Massage has been used to promote wellness both physical and physiological- a healthy circulatory system, improving immune function and alleviating emotional stress.

More and more studies are showing that massages can benefit infants and babies as well. Infant massage is an age-old parenting practice used in many cultures such as Asia, Eastern Europe, Africa and Latin America.

As parents, we understand that touch is an important way to bond with newborns. But, a massage can do even more.

Infant massage goes beyond just a generic inventory of consecutive strokes and proven benefits. It allows your newborn to sleep better, improve health and helps you build a stronger bond.

A massage involves mindfully engaging with the baby, recognising nonverbal communication and creatively adapting touch to support the child’s sensory needs and capabilities. Whether your baby is a newborn or several years old, a massage can provide immediate benefits and lasting results.

Here are a few benefits of infant massage-

Improved sleep- In a study by Tiffany Field, PhD at Touch Research Institutes at the University of Miami School of Medicine, it was found- ‘Infants and toddlers with sleep onset problems showed fewer sleep delays after being massaged by their parents for 15 minutes before bedtime each for a month.’ Massage helps babies sleep deeper. And, you will sleep better if they are sleeping better.

Stimulate growth hormone for weight gain- Dr. Field also studies massage for preterm babies (preemies). His study concluded ‘preemies who were massaged three times a day for 15 minutes gained 47 percent more weight and left the hospital an average of six days earlier than those who were not massaged.’  

Improve overall functioning of gastrointestinal tract- Constipation, colic and gas can cause a lot of distress for both babies and parents. A soothing baby massage can help move along digestion and move out gas that can cause distress, often relieve pain and discomfort in just a few minutes. Massaging your child is simple and easy, but the rewards are huge.

Relieve pain and discomfort of teething- For the babies and parents, teething is on of the most stressful times. A massage can help decrease the pain and relieve stress. Massage promotes the release of endorphins- a happy hormone and reduces the release of cortisol- a stress hormone.

Strengthen bond between parent and child- As a parent, you develop an instant connection with your baby. Infant massage allows you to take that connection a step further. It is much more than a physical connection. A massage provides psychological and emotional benefits as well. It will help in strengthening the bond between parent and child.

Add a regular massage in your baby’s daily regime and you’ll notice huge results.

 

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