Infant Massage

Building Strong Parent-Child Bonds with Infant Massage

A baby’s health —  emotional, physical, and mental —  can all be positively influenced by infant massage. 

At birth, touch is one of the most developed senses that allows babies to receive input from the world around them. Stimulating a baby’s sense of touch is a great way to help babies grow and thrive, but it's also a wonderful way for parents and caregivers to connect with their infants, and gain confidence in caring for their babies. 

Infant Massage at About Play

The About Play team is dedicated to providing all the resources that parents and caregivers need to support healthy, strong, happy children. That's why we're proud to offer infant massage as one of our services and areas of expertise. 

With multiple infant massage certified team members on staff, the About Play team can show you how baby massages work, and how you can incorporate them into your daily routine with your baby. 

What is Infant Massage?

Infant massage is just what you'd expect! Just like tired parents can benefit from a quality massage on achy joints and sore feet, so can babies. Infant massage is a great way to connect and bond with your baby, but it's also a great way to help them in their emotional, physical, and mental development. 

Parents who are able to incorporate infant massage into their daily routines will provide a positive impact on their baby’s social-emotional development and attachment. Parents will gain a deeper understanding of their baby’s needs and will enjoy playing with their baby. About Play believes that children learn best from their parents and primary caregivers through daily interactions and play.

7 Benefits of Infant Massage:

Infant massage offers a wide range of benefits for babies and parents alike. From soothing a gassy tummy to easing growing pains, here are some of the top benefits of infant massage:

  • Reduced stress for parent and child
  • Improved sleep
  • Some studies have shown that infant massage can stimulate growth. 
  • The International Association of Infant Massage has found that baby massages can help stimulate both circulatory and digestive systems, soothing gas, cramps, colic, and constipation. 
  • Relieved pain and discomfort of teething
  • Promotes attachment between the parent and baby
  • Infant massage can aid in the development of motor skills
How Can I Learn Proper Infant Massage?

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Infant massage is a wonderful tool for any parent, but it can be tough to know where to start. How do baby massages work? How can you tell what's comfortable for your baby? 

The best place to start is just connecting with your baby. As a parent, you know how they communicate, and you know when they're feeling happy or fussy. That said, the idea of starting an infant massage can be daunting if you're new to the practice. 

If you're looking for help learning how to massage your baby, the About Play team is always here to help. Our infant massage certified staff members can help show you the ropes, and answer any questions you might have about infant massage and its benefits. 

To get you started, check out these tips:

Infant Massage Tips to Get You Started
  • Choose a quiet, warm place to sit and relax with your baby when they are not too hungry or tired. 
  • Begin by being present and taking deep breaths to relax.
  • Pay attention to your baby. Look into your baby’s eyes. Your baby will sense how you are feeling.
  • Try to use a light, organic massage oil such as olive oil, grape seed oil, or avocado oil. Not too much, just enough to make your hands smooth.
  • Talk to your baby! Tell your baby what you are doing when you are doing it in a soft, comforting voice. Ask your baby’s permission before touching or moving her.
  • Start at your baby's feet and legs. Gently massage their legs and feet with long, calm movements. 
  • From there, you can work your way up their body, being careful to avoid sensitive areas, like their belly button if their cord hasn't healed yet.
  • Read your baby’s cues. Willingness cues might include smiling, cooing, or making eye contact. Unwillingness cues might include grimacing, hiccoughs, turning head away, or arching of the back. When any of these unwillingness cues occur, stop and try again at a different time in the day.
  • Make infant massage part of your daily routine. You can incorporate the massage during the morning to start the day or at night before bedtime to help soothe your baby to sleep. 
  • Choose a time that you are not rushed and do your best to massage your baby around the same time every day.

Remember, the most important part of an infant massage is your connection with your baby. While infant massages can provide a number of health benefits, those only work if you and your baby are both comfortable and happy. If you have more questions about infant massage or your baby's development, the About Play team is here to help.

Types of Early Intervention Services

We provide the following types of Early Intervention Services:

Special Instruction/Family Training

Example: teaching developmental skills such as sign language or teaching how to hold a child to support feedings.

Service Coordination (case management)

Example: developing a plan (IFSP) to pull services together for
the family.

Evaluations

Example: checking for behavior problems, or specific therapies.

Speech Services

Example: finding out why a child does not talk.

Infant Massage

Physical Therapy

Example: working to improve a child’s movement to explore
their environment independently.

Occupational Therapy

Example: teaching a child to use a spoon.

Support Groups

Example: helping find support through community resources such as Family Connections.

Hearing Services

Example: fitting a hearing device.

Vision Services

Example: prescribing glasses.

Nursing Services

Example: tube feeding or bandage changing.

Nutrition Services

Example: special diets or referral to a nutritionist.