Baby Massage: How it helps your baby in their growth. Happy Maalish Time!


Why should you be giving your baby a baby massage (Maalish)?

Massaging a baby, surprisingly benefits the baby as well as the parent. Here, we are exploring some facts and common beliefs surrounding baby massage.

  • Popular belief –  Massage strengthens the baby’s bones.

There is no research/study to prove this belief.

  • Fact – Massage soothes a baby. It stimulates the baby’s central nervous system, helps the brain produce more serotonin, a happiness stimulant and reduces the production of cortisol, a stress hormone.
  • Popular belief – An expert ‘Maalishwali’ is the best person to give the baby a massage.

On the contrary, one has to keep a check on the hygiene of a professional midwife -maalishwali. They could be vectors for infections from one baby to the other.

Massage is a way to bond with the baby, so professional help doesn’t seem like the best way for this.

  • Fact – Any person who has the confidence to handle a small baby gently and feels the love for the baby can give her a massage.

Massage is a very good way for the parent to make eye contact with the baby, hum a song to her and bond with her. It stimulates the baby and helps in her growth. It helps the parent have a more meaningful interaction with the baby (than just changing diapers!) So the parent is the best person to give the baby a massage.

  • Popular belief – You need to massage a baby with prescribed strokes to strengthen the bone.
  • Fact – One needs to gently massage the baby’s skin, as skin stimulation improves brain body coordination.
  • Popular belief – Pulling the child’s nose up during a massage can help in changing its shape
  • Fact – The shape of the nose or ear is really a play of evolution and genetics, pulling it left or right won’t change its shape.

Gently massaging a baby’s belly in the clockwise direction can help reduce colic and flatulence. A massage followed up with a warm bath can help the baby sleep. So, massage your baby for the right reasons with the right expectations. Bond with her, love her, that is what she needs the most to grow into a happy individual.


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