The Benefits of Infant Massage
The benefits of massaging your baby are many: for your baby, for you as parents, for your family, and for society at large.
Massaging your baby promotes bonding; it contains every element of the bonding process. Infant massage promotes a secure attachment with your child over time. It promotes verbal and nonverbal communication between the two of you. Your baby receives undivided attention from you; your baby will feel respected and loved. It is one of the only times that all of your baby's senses are nourished.
Infant massage aids in the development of your baby’s circulatory, respiratory, and gastrointestinal systems. It aids in sensory integration, helping your baby learn how their body feels and what its limits are. Massaging your baby helps make connections between neurons in the brain, which helps develop the nervous system. It also aids the generation of muscular development and tone, and contributes to their mind/body awareness.
Regular infant massage improves sleep, increases flexibility, and regulates behavioural states. It reduces stress, levels of stress hormones, and hypersensitivity. Massaging your baby creates higher levels of anti- stress hormones and promotes and improved ability to self-calm. It teaches your baby to relax in the face of stress.
Infant massage helps with wind and colic, constipation and elimination, muscular tension, and teething discomfort. It also helps with “growing pains,” organises the nervous system, relieves physical and psychological tension, and softens skin. It helps release physical and emotion tension, balances oxygen levels, and provides a sense of security.
Benefits for Parents
Massaging your baby releases bonding and relaxing hormones into your system. It helps you learn a type of mindfulness as you spend quality time with your infant. It can aid in lactation, self-esteem, and confidence in your parenting. The bonding and secure attachment help you be a better parent. It is a wonderful way for fathers to be intimately involved with the care of their babies, and helps both parents understand their baby’s “language.”
Benefits for the Family
Infant massage encourages the involvement of siblings and extended family in baby care. It promotes a relaxed environment in the home, communication, and respect.
Benefits for Society
Imagine a world where newborns, older babies, toddlers, and children are routinely given healthy, loving massages every day; where the entire culture values positive, nurturing touch, respect, and empathy. There would be reduced infant health care costs, less child abuse, fewer behavioural problems in children, and less violence.
The International Association of Infant Massage - changing the world, one baby at a time.