Developmental Baby Massage

baby gentle massage

Touch is a newborn baby’s first language. Your touch provides their introduction to the world and gives an immediate and effective way for you to bond with your baby. Developmental massage can be practised at any stage in these first 1001 days and beyond.

The use of baby massage to provide relief for commonly seen ailments in babies is well-recognised and is used from day 1 to release birth trauma and help baby relax into the world.

The areas we focus on in the very early days, are most commonly the tummy and the 'phrenic nerve'. The tummy is the home of the 'enteric nervous system' - often called the 'baby brain'. Developmental baby massage practitioners always say, "if you can relax the belly, you will relax the baby". The phrenic nerve sits right at the top of baby’s spine and is vital to their physical and emotional well-being. It feeds directly into the diaphragm, therefore controlling baby’s ability to take deep abdominal breaths, feeds the immune system, releases the tummy, and opens the chest.

Tummy massage also provides effective relief for colic, trapped wind and other gastro issues. It also helps them enjoy tummy time and sets them up to hit their motor-milestones safely and healthily.

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As you massage your baby, they also release 'oxytocin', the love hormone, which will deepen the connection and encourage secure bonding and attachment for both you and baby.

Top Tips for Baby Massage:

Always use warm, open palms to massage.

When massaging the tummy – never push in, never squeeze, and always work clockwise!

Avoid hip massage for the first 6 weeks of baby’s life as they aren’t properly developed yet.

Put your phone away & keep the eye contact – this is their time with you!

Work from the feet upwards as this is less intrusive to start with.

Start them early to prevent colic, trapped wind and encourage tummy time.


Touch is your baby's first language. Skin to skin is so important, find out more from The Honest Midwife.

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