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How to Massage a Toddler?

Benefits of Toddler Massage

A lot of research has shown that massaging your toddler is a great way of reducing bouts of crying and irritation that arise from colic and constipation. In fact, a good massage is a sure shot way of helping your little one sleep peacefully. A massage also helps in stimulating the central nervous system of the baby that releases serotonin and reduces stress. By affectionately moving your hands in a rhythmic pattern on your new born’s skin, you are increasing his emotional well being as well and bonding.

Massaging a Toddler

Type of Massage

The technique that is primarily used for massaging a toddler is termed as ‘rubbing’. This is done over individual parts of the body in a rhythmic pattern. While massaging, it is recommended to start with the legs and then work your way up to the belly, arms, chest, neck and back.

Best time for Massage

Usually, the best time for massage is before giving your toddler a bath in the morning. However, there are times, when your baby might not be in the mood to cooperate. In such instances, a massage during bedtime is very relaxing and would help your little one to get a sound sleep. You can even combine a bedtime massage with a storytelling session for more fun!

Technique for Toddler Massage

Legs and Arms

The legs and arms are to be massaged in a similar fashion. Wrap your hand around the thigh or the arm and work your way downwards in a smooth circular rhythm. The palms and soles of the feet should be rubbed with pressure on the pressure points. Try to massage all the fingers and toes.

Techniques for Toddler Massage


The tummy should be massaged lightly with fingertips in a circular motion near the belly button. Then massage from the rib area to the hips in an outward motion with flat hands.


The chest should be massaged with flat hands from the centre and then outwards in a heart-shaped rhythm.


The back should be massaged with flat hands starting from the centre with strokes in the opposite direction. Then use your fingers to massage downwards all the way from the neck to the bum.

Oils to Use for a Toddler Massage 

The best oils for massaging your toddler are pure and cold pressed ones like olive oil or seed oils like sunflower, almond or grape seed oil. The oil should be light in order to be quickly absorbed into the skin without leaving it oily. If your baby is allergic to gluten or peanuts, then avoid wheat germ or peanut oils. In India, coconut oil is widely used for massaging in the summer months as it has a antiseptic properties and cooling effect, while mustard oil is preferred during the cold season.

Use Dabur Baby Massage Oil - An Ayurvedic blend of almond and olive oil for baby massage which can be really effective for a baby development.