The Benefits Of Infant Massage

by : Anne Morris

Most mothers instinctively lovingly massage their babies. Perhaps it was by understanding this and observing the effect upon the infant that the idea of infant massage was born. Actually infant massage has been in practice for many years. But recently its popularity has taken off worldwide. It should really come as no surprise since both babies and parents enjoy the benefits. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of infant massage below:

Infant Massage Facilitates Bonding

Touch between mother and baby is extremely important during the early months in order to develop the bond that will help the baby thrive and grow into a happy well adjusted child. The mother and father are able to provide gentle nurturing touches which the baby associates with love and being cared for. Infant massage helps the baby and parents get to know one another and spend quiet quality time together, communicating through touch.

Infant Massage Relaxes the Infant

A newborn baby’s life is pretty stressful when you think about it. He gets hungry and cold and the only way he can let anyone know he needs attention is to yell for it. Infant massage can help relax a stressed out baby that has just had too much activity or is suffering from stomach upsets. When infant massage is part of the baby’s normal routine, there is a good chance he will grow into a child who knows what relaxation is and how to achieve it to escape the stresses of life.

Infant Massage Improves Baby’s Sleep

It follows that a baby lulled into relaxation by an infant massage will quickly succumb to slumber. The upside is that infant massage may help to promote sounder and longer sleep periods. Parents will also benefit from a soundly sleeping baby which will give them much needed rest also.

Infant Massage Supports Communication

Infant massage opens up a new channel for communication among baby and parents. Parents will learn to pick up on nonverbal cues from the baby. The infant will grow to feel as if he is being heard and attended to without having to clamor for it.

Infant Massage Relieves Discomfort

Studies indicate that infant massage releases endorphins and oxytocin into the baby’s body. These elements may act to relive the common discomforts a baby struggles with such as teething, stress, congestion, and colic. Watch any mother trying to comfort an unhappy baby as massage, rubbing, and patting just come naturally. The movements help to settle the child, relax him, and alleviate his discomfort.

Infant Massage is Fun

What better reason could there be for infant massage other than the simple fact that the baby and parents think it is fun? It is a great way to get some giggles and coos from the baby and have an enjoyable time together.

So given the above benefits, it is no wonder that infant massage is so popular. Of course mothers have been massaging their babies since the beginning of time, but when we speak of the formal infant massage you should know there is actually a method to follow. Certain types of movements act to calm and relax the baby before bedtime and other types of movements will energize him. Still other types of massage movements act to relieve discomfort. So if you would like to learn formal massage for your baby and experience the benefits above, ask around and see if you can find a local infant massage class that you and your baby can attend together.