How to Give a Facial Massage to Your Baby?

Help your baby relax through facial massage. Here, we'll tell you how to do it and some precautions you should consider.
How to Give a Facial Massage to Your Baby?

Last update: 03 December, 2021

Have you ever had a facial massage? It’s as relaxing for adults as it is for children and it’s a simple technique that can be performed at any age. So, if you want to spend a tender moment with your baby and help them relax, be sure to give it a try.

Babies are constantly adapting to the world around them and this can produce moments of tension or discomfort. Sometimes, they also feel tired from so many stimuli and find it difficult to relax to fall asleep. With this in mind, facial massage can help them calm down and rest better.

Facial massage for your baby, step by step

Before starting, you need to prepare the space so that you and your baby are comfortable during the massage.

You should keep the room at a warm temperature with dim lighting and some soft sounds, which can come from functional music, for example. Then, place your little one on the bed, on your lap, or on a padded surface above the table.

Sanitize your hands well and apply a baby-safe cream or oil as a gliding medium. Next, we’ll detail how to perform the facial massage.

1. Start with smooth glides

Before putting your hands on your baby, rub them together to produce heat and distribute the chosen product better. Your thumbs will be adequate for performing the massage, although you can use the tips of your index and middle fingers if it’s more comfortable.

With gentle glides, begin to spread the oil or cream over your baby’s face, from the center of the forehead outwards. Then, work your way down their temples and cheeks in circular motions.

2. Go over each section of their face

Once the cream or oil is distributed, begin to massage each part of their face, this time in greater detail. Stop at their nose and then their forehead.

With your fingertips, apply some slight outward pressure to stimulate blood circulation. Imagine a central midline on the forehead, and from there, massage in the direction of your baby’s ears.

After a few repetitions, continue the massages toward the cheeks and around the lips. Each sequence can be repeated 4 to 5 times.

3. Release facial tensions

Place the palms of both hands on the bottom of your baby’s cheeks and make a symmetrical motion, towards the crown, while trying to gently drag their skin. This type of movement helps you release muscle tension more easily.

You can repeat the upward movement several times.

4. Apply circular movements

Circular movements favor blood flow in the area.

With your thumbs or the tips of your index and middle fingers, draw circles on the forehead and cheeks. From the cheeks, you can continue this movement towards the ears and go over the jaw or stop at it and relieve those muscles.

5. Finish with gentle strokes

As in the beginning, gently slide both hands over the entire surface of your baby’s face, without touching the eyes or mouth. Then, apply slow, shallow movements to further reduce tensions and bring an end to the session.

5 benefits of giving your baby a facial massage

Infant massage is a tool that’s gaining more and more notoriety, due to its great and immediate benefits. More and more parents are being instructed to carry out this type of practice.

Next, we’ll tell you all the advantages of applying a facial massage to your baby:

  1. Improving non-verbal communication between you and your baby: Before starting to speak, babies communicate through crying and body language. So, this massage helps them communicate through their eyes and caresses.
  2. Strengthening the bond of attachment between the two: facial massage creates a pleasant moment for both of you and helps you to connect even more.
  3. Helping your baby to relax: through the release of hormones, the face and the rest of the body relax, which also improves the quality of rest.
  4. Promoting the development of their body awareness: facial massage helps your baby to recognize the limit and the shape of their own body.
  5. Stimulating their nervous system: the simple act of placing a hand on your baby’s body is already a stimulus. Therefore, massage is a quality stimulus from start to finish.

Some precautions to keep in mind

Giving a facial massage to your baby can be easy to learn, as it’s a simple technique that doesn’t require a lot of knowledge. However, it’s important to take certain precautions so that it’s always safe for your baby :

  • Wait to perform the massage if your child’s uncomfortable: If your little one is irritable, hungry, or very sleepy, you must first accompany them so they can calm down. Then, when they’re more receptive, apply the facial massage.
  • Be careful with the pressure exerted by your fingers: It’s important to keep your hands relaxed to apply the massage correctly. This should be gentle enough so as not to hurt, but not so light that it doesn’t work.
  • Avoid the areas of the eyes: You can work the eye contour from the eyebrows, temples, and the edges of the nose, but you should not press the eyelids or the eyes directly.
  • Don’t press on the skull: While applying the massage on the face, be careful not to apply strong pressure on the skull with the rest of your fingers. Remember that these bones are still very flexible.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

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  • MONTOYA, ELENA BERBEL, and REMEDIOS RICO FERRER. “BENEFICIOS DEL MASAJE INFANTIL EN EL DESARROLLO DEL NEONATO.” Avances en la formación y aplicaciones de la actividad física y el deporte inclusivo (2018): 60.
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  • Carrera Rodriguez, Coral. Eficacia de un protocolo de masaje y cinesiterapia aplicado por los padres en recién nacidos prematuros= Efficacy of a massage protocol and kinesitherapy applied by parents in preterm births.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.