Baby massage has a long tradition in India. Just after birth, a cleansing massage is done with a soft wheat-dough ball, to which a little almond oil and a dash of turmeric is added. Just before rubbing the ball is dipped in a bit of almond oil. This practice is continued for the first six days after birth, before the bath. Ayurvedic baby massage enhances circulation, helps in the expulsion of toxins and aids the digestive system of the baby.
On the seventh day after birth, actual baby massage with the dough ball starts and this goes on every day for 3 weeks. The dough ball should be dipped in oil every now and then, which helps to keep the 3 doshas in proper balance.
Massage with the hands begins when the infant is one month old, when the baby's body has become strong enough. The baby massage is continued every day for 3 months, during which the most time is spend in massaging spine, back, neck, waist, hands and feet, because these parts need to gain strength to support the body.
Once the baby starts lifting its head on its own and supporting its body weight on its arms, more general daily body massage should continue for 18 months. The massage of the spine nevertheless remains an important aspect of infant massage.
After this time, baby massage can be given on alternate days, though a daily massage routine will aid in making the child strong and happy.
Lakshmi giving Vishnu foot massage