5 Benefits of Infant Massage According to the Research

Babies thrive on loving touch. Parents and caregivers have known the importance of skin-to-skin contact for millenia, but it’s only been in recent times that science has begun studying and trying to quantify the amazing  power of massage and other touch techniques:

Massage after baby bathtime

Flickr user Miss Pupik CC License

Improved Sleep Patterns

Infants who were massaged before bedtime adjusted to a more favorable rest-activity cycle by the age of 8 weeks and produced more melatonin, a sleep regulator, during the night by the age of 12 weeks.

– Ferber SG, Laudon M, Kuint J, Weller A, Zisapel N. Massage therapy and sleep-wake rhythms in the neonate. Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics 2002;23(6):410-415.

Reduction of Stress

Cortisol levels, a stress indicator, was significantly lower after infant massage.

– White-Traut RC, Pate CM, Modulating infant state in premature infants. J Pediatr Nurs. 1987;2(2):96-101.

Improved Interaction in Families

Fathers who used massage techniques with their infants experienced increased self-esteem as a parents. The babies greeted their fathers with more eye contact, smiling, vocalizing and reaching responses. The fathers were more expressive and showed more enjoyment and more warmth during floor-play interactions with their infants.

– Cullen, C., Field, T., Escalona, A. & Hartshorn, K. (2000). Father-infant interactions are enhanced by massage therapy. Early Child Development and Care, 164, 41-47.

Support of Mother’s Mental Health

infant massage classLearning the practice of infant massage by mothers may be an effective treatment for facilitating mother-infant interaction in mothers with postnatal depression. Edinburgh Postnatal Depression scores improved for the mothers who learned massage, as did their video-taped mother-baby interactions.

– Onozawa k, Glover V, Adams D, Modi N, Kumar RC. Infant massage improves mother-Infant interaction for mothers with postnatal depression

Increased Weight Gain for Premature Infants

Premature infants that were massaged regularly had higher daily weight gain, increased motor activity, and better Brazelton neonatal behavioral assessment scores. They had a better conversion of calories to weight gain.

 – Field TM, Schanberg SM, Scafidi F, et al. Tactile/kinesthetic stimulation effects on preterm neonates. Pediatrics. 1986;77(5):654-658.

– Phillips RB, Moses HA. Skin hunger effects on preterm neonates. Infant Toddler Intervention. 1996;6(1):39-46.

Upcoming Classes

Apr
8
Sun
Infant Massage – April @ Hill Center @ Hill Center
Apr 8 @ 12:15 pm – 1:15 pm

baby being massagedMassage is a great way to connect to your baby and has been shown to help babies sleep better, gain weight, reduce fussiness, improve health and relax.

Our classes teach parents massage techniques in a progressive sequence over several weeks – focusing on different parts of the body each week, which provides opportunity to practice strokes at home between lessons.

Instructor will provides handouts for home practice and review material in subsequent classes. Class sizes are kept small to ensure lots of personal attention.

The ideal time to start this class is when your baby is 2-6 months old, but younger and older babies are welcome.

Pack a towel or baby blanket you do not mind getting oil on, and a change of diapers and clothes. Register Button

Apr
15
Sun
Infant Massage – April @ Hill Center @ Hill Center
Apr 15 @ 12:15 pm – 1:15 pm

baby being massagedMassage is a great way to connect to your baby and has been shown to help babies sleep better, gain weight, reduce fussiness, improve health and relax.

Our classes teach parents massage techniques in a progressive sequence over several weeks – focusing on different parts of the body each week, which provides opportunity to practice strokes at home between lessons.

Instructor will provides handouts for home practice and review material in subsequent classes. Class sizes are kept small to ensure lots of personal attention.

The ideal time to start this class is when your baby is 2-6 months old, but younger and older babies are welcome.

Pack a towel or baby blanket you do not mind getting oil on, and a change of diapers and clothes. Register Button

Apr
22
Sun
Infant Massage – April @ Hill Center @ Hill Center
Apr 22 @ 12:15 pm – 1:15 pm

baby being massagedMassage is a great way to connect to your baby and has been shown to help babies sleep better, gain weight, reduce fussiness, improve health and relax.

Our classes teach parents massage techniques in a progressive sequence over several weeks – focusing on different parts of the body each week, which provides opportunity to practice strokes at home between lessons.

Instructor will provides handouts for home practice and review material in subsequent classes. Class sizes are kept small to ensure lots of personal attention.

The ideal time to start this class is when your baby is 2-6 months old, but younger and older babies are welcome.

Pack a towel or baby blanket you do not mind getting oil on, and a change of diapers and clothes. Register Button

Apr
29
Sun
Infant Massage – April @ Hill Center @ Hill Center
Apr 29 @ 12:15 pm – 1:15 pm

baby being massagedMassage is a great way to connect to your baby and has been shown to help babies sleep better, gain weight, reduce fussiness, improve health and relax.

Our classes teach parents massage techniques in a progressive sequence over several weeks – focusing on different parts of the body each week, which provides opportunity to practice strokes at home between lessons.

Instructor will provides handouts for home practice and review material in subsequent classes. Class sizes are kept small to ensure lots of personal attention.

The ideal time to start this class is when your baby is 2-6 months old, but younger and older babies are welcome.

Pack a towel or baby blanket you do not mind getting oil on, and a change of diapers and clothes. Register Button

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