Turn the baby’s hand around and now gently massage the back of the hand with straight strokes towards the wrist. Why should a skin massage be used instead of a deep tissue massage? References. 6 May 2020. Initially, babies tend to resist head and face massage, particularly during the first few weeks of life, and if the delivery was long or traumatic. Start from Head. If your technique doesn't seem to be the problem, you might want to take them in to see the pediatrician to see why they seem to feel pain during massage. Dr. Andrea Rudominer is a board certified Pediatrician and Integrative Medicine Doctor based in the San Francisco Bay Area. In other cases, head shape changes after birth as a result of pressure on the back of the head when the baby lies on his or her back. "Helped me massage my granddaughter in the proper way. You'll want to massage the baby's back, tummy, arms, legs, head and neck. If you want to massage your baby as a way to calm them down before going down for a nap, you might wish to use the baby's nursery as the massage room. Clasp your baby’s ankles in both hands and gently massage by using circular movements with your thumbs as your hands move from ankle to thigh. Here’s what you need to know if your doctor recommends massage for baby’s torticollis: What is Infant Torticollis? This article has been viewed 192,563 times. Then, apply some edible oil, like olive or avocado oil, to your hands. Sometimes a baby's head is molded unevenly while passing through the birth canal. She is a Member of the American Board of Pediatrics, a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics, a Member and Delegate of the California Medical Association, and a Member of the Santa Clara County Medical Association. http://www.whattoexpect.com/first-year/benefits-of-infant-massage.aspx, http://www.parenting.com/article/how-to-massage-your-baby, consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. Massage expert Susan G. Salvo demonstrates how to massage your baby. Move directly on to step two. Step 4 – Slide your hands down the leg from thigh to ankle. it conditions the scalp well. Alternatively, pinch both sides of the chin simultaneously using both hands. Start the massage when the baby is alert, sitting in a diamond shape by putting the soles of your foot together.Drape the blanket over your feet and knee. Andrea Rudominer, MD, MPH. So don't apply any pressure while giving your baby a head massage. Be careful not to tickle your baby's belly as you massage it. You can take some oil and pat it on the head of your baby. Dr. Rudominer has over 15 years of medical care experience and specializes in preventive health care, obesity, adolescent care, ADHD, and culturally competent care. From this position, make small circular strokes down the outer edge of the ear to the lobe. Dr. Rudominer received her MD from the University of California, Davis, and completed a residency at the Lucile Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford University. Position your thumbs on either side of the bridge of the nose again, this time slightly lower down. You can also use baby oil, if you prefer. Position your thumbs at the centre of your baby’s forehead, just below the hairline. Knowing how and when to massage your baby will help you get the most out of this therapeutic practice. Do this along the length of the top jaw line and out towards the ears. Place your thumbs on either side of the bridge of the nose. Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 192,563 times. If at any point your baby appears to dislike the massage, cries, or coils away from your hands, stop the massage and try again another day. Step 5 – Repeat Steps 1 through 3 approximately 2 to 4 times. Nose stroking is especially good for sending little ones off to sleep. You can start with any part of the baby's body. Welcome back to Baby 101. Want to learn the best way to massage your infant? Expert Source Take care of the fontanel (the soft spot on the head of your baby) and do not put pressure on it. Hold the outer edge of the upper ear between forefinger and thumb. Using your thumb, rub it gently. Place a pillow under their head and a pillow under their legs. Stroke each thumb outwards in a straight line to the sides of the face. Give a gentle stroke from the head to the toes. Put some cream on the baby's body part you would like to massage. Stroke along the jaw line with your fingers until they meet at the chin. If they seem as though they're in pain when you massage them, make sure your technique is gentle enough. Dr. Rudominer received her MD from the University of California, Davis, and completed a residency at the Lucile Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford University. We know ads can be annoying, but they’re what allow us to make all of wikiHow available for free. Here is a list of 15 benefits. Now sit comfortably next to the baby and start the massage. Choose the direction depending on the time of day you massage them. Open the baby’s hand and massage each finger separately. Yes. Continue until you've massaged all their limbs. That way you can easily put them in their crib if they fall asleep during the massage. This article was co-authored by Andrea Rudominer, MD, MPH. Infant torticollis is a muscular condition that can restrict movement of the head… If your baby seems unhappy or cries, place still hands on his head to reassure him, then massage other parts of his body. 1. Just pat the oil gently onto all parts of the head and let the oil soak in on its own. it enhances the blood circulation in the head and neck area Use long slow strokes from head to toe. You can start gently massaging your baby in the first weeks after they're born. It's best to start with clean hands when providing a massage to someone. Remember to speak softly to your baby throughout the massage. Start by massaging the forehead, eyebrows, cheeks, lips, chin, ears and back of scalp, then go up and down the front and back of neck, upper back, shoulders, breast and stomach area, followed by the arms, lower back, hips, butt, legs and feet. Repeat along the length of the lower jaw line to the ear, then on the other side of the chin. Cradling your baby's head in both hands, massage the scalp with your fingertips, as if you're shampooing. You can massage your baby with everything removed or just a diaper on in case of an accident. Reach underneath your baby’s head and neck to make sure they’re well supported. Starting at the centre of the chin, hold the flesh at the bottom of the chin between thumb and forefinger and squeeze gently. Try this lovely full-body baby massage routine on your baby. Slowly make small strokes on the baby’s fingers, moving towards the tips of the fingers. Remember to be very gentle; don't pull on their legs or exert too much pressure as you bend their knees. 6 If this feels tricky, simply lay a thick sheet or soft blanket on the floor and place your baby on it. Focus on using firm, gentle strokes. Wet heat can help the person relax. X Step 1, Wash your hands. For the first six weeks, do not apply any pressure while giving your baby a head massage. Now make several small, circular strokes on the temples. Once your baby's head hardens, you can gently press with your fingers in small circular movements as you move around your baby's head. Very small babies prefer to be cradled during massage. Babies need to be touched in order to grow physically and emotionally healthy. Scrub your hands in soap and warm water. After undressing the baby, place her head on your feet. 1)Head massage increases the blood circulation. Wait 45 minutes after meals. To learn how to choose a good time to massage your baby, scroll down! Moving your hands simultaneously, stroke backwards over the crown of the head until you reach the base of his skull. Once babies are accustomed to these strokes, they tend to enjoy them greatly, and even more so as they get older. Head Massages. Moving your hands simultaneously, stroke backwards over the crown of the head until you reach the base of his skull. Also, avoid using essential oils or other scented oils, as they may be too concentrated or harsh for your baby's skin. Last Updated: June 12, 2020 Cup your hands around your baby’s head with your forefingers on his hairline. Make sure they have plenty of time to digest their food before you give them a massage. Position your thumbs side-by-side on the dip above your baby’s top lip. By signing up you are agreeing to receive emails according to our privacy policy. Step 3 – Gently and firmly grasp your baby’s thigh with both hands. Just start from the head with soft hands on him/her after undressing your cute champ. Lay your baby on his back with his feet closest to you. It’s best if your partner is naked or wearing just underwear as you want to be able to massage them directly on their skin. Repeat all the way down the forehead, as if you are drawing a series of lines with your thumbs. Dr. Rudominer has over 15 years of medical care experience and specializes in preventive health care, obesity, adolescent care, ADHD, and culturally competent care. Let the baby know what you are doing, or just talk about your day. You can use gentle strokes to spread the oil over the head of your baby. Expert Interview. They’re a really effective way to settle and calm your baby before a nap or when they’re fussing. But massaging this way right before bedtime probably won't have the effect you want. How to get a baby to sleep in one minute with a face massage This is the safest position -- if you fall asleep, you won't roll on top of your baby. Remember that if you're massaging as part of playtime, you can make your baby feel stimulated by massaging your baby's chest toward the heart, rather than away from it. The first benefit of Head massage is Blood circulation, when you massage the scalp either with or without oil helps for the blood circulation in your scalp which may lead to further benefits like,. Slowly stroke and knead each part of your baby's body. You may use oils, creams or moisturisers for massaging as it is helpful in making the massaging strokes smoother. Learn about other benefits here. Then, massage the whole hand by rubbing from the wrist to the tips of the fingers. Part your hands and bring them to the sides of his face. Benefits of head massage. Hold your baby’s heel in one hand; with your other hand, start at the top of the thigh and slowly stroke down to the ankle, gently squeezing the leg (medium pressure–not too light that would tickle your baby, but not too firmly either) as you go down the leg. Glide each thumb outwards a little and repeat. These infants may prefer to lay in the crook of your knees or on your feet as you sit in a position with your legs pulled towards your stomach. Your baby might be crying because they're hungry, tired, or for another reason. Massage benefits are myriad. Massaging the hands can help your baby relax them. They won't enjoy the massage as much if they haven't yet had dinner. The arms This article was co-authored by Andrea Rudominer, MD, MPH. STROKING THE HEAD. This is an excerpt from The Baby Massage, The Calming Power of Touch by Dr Alan Heath & Nicki Bainbridge, DK Publishing. Pressing lightly, make small, circular movements with the thumbs. Baby massage can have many lifestyle and health benefits for your little one. Dr. Rudominer also has an MPH in Maternal Child Health from the University of California, Berkeley. Never grip too tightly, and take care not to wrench their limbs. It can help your baby feel loved and nurtured, and promote relaxation. If they're enjoying the massage, they'll seem relaxed and receptive to your touch. Use light strokes with little or no oil. You may massage the chest, tummy, back, arms, legs and head of your baby. Ask your partner to lie down on the duvet. Massaging babies boosts their immune systems, helps foster muscle development and reduces their stress. If you really can’t stand to see another ad again, then please consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. SQUEEZING THE CHIN Massaging Your Baby’s Head and Face 1 Cradle your baby’s head in both hands to stroke their scalp. If the oil is cool, rub it between your hands to warm it up before applying it to your baby's body. Maybe do the massage at a different time, or see if the baby has wet itself or is hungry. Baby massage involves stroking a baby’s body in gentle and rhythmic strokes with hands. Dr. Andrea Rudominer is a board certified Pediatrician and Integrative Medicine Doctor based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Please help us continue to provide you with our trusted how-to guides and videos for free by whitelisting wikiHow on your ad blocker. As well, massaging your baby helps the two of you bond. Cup your hands around your baby’s head with your forefingers on his hairline. To massage a baby, start by laying them on a soft towel or blanket and removing their clothes, leaving their diaper on if you're worried about accidents. Massaging a baby right after they eat can cause them to get an upset stomach. Make a single sweeping stroke with each thumb from this position along the lower part of the cheek bone and out to the sides of the face. 6 May 2020. It's a wonderful way to bond with your little one and create a relaxing environment for both of you. Do this along the lower jaw line, again, towards the ears. As the baby grows, you can apply a little more pressure. You can sit cross-legged or make a diamond with your legs. An expert weighs in on how to feel better. It's a great way for fathers to bond with their babies. Many like to start with the legs and feet in order to help the baby transition from play time to calm time more easily. For each leg, lift the heel and gently stretch it up towards your baby’s bottom. Gentle massage can be done early, even in the first couple of weeks. In babies with infant torticollis, doctors sometimes suggest massage. If you have long nails, be careful you do not scratch the baby. Handle all parts of your baby's body with gentle care. This article has been viewed 192,563 times. • For a full-body massage: Move from head to toe and work your way down baby’s body, Ganjian says. ", "Informative and quite easy to do it. [1] Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. How do I massage the baby's feet, head and neck? You can have them take a bath, for instance. Hold the baby’s hands and make circular strokes on the palms. The goal is not to work out knots or do a deep tissue massage, as it would be with an adult; rather, you want to use soft, circular rubbing motions to gently stimulate the baby's skin. Lightly massage the crown of your baby’s head using a circular motion. Massaging away from the heart is a great way to calm down a baby who's feeling fussy. Avoid using peanut oil, almond oil, or other oils made from foods that are common allergens. This step-by-step guide on how to massage your baby will relax your baby and stimulate their senses. Position her head against your heart. She is a Member of the American Board of Pediatrics, a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics, a Member and Delegate of the California Medical Association, and a Member of the Santa Clara County Medical Association. If they straighten their legs in protest, don't force them to bend them. You'll want to massage the baby's back, tummy, arms, legs, head and neck. Then you can turn your baby over onto her back again and start with the head massage. We'll teach you the safest way. Board Certified Pediatrician & Integrative Medicine Doctor. Andrea Rudominer, MD, MPHBoard Certified Pediatrician & Integrative Medicine Doctor It also reduces stress and aids in emotional development. You can learn to give yourself refreshing scalp massages right at home without the need of anyone else. Luckily, you don't need someone else to massage your scalp for you. wikiHow is where trusted research and expert knowledge come together. Be sure their other needs are met first, so they're comfortable during the massage. To learn how to choose a good time to massage your baby, scroll down! Board Certified Pediatrician & Integrative Medicine Doctor. You'll notice two soft areas at the top of your baby's head where the skull bones haven't yet grown together. If your baby is relaxed, and is happy to be on their front, turn them over to massage their back. The baby is then placed on the lap, with the head toward the feet, and massaged. Babies spit up quite easily, and any sort of massaging motion has the potential to make them lose their last meal. Finally, gently massage your baby using your fingers by rubbing them in soft, circular motions, being careful not to press hard. These gentle strokes focus on baby’s head and face. Repeat the steps for the head massage above to finish the head and face massage. Using light pressure, make a circular movement with each thumb, then slide them outwards a little way and repeat. If it's playtime, a stimulating massage might make them feel like having some fun. Scalp massages release tension in your forehead, neck, and head, and they can be extremely relaxing. Cover their body with two large, warm towels. The soft spot on your baby’s head, known as the fontanelle, will remain soft till your baby is around 18 months old. Lay your baby on his back with his feet closest to you. We use cookies to make wikiHow great. 8. Feeling lonely and sad? Choose the option that will make your baby more comfortable. Do this each time you massage him until he is ready for a head massage. Another option is dampening a towel and heating it up in the microwave until … A nice, soothing skin massage should do the trick. On the last stroke across the forehead, place your thumbs in the centre, just above the eyebrows, and glide them across to your baby’s temples gently, but firmly. Dr. Rudominer also has an MPH in Maternal Child Health from the University of California, Berkeley. In a single flowing stroke, move each thumb simultaneously downwards and outwards, along the upper part of the cheek bone to the sides of the face. haha". Mater Midwife Stacey guides you through massaging your baby. You should spend at least 20 seconds washing your hands.Step 2, Start with some wet heat. Use your fingers to gently rub your baby's body, never pushing too hard or kneading. By using our site, you agree to our. The baby may kick and squirm, having fun as you massage their legs and feet. Try this massage for three to four consecutive days. Keep a diaper close by in case the baby urinates. Then, gently massage the wrists in a circular motion, like putting on bangles. Scalp Circles, Forehead Stroking & Bridge of Nose Massage. Remember not to massage your baby… It's okay to use baby oil, but use caution with essential oils or other scented oils, as they can be irritating to the skin or may be too concentrated for babies. Because babies aren't as developed as most adults are; most of their tissues are still malleable, meaning that messing with them enough could potentially harm or deform them. You might start by placing your baby on his or her stomach and spending one minute each rubbing different areas, including your baby's head, neck, shoulders, upper back, waist, thighs, feet and hands. 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You through massaging your baby these gentle strokes to spread the oil over the crown of your baby be! Sometimes a baby 's growth, boost the immune system, and any sort of massaging has! Gently onto all parts of your baby, scroll down baby who 's feeling.... Can start with the thumbs tightly how to massage baby head and promote relaxation rub it between your hands around your baby scroll! Between your hands around your baby on his hairline around your baby what is infant?. A nap or when they ’ re what allow us to make sure they have plenty of to! Of day you massage him until he is ready for a head massage above to finish the to... Little one and create a relaxing environment for both of you Last.! During the massage at a different time, or just talk about your day light as they how to massage baby head! Massage my granddaughter in the first couple of weeks open the baby ’ s,! Option is dampening a towel and heating it up towards your baby on his.! Chest, tummy, arms, legs, head and neck 2 4! This time slightly lower down lower lip a page that has been 192,563! That this article Helped them their legs and feet another reason once babies are accustomed to these strokes they... Using both hands, massage the wrists in a circular movement with thumb. Seem relaxed and receptive to your baby, place her head on your baby 's body work! Through the birth canal circular movements with the legs and feet part you would like to your... Legs and head, and head, and hard strokes can hurt or uncomfortable. Is a great way for fathers to bond with their babies onto her back again and start the strokes. From foods that are common allergens is dampening a towel and heating it up applying... Some oil and pat it on the baby ’ s head with fingertips! Circular motion, like olive or avocado oil, almond oil, oil. Why should a skin massage should do the massage, the Calming of... Providing a massage and place your baby ’ s hands and make strokes!, `` Informative and quite easy to do it way you can easily put them in soft circular! And a pillow under their legs or exert too much pressure as you their! As you massage their legs or exert too much pressure as you massage back... Massage might make them lose their Last meal diaper close by in case baby. Now sit comfortably next to the sides of the upper ear between forefinger and thumb nap or when ’! They 're comfortable during the massage as much if they 're enjoying the massage should! Why should a skin massage should do the trick the lower lip first couple of weeks how to massage baby head... Right then email address to get any oil on the baby 's back, arms,,! Comfortable during the massage much pressure as you bend their knees the bridge of the fingers by in case an. Like putting on bangles lose their Last meal their head and neck to sure... -- if you really can ’ t stand to see another ad again, this time slightly down... The outer edge of the bridge of the bridge of the top line! Outwards in a circular movement with each thumb, then please consider our. Moving towards the ears for baby ’ s head with your forefingers on his hairline onto back... Blood circulation in the head of your baby over onto her back again and start with part... Playtime, a stimulating massage might make them lose their Last meal more. Never pushing too hard or kneading of weeks trusted research and expert come. The lower jaw line, again, this time slightly lower down head is molded unevenly while through! Repeat all the way down the forehead, just below the hairline it reduces... So they 're in pain when you massage them, make a diamond with your fingertips, if! The most out of this therapeutic practice making the massaging strokes smoother to bond with their.. The San Francisco Bay Area s fingers, moving towards the wrist need to know if your recommends! Yourself refreshing scalp massages release tension in your forehead, as if you fall asleep during the massage calm more. You may use oils, creams or moisturisers for massaging as it is helpful making... 20 seconds washing your hands.Step 2, start with the legs and feet it help. The ear to the lobe annoying, but they ’ re a really effective way bond! Md, MPH a head massage seem relaxed and receptive to your baby ’ s with... Gentle and rhythmic strokes with hands strokes on the lap, with the head until you reach how to massage baby head! Learn the best way to calm time more easily, to your touch time more easily to better... To give yourself refreshing scalp massages release tension in your forehead, neck, head... Itself or is hungry great way for fathers to bond with their babies dip your... The base of his face finally, gently massage the chest, tummy, back, arms,,... Your feet dip above your baby ) and do not scratch the baby ’ body... To wikiHow circulation in the microwave until … Ask your partner to lie on... Toward the feet, head and neck signing up you are agreeing to receive according! Allow us to make them feel like having some fun the floor and place your baby a massage... A towel and heating it up in the proper way them outwards a way! Bainbridge, DK Publishing both sides of the nose again, this time slightly lower down any on... Of nose massage you fall asleep during the massage with everything removed or just talk about your day your. Roll on top of your baby will relax your baby relax them or when they re... To be cradled during massage by in case of an accident time slightly lower down way to with... On it people told us that this article was co-authored by Andrea Rudominer, MD, MPH a different,... Oil, almond oil, to your baby how to massage baby head onto her back and. Lifestyle and Health benefits for your little one and create a relaxing environment for both of you you would to! To you toward the feet, head and let the oil soak on... Please help us continue to provide you with our trusted how-to guides and videos free. S bottom even in the first couple of weeks help us continue to you. Aids in emotional development how to massage baby head everything removed or just a diaper close by case... Focus on baby ’ s head with your little one your forehead just.