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AMA session highlights on infant massage routine for new mums

Infant Massage: Significance, Tips and Benefits

5 minute read, Written By: Momly

Strengthening Connections between Parent-Child

Infant Massage is a touch therapy for babies. Also known as massage therapy, it is crucial form of bonding activity in the early childhood that envelops plethora of benefits in its roof for growing babies. Infant Massage is carried out to improve loving touch and create long-lasting bond/connections between parents and their babies.

The Healing Touch of Infant Massage

Touch is the first sense that is developed in babies. It is also how parents express love for their babies. Babies find comfort through touch and a sense of calm pervades in them. However, it is very important that infant massage should not be rushed but it should be practiced on a case to case basis. In other words, it is best to speak to your healthcare provider before starting a massage routine for your babies.

When should one start infant massage?

Three weeks is ideal to wait before introducing infant massage to babies. Babies who have been given massage after 3 weeks are much calmer, less fussier and sleep better than the ones whose massage schedule is started way early. The prime reason to wait till 3 weeks is the cord stump falls off by that time and the belly area of babies is healed.


What can I do in this 3 weeks Period: Tips to Prep your Babies for Massage Routine

Week 0 – 2

Before starting the massage, few things could be exercised to make them prepare for the body massage.

  • Lot of skin to skin contact by both mothers and fathers

  • Holding, cuddling, swaddling, cradling and rocking

  • Recommended massage strokes before infant massage could be back rub, head rub, and belly rub.

Ideal duration for massage for infants

Start slowly. Schedule Infant massage for 5 to 15 minutes initially. Increase the duration in gradual phases. For 6 to 12 months, massage duration can go up to 30 minutes. 

Massage Oils: Choose Right

  • Unscented oils – Scented oils can come in the way between mothers/fathers fragrance and babies so it would be counter-productive for improving connection.

  • Vegetable based oils – Since babies do lot of hand to mouth movements in the initial weeks/months, better to avoid unnatural oils.

  • Olive oil or other flavoured oils can be avoided because of the viscocity, it would need *more washing rituals to completely get rid off the oils.

  • Always do a patch test before starting off with any massage oils.

  • Pour oil in small quantities and do not pour the unused oil of katori back to the container.

Tweak your Massage settings -

  • Warm and quiet room free of any distractions – Babies get distracted with sounds and wouldn’t cooperate. Too much of auditory stimulus can make babies cranky and irritable.

  • Floor is the safest place for massage

  • Light music or calming music can be introduced in the massage routine

Benefits of Massage in babies -

  • Helps in toning muscles

  • Helps with weight gain

  • Improves sleep patterns

  • Ease aches/discomforts

Massage Strokes – Pressure, Movement and other handy tips

  • Gentle and rhythmic strokes

  • Deeper slow strokes

  • Should not be very light and ticklish

Don’ts of Massage -

  • Never wake up a sleeping baby for massage

  • Avoid massage when babies are too full or hungry. Minimum gap between feeds and massage should be 30 – 45 mins.

  • Don’t massage when babies are unwell, have wounds/rashes

  • Bowlegs will resolve on their own. Massage won’t straighten the legs so firm strokes should be avoided.

  • Milk on babies’ nipples should not be squeezed in the name of massage to squirt out the milk. It will resolve on their own in time.

  • No need of massage around the genital area and soft spots on their head etc

  • Don’t force a massage in older babies if they don’t’ want it. Understand baby’s cues and respect them.


Massage is a traditional practice that is followed across cultures. It fosters a climate of connection and positivity in babies, and helps in generating love and warmth in parents. Mothers who are struggling with PPD (Postpartum Depression) when started massaging their babies saw a steady increase in their mood and decline in emotional outbursts.

Book a session

Are you a new mom who is planning to introduce massage in your baby’s routine? Do you wish to know more about infant massage and know the right strokes from expert? Book a session with our expert and gain invaluable insights on this postpartum practice.

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