There has been increasing research on the benefits of introducing low impact, mild massage to babies. From relieving colic to soothing growing muscles, you and your baby could find a happy balance. Here are 3 benefits to incorporating massage into your baby’s daily routine.
Brain and Central Nervous System Development – There are some studies that suggest that the daily touch from baby massage can help develop your baby’s central nervous system and subsequently brain development. The sensation that is felt from the touch stimulates brain function and produces more serotonin. This feel-good hormone is responsible for reducing stress leaving your baby with less fussiness.
Colic – Specific massage has shown that it can help greatly reduce the occurrence of colic for some babies. Begin with a gentle belly massage, then follow it with a series of leg bends. This will help stimulate digestion and excretion, which may in-turn help eliminate colic and painful gas.
Bonding and Communication – Adding 10-15 minutes daily of baby massage can help create a bond between you and your baby. It has even been shown to help increase communication between a parent and baby. By spending this time together focused on your baby’s needs, you may become more in tuned with his or her reactions to environment. You will see clear displays of affection and enjoyment from your baby that you can translate into other situations.
Edan Harari, a licensed massage therapist, adds, “In addition to all these great benefits, you can also help your baby get a deeper sleep by giving them a massage before you put them in bed. I recommend taking an infant massage lesson with a professional certified massage therapist to learn some of the important basics of how to give an effective massage to your baby, as it will differ from giving one to an adult.”
Baby massage is simple and healthy for you and your baby, creating a bond and routine that is fundamental to his or her development. With just a few minutes daily you might be able to make your baby more comfortable and empower yourself more as a parent.
Reviewed by Edan Harari, LMT
- Meredith Corporation, 2013
- Photo Credit: flickr.com/photos/valentinap/129820098/