According to Mayo Clinic, infant massage is a gentle way to nurture and spend time with your baby. Find out the benefits to infant massage and how to get started!
What are the benefits of infant massage?
- Encourage interaction between you and your baby
- Help your baby relax and sleep
- Positively affect infant hormones that control stress
- Reduce crying
Some studies also found that infant massage involving moderate pressure might promote growth for premature babies!
How do I massage my baby?
- Create a calm atmosphere. Try to do the massage in a warm, quiet place — indoors or outdoors. Remove your jewelry and sit comfortably on the floor or a bed or stand in front of the changing table. Position your baby on a blanket or towel in front of you. Place your baby on his or her back so that you can maintain eye contact.
- Control your touch. When you first start massaging your baby, use a soft and gentle touch. As your baby grows, use a firmer touch.
- Slowly stroke and knead each part of your baby's body. Start by placing your baby on his or her stomach and spending one minute each rubbing different areas, such as the head, neck, shoulders, upper back, waist, thighs, feet and hands. Then, place your baby on his or her back and spend one minute each extending and flexing your baby's arms and legs, and then both legs at the same time. Lastly, with your baby either on his or her back or stomach, repeat the rubbing motions for another five minutes.
- Stay relaxed.You might sing or tell a story. Try repeating your baby's name and the word "relax" as you help him or her release tension.
- Watch how your baby responds. If your baby jiggles his or her arms and seems happy, he or she is likely enjoying the massage and you can continue. If your baby turns his or her head away from you or appears restless or unhappy, stop the massage and try again another time.
Looking to learn more about infant massage? Drop in to our weekly Infant Massage class and Learn the basics of Infant massage in a relaxed environment with other families. Best for pre-walking babies but all are welcome. Each week will focus on a different part of the body and review the importance of touch for children of all ages. All materials are provided and some handouts will be given out each week.