Any new parent will be aware of the trials and tribulations that come with bedtime - but according to one expert there is a simple solution that could send your baby to sleep in minutes.

London-based acupuncturist Philip Davies claims that massaging before bed time helps to calm your baby, allowing them to slip smoothly off into the land of nod, The Daily Mail reports.

Also a reflexologist, Davies has a degree in traditional Chinese medicine and 20 years' experience specializing in pre and post-natal care in centres including the London-based triyoga chain.

He revealed how focusing on certain pressure points on a baby's body can not only help them nod off, but also aid any indigestion and even soothe teething pain.


The best time to establish a good calming routine is at bath time, according to the expert, although the tips below - especially the pressure point advice and teas mentioned - can be used at any time when your baby needs calming...

Bedtime Routine

Start with a bath.

"It's so important to set up a bedtime routine. Ideally at the same time each day - but let's keep it real, life happens so don't stress if this time changes, just make sure it's immediately pre bed time.

"The first tip is for you to be relaxed, and for you both to enjoy the bond this routine will bring.

"Start with a shorter time and then build it up. Don't worry if you're doing it right, the baby will sense your tension. Enjoy, stay calm and enjoy being 'hands on' and the deepened connection this nightly ritual will bring.

"Be prepared. Get all you need ready before you start - a gentle bedtime baby bubble bath, a lavender oil, a flannel, soft Muslin wash cloth/ swaddle blanket, a soft surface to massage baby on and a nappy and baby gro.

"Make sure the room is warm and draft free and the water is the right temperature and start adding some of the bedtime bubble bath and lavender oil.

"Pop your baby into the warm bath - this in combination with the lavender oil will immediately help calm and relax even the most overtired and cranky baby as the stressed Central Nervous System starts to unwind.


"Using your flannel, add apply some of the oil and wash to your baby. Talk to them in a calming voice, smile, and stay relaxed. Take baby out and gently pat dry."

Let the massage/pressure point ritual begin!

"Start with a full body application of a lavender oil from top to toe, including the head and face and feet. You don't need much, just enough to enable smooth strokes.

"Always use downward strokes... working down the body and taking the excess energy away from the brain to ground and calm your baby. This physical contact will also continue the calming of the central nervous system.

"Massage your baby front and back, again ensuring downward strokes starting slowly - try 5 mins, and building up to 10-15 mins. It's more of a stroke than a deep massage, slow and gentle, making sure you work symmetrically covering the entire body.

"Think of this massage as a gentle communication and connection with your baby and follow your instincts in terms of your touch.

"Once done, go back and add in the below specific pressure points, or use them as stand-alone techniques at any time - depending on how your baby is feeling."

Specific pressure points

• Sleep inducer/ calming point:

Gently stroke downwards flowing one stroke after another from the middle of the eyebrows to the bridge of the nose. This point is called Yin Tang and will help calm even the most fractious of minds.

• Digestion point: For colic, wind, constipation and general digestive health. Stroke baby's tummy in clockwise, light circles. This helps with colic, releases wind, relaxes the abdomen and helps warm the whole tummy area promoting effective digestion.

"If colic is a real issue with your baby, remember that what you eat is passed into your breast milk so you have a few options - drink fennel tea. It will pass via your milk to the baby and research shows that fennel tea helps in reducing colic symptoms by relaxing the gastrointestinal tract and releasing the gas.

"Chamomile is great too and will help calm both you and baby, reducing stress and anxiety - as well as soothing the pain and reducing discomfort of your baby's colic.

"Just make sure you buy the premium quality teas. With both these teas mum should drink the tea and baby will get its benefits via your breast milk."

• Teething: Massage each of your baby's hands including thumbs, finger tips, fingers, joints and knuckles, and gently in between them. Then, focus on the thumb pads on the palms at the base of each thumb, for around 30 secs each hand.

"You can do this every two hours up to bedtime to help reduce pain in gums and the volume of extra salivation. You can also use this at any time of day or night as a stand-alone technique to ease teething pains.

"Make sure all full body massage strokes are downwards from head to toe.

"Touch and massage releases oxytocin to calm and induce feelings of wellness, and reduces cortisol - the stress hormone. This together with the lavender in all the Cwtch baby products will work to calm your bundle of joy! Even when they are screaming the house down..."

End the bedtime routine with the feet

"The feet are covered in pressure points, this is the whole basis of reflexology, so massage each foot separately - again - as with the hands - focus on each toe - the top, sides and joints and especially so on the big toes. This relates to the brain in reflexology so is incredibly effective.

"End by holding both feet, cupping one in each hand, you facing and smiling at baby, and gently press into the centre of the sole of the foot with your thumbs. This point is like an 'off button' and is the perfect way to close your bedtime routine. Hold for 10-15 secs or as long as you feel you want/need to. Or as long as your baby will let you!

"Slowly and gently put baby into their bedtime baby grow, swaddle if you choose to."

Warning signs to watch out for

If your baby cries at any point - stop.

Try later or the next day, with time they will get used to this new routine and gradually become more receptive. Every baby is unique and for some this routine can take time to feel comfortable for them. It's new to them too!

If your baby avoids eye contact, stop and follow the above advice.

If baby crosses their arms over themselves don't try and prise them apart, work around it. Don't force any positions.

If your baby rolls over at any point, again work with them and don't roll them back.