Baby massage benefits (or infant massage benefits) includes calming and relaxing the baby with slow, gentle strokes with very little pressure, allowing baby and Mommy to rest and sleep.
Some hospitals teach parents how to give a massage to their baby as part of the parenting classes they offer. However, parents also seek qualified therapists who have this training when their baby has colic or digestive issues.
The main benefits of massage therapy for babies is that it provides a loving, bonding experience for you and your baby. And bonding time is one thing new parents can never get too much!
But the massage also helps by:
1) Improving gastrointestinal tract function - easing colic
2) Improving immune system, muscle tone and circulation
3) Promoting nerve development and relaxation techniques
4) Creating an intimate and strong bond between parent and child
5) Increase oxygen flow
6) Enhances senses
7) Enhances physical and psychological development
8) Reduces stress in babies - allowing them to relax
9) Develops trust bond with baby
Baby massage tends to deeply relax the infant, so he/she can go to sleep faster, and stay asleep for longer periods of time.
According to studies performed in 2008 at the The Touch Institute, in Miami, FL, infants who were given a bath with lavender-scented bath oil were more relaxed, as opposed to babies who had no lavender in their bath water.
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The institute also did a study in 1987 of the effects of massage of preterm newborns to improve growth and development.
It concluded that infant massage stimulation enhanced weight gain and responsiveness in preterm newborns, and may affect later growth and development.
If your baby has ever had pain and excessive crying spells due to colic, you understand the desperate need to help them eliminate the pain.
In studies of massage for colic, researchers concluded that babies who were massaged correctly experienced fewer crying episodes and experienced deeper sleep by the end of the study.
Baby massage benefits both parents, baby, and caregivers because it helps the baby to be calmer and more relaxed, which overall, helps the baby to be healthier, throughout infancy, childhood, and adulthood.