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The Benefits of Infant Massage

Author: Karen Miller, PT, DPT, CIMI
Published Date: Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Life is busy. The demands of our jobs, homes and families are constant and often the aim is just to get to the end of the day without a crisis and with most of our sanity intact. Add a new baby to this equation, and the odds of reaching these goals can seem almost impossible. When given the choice, most of us would really like to “unplug”, relax and be in the moment. Interestingly, that is what your baby would want for you (and herself), too.

Infant massage is a wonderful way to create a small island of peace, love and security in the chaos of your day. It allows you to stop, turn off the cell phone, dim the lights and create a loving routine with your baby that soothes and nurtures both of you. The eye contact, talking, singing and physical touch that occurs during infant massage provides a means of loving communication and strengthens the bond between you and your baby.

An end-of-the-day or bedtime routine that incorporates the loving touch of infant massage establishes personal, shared time that both of you look forward to and quickly becomes a cherished part of each day. A massage at bedtime is a lovely way to relax and is a proven way to improve baby’s sleep patterns and sleep quality.

As your baby grows and his or her needs and preferences change, the routine can evolve and change as well. What remains constant is the strong bond and loving communication that you’ve established with your child.

Infant massage has many proven physical and developmental benefits. It can help with gas and ease colic, soothe and calm a fussy baby, assist with relaxation and sleep, and promote the ability to feed effectively. The security and nurturing it provides, however, is its most important benefit. Research has shown again and again that the most important factor in growing up to be a happy, healthy, resilient person is a strong bond with a loving adult during infancy and early childhood.

So … turn off that cell phone, and create a loving routine of connection through infant massage.

Learn the technique of infant massage at one of CHKD’s infant massage classes www.CHKD.org/Classes.

About Karen Miller, PT, DPT, CIMI

Karen Miller, PT, DPT, CIMI, is certified to teach infant massage by the World Institute of Nurturing Communication™ and is a practicing pediatric physical therapist with over 25 years of NICU, home, hospital, and early intervention settings. She is a certified early intervention professional and has a strong interest in promoting healthy development in infants and children.