands around one of her small thighs and move them down, hand after hand, squeezing gently. Switch legs and repeat.
  2. Then move on to the feet. Take one foot and gently rotate it a few times in each direction. Then stroke the top of the foot from the ankle down to the toes. Change foot and repeat. Use your thumbs to draw circles on the plantar surface of each of the feet.
  3. Also massage your toes. Grasp each finger of each of the feet between the thumb and forefinger and pull gently. Do this for all 10 toes.
  4. Switch to the arms. Take the baby's arm in your hands and massage gently from his armpit to his wrist. Then, take your hand and gently rotate your wrist a few times in both directions. Switch arms and repeat.
  5. Massage too the hands. Trace small circles on the palm of each hand with your thumbs.
  6. And the fingers, gently taking a finger between the thumb and forefinger and pulling. Do it for all fingers.
  7. Gently massage the chest and then the abdomen. Put your hands together in a prayer position over the baby's heart. Then stroke by gently bringing your hands outwards. Repeat several times.
  8. Don't forget your back. Using your fingertips, draw small circles on either side of her spine from her neck down to her buttocks.
  9. You can also gently massage your face, making light movements and being careful not to annoy the baby's face.

The massage can be finished with a series of gentle exercises inspired by yoga and stretching.

Read also: Baby massage: 6 useful tips

Newborn massage, benefits

Infant massage has the following benefits:

  • encourages interaction between mother and baby;
  • helps the baby to relax and sleep;
  • positively affects infant hormones that control stress and provides relaxation and relief to some minor discomfort such as teething and constipation;
  • reduces crying;
  • stimulates various systems of the body (cardiovascular, respiratory, gastrointestinal).

Although more research is needed, some scientific studies currently also suggest that infant massage involving moderate pressure on the baby may also promote the growth of premature babies.

Sources: 

babycenter.com

mayoclinic.org

Read also: Yoga for children

TAG:
  • baby massage
  • infant massage
  • newborn development
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