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Why do it?

  • Touch is the ‘mother of all senses’, and ‘loving touch is baby’s first language’.
  • Gentle massage strengthens the bond between baby and parents (and grandparents, too).
  • Massage helps new parents become confident when handling baby.
  • Massage helps parents learn to recognise baby’s ‘cues’ (a sign that baby needs something).
  • Special massage strokes can help baby with colic and wind.
  • Massage is relaxing for both baby and mum, so it can help with breast feeding.
  • Massage is very soothing — massaging baby after a bath can be a useful part of the settling-baby-to-sleep routine.
  • Gentle, firm stroking of baby’s skin stimulates baby’s nervous system and their growth and development.

How to do it

  • Choose a time when baby is quiet and alert, and have the room warm.
  • Take off any rings or watch.
  • Loosen baby’s nappy or remove it.
  • Lay down a towel or soft cloth for baby to lie on, and a soft pillow for their head to rest against.
  • Sit close and face baby, who should be lying on their back.
  • Put a small amount of oil in your palm and ‘swish’ your hands together.
  • Ask baby if it’s okay to give them a massage.
  • There are several YouTube clips demonstrating baby massage. The strokes differ; but what’s common to all are gentle, slow, firm strokes, while watching baby and making sure they’re okay with what’s happening.
  • See - Colic massage — How to do it? link)

Using more reo Māori

Mirimiri           Massage
Noni Oil
Kope Nappy
Mahana Warm
Puku Tummy
Pito Tummy button
Pārohe To be relaxed
Ringaringa Hand, arm
Kāwatawata To be gentle
Kōrero Talk, communicate
Kaua e tangi, e te tau Don’t cry my darling
Kei te ngau tō puku? Have you got a sore puku?
Tangohia ō kākahu I’ll take off your clothes
Ka mirimiri au i tō tuarā I’ll rub your back
Homai tō ringaringa Give me your hand?
Kei te mirimiri au tō matimati I’ll massage your fingers
Tekau ō matimati You’ve got ten fingers
E hia ō taringa? How many ears do you have?
E rua ngā taringa You have two ears
Kei hea ō pakihiwi? Where are your shoulders?
Kei konei ō pakihiwi Here’s your shoulders
Kei hea tō puku? Where is your tummy?
Kei konei tō puku Here’s your tummy
Ka pai tēnei mirimiri māu? Is this massage good for you?
Tō kakara hoki You smell so good
Nā, me pōkai i a koe ki te taora Let’s wrap you up in your towel
Homai te kihi Give me a kiss
Homai te awhi Give me a cuddle