Baby massage can be used from the very first days to help the baby relax and to strengthen the bond with the parents. There are different techniques and philosophies, but they all aim to the baby’s wellbeing and to communicate with the mother and father
I’ll show you here the method we used with Chiara since she was born, thanks to the precious teachings of Isabelle, a wonderful obstetrician. Find an oil which is specific for baby massage, or some sweet almond oil to which you can add a few drops of lavender oil. Warm it in your hands before massaging.
With the baby lying on her tummy, stroke her back with the palm of her hand form the top down.
Still from the top down, massage both sides of the spine with two fingers. Repeat three times.
From top to bottom, massage with your thumb along the left shoulder blade (3 times).
With the palm of your hand massage from the left shoulder dwon to the right hip, and the opposite. Repeat 3 times per side (right shoulder left hip, right hip left shoulder, tracing an X sign).
Place both your hands at the base of her neck and massage pushing gently outwards then inwards. Continue the same movement down along the spine to the hips, then up and down again.
Turn the baby belly up, start with her left foot (on your right). Trace a circle on her heel. Repeat three times, then once anti clockwise. For the right foot, three times anti clockwise, once clockwise.
According to the midwife who taught me this technique, the circular movements outwards help the baby to open up towards the world. The last one is like a reassuring look towards her intrauterine life.
Gently squeeze her toes one by one, from the inside outwards.
With thumb and index, trace circles around her ankles. Repeat 3 times.
The same way trace (3 times) circles around her knee.
Stroke her leg, one hand after the other, from her groin to her foot. Repeat 3 times, then squeeze her leg 3 times, turning your hand as you move towards her foot.
Repeat on the other side.
Now move on to her left hand. With your thumb massage the palm of her left hand with circular movements (clockwise to the left, anti- clockwise to the right).
Stroke her fingers one by one, starting from her thumb to her pinky.
Trace the circles around her elbow.
… and around her shoulder.
With both hands stroke her arm, from her shoulders to her hands. Repeat 3 times, then squeeze gently 3 times, like for the legs.
Gently massage her tummy 5-6 times, even more if she enjoys it.
Starting from her ears, stroke the sides of her neck until you get to her shoulders. Repeat 3 times.
Massage her forehead 3 times, from the base of her nose towards her fontanelle.
With both hands, starting from her nose, trace some “rays” upwards, then outwards, along her eyebrows.
Delicately stroke her eyelids, pressing downwards.
Massage her temples, tracing little 8 signs.
Starting from the base of her nose, press gently with your thumbs towards her eyes to her temples.
Left to right, tap gently the area between her nose and upper lip, as if to draw little “moustaches”.
Starting from her chin, massage with both hands towards her ears.
Massage her lobes…
The massage is over, now it’s time for cuddles. As your baby is probably hungry, too, the best way to end this massage will be the breast or a warm bottle.