How to Give Your Baby a Massage

There’s a myriad of benefits to baby massage. Let’s look at what they are and how to massage your pēpi.


  • Encourages bonding between you and your pēpi.
  • Your partner can practise baby massage as well.
  • Supports vital interaction between you and your baby, including eye contact, touch, and verbal communication.
  • Helps your baby relax, becoming calmer and happier.
  • When used before bedtime can promote deeper, most restful sleep and make your baby easier to settle.
  • Releases ‘feel good’ hormones in your baby, such as endorphins, which help reduce stress.
  • Assists your baby’s brain development.

There’s no right or wrong way to give your pēpi a massage. Be gentle, see what they enjoy, and look for their cues to stop when you think they’ve had enough.

  • Set the mood. One of the main reasons parents love to give their baby a massage – and their little one likes to receive it – is for relaxation. Dim the lights, put down your phone, and make sure the room is nice and warm to create a peaceful environment.
  • Place your baby on a safe yet comfortable surface. It can be on your bed, their change table, or the floor. Put a towel down so they aren’t laying on the cold… and in case of any accidents.
  • You can get them undressed and remove their nappy; some fresh air is good for your baby’s bottom. Place some baby oil or lotion on your fingers, talk to your baby about what you’re doing and make eye contact with them. You may also like to sing a lullaby to them while you give them a massage.
  • Use soft, downward strokes rather than rubbing, starting at the arms, working their hands and fingers as well. Then move onto the legs and feet. Gently roll each toe between your thumb and index finger.
  • For their tummy, make circular strokes in a clockwise direction as this is the same way their digestive system moves.
  • You can also massage their back by either placing them down on their tummy, if they’re happy to do so, or holding them upright on your chest and stroking from their neck down to their bottom.