This article is for general education.

Experts recommend starting massage when the baby is one month old. 

If there are indications, therapeutic or rehabilitation massage can be prescribed by a doctor. These may be developmental disorders or serious illnesses. The more complex the disease, the more carefully the massage technique is selected. Physiotherapists, masseurs and rehabilitation therapists work with these children.

Preventive massage. This massage can be done on your own, but under the guidance of a pediatrician and with clear instructions for mom or dad. 

Before the session, make sure that all conditions are taken into account. 

• Positioning. You can sit on the changing table, bed or on the floor. Most importantly, choose a quiet, warm, and well-ventilated area. The room temperature should be 22-24°C.

• Time. For the first session, 6-8 minutes are enough. It’s important to choose a time when you and your child aren’t distracted and take your time with the massage. Experts recommend doing this in the evening, after taking a bath. This is because gentle strokes can help your baby calm down and fall asleep.

• Your child is ready. Your child should be alert and in a good mood. If your child is in a bad mood – acting up, crying or hungry – you may do the massage later.

• Parents. Remove all jewelry from your fingers, wash and dry your hands thoroughly. Hands should be warm so that the child feels comfortable. So rub them together to warm up.

Infant massage is somewhat limited. You can massage the whole body, but newborns can only be massaged with strokes. They should be performed gently and at a slow pace, and the passive movements should be large enough to complement the child’s natural activity. 

Light stroking along the massage line, without tension. You can talk to your child during the session. Remember to use a calm voice and don’t get too emotional during the massage.

European pediatricians recommend oil massage for children under one year old. 

This is a set of exercises for kids. 

It’s recommended to massage in this order. 

• Apply a small amount of baby oil to the palm of your hand. Remember that you can apply it only on dry skin of the baby. 

• Start massaging the baby’s face and neck with your fingertips. Move your fingers from ears to eyebrows, nose, and lips as if you were painting a picture. 

• Move to the baby’s tummy. Strike in a clockwise direction, avoiding the right hypochondrium, where the liver is located.

• After the abdomen, massage the chest with your thumbs, but be careful not to press on the chest. Movement from the center to the sides. 

• Start with the arms and gradually massage up to the shoulders. Don’t forget your palms. Open them and make a few circular motions with your thumbs. Then stroke each finger and massage the thumb knots. 

• Massage from the sole of the foot upwards, i.e. from sole to thigh. Exceptional is the foot massage, in which the tarsus, ankle and sole of the foot are gently stroked.

• Let your toes “warm up” a little. After massaging each toe, lightly press on the sole under the toes. In response, babies squeeze their toes. Run along the outside of the foot, from the little toe to the heel. 

• Complete the back massage. When the child is lying on his stomach, massage from the neck to the hips, and then back.

When you’re done, put on warm underwear and keep your baby still. If oil is used, be sure to remove any remaining oil from the skin before putting on the diaper. 

Massage for newborns is an integral part of getting enough exercise and has many positive benefits. 

Taking care of you and your baby!

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