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Parents Using A Head Massager To 'Tickle' Their Baby's Scalp Are Warned It Could Be Damaging Her

Photo: @ashleyking1393 / TikTok
baby, head massager

A set of parents were met with harsh backlash after sharing what they perceived to be a cute video of their baby having her head massaged. 

In the video, the baby girl appears to be uncomfortable and many people believe it is because she is too vulnerable for the unusual sensation and that it could be dangerous for her developing brain. 

TikTok users warned the parents against using a head massager on a baby's scalp. 

In a TikTok video that has been viewed over 4 million times, Ashley King shares her six-month-old daughter’s reaction to having her head massaged for the first time. The massager in question is a handheld plastic rod with metal spokes branching out from the end of it. 

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The video depicts King’s husband holding their baby with one hand as he gently uses the massager to graze over her scalp with the other. The infant appears to be confused by the new sensation at first, and then suddenly grimaces as she balls her hands into fists. Her face scrunches as if she is on the verge of tears. 

“She wasn’t impressed,” the mother of two captioned her video. While King and her husband believed that the baby’s reaction was cute and harmless, many others felt differently.

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Some people criticized the parents for appearing to inflict pain on the baby. 

“That looks like it hurts,” one user commented. “That’s too intense to use on such a small baby,” another user wrote. 

Others were concerned about how the massager would impact the baby’s ‘soft spot’ on her head. 

All infants are born with two major soft spots on the top of their heads called fontanels. They are spaces between the bones in the head where the skull formation is not yet complete so that babies are able to pass through the birth canal. The soft spot at the back of the head, called the posterior fontanelle, usually closes when a baby is two months old and the soft spot at the front, called the anterior fontanelle closes anywhere between four and 26 months. 

According to medical professionals, gently touching a baby’s fontanelles on their head, such as when you’re holding or bathing them, will not harm them. There is a thick and durable membrane under a baby’s scalp that protects the brain. However, you should refrain from being rough around a baby’s head to avoid hurting them and their sensitive soft spots. 

TikTok users believed that the baby’s sudden grimace was due to her soft spots being bothered. “It looks like it pushed right into her soft spot,” one user noted. “Be careful of her soft spots! She is hurting!” another user warned. However, her mother believed otherwise. 

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King argues that the massager did not hurt her baby and only ‘tickled’ her. 

“It was more of a tickle,” she responded in a comment to a concerned viewer. “It’s a weird feeling.” She adds that she told her husband to stop using the massager on their daughter after the video ended. 

“It is really gentle, it's not something hard and it was very quick too,” she reported. Additionally, King shared a video of her older daughter experiencing a similar reaction to her baby sister when the massager was used on her head to prove that it is not painful — just ticklish! 



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Megan Quinn is a writer at YourTango who covers entertainment and news, self, love, and relationships.