Masajes Shantala ¿Cómo hacerlos y por qué son importantes para el bebé?

Shantala Massages How to do them and why are they important for the baby?

Shantala Massages How to do them and why are they important for the baby?

Shantala massages are an ancient Indian technique recommended especially for babies and children. It was made known to the world by the obstetrician Frederick Leboyer.

Touch and physical contact is a way of communicating without using words

"Brief touches can communicate as many emotions as gestures and facial expressions, sometimes even more quickly and accurately than words." Physical touch is the first language we learn and will be the richest means of emotional expression throughout life. Dacher Keltner psychologist, professor at the University of California

We have physical contact when we hug, caress, rock and hold our baby, when we play with the activities and songs that Tool-be recommends, and massage is a differentiated physical stimulus that has enormous benefits for babies, children, and also for the adult.

Physical contact with the baby's skin through massages, in addition to the relaxing effect, produces other positive behavioral, psychomotor and physiological effects on the baby.

Some of these effects are:

  • Facilitates neurological development
  • Stimulates the circulatory system
  • Create emotional bonds with parents
  • Helps organize body sensations
  • Increases body perception
  • Helps digestion and elimination of gases
  • Helps energize the body


  • Massages should not be done immediately after the baby has fed. It is important to let it rest for a while before starting.
  • The environment must be at a comfortable temperature so that the baby does not feel cold
  • The baby must be completely naked.
  • The person who is going to perform the massages must be completely focused on the activity and always maintain eye contact with the baby.
  • We should not have very long nails, nor wear rings, bracelets or watches that could hurt the baby.
  • The baby must be calm and in a good disposition. If you are hungry or sleepy you probably won't take advantage of this moment.
  • We can play relaxing music in the background.

Remember that Tool-be created soft, instrumental songs especially to accompany this moment! listen to them here


In India, this practice is performed on the floor, with the baby lying on the adult's legs.

If we choose this position, we must adopt the following posture: We sit on the floor (on a mat or protector) with our legs stretched and together, our back straight and our shoulders relaxed. We put one of the towels over our legs and lay the baby on his back facing us (his head near our knees and his legs near our pelvis). If the position is uncomfortable, we can open our legs a little and place the baby between them, on a mat protected by a towel or blanket.

We know that for many adults this position is not so comfortable, which is why we recommend performing the massage on the changing table or on a bed.

Duration and frequency

These massages can last 20 to 30 minutes, always depending on the baby's disposition and attitude. For each of the steps, we recommend doing 5 to 10 slow repetitions and thoroughly feeling each movement.

Learn to read the baby's rhythm, he is the one who will tell you the appropriate time for massages.


You will need a towel and natural baby oil and have the time to enjoy this lovely moment.

How to do them step by step?

In the video you can clearly see the steps that we explain below:

Step 1. Circular movement on the chest

We rub our hands with the oil and start with the chest.

We place both open hands in the center of the chest, and make circular movements from the center outwards (as if making a heart), alternating hands.

Step 2. Diagonal movement in the chest

We place our hands on each side of the lower part of the baby's chest.

We alternate each hand, making a diagonal movement on the chest until we reach the opposite shoulder, bringing the little finger to the baby's neck and returning to the starting point.

Step 3. From the center of the chest to the neck

We place both hands in the center of the chest, slide them towards the neck, massaging the baby's chest and neck, and return to the starting position.

Step 4. Arms

We can lie our baby on his side to massage his arms.

We begin the massage on one of the baby's arms, holding the arm in the following way: We form a ring with our thumb and the rest of the fingers, we hug the baby's arm with this position. We start the massage at the height of the baby's shoulder and move our fingers towards the wrist. At this moment the other hand begins the same movement. We repeat this movement alternating our two hands.

Then we put both hands (in the ring position) simultaneously on our baby's arm at shoulder height and perform a twisting movement: turning our hands at the same time, outwards and then inwards alternately; and we begin to slide our hands towards the wrist following this movement.

We perform the same massage on the other arm.

Step 5. Hands

We continue with the massage on the baby's hand. Using the thumbs, we start at the bottom of the palm of the hand and massage in the direction of his fingers (we open his fingers) drawing a straight line: first towards his little finger and back , then towards the middle fingers, back and finally towards the thumb. We repeat this action.

We do the same on the other hand.

Step 6. Legs

We perform the same massage of the arms, putting our hands in a ring shape with the thumb and index finger. We start at the height of the pelvis and end at the baby's ankles.

Step 7 Feet

We continue massaging his feet, and like our hands, we use our thumbs to perform the massage.

We start at the bottom of the sole of the foot and massage in the direction of his fingers: first towards his little toe, back and finally towards his thumb. We repeat this action, and alternate their feet.

Step 8. Abdomen

We place our open hand on the center of his abdomen or our forearm (in the part immediately below his ribs) and slide alternately towards the lower part of his abdomen.

Then we bring their feet together, stretch them, lift them and massage the abdomen from the ribs to the bottom using either the forearm or the hand.

Step 9. Back

  • We lay the baby face down transversely on our legs so that his head is on our left side.

We place our open hands on the upper part of the baby's back, and make a back-and-forth movement with them, while one hand moves away, the other approaches our body (movement perpendicular to the baby's spine). With this movement we move along his back until we reach his buttocks!

  • Then we put our right hand on the baby's buttocks and the left hand slowly moves in a deeper movement from the neck to the buttocks.
  • We hold the feet with the right hand and repeat the movement with the left hand, but this time massaging the entire body up to the feet.

Step 8. Face

We lay the baby on his back and perform different movements.

  • We place our index fingers in the middle of the forehead and slide them to the sides of the forehead, until we reach the scalp.
  • We perform the same movement on the eyebrows, reaching the temple.
  • We massage your nose starting at the bottom and slide up and down the entire edge of the septum to the beginning of the eyes.
  • Then we run along the entire edge of the nose from the top, until we reach the corner of the mouth.

Step 9. Stretching

We finish the massages with three movements that help stretch and relax the joints.

  • We open the baby's arms and then cross them over his chest.
  • We take one arm and the foot on the opposite side, cross them and uncross them. We repeat the same with the other arm and the other foot.
  • We cross our legs over the baby's abdomen doing the lotus position or padmasana.

When we finish our massage routine, it is advisable to give the baby a calm bath to clean the oil we applied and to continue the relaxation process.

We would love to hear about your experience with Shantala massages.

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