Baby Massage : A Tender Touch

Knead to Know

Time it right. Your baby should be in a quiet yet alert state. Try after bathtime.

Get comfy. Sit on the floor in a warm room with few distractions and place your baby on a blanket.

Start low, finish high. Babies are used to having their legs touched during diaper changes, so begin there and work your way up.

Wait for his cue. Make your baby part of the process by asking if he's ready for a massage. He can't answer, of course, but an infant who's looking at you, smiling, or reaching out is ready to interact, says Diana Moore, founder of the International Loving Touch Foundation, which holds certified massage-training classes.

Use lubrication. A study published in Infant Behavior and Development showed that using oil rather than your bare hands helps your child enjoy the massage more. "Choose a natural, edible oil like almond, sunflower, or coconut, and avoid anything scented," says Linda Storm, executive director of Infant Massage USA, which provides instruction and training for educators and parents.



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