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Infant Massage

Topic Overview

Many caregivers use infant massage to relax and promote the emotional bond with their baby. It can help relax your baby, prevent crying, and soothe and comfort your crying baby. Many hospitals and child care centres provide classes on infant massage.

Massage methods vary, but general recommendations stress finding the appropriate setting and using appropriate techniques.

  • Find a time when you are relaxed and won't be interrupted. Be sure the baby is neither full nor hungry.
  • Find a comfortable location and position. The room should be warm. Lay the baby on his or her back on a towel on a bed, the floor, or your lap.
  • Some parents use a warm (not hot) natural oil such as vegetable or olive oil. Slowly rub a little over the baby's body. Move your palms in clockwise, rhythmic circles on the baby's abdomen. Use only light pressure.
  • Be sensitive to your baby. A newborn may enjoy only 2 to 5 minutes of massage.
  • Do not massage a sick or feverish child.

Related Information

Credits

Current as ofDecember 12, 2018

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: John Pope, MD, MPH - Pediatrics
Thomas M. Bailey, MD, CCFP - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Susan C. Kim, MD - Pediatrics

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