Baby Massage For Sleep – How Can I Massage My Baby To Sleep Better? 

There is always a reason for parent to want their baby have a better sleep always, and this is why a lot of moms ask this question “how can I massage my baby to sleep better”, and this in this article we are going to cover all you need to know about baby massage for sleep.

If you have ever booked a massage appointment and you had a thorough job done on you, the common reaction is to keep going back for more. Now, imagine what this does for babies and their reaction to baby massage. It’s not a hard guess, your baby gets to sleep well and you also get the alone time you need.

Babies love massages just like adults. The way it gets them to sleep better is all the proof that is needed. Massages promote relaxation and better sleep in babies. We can chose to describe this as the magic effect of massage.

To help your baby get better sleep, this article will be looking at the effects of massaging a baby, some massage approaches, benefits and things to do to get your baby to sleep.


How Can I Massage My Baby To Sleep Better?

Massages when done properly help to  calm a baby’s nervous system, reduce bodily discomfort and improve parent-child bond. Here are some tips on how you can massage your baby to sleep better:

Create a calm environment

Create a quiet and cozy space where your baby can relax without disturbances. Ensure the room is dimly lit and the temperature is perfect. You can also play some music to add to the ambience.

Apply gentle strokes

Start with soft, rhythmic strokes across your baby’s body. Open up your palms or use your fingertips to maintain soft pressure throughout the body. You can start from the head to the toes and vice-versa, so long as you cover each body part.

Pick the right oil

The oil used in massage affects the effectiveness of the massage experience. Go for oils like coconut oil, almond, or grapeseed oil. Place a little quantity in your hands then apply it to your baby’s skin and massage.

Be attentive to cues

The best kind of baby massage is one that resonates with your baby’s body language. Pay attention to your baby’s reaction during every step. Stop whatever makes them uncomfortable and adjust the strokes to align with what they like. There’s no one-size-fit all approach to massage for babies so find out what suits your baby’s needs and preferences.

Focus on the feet

The feet give a soothing effect during massage. Gentle strokes around each toe using your thumbs can be relaxing for babies. Apply the same pressure across the sole of the foot.

Add gentle movements

Gently moving the legs and body can complement the pressure from massaging. Try bending the legs, moving the arms and rocking the body. These movements can help release tension and induce a sense of calm.

Maintain eye contact and talk softly

In addition to all the above, try to maintain eye contacts throughout the massage. Talking or humming in a cool voice can help your baby feel safe and fall asleep quickly.

Stick to a routine

Working with a routine for massages can condition your baby’s body to accept certain hours as sleep time. Close to the set period, you may find your baby yawning or winding down in preparation for sleep.

Read Also: Best Sleeping Position for Colic Baby


Does Massaging a Baby Help Them Sleep?

As a parent, the quality of sleep you get is dependent upon the quality of sleep your baby gets. This leaves many parents seeking ways in which they can get their babies to sleep. Baby massage stands out among several methods.

Based on results gotten, it is believed that massaging a baby can help them relax and improve their sleep patterns. Although, there is very little scientific evidence to back this up as research is still ongoing.

The process of gently stroking the baby’s body with relaxing natural oils has become associated with the release of calming hormones like endorphins and oxytocin.

A couple of studies have pointed out links between baby massage and improved sleep. In a study published in the Journal of Maternal and Child Health, infants between the ages of three and six months that get massages regularly experienced better sleep and motor development compared to those who did not receive any.

Massages are also deemed helpful in the management of discomforts like colic, teething pain, and gas buildup which may affect sleep quality. It is also important to remember that every baby is unique and each baby’s responses to massage will differ.


Can We Do Oil Massage at Night For Baby?

Massaging infants at night with selected oils is an age-long practice that has lasted for years across several cultures. Some of these oils are believed to have spiritual benefits while others are thought to help with relaxation, the baby’s development and nourishment.

If you are looking to do oil massages at night for your baby, there are few things you need to consider;

The oils you use in massage impact the effectiveness of the massage so choosing to do an oil massage for your baby at night is not a wrong choice. However, you must be sure to use the best oils as the right oils can help nourish your baby’s skin and prevent dryness while the wrong oil could affect your baby’s skin health.

Natural and plant-based oils, such as coconut oil, are considered the best for babies’ skin. They provide moisturizing effects and have a lower risk of causing irritation or allergies. Consulting with your doctor can help determine the most suitable oil for your baby. Before applying a new oil, conduct a patch test on a small area of their skin to ensure no harmful effects occur. Once confirmed, you can safely extend its use to the rest of the body

Timing is another important thing worthy of consideration. Some parents prefer to do the oil massage as part of the bedtime routine, as it can help signal to the baby that it’s time to relax and wind down for sleep. However, it’s important to allow sufficient time for the oil to absorb into the baby’s skin before putting them to bed.

Another thing to keep your eyes peeled for is your baby’s acceptance of oils. Not all babies like oil massages. Be attentive to any form of dislike to the oil your baby may be displaying and stop usage upon observation. As much as you desire a restful sleep for your baby, their needs must take precedence to your approaches.

It’s totally okay to do an oil massage for your baby at night, however, you need to create a routine that your baby can easily adjust to. This is because the oils need to be absorbed before bed and you would not want to delay your baby past their bedtime.


How Can I Induce My Baby To Sleep?

There are certain things you can do to make your baby sleep. Here are some strategies that can help induce your baby to sleep;

Establish a Consistent Bedtime Routine

A routine can help condition your baby’s mind to associate certain activities and periods for sleep. So, when it’s bedtime you would not have to go through so much trouble to get your baby to sleep. Activities for a bedtime routine include, a warm bath, soothing massage, singing a lullaby.

Create a Calm Sleep Environment

A calm environment induces sleep. When your baby is comfortable, it would be easier for them to fall asleep and sleep well. To create a good sleep environment, turn off the lights or ensure the room is dimly-lit and set an ideal temperature.

Watch for Sleep Cues

Babies let out cues when they are feeling sleepy. Some of these cues include yawning and rubbing the eyes.

Establish Daytime Routine

The right daytime routine is a blend of active time or playtime and rest or quiet time. This ensures the baby gets the right amount of stimulation needed as overstimulation can make it hard for them to fall asleep.

Read Also: How to Put a Baby to Sleep


Baby Massage For Sleep – Benefits Of Massaging a Baby

There are many benefits in massaging babies for sleep. Some of these benefits include:

Relaxation and Calmness

The physical sensations from the body massage promote the release of relaxing hormones that induce sleep in babies. This helps them to have a deep and restful night sleep.

Improved Sleep Quality

Some studies have pointed out that babies who get massages before sleep have better sleep patterns than those who do not.

Reduction in Stress and Discomfort

Common discomforts like colic disrupts a baby’s sleep pattern and ability to get good sleep. Since massages helps to reduce the stress that comes with these issues, babies are able to sleep better and wake up relaxed.

Enhancing Circadian Rhythms

The circadian rhythm is like the natural internal clock that controls sleep. Moreover, most babies who receive massages at night follow a consistent bedtime routine, which aids in maintaining a healthy circadian rhythm and promoting better sleep.

Bonding and Connection

Baby massage helps to nurture the parent-child connection. This promotes feelings of safety and comfort for babies and by extension an improved sleep experience.



If your baby is having trouble sleeping well and you have not started offering massages yet, now is the best time to try this out. Start out by getting the right oils and making adjustments to your baby’s sleep environment and routine. Most babies respond well to massages but if your baby does not find this helpful, you can consult your doctor for suggestions that would better suit your baby.