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What Is the Best Age To Start Baby Massage on My Child?

August 11, 2022

For adults, receiving a massage can be one of the most soothing and rejuvenating experiences out there. Did you know that babies can benefits from massages as well? Not only are baby massages relaxing, but they also offer a sense of comfort, safety, and more. Read on to discover the best time to start baby massage and what advantages it offers your child. 

What is Baby Massage?

A baby massage is just that – performing a massage on a baby, whether it be on the face, neck, abdomen, back, or belly. Many infants thrive with skin-to-skin contact, and massages are the perfect way to incorporate more loving touches on a daily basis. Baby-safe oils and lotions can be used to take the massage up a notch, although it isn’t necessary. 

When Should I Start Baby Massage?

There is no set age or timeline for when exactly you should start performing baby massage. However, experts agree that it is usually best to begin after the first few weeks of birth. As long as your child has been medically cleared to be handled, it’s safe to move forward with baby massages. 

According to Jakki Bosco, a licensed massage therapist and owner of the Tampa Massage Clinic, “The best time to start infant massage is within the first three months, as babies begin to develop important physical and intellectual abilities, including motor skills.”

As you start baby massage, be sure to use light and gentle touches. Be sure that the child is calm, alert, and content with being rubbed. 

What Are the Benefits of Baby Massage?

There is a wide array of benefits of baby massage. One of the main advantages is deepening the bond between the baby and parent – which in itself can lead to lots of other fantastic benefits. More rewarding experiences that can come from baby massage include:

  • Reduced gas - Abdominal massage on colicky infants can aid digestion.
  • Improved muscle tone - Moving/circulating a baby’s muscles prevents atrophy and helps develop strength.
  • Brain development - Massaging a baby will increase their awareness of body position and movement. 
  • Increased focus and eye contact - When you massage a baby, it’s a form of bonding. This allows the baby to practice maintaining eye contact and relax during times of overstimulation. 
  • Enhanced neuromuscular connections - The baby will become more aware of sensory connections, where they are in a space, and how they can move. 
  • Healthier immune system - Massages increase white blood cell count, which will improve immuno-responses. 
  • Improve mood - Endorphins and cortisol are released during therapeutic touch, which will make your baby happy. 
  • Better sleep - Massages are extremely relaxing, which can be a helpful aid before bedtime to help your child start winding down. 

Why Is Baby Massage Important for Child Development?

As mentioned above, baby massage can affect a child in a number of positive ways. Early infant development is greatly influenced by touch, and infant massage supports development in lots of different skill areas:

  • Communication skills - Massages can promote emerging speech and listening skills.
  • Motor skills - The pressure of a massage will improve muscle tone and coordination. 
  • Social skills - This one-on-one activity will encourage children and caregivers to engage with one another. 
  • Self-help skills - Massages will stimulate oral motor awareness and tension relaxation – which is needed for swallowing. 
  • Cognition - A massage can enhance the overall awareness of body boundaries, cause-and-effect, and attention span. 

Learn More About Baby Massage

When you start baby massage, you’ll be positively contributing to your child’s health, growth, and development. If you’re interested in learning more about baby massage and its benefits, our team here at About Play would be more than happy to discuss the details with you. 

Give us a call or contact us online today to discover amazing ways you can improve your baby’s life.