Infant Massage: How It Is Beneficial for Both You & Your Baby
For centuries, Infant Massage has been a popular natural method for mothers to improve the well-being of their child. Whether it's about soothing your little one or improving his physical health, a gentle massage always works wonders for your newborn baby. While Massaging provides you a lovely way to gently nurture your infant, it also offers a multitude of amazing benefits for both you and your little one. Let's take a look at just a few of them!
If your baby faces difficulty falling asleep, Massaging could be the best possible solution for you to help your little one settle down to sleep quickly and easily. Increasing the levels of sleep-inducing hormones, such as serotonin and melatonin, in the body, massage regulates your baby’s sleep patterns and provides him a better, deeper and more restful sleep. A 15-minute massage before bedtime is, therefore, a great way to help your child get a good night's sleep.
Strengthens the Immune System:
Massaging gives your baby’s immune system a boost, which protects him from a range of common ailments like colic, constipation, gas, sinus congestion and much more. To make your little one able to fight against a wide variety of dangerous diseases and infections, massage dramatically increases the number of natural killer cells in your infant’s immune system. Additionally, it also increases the flow of lymph through your newborn’s body, which further helps him avoid other potential health problems.
Reduces Stress and Cranky Behavior:
Babies cry and scream for no reason! A regular massage not only keeps your little one from all pains and discomforts but also it helps him feel much better, calmer and relaxed than before. Massaging increases the levels of 'feel-good' hormone Oxytocin as well as lowers the levels of stress hormones like Cortisol in the body. As a result, your little one cries less and feels much happier. In a nutshell, massage works as a natural stress reliever for a newborn baby.
Strengthens and Tones Muscles:
Low muscle tone, also known as Hypotonia or floppy baby syndrome, is a very common physical issue in infants. Stimulating the nervous system, massage allows your newborn to learn more about his body and its functions, which leads to improved muscle flexibility, coordination, and control. Thus, as a result of reduced muscle stiffness, your little one is able to develop a good muscle tone and suppleness.
Contributes to Healthy Weight Gain:
Various studies show that newborn babies who are massaged daily gain weight faster than infants who are not. Particularly premature infants or babies who are underweight at the time of birth experience a significant improvement in their weight. This happens because massaging stimulates the Vagus nerve – a key nerve that creates a bridge between brain and other important areas of the body, including the stomach. Stimulating this nerve leads to a better conversion of calories which helps your infant gain weight faster.
Helps You Understand Baby's Cues:
Touch is the only way to communicate with a baby who can’t understand or speak the verbal language. Helping you understand your baby’s particular non-verbal language, infant massage provides you the ability to recognize his own individual cues, needs, likes, dislikes, rhythms and patterns, to which you can respond accordingly. This way, you’re able to successfully communicate with your child even before he says his first word.
Promotes Mom-Infant Bonding:
As Massaging allows you and your little one to spend a lot of one-on-one, quality play time together, it creates a strong emotional bonding and attachment between you and your child. This early bond built from physical contact serves as the foundation for baby’s emotional and intellectual development later in life. Especially for fathers, massage is a great opportunity to connect and interact with their child.
Builds Your Confidence:
Infant massage helps you become more confident about your ability to handle and nurture your child. Not only you gain insight into your newborn’s own individual needs, but also you receive feedback in the form of different reactions about whether or not you’re doing a great job as a parent. Learning to understand your baby’s cues helps you feel more confident, competent, and less stressed in those early months of life.
Alleviates Postnatal Depression:
Besides the above-mentioned benefits, infant massage also proves beneficial for mothers in fighting against postnatal depression. Studies from around the world have shown that massage decreases the levels of stress hormones in both mom and her baby. This happens because of the quality time spent together by the mother and her newborn baby. As a general rule, the more time you spend massaging your baby, the less stressed you feel.