Baby massage - legs & feet

Baby massage routine: Legs & Feet

Getting started:

  • choose a time when your baby is awake and alert
  • choose a warm room with no draughts, a peaceful atmosphere and no distractions (i.e. TV)
  • ensure lighting is dimmed and not too bright
  • use a pure almond oil, light vegetable oil or olive oil as they are kinder to baby's skin and perfume free
  • use a thick towel, changing mat or rug
  • place your baby on their back, feet towards you
  • always start with the legs and feet
  • only massage when your baby is awake, alert and ready to engage

Massage should be a happy, relaxing and special time for you both. There will be times when your baby is not in the mood for massage so it's important to respect this and not force it. Always respect your baby, watch their cues and respond to their body language.

Relaxation & breathing to start:

  • neck rolls - chin to chest, roll head from side to side
  • shoulder shrugs to shrug out any tension
  • focus on breathing - deep breaths in and relax on the exhale

Helping baby feel secure:

  • only expose part of the body being massaged
  • chat to baby during massage
  • cocoon baby creating a boundary around them - with your legs, towels, pillows, changing ,mat with raised sides

Asking permission from your baby:

  • rub massage oil between your hands next to babies ear so they know this signals the start of baby massage
  • look baby in the eyes & ask them "would you like a baby massage?"

By massaging your baby's legs you can help your baby to develop the strength and co-ordination they need for sitting, standing and walking. It will also help your baby to develop flexibility in their hip and knee joints.

Leg & Feet routine:

Hold one foot in your opposite hand. Gently stroke up & down the entire leg, using a lighter pressure when massaging downwards, gently stretching the leg as you go. Repeat several times.

Then stroke up the leg to the hip, circle the hip several times and then return down to the foot. Repeat several times.

Next, using your thumb and a firm pressure draw little circles all over the thigh (use a lighter pressure for the inner thigh).

Repeat on the lower leg, gently strong over and behind the knee.

Gently squeeze and release the leg muscles working from the top of the thigh, finishing at the ankle. Repeat several times.

Moving to the feet...

Using your thumbs draw little circles all over the top of the foot and around the ankle. Then draw little circles on the sole of the foot and around the heel.

Gently massage each toe between your thumb and forefinger. Rub the base of each toe and then squeeze the toes gently as you release them.

Finish by stroking up and down the leg several times and then repeat on the other leg/foot.

Wrap in a warm towel & finish with a kiss and a cuddle. Remove any remaining oil before dressing.

You can access a printable version of this routine, along with some additional strokes for the legs & feet, by clicking on the link below:

Week 1 - Legs & Feet routine