health

To Soothe A Cranky Baby, Gently Massage These 7 Spots On Her Tiny Feet

by Kate Taylor
Kate is a writer who laughs at her own jokes and likes to pour too much hot sauce on her food.

For parents, touching your baby’s chubby little feet is just an instinct. It’s something you do because they are simply too gosh-darn cute for words. You can’t help yourself!

However, it turns out that there may actually be another good excuse for tickling your little one’s tootsies.

Did you know that some people believe that applying gentle pressure to certain spots on the feet can actually help improve your baby’s health and behavior?

Foot reflexology is a form of alternative medicine that is widely credited with helping to reduce pain, relieve stress, and promote weight loss in adults.

Babies may not yet have workplace stress or bad knees to worry about, but they can still benefit from baby foot reflexology, an adapted version of the practice.

In fact, gently massaging your baby’s feet in these sweet spots could be all that’s standing between peace and quiet, and inconsolable crying.

If that doesn’t sell you, don’t worry, there are plenty of other ways that baby foot reflexology could improve your little one’s life and health! Scroll through to learn more.

Thumbnail Photo: Pixabay

What Is Baby Foot Reflexology?

What Is Baby Foot Reflexology?
Laura Caseley for LittleThings

According to the Mayo Clinic, foot reflexology is based on the theory that areas of our feet, hands, and ears are connected to other body parts and organs.

As with any theory, it is not 100% proven, but many studies have found that foot reflexology has a real impact on the patient’s health.

For babies, foot reflexology can help soothe and comfort little ones when they’re cranky or not feeling well. As an added bonus, you get to snuggle their adorable toes!

Follow the chart above, and apply firm but gentle pressure. Think of it as a soft foot rub, rather than a deep-tissue massage.

Remember to double-check with your pediatrician before trying this technique.

Baby Pressure Point #1: Soothe An Empty Belly

Baby Pressure Point #1: Soothe An Empty Belly
Laura Caseley for LittleThings

We all know babies will tell you, loudly, when they are hungry. If you just need two more minutes to get that bottle heated, and you need to tide them over until that can be arranged, try gently applying pressure to the tips of their toes.

The toe tips are related to the hypothalamus, which helps regulate hunger and appetite.

This pressure might soothe the hunger pangs until dinner is ready, and quiet down a fussy baby.

Baby Pressure Point #2: Promote Growth And Improve Mood

Baby Pressure Point #2: Promote Growth And Improve Mood
Laura Caseley for LittleThings

The balls of your baby’s big toes are what correspond with the pituitary gland, which is also known as the master gland.

According to Johns Hopkins Library of Health, this very important gland has many functions.

However, for the purpose of baby foot reflexology, massaging this part of the toe can help stimulate growth hormone, which your baby is going to need a lot of.

The pituitary also secretes oxytocin, the ‘cuddle hormone,’ which will make your baby feel happy and affectionate.

Bonus: if you’re nursing, you can massage this part of your own toe to give yourself a breast milk production boost.

Baby Pressure Point #3: Improve Immune System

Baby Pressure Point #3: Improve Immune System
Laura Caseley for LittleThings

Keeping your baby healthy and preventing illness is very important. Applying light pressure to the perimeter of the balls of your babies feet may help kick her immune system into gear and keep her healthy.

This area is linked to the thymus gland, which boosts the immune system and helps release antibodies that fight sickness.

Like everyone, babies tend to get out-of-sorts when they don’t feel well, so a healthy baby is a happy baby!

Baby Pressure Point #4: Relax Breathing

Baby Pressure Point #4: Relax Breathing
Laura Caseley for LittleThings

Babies can get stressed out by unfamiliar experiences and new people, but this method can help manage anxiety in your little one.

In foot reflexology, the arch of your foot connects to the solar plexus.

Tampa Reflexology explains that the pressure point corresponds with where your rib cage and stomach meet, and can help regulate rapid, panicky breathing.

Massaging this area can help slow breathing and relax your baby. It may also ease crying and fussing.

Baby Pressure Point #5: Boost Energy

Baby Pressure Point #5: Boost Energy
Laura Caseley for LittleThings

If your little one gets overtired while you’re out and about, this move might help keep them mellow until you can get home for nap time.

Apply a tiny amount of pressure to this small point on the foot, right below the arch. This point on your baby’s foot corresponds with the adrenal gland, which releases adrenaline.

Applying a slight amount of pressure here may give your baby a little energy boost to help smooth over missed-nap grumpiness.

Baby Pressure Point #6: Bladder Control

Baby Pressure Point #6: Bladder Control
Laura Caseley for LittleThings

Nobody likes sitting in a wet diaper, but babies don’t have much by way of bladder control.

You can help out a bit by massaging this spot, smack-dab in the middle of your sole, after giving your baby milk or any other fluids.

Massaging this spot may encourage your little one to pee right away, which lets you swap out the wet diaper immediately, and will help keep your baby dry and content for longer.

Baby Pressure Point #7: Promote Digestion

Baby Pressure Point #7: Promote Digestion
Laura Caseley for LittleThings

If your little one is having tummy troubles, like colic or constipation, try applying a little pit of pressure to this part of their feet.

This region is connected to the colon and intestines, and may help to move everything along our digestive tracks properly.

Apply gentle pressure to this spot with your thumb to help relieve trapped gas or pent-up poop, and make your little one feel better.

Did you know about baby foot reflexology? Ask your pediatrician before trying this at home, and be sure to SHARE these tips for baby foot reflexology with every mom and grandma you know!