What is an infant massage?
The term infant massage refers to the process of stroking the muscles of an infant using a variety of specialized massage techniques. It includes massaging the legs, feet, stomach, chest, arms, hands, face and back. Vocalizations, eye-to-eye contact and other positive behavioral reinforcements are also important components of the massage.
Your baby’s healthy development depends on early psychological and sensory input. Massaging your child early in life isn’t just good for your baby, though. It’s a valuable tool for improving your parenting skills and bonding with your baby.
Learning infant massage techniques from a certified infant massage instructor (CIMI)* is recommended and having your baby present for hands-on learning is the ideal way to learn. If possible, infant massage should be started as soon as possible, but it is never too late to learn and try these techniques with your child! Studies show that massage can increase your feeling of attachment, as well as your desire to nurture and care for your baby.
While infant massage is designed to begin with newborn infants, the same basic massage techniques can be used throughout toddlerhood and childhood and beyond.
Benefits of infant massage
Benefits for baby
- Creates a loving, intimate communication
- Enhances bonding and attachment
- Promotes social, emotional and cognitive development
- Helps baby relax and releases tensions of daily stimuli
- Decreases irritability and excessive crying
- Reduces gas, colic and intestinal difficulties
- Regulates behavioral states and promotes sleep
- Strengthens and regulates respiratory, circulatory, nervous, musculature, digestive and endocrine systems
Benefits for parents
- Promotes better understanding of infant's cues
- Enhances communication and emotional ties
- Increases confidence and handling skills
- Provides quality one-on-one interaction
- Helps parents to unwind and relax
- Increases direct eye contact with baby
- Gives parents a special time to connect and bond
Benefits for premature babies
- May facilitate weight gain in preterm newborns
- Can reduce stress hormones
- Often counterbalances pain responses
- May promote more mature motor behavior
- Can improve immune function
- May improve gastrointestinal movement
- May reduce length of hospital stay
Read more about the benefits of the infant massage
How to schedule an appointment for infant massages
To register for an upcoming infant massage class, call 804-828-4409.
View class schedule