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Massaging Your Baby - ILU Massage

Massage can be used to help encourage your baby’s bowels to move. Before starting any massage for baby:

Make sure the room is warm enough (especially if removing baby’s clothing)

Relax yourself and warm your hands by rubbing them together.

You can massage over clothing, but for tummy massage, I would recommend you use a little oil and massage directly on the skin. The warmth of skin to skin contact can be very helpful for constipation as well.

When massaging your baby, use strokes with a firm but gentle pressure. Always check in with your baby to make sure he likes the massage. Feel free to try a lighter pressure, use a different stroke or just stop if he’s done.

To massage your baby’s tummy, place warmed hands on the tummy at or below the belly button. I know it’s a small space, but important to target the bowels. Using flat palms gently stroke downward, using hand over hand, a paddling type motion. Next moving hands in a clockwise motion, (very important to move clockwise – if you go the wrong way, you’ll create more issues), stroke baby's tummy in a circle.

Now we’ll do a 3-part stroke called:

I Love You!

With baby laying on the floor facing you: (remember clockwise motion)


Start by forming the letter “I” by stroking with moderate pressure from under the left ribcage down to the front of the left hipbone, 10x

Next, form the letter “L” by stroking with moderate pressure from the right ribcage, underneath the ribcage to the left, and down to the front of the left hipbone, forming the letter “L”

Last, do 10 strokes from the front of the right hipbone up to the right ribcage, across to the left ribcage, and down to the left hip bone, forming the letter “U”


Finish massaging your baby on the tummy by stroking down with warmed flat hands a few times.

At Athletico Sports Physiotherapy, we treat pediatric patients using gentle mobilizations of the joints spine, muscle and other soft tissue massage techniques. Please visit Athletico Sports Physiotherapy for an assessment. We can perform a screening exam of your baby to help identify the correct course of treatment!


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