How to calm a sick or fussy baby using the ancient art of reflexology
A reflexology massage can be calming for baby and parent.

Having a newborn baby is challenging and parents try all sorts of things to calm them down. But one ancient form of healing that could be helpful is reflexology.

Reflexology is the study of healing different parts of the body by applying pressure to (or massaging) certain reflex points that have a direct effect on different organs and body parts. The ancient Chinese art made its way over to America in the early 20th century and let us in on the wonders a targeted foot massage can do.


Many reflex points happen to rest in the feet, and knowing which “zones” each area of the foot represents might help you calm your crying baby.

It’s worth a try, right?

Rubbing your baby’s feet in any number of these areas may produce a profound healing effect on them and yourself, too. After all, think about how much stress courses through your body when you are worrying over your newborn. This is even worse if you’re a first-time parent.

So do yourself a favor and learn these 8 massage points on your baby’s feet to take away all of their aches and pains, and to save yourself from health-damaging stress and anxiety.

1. Ease Head And Tooth Aches


If your baby is teething, sick, or they just have a headache for some other reason, you can help your baby with a soothing massage.

The reflex points in the foot that affect discomfort in the head and teeth rest in their tiny little toes. More specifically, they affect the head, neck, sinuses, and mouth.

To help ease your baby’s head and teeth pain, gently rub all of their toes, starting with the big toe. There are several techniques for how you rub, but thumb-walking is one of the most effective and popular. Make sure to be thorough, and very, very gently massage each area of the toes.

2. Relieve Sinus Pressure And Pain


As we mentioned earlier, the reflexology point for the sinuses lies in the toes as well, or rather beneath the toes.

If your child is fussy from a cold or flu and has sinus pressure buildup, try this time-tested technique.

Supporting your baby’s foot with one hand, wrap your other hand around their foot and place your thumb directly beneath the pads of their big toe and gently apply pressure in a small circular motion. After a couple of moments, move on to the next toe in the same area.

Keep doing this until you have massaged all the toes in this way and you will see a marked improvement in their relaxation.

3. Relieve Chest Congestion And Breathing Troubles


If your precious baby is suffering from a severe cold or flu, then chances are the discomfort extends beyond their head and sinuses.

If your child is experiencing chest congestion, asthma, or other issues affecting their tiny little lungs, then try to extend their foot massage down toward the pads of their tiny feet.

This is the reflex point in the foot that corresponds to their chest, and gently rubbing or thumbing the pads of their feet can help relax their chest muscles as well as help them get rid of build-up in their chest.

4. Help Calm Tummy Troubles

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Max Pixel

A tiny one’s tummy ache can be caused by all sorts of things. From heartburn and indigestion to constipation and diarrhea, any number of these things can cause serious tummy upset for your tiny tot.

Easy to locate, just press your finger or thumb softly into the center of their little feet, just beneath their footpad where you massaged them for chest congestion. This is the reflexology point in the foot for the solar plexus.

Simply rub in slow, soothing circular motions until you feel your baby become more at ease.

5. Reflexology Points More Specific To The Stomach

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Bebez Club

While the solar plexus is a great place to massage for general overall stomach upset, if you know more specifically what’s bothering your little one and exactly where the pain or discomfort is radiating, then you can get even more specific with your baby’s foot reflexology.

For instance, if you know that something is plaguing the stomach specifically, say, a build-up of gas in the stomach, you will want to rub the reflex point for the upper abdomen in addition to the point for the solar plexus.

This point rests in the middle-top section of the foot, directly beneath the point for the solar plexus. By applying gentle pressure as you slowly rub in small circles, you can quickly relieve their tummy upset.

6. The Lower Abdomen And Digestive Upset

We Tell You How
We Tell You How

Just like with the section for the upper abdomen, there is also a reflexology zone within the foot that corresponds specifically to your lower abdomen.

Issues that might benefit from a good massage in this area have to do with the colon and lower intestine, and it is generally a good idea to rub this area as well if you are massaging the zones for the upper abdomen and solar plexus.

This zone rests just beneath that of the upper abdomen, but above the heel. Just apply the same pressure with the same slow, circular motions using the thumbs or fingers to bring them overall relief to the organs held in their lower abdomen.

7. Relieve Hip And Pelvic Pain

The next zone of foot reflexology lies just beneath the one for the lower abdomen, and it corresponds to the pelvic area. While rubbing this area might also help with tummy and digestive upset, it aims to address an entirely different problem – growing pains.

When our littles begin to grow, it is a rapid process and can take a heavy toll on the comfort of your baby. As the bones in the hips widen and the legs lengthen, it can cause stress and pain in an infant.

Rubbing their feet in the pelvic zone will help to eliminate much of the pain that accompanies a surge in growth, and can help calm them when they are feeling fussy over this. Just do a gentle thumb-walk inward from the lower outside of the foot to help with hip pain. For more in-depth instructions, go here.

8. Give Them A Sense Of Security And Calm With The Mother Earth Hold

For any fussy or pain stricken baby, the most important thing you can do for them is to make them feel calm and secure as much as you possibly can. Would you believe there is a reflexology point for this, too?

Known as the Mother Earth Area, it is the bottom-most part of the heel and around the sides. When you carefully cup each of your baby’s heels in your hand and apply constant, gentle pressure around this area, it gives them a feeling of safety and comfort, and immediately works to start calming them into a restful relaxation.

This move is known as the Mother Earth Hold, as it aims to give them a sense of grounding. It should be the first move in any baby foot massaging routine, as well as the last.


These are just a few ways to massage your baby’s feet and reap some of the wonderful benefits of reflexology, both for them and yourself.

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what you can do to proactively take away your child’s pain and discomfort. For a more detailed foot reflexology map addressing specific organs and body systems, go here.

And if you want to see a massage in action, press PLAY down below.

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By Jessica
Jessica is a contributor at SBLY Media.