It may not seem obvious that they need a baby massage, but even infants can have muscle tension that can be helped by massage therapy.
Why do massage therapy for babies?
The birth process can be traumatic for babies. Baby massage can be a fantastic way for parents to bond with their babies! It’s a wonderful way to introduce healthy touch to your child.
How Does Massage Therapy Benefit Babies?
Here are the benefits of infant massage:
- Infants can be soothed and relaxed by the healing touch of massage therapy.
- Infant colic can be improved by massage therapy too.
- As for anyone else, massage helps calm, soothe, activate the parasympathetic nervous system which helps sleep, relaxation, and digestion.
- Massage helps to stimulate all the physiological systems of the body
- It relieves stress through increased relaxation (both for the baby and the parents), creating healthy parent-infant interaction
- Baby massage can heighten awareness of your baby’s cues
- Massage for babies helps to relieve colic, gas and reduce constipation.
What Does the Research Show Regarding Infant Massage?
- Children aged 1-3 with developmental delay with no clear diagnosis, after 12 weeks of 2 massage sessions per week showed improved motor skills and sensory processing (Lu, WP et al, 2018)
- Infant massage appears to benefit the maternal-infant relationship in women with post-partum mood disorders (Lindensmith, R, 2018)
- Mothers in this study in Norway enjoyed the experience of learning infant massage and felt closer to their babies as a result (Midtsund, A, et al, 2018)
- Massaging significantly improved colic symptoms during a one-week intervention for all outcomes. (Sheidaei, A et al, 2016)
Dev Neurorehabil. 2018 Oct 30:1-9. doi: 10.1080/17518423.2018.1537317. [Epub ahead of print]
The Beneficial Effects of Massage on Motor Development and Sensory Processing in Young Children with Developmental Delay: A Randomized Control Trial Study.
Lu WP, Tsai WH, Lin LY, Hong RB, Hwang YS.
Interventions to Improve Maternal-Infant Relationships in Mothers With Postpartum Mood Disorders.
Mothers’ experiences learning and performing infant massage-A qualitative study.
Midtsund A1, Litland A1, Hjälmhult E1.
The effectiveness of massage therapy in the treatment of infantile colic symptoms: A randomized controlled trial.
Sheidaei A1, Abadi A2, Zayeri F3, Nahidi F4, Gazerani N5, Mansouri A6.