Infant Massage

What if my baby cries when I massage him?

No problem. All babies are given the freedom to express themselves and communicate to their parents and caregivers. The classes will also facilitate a better understanding for parents in how to read their babies cues.

In ParentLink’s Stay in Touch series we believe that “Crying should be cheered, not feared!” 
What if my baby wants to feed?

If your baby is very young, he or she may want to feed very frequently. If, during a session, your baby is communicating to you that they are hungry, then you are welcome to feed your baby. You can still be a part of the class and watch the techniques being taught for that session. If your baby falls into a nice slumber, you are more than welcome to continue on one of the baby dolls provided.

What if my baby is asleep at the time of the class?

Not a problem! Whilst we do not massage a sleeping baby, Moms and Dad’s still have a chance to practice their strokes on one of several dolls that will be provided.  You then still have the benefit of mixing with other members of the group and learning the srtokes for that week so you can take them home and practice them when your little one is awake.

My baby suffers from colic. Can Infant massage help?

Yes it can! During the sessions, we will focus on techniques for relieving the discomfort that colic or wind can bring.

Is massaging good for my baby?

The vast majority of pediatricians and child psychologists believe that there are many physical, developmental, and psychological benefits of infant massage for both baby and parent (especially the father in many instances).  The power of massage to support and nurture the parental bond through touch is great.  Remember, babies are not verbal for what may be a long time (for baby and for you).  Gentle, loving, soothing massage is a very powerful way to tell baby once more that baby is loved and treasured very deeply.

Tiffany M. Field, Ph.D., of the University of Miami School of Medicine has studied the effects of massage. When infants were massaged for 15 minutes a day they spent more time in the active, alert, and awake states, cried less, had lower stress hormone levels, and went to sleep faster after the massage. Over a six-week period the massaged babies gained weight, showed improvement in emotionality, sociability, and temperament.   Her study concludes that the benefits of massage are stimulation, relaxation, relief, and interaction. 

Is it true that massage can relieve baby’s stress?

Babies carry a lot of stress.  As mentioned before, babies cannot communicate verbally.  Their tiny bodies are going through multiple changes at what may sometimes be perceived as lightning speed.  On top of all that babies have discomfort—muscle fatigue from sitting in stroller too long, indigestion, and colic that ranges from intense pain and stimulation intolerance to mildly uncomfortable gassy spells. Massage helps relieve painful gas by toning the digestive tract and moving gas and fecal matter into the bowels for expulsion. In addition, certain massage techniques help in the relief of discomforts such as teething.

What does baby massage give parents?

Typically parents report that the focus on giving baby, gentle, soothing touch through massage helps them to relax.  In many families, baby massage can be a very special time for baby and dad to bond.  In some cases, fathers may feel left out of the special bond that a breast-feeding mom and baby share.  Massage is a way for dad to soothe and comfort baby and make baby more acquainted with his touch, his manner, even his smell.
Baby massage fosters trust as well as well as bonding.  Trust is typically a gift most parents want in as abundant a supply as possible.

Perhaps most importantly: Baby massage is fun!

Can massage help babies to sleep better?
Some infants sleep for longer periods following massage and appear to have longer periods of deep sleep.  Most parents are pleased with a naturally enhanced sleep cycle for babies and it is often the reason they seek an infant massage course. As with many other situations involving infants, a course of action that is effective with one infant does not apply to the next. There are cases where the problematic sleep pattern of infants is not affected by massage.

How can massage help a baby developmentally?

Some professional infant massage instructors encourage parents to name body parts during massage. This simple practice teaches infants games, words and speech. In addition to this, newborns still adapting to an environment without the boundaries of the womb may learn things such as where their body starts and finishes and that their feet and hands are in fact attached to the rest of their body.