Benefits of Infant Massage
Although infant massage therapy has been around for ages, it is becoming more popular amongst parents in today’s society. The benefits of infant massage therapy are plentiful for both mother and baby, and they include the following.
1. Reduced Stress
Both mother and baby will de-stress during a massage session. Massaging your baby’s muscles will help relax and soothe your newborn, helping to make him feel calm. Through gentle massage techniques, coupled with soft music in the background and an overall tranquil state of mind for both mother and baby, it is likely that the mother will de-stress during this process also. In most cases, mother and baby look forward to this special time with one another each day.
2. Increased Bonding
During infant massage, mother and baby will strengthen their relationship with one another. Because babies need close contact to feel safe and secure, infant massage is a proven method for fulfilling your baby’s need for security. Your baby will become accustomed to your touch and will look forward to this special time with you each day. During this uninterrupted time, you are able to focus solely on your baby, watching his cues to discover his likes and/or dislikes.
3. Increased Alertness When Awake & Better Sleep When Resting
Because babies that experience infant massage will sleep better during rest periods, you will find that your baby exhibits increased alertness while awake. Through infant massage, babies will experience increased feelings of security and comfort, as well as increased relaxation, which will lead to more comfortable and uninterrupted sleep patterns.
4. Improved Circulation
Good blood circulation is healthy for adults and babies, but it is harder for small babies to increase blood circulation while they are immobile. Research shows that increased blood flow to the limbs increases physical growth and development. In addition to the other noted benefits of infant massage, giving your infant a daily massage will increase blood circulation to various parts of the body.
5. Digestive Pain Relief
Babies that experience gas and colic symptoms can often be hard to console, due to their pain levels, which can be stressful for both mother and baby. Infant massage therapy techniques can help reduce the pain and discomfort often associated with gas and digestive muscle spasms. Often, parents find that by incorporating a series of massage therapy techniques into the baby’s daily routine, the necessity for medication is reduced or eliminated.
6. Intellectual Development
Because infant massage provides uninterrupted time for just you and your baby, you can utilize this time to strengthen and develop your baby’s intellect. Talk to your baby about what you are doing, play soft music in the background or tell your baby a story/song while you massage his skin. Take this opportunity to teach your baby about his body parts, naming each one as you massage. Use descriptive words to describe the process or how he might feel while you are massaging.