The Art Of Infant And Child Massage

The Art of Infant and Child Massage


D Wright

People have been massaging babies and children for centuries. It is considered one of the most effective healing arts of traditional culture through out the world. Although infant and child massage has not been accepted worldwide, it is an instinctive act from a parent to his or her child.

In the last decade, the popularity of child massage exploded in the UK, USA and other parts of the world. Many fathers, mothers, guardians, friends and grandparents today are seeking instructors to educate and guide them through the art of infant and child massage.

Massage is helpful for all babies, but it is particularly beneficial to infants. According to a particular infant massage research; massage helps in increasing weight gain in premature infants of up to 45%. In addition, touching the infant and Kangaroo care the practice of holding the baby on the adult s chest is now proven to shorten the hospital stay of the baby.

Benefits of Infant and Child Massage

Infant and child massage is important to develop and improve emotional, physical and psychological characteristics of your child.

1) Relaxation Although you may think that your infant s life only involves a routine of changing nappies, eating and sleeping, they are actually caught up in a state of constant changes. Meaning, from the mother s warm and comfortable womb, they are now in a world where everything else is new.


Even infants and children are prone to stress. Since the fast-paced world causes adults to forget about relaxation, their infant or child notice this and they themselves cannot learn to relax.

Massage eases the muscles, which leads to relaxation. When you practice massaging your child on a regular basis, he or she will learn the fundamentals of relaxation and eventually learn how to relax on their own.

2) Parent Awareness Since the adult will be regularly involved in helping the infant to relax, he or she will be able to understand the child s needs. In addition, it is a great way to develop bonding with the infant at an early age.

3) Relief It is normal for your child or infant to experience pain. The most common discomforts of babies are spasm, gas and teething pain. Certain massage techniques can help relieve the pain, ease muscle spasms, disperse gas, relieve pains associated with teething, tone the digestive system and ease emotional stress. In massaging the infant, you can also purchase soothing oils, which have aroma that could calm the child.

4) Stimulation A child s muscles can become tensed and may need to be massaged for relaxation. On the other hand, these muscles can also be loose, which can be stimulated by means of massage.

Child massage not only helps in stimulating the muscles, it can also stimulate other systems of the body. For instance, massage helps aid digestion, which in turn, could ease the symptoms of constipation.

Infants usually have cold hands or feet. When this happens, it means that the child has poor circulation. To counter this, massage the hands or feet until it becomes warm. Infant massage helps in stimulating blood flow.

5) Parent-child Bonding The bonding of a parent and child is a continuous process from the infant s early age until he or she becomes older. Infant or child massage encourages a unique and strong interaction between the parent and child.

When you make it a habit to massage your child daily, he or she will expect the schedule for the massage. You could either massage them once they wake up, after a bath or before going to sleep.

Make sure that the room where you will be massaging your infant is warm and comfortable for you both. Remember that premature infants cannot regulate their body temperate, it is important to set the room temperature at a comfortable level.

Several studies have shown that infants prefer massages with oil. Most massage therapists recommend aromatherapy, plant or vegetable oil, which can provide a gentle scent. Make sure not to use any other mineral-based oils, which are not easily absorbed.

The first few weeks of the baby s life may seem all about breastfeeding and mother-infant interaction. Since most fathers may feel left out, infant massage can be a great way to bond with the new child as well as alleviate certain body pains of the baby.

Although infant massage can only eases pain temporarily, it is the most natural and loving act a parent could give their child at an early age.

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