Fancy the idea of getting a full-body massage every now and then? It’s such a calming and relaxing activity that makes you feel good all over your body and helps you to destress.
Babies love massages too! Remember the last time your crying baby starting to calm down as soon as you held them close against your body? That’s the power of touch. If just simply holding your baby can have such a soothing effect on them, imagine how much they’re going to love your gentle, massaging touches.
Baby Massage Benefits
Studies show that regularly massaging your baby is beneficial to both their physical and mental well-being. Besides being a great way to bond with your baby, what other health benefits are there for both the parents and the little infant?
1. Improves sleep
Giving your baby regular baby massages helps to stimulate their central nervous system to produce more serotonin, oxytocin, and endorphin, the feel-good hormones, and cuts down on cortisol production, which is the stress hormone.
In other words, the more you massage your baby, the more calm and relaxed they will feel. This helps them to sleep better and more soundly at night, which means you’ll also be getting a good night’s sleep when they do.
2. Stimulates growth
A study by the University of Miami School of Medicine proved that premature babies who received 15-minute massages thrice daily gained nearly 50% more weight and were able to leave the hospital an average of 6 days earlier than other premature babies who were not massaged.
3. Improves gastrointestinal tract
A gentle baby massage helps your baby to relieve any gas that is trapped inside their bodies and causing them discomfort. Apply some baby-safe massage oil onto their stomach in downward strokes to help ease discomforts.
4. Deepens bonding
Baby massages are a great way for Dads to participate in caring for the baby! If you’re a new Dad feeling a little bit left out of the routine, here’s your chance to create a special bond with your little one.
When giving the baby a massage, you can hum softly or talk to your baby to further reassure them. As you work massages into your baby’s daily routine, they will look forward to it every day. They will then associate you with feeling good and get more and more attached to you. That’s how you start fostering a deep bond with the baby in their early years.
5. Increases confidence
By making baby massages a habit, new parents will feel more confident about handling the baby every day. In some cases, baby massages may even help a mother with PND (postnatal depression) to feel better because she gains the confidence to care for her baby and feels less afraid and helpless.
Besides, parents who often massage their babies feel happier playing with their babies because of the happy hormone, oxytocin. It’s a great mood-booster for both the parents and their baby too!