Massage and Your Baby
Amanda Tune, RMT - Registered Massage Therapist
There seems to be a level of surprise when people realize that massage can be performed on children as young as newborns. Studies have shown that when premature babies receive massage in the hospital, they gain weight more quickly and therefore, are able to go home sooner.
With infants, it is most beneficial to teach techniques to the parents that can then be applied at home. When I was an infant massage instructor, I taught both groups of parents and offered one-on-one guidance.
Some of the benefits include:
Increases circulation: For infants, that increase in circulation is even more beneficial to their newly developing systems. It helps bring blood flow to their maturing systems including cardiovascular and digestive.
Increases digestion: The increase in circulation to many areas of the body, including the digestive system, helps the body breakdown and digest food more easily. It is also why we often feel hungry after massage. With babies, the maturing digestive system often leads to painful gas pains. Massage techniques to relieve that gas allows them to feel comfortable enough to eat well and often.
Increases relaxation: Making massage part of your baby’s bedtime routine can encourage them to sleep better. The increase in circulation and the release of the feel-good hormones like dopamine and serotonin cause that sleepy feeling many of us experience after a massage. My recommendation is to include massage with lavender massage oil after bath time, as part of your child’s regular bedtime routine.
The benefits of massage also include older children for some of the reasons listed, as well as many others. Feel free to inquire with us about any questions you may have about massage being a good fit for your baby or child.