A mother doing reflexology on a baby’s feet

The Secret Benefits of Reflexology for Babies


Learn about the physical and mental benefits of reflexology and massage for babies

    A baby snuggled sweetly in a comfy crib is one of the most peaceful sights people can take in. The cherubic cheeks and sweet scents of infancy can keep new parents mesmerized for hours. It is hard to believe that the same sweet baby could start screaming for no apparent reason just minutes later. 

    Babies can face myriad painful issues like gas, teething, colic, and the stress of a noisy, bright world. Reflexology and rudimentary massage can improve these issues and other uncomfortable moments in just a few moments. 

    Reflexology massage is known for its gentle and therapeutic effects. It utilizes pressure points on the body to relieve stress, bloating, and specific pain points. Babies can be especially receptive to reflexology and other forms of massage because their muscles and ligaments are still developing. 

    This article dives deeper into reflexology, its benefits for babies, and a step-by-step guide to performing reflexology on your little one. 

    Reflexology basics

    Pressure points on one’s hands and feet, when manipulated and massaged, can affect other areas of the body and someone’s overall health. These are the pressure points used in acupuncture and acupressure treatments.

    Reflexology is based on qi, an ancient Chinese belief that vital energy runs through our bodies and can be directed using pressure points. Stress and pain occur when qi is blocked.

    Reflexologists use maps of pressure points in the feet, ears, and hands to determine where to apply pressure to alleviate a specific issue. Massaging the pressure points in a specific way releases the blocked energy and restores balance to the body system.

    Benefits for babies

    The first few years of life are complicated. A lot of growing, creating, and changing takes place and can make for some painful moments. From pain relief to plain old comfort, reflexology has many benefits for babies, including relief of:


    Colic is one of the most dreaded words of parenthood. It is defined as constant crying for over three hours, at least three days a week for at least three months. Fortunately, foot reflexology can help shorten the crying time associated with colic and diminish related symptoms.

    Teething pain

    When a baby is teething, it can be very painful. Their gums are swollen and tender. Massaging pressure points in the palms and toes can help alleviate some of the pain and swelling from teething.

    Gas and bloating

    Drinking through a bottle can create a lot of gas, but even breastfed babies experience painful bouts of gas. Milk or formula can remain in the intestines, where the gut bacteria absorb it. Gas is the byproduct, and it can sometimes cause pain and bloating.

    The pressure point associated with the stomach is in the upper middle portion of the foot. Massaging just below the pad can help eliminate gas pains.

    Digestive issues and constipation

    Babies have upset tummies just like the rest of us. Swallowing air, coming into contact with germs, and stress can bring on digestive issues. Massaging pressure points on the feet and palms can help calm the digestive system and ease discomfort from constipation.


    Babies feel stress and anxiety, which can affect their moods and health. Regulate the nervous system by engaging the spinal pressure point. Rub along the bottom of the foot from the big toe to the heel to help ease stress and agitation.

    The benefits of reflexology for babies and children also benefit tired parents. When your baby is not stressed or in pain, it is a much more enjoyable time for everyone. Luckily, reflexology is a safe and effective massage technique to learn. 

    Reflexology at home

    Performing reflexology at home is a simple process. Start with warm, clean hands and a quiet, comfortable space. You might also choose to use a baby-safe oil or lotion but do not let products sit on their hands for them to eat afterward. Follow these steps and repeat until relief arrives.

    1. Locate the pressure points 

    If you’re trying to solve a particular problem, locate the associated pressure point. Another idea is to hit all the pressure points in one session to promote overall good health.

    2. Apply gentle pressure

    Start by applying a steady, gentle touch to a pressure point in the foot, hand, or ear. The pad under the toes is an excellent place to start. Another good starting point is the center of the palm.

    3. Begin small circular motions

    Maintain the pressure and move your thumbs in small circular motions as you walk them a step forward to stimulate the pressure point and surrounding area. 

    4. Finish with breeze strokes 

    Barely touching the skin, run your fingers along the top, bottom, and side of the foot or hand in a feathery motion before moving to the next area. 

    The strength behind your pressure must always be gentle but firm. It is also important to remember only to use oils or lotions that are safe for babies. Repeating the process more than once may be necessary to fully eradicate discomfort. The best part about reflexology is that it also helps strengthen the bond between parent and child.

    It probably shouldn’t be a surprise that a gentle massage can have many health benefits for a baby. Touch has an astounding effect on child development. Couple that with the health benefits of massage, and you’ve found a marvelous way to comfort and soothe your precious one.

    Your baby’s comfort is our priority

    Growing and learning take a lot of effort. Your little one will feel exhausted and frustrated at times, but we’re here to help. At Li’l Pengyu, your baby’s happiness and safety are our top priorities so we’ve created comfy and thoughtful baby care solutions from only the best quality materials. From playpens to bassinets, Lil Pengyu products are not only functional, but they are CPSC- and ASTM-certified too, so you’ll never have to worry about purchasing an unsafe item.  

    Ximena Sánchez


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