5 Benefits of Infant Massage

5 Benefits of Infant Massage

February 28, 2021

Like us adults, our little ones need massages as well - and not just for pampering! An infant massage is a process of rubbing an infant's muscles and stroking the body in a manner specifically designed to keep babies relaxed and healthy. 

Similar in the way a regular massage provides pain relief for our bodies, it does the same for our babies and much more. In fact, infant massages have been around since ancient times, primarily in Asian and Pacific Island cultures, and it has been long believed that this method is known to be healing in both physical and spiritual aspects. Further research shows that this is indeed very beneficial to both the parents and their children.

Here are some notable benefits of an infant massage: 

Reduced stress for parent and child

Never underestimate the power of a caring touch by a parent to their child, especially at these early stages in their lives. Infant massages create these wonderful opportunities for parents to form stronger bonds with their babies. This helps parents in getting to know their babies on a deeper level, getting to know more of what their baby’s needs are. This will result in a more efficient way of communication that will then reduce stress on both sides.

Improved Sleep

Infant massages prove to be very soothing for our little ones. Now, each baby is unique, but in general, newborns sleep around 16 to 20 hours per day, but as they grow older their night-time sleeps get longer and they need fewer naps during the day. Some parents have observed that around 6 to12 months, their babies are having problems with their sleep. If you are one of those parents, you might want to try an infant massage, this will relieve them of stress and discomfort and so you should see improvements in their sleep.

Stimulated growth hormone for weight gain in underweight babies

There were multiple types of research made on this subject and most, if not all, showed promising effects that infant massages, whether it caused a huge or minimal impact, did help underweight babies gain weight. In one research, two groups performed two different types of infant massages, which were provided for three 10-minute periods per day for 5 days, one hour after feeding. Both types of infant massages resulted in preterm infants exhibiting greater weight gain during the 5-day treatment period.

The improved overall functioning of the gastrointestinal tract

According to the International Association of Infant Massage (IAIM), infant massages may help to stimulate the circulatory and digestive systems. This means infant massages can help in relieving discomfort from gas, colic, and problems in congestion. You can try to search for easy-to-learn massage techniques that can help move along digestion and move out the gas that is causing distress to your little ones, which should help remove the discomfort they are feeling in just a few minutes.

Relieved pain and discomfort of teething

Infant massages may also help ease muscular tension, growing pains, as well as teething discomfort. A special facial massage technique helps release endorphins, the body’s natural pain reliever. Massage also reduces levels of cortisol, the stress hormone.

 

Every parent only wants what is best for their children. Some may not be too comfortable with just learning infant massage techniques on the fly - and that’s alright! It can be a bit overwhelming to learn so much all at once. That’s why About Play is proud to announce that we have seven staff certified in infant massage

You may visit our REFERRALS page for more information on how we can help.