Infant Massage: Feelin’ the Love
Now that you’ve gotten your baby on the move, it’s time for a cool down. A lot of the time that will mean a nap, but many parents will share with you that it could also be time for you baby to get special treatment… a massage.
Many parents are turning to this ancient form of relaxation for their child. Even though it would be wonderful as a new parent to be able to get a massage a couple times a week, it’s also a wonderful tool to use on your baby.
While the research on infant massage is quite limited, some elements seem to show consistently. Researchers claim that massage fosters both psychological and physiological development, creating a wonderful bonding experience between parent and child as well as boosting an infant’s immune system. It’s also beneficial for us as parents. As we busy our lives with work, taking care of the household, and so many other elements of life, we don’t want to miss out on those precious moments with our child. Massage can help us to feel that love we have for our child, validating that love and affection we have for them.
Other benefits of infant massage are relieving gas and comforting a child with colic. Infant massage helps to improve blood flow enhancing the nervous system and stimulating neurological development. It has been shown to reduce stress and to release a hormone called oxytocin, sometimes referred to as the “love hormone”, or “nurturing hormone”.
Regardless of the research, many of us know that a massage can do wonders. It can relax us deeply and calm us and prepare us for restful sleep. If infant massage is something you feel you would like to try with you child, make sure that you do some reading on the subject, research the best techniques and learn how to massage your infant in the right way. Your baby will feel how much you love her.
Resources: International Association of Infant Massage (IAIM), www.babyzone.com (article: “The Surprising Benefits of Infant Massage”)