Published: Wednesday 16 November 2022

Although baby massage is almost always a pleasurable experience for both baby and parents or carers, there are occasions when it is best not to massage baby. Here are some general guidelines as to when not to massage baby:

  • Don’t wake a baby for massage; ensure they are awake though to be able to give permission for the massage.

  • Never force movements or go against a baby's will. Stop if they aren’t enjoying it.

  • Do not massage a hungry or full baby. An ideal time is 30-40 mins after a feed. This can be tricky in a group of course. If a baby has just fed it is advisable to be gentle on the tummy area.

  • After immunisations, wait 24 hours. If baby seems well, you can massage, but avoid the injection site for the first week.

  • Don’t massage a baby if they are unwell – they usually won’t want the massage anyway.

  • Recently bruised or broken skin shouldn’t be massaged.

  • If a baby is having medical treatment or has any special needs, check with healthcare professionals about the massage before starting.

  • In general, watch and listen to the baby. She or he will tell you if they want you to stop. If in doubt, stop and check the baby is ok before continuing.

We cover this situation and many more in our baby massage instructor course. We have 'live' courses taking place twice yearly in London and Manchester as well as on Zoom. Alternatively, we also offer a super flexible and comprehensive distance learning option, enabling you to learn from the location of your choice at a time that suits you. Check out each of the options now.

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