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Checklist For Safe Baby Massage

Updated: Dec 26, 2020

Baby massage is a very safe method of care but check the list below before you start. If unsure seek advice from your midwife, health visitor, doctor or a qualified baby massage instructor.

Is your baby well?

If your baby is poorly, particularly if he/she has a high temperature, your baby’s body is working hard and your baby needs to rest. Seek professional advice if your baby is unwell. Gentle stroking and soothing movements can be calming and relaxing for your baby but do not perform a full massage routine.

Has your baby had a recent immunisation?

Avoid baby massage for 48 hours after the immunisation in case your baby develops a temperature. Again the stroking, soothing movements can be calming and relaxing. If your baby appears well after 48 hours, you can massage but be very gentle over the injection site for about a week.

Has your baby got a rash/skin problem?

Babies (especially when little) have sensitive skin and are prone to slight rashes, spots and dry skin patches. If you are at all concerned about the condition of your baby’s skin, consult with your GP, midwife or health visitor before using a massage medium. Skin infections are not common but need ruling out. If your baby has a skin infection it is important not to massage until fully treated, to prevent spreading the condition. If your baby has a skin condition (e.g. eczema) and you are prescribed a cream or lotion, use this as your massage medium with the exception of steroid creams. Your health professional will advise you on the use of steroid creams.

You know your baby best, but it is advisable…

Not to wake your baby for a massage. Not to massage your baby against his/her will. Not to force any movements. To stop if your baby becomes upset. Settle him/her and return to the massage if/when your baby is ready and happy. To wait for about an hour after a feed to allow for digestion. (A stimulating massage just after a feed can make your baby vomit.)

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