Touch is an important way to communicate with your baby. Infants need touch to be healthy, to grow and develop. Infant massage is a special way of touching your baby that has many benefits.
It is best to start with the legs and feet using slow, long, gentle strokes. It is recommended that you then move to the chest, starting a long stroke at the stomach that moves up to the shoulders. Then, continue the long slow strokes down the arms. End with massaging the baby's back, slowly moving from the bottom up to the shoulders. Pay attention to what your baby likes the most. Remember this if for them! Stop massaging if the baby cries and try again at another time.
Infant massage is an activity that comes naturally to many parents. However, there may be special situations. For example, babies who have a seizure disorder or motor impairments may not respond well to infant massage. If you have trouble, there are massage therapist who specialize in infant massage. There are also classes that parents can attend to learn how to massage their babies. These are often offered at community centers, pediatrician's offices, hospitals, and massage centers.