You can begin massaging as soon as you like after baby’s birth, but don’t massage around the navel area until the umbilical cord stump has fallen off – normally four to seven days after birth.
How Long Should A Massage Take?
About 20-30 minutes. A baby is not very big so half an hour will be enough to completely massage baby.
If possible, include a massage in baby’s daily routine. If this is not possible, even three times each week will be beneficial.
The Oils To Use
Oil will help your hands move gently over baby’s body without causing friction.
Use natural oils such as extra virgin olive oil, almond oil or grape-seed oil as these are easily absorped by the skin. The use of essential oils (aromatherapy oils) is not recommended unless directed by a trained aromatherapist.
Babies are fragile! As a guide, close your eyes and rub your eyelid. This is the maximum pressure you should use when massaging baby.
- Baby will become very slippery when massaged, so be very careful when picking her up afterwards. It will be rather like picking up a piece of wet soap!
- Do not massage baby if she has a temperature.
- If you suspect baby has a nut allergy, use an oil that is free from nut products.
There are a number of books and videos that show you how to massage baby, or some clinics have classes in baby massage. Our site also has a step by step description of how to massage. It is not possible to show this here as it involves images.
About The Author
Tony and Katy Luck run a site with advice about babies. Visit their site at http://www.baby-talk.co.uk/baby-massage.htm for additional information on how to massage your baby.