Massage Your Baby: Back

Emotional Development means the development of a full range of emotions from sad to happy to angry, and learning to deal with them appropriately. This helps build self-esteem and leads to such deeper qualities as sympathy, caring, resiliency, assertiveness and empathy and the ability to rise to life’s challenges.

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This relaxation activity helps to develop intimacy with a parent and receive their full attention. This is a bonding moment that is relaxing for both parent and baby.

You will need:

  • A warm room
  • Sufficient time
  • A quiet atmosphere with few distractions
  • A soft towel


  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 tummy, 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. Talk to your baby, providing reassurance, as he
    won’t be able to see you in this position.
  3. Using long, gliding strokes, gently massage baby’s back with both fingers and hands, starting below the neck and moving towards the lower back. Shoulders can be massaged by placing one hand on each side of the neck, and stroking along the
    shoulders toward the arms.
  4. Make circles on your baby’s back by placing thumbs on either side of baby’s spine, just below the neck, and making outward circular movements with your thumbs, moving from the neck down the spine.
  5. 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 touches and soft tone voice.
  • Feel valued and builds self-esteem.


  • Remember to smile, make eye contact, and fluctuate tone of voice.
  • Enjoys interacting with you because of undivided attention.

Areas of Development:

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