Baby massage: Recommendations and benefits

Massage is believed to be pleasant and relaxing but also beneficial for the body. They are not only useful to adults but for children also. Baby massage can help ease baby cramps during their first months of life.


When babies are born, their immune system and organs are not fully developed – more precisely, their intestines do not have all the enzymes developed that can help them with food digestion. Babies spend 9 months inside the womb getting all nutrition through umbilical cord. After baby is born and starts to feed in a different way (breastfeeding or bottle-sucking ) it causes stress to their little body and underdeveloped intestines. Through breastfeeding and bottle feeding babies swallow a lot of air and as a consequence stomach cramps begin to develop.

When a baby is crying, it is difficult to calm him/her down, doctors and pharmacists would recommend various drops and remedies to soothe cramps. In certain cases they might help, in others they might not. Perhaps you could try with massage. Massaging your baby’s tummy can help the air accumulated in the intestines to get out and relieve pain. Baby massage is also beneficial for improving blood circulation, strengthening immunity, improving baby sleep as well as for the growth and development of a child.


Mother’s touch is powerful. Mothers and babies are connected from conception to the end of life. When a mother touches a baby, baby feels secure and loved. In this way they strengthen their relationship. When you give massage, do it gently with slow movements and light pressures of the palms and fingertips. While you massage your baby, look and talk to her, it is important for the babies to feel comfortable and relaxed.


The room where you give massage to your baby needs to be warm, pleasant and quiet. If you wear jewelry on your hands, please take it off. You can use baby massage oil, rub some oil between palms of your hands to warm it up. Repeat every movement 2-3 times. The duration of the massage will entirely depend on the patience of your baby.

It takes some time for both, baby and mum to adjust to a massage so take it step by step. Initially massages will last for a few minutes, but in time they will last longer.



If your baby has cramps, you can massage her when you notice that she is in pain or as a prevention. Rub some oil between palms of your hands to warm it up, using very mild pressure, make strokes from baby chest to the lower abdomen. Repeat this movement several times and then bend your baby’s legs and gently push them towards his/her tummy. Then, make circular movements clockwise, with both hands. Massage always needs to feel pleasant.  Repeat  circular movements several times, the same as bending of the leg.

* Massage movements for babies who have cramps were taken from the IAIM International Association of Infant Massage

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