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5 Tips on Massaging your 6 Month Old Baby

7 March 2023

Six months is an exciting milestone for babies who are starting to eat solids, to sit up and to try to move about. Massage can help build strength as your baby starts to want to crawl and walk. It's important to remember that you are doing a massage with Baby rather than to them so pay close attention to whether or not they are enjoying it. By six months your baby will be fairly active, wriggling and possibly turning over when you try to massage them. 

Work with your baby on any part of them they present

At six months, babies are much more active. They wriggle, turn over, try to crawl and stand.

If Baby doesn’t want to lie down, you can massage their back while they are sitting up or practice arm movements. Sweep from their shoulders downwards. They might want to hold and play with a toy while you do it. Massage in a sitting position helps strengthen back muscles and prepare them for sitting unsupported. It can improve their coordination and strengthen their muscles preparing them to walk.

Songs and Rhymes

At six months Baby will start to recognise and enjoy songs and rhymes. It makes massage time fun and keeps their attention. It also gives you a rhythm to work to. Lullabies add another layer of soothing at bedtime. The repetition of sounds encourages speech development. Baby will repeat sounds and lip movements. Their range of sounds is greater and they will try to join in on the chorus. Favourites rhymes include Incy Wincy Spider and This Little Piggy which have actions involving touch.


By six months babies can begin to settle into a routine. They will enjoy being able to predict what will happen next. If massage is part of their evening routine: bath, story, massage, sleep they will learn to expect and enjoy it. It soothes them, helping them get off to sleep and possibly even sleep longer. Dim the lights before you start the massage and make sure the room is cosy and warm.

Massage can be stimulating

Massage can also be used to stimulate your baby. It's best to pick a time between feeds when Baby is not hungry. Massage towards the heart stimulates the central nervous system to produce serotonin and oxytocin which are feel good hormones. It can produce calm focused energy.


A bedtime massage can help Baby wind down after a stimulating day ready for a good night’s sleep. It can help with your baby’s circadian rhythms helping them to sleep better at night and be more active during the day. If they sleep better at night they produce more melatonin which makes them feel drowsy and helps them stay asleep. At six months babies may well be sleeping through the night for 11 hours having dropped the night feed. The parents’ confidence in this and massage helping them achieve it can be life-changing.

Photo by Sarah Chai

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