About Baby Massage
‘Being touched and caressed, being massaged, is food for the infant; food as necessary as minerals, vitamins, and proteins’
Dr Federick Leyboyer.
Loving hands. The traditional art of baby massage.
The tradition of baby massage has been passed down from generation to generation and has been found to date back as early as 3000 years ago. Infant massage is used in many cultures including India, Africa, New Zealand and the Caribbean.
Interest in baby massage in Western cultures only really started in the 1970’s. Research showed that premature babies who received regular infant massage benefitted both in terms of improved weight gain and neurological development. Later studies have shown that the benefits of baby massage included reduction of stress hormones, promotion of strong parent-infant bonds and improved quality of sleep.
Our sense of touch is the first sense to be developed in utero. Starting around seven weeks’ gestation the skin is the first organ to be complete. At birth, touch is the baby’s most developed sense and therefore is the primary way they initially learn about the world around them.
The benefits of baby massage include;
For your baby
Strengthens secure attachments and interactions between parent and child
Communicates the feelings of being loved, valued and respected to your baby
Helps to reduce crying
Increases baby’s ability to relax and to sleep more deeply
Encourages coordination, body awareness and develops baby’s first language: touch
Provides relief from issues such as wind, colic, constipation and teething
Raises levels of the love hormone Oxytocin in both you and your baby promoting feelings of closeness.
Close contact helps build a greater understanding of your baby’s body language and behaviours
Special peaceful one to one time with your baby
Increased skills that will give you greater confidence in caring for your baby
Feelings of relaxation as you massage your baby
Learning baby massage with your baby is a wonderful experience that will provide lifelong happy memories and nurture the parent-infant bond.