Massage your Baby: Arms and Hands

Gross Motor Development allows a child to gain balance and bring large muscles under control in order to master physical activities such as sitting, crawling, walking, running, climbing, jumping and generally enjoy all that their body allows them to do.

Age Groups: , , , , , ,

You will need:

  • A warm room
  • Sufficient time
  • A quiet atmosphere with few distractions
  • A soft, thick towel
  • lotion, oil, or sunscreen


  1. Fold a towel to create a thick mat for your baby to lie on and place this on the floor.
  2.  Lay your baby on her back, with her feet closest to you. Make sure you are comfortable, whether you kneel, sit with legs crossed or have your legs stretched out on either side of your baby.
  3. Using your fingers and palms, and long, gliding strokes, massage each of your baby’s arms and hands.
  4. You can also massage the arms by holding them with your forefinger and thumb and using a gentle “wringing” action as you move from the upper arm toward the wrist.
  5. Using one hand, support your baby’s hand at the wrist and stroke your baby’s palm with the thumb of your other hand.
  6. Holding your baby’s wrist with one hand, gently pull each of your baby’s fingers starting at the base and moving toward the tip.
  7. If your baby is unaccustomed to being massaged, allow time for him to become comfortable with it. Over time, massage could become part of a regular routine of spending enjoyable and relaxing time together. Pay attention to his cues and signals, and discontinue if your baby communicates discomfort.


  • Gently strokes to arms and hands.
  • Feel valued and relaxed as large muscles areas are being massaged.


  • Smile and make eye contact during massage session.
  • Aware you enjoy the interaction.
  • Promotes connection between body and human contact.
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Areas of Development:

Activity Category: ,

Everyday Moments: , , , ,