I’ll be honest. I really didn’t know much about reflexology, much less using reflexology for babies. But after seeing it being talked about everywhere, I decided to dig a little deeper. I’m going to share with you what I’ve learned.
Oh, and if you have a little bundle of joy at home you should totally read this post about grandparents babysitting children and this warning about marks on baby changing tables. They’re worth your time.
Reflexology For Babies
As I said, I didn’t know a lot about this topic before I started researching, but it’s so intriguing. The idea that some simple touches on a baby’s feet might comfort them and make them feel better? That sounds brilliant.
The only thing I did understand was that reflexology is a specific type of massage for the feet.
- Head and tooth aches: If you notice your child having head or teeth pain, gently massage the tips of their toes! This can also be done while they are sleeping.
- Sinus Pain: Massage the center underside of your baby’s toes. Apply a gentle pressure to provide pain relief.
- Chest: For chest congestion, relief can be found on the pads of the feet, just under the toes and above the arch. Apply gentle pressure and massage in a circular motion to relieve congestion and coughing problems.
- Stomach pain (solar plexus): For children suffering from upset tummies, spasms, tightness and trouble breathing, massage the center of the foot below the pads of the feet where the arch begins to get relief. The Solar Plexus is a connection of nerves between the stomach and lungs.
- Abdomen Pain (Upper and Lower): For constipation, heartburn, and indigestion, massage the space between the middle of your child’s foot and the pads of their feet. If the baby is having pains from gas and bloating in the lower intestine, massage between the middle of their feet and heel.
- Pelvis: Babies can sometimes grow faster than certain parts of their body are ready for, and pain in the hips can be a common issue for young ones. Rub the heel to help with this problem! The heel can be helpful for constipation and upset stomachs as well!
The theory behind reflexology is that areas of the foot correspond to organs and systems of the body. Pressure applied to the foot is believed to bring relaxation and healing to the corresponding area of the body.
The Mayo Clinic also notes that there are studies that show the practice can reduce pain, stress, anxiety and help with relaxation and sleep.
The relaxation part is the biggest reason I’ve found that parents and caregivers are using reflexology for babies. Makes total sense.
NourishBaby.com has a great article from 2014.
The author says that one of the best things about using it on babies is that it can be done anywhere. They specifically mention being in a grocery store line, for instance, when the baby is upset and fussy.
I can see why that would be a really good tool to have in a parent’s bag of tricks.
In addition to helping calm a fussy baby, some say they use reflexology to treat colic. I haven’t found any science to necessarily back up that claim. (Just because there is no hard and fast science doesn’t mean it can’t help.)
How to Use Reflexology for Babies
I wouldn’t dare try and give you directions or how-tos. Instead, there are some YouTube videos that helped me understand how to do it.
I will say I had to wade through some weeds to get to the ones below. It seems there are a lot of paid courses which only show videos of reviews of those courses.
If you’re interested in a paid course, you’ll find plenty. If you only need the basics, I suggest you take a look at these.
This video by Aidan Keyes shows exactly how to do it and features a little cutie-patootie baby that seems to be loving it.
Sanctum Therapies has a super short video that will get you started in a hurry if your baby is having some reflux problems.
Is Reflexology Dangerous for Babies?
I haven’t read anything that would indicate that it is a danger, so long as you’re not pushing your baby’s foot in such a way that could hurt them.
BUT, it seems to me if a parent tried to “cure” a baby of some ailment that might require medical attention, that’s definitely dangerous.
Finally, if you have even the slightest hesitation, please visit with your pediatrician before you try anything with your child that someone on the internet told you about. 🙂
I’m really very curious about this topic, so if you have any experience with reflexology, I’d love to hear about it.