It is a puzzling sight indeed – your newborn cries when you lay him down, but smiles when you pick him up.
“Why is that so?” you may ask.
Since touch is the primary non – verbal communication received by a newborn, it enhances the interaction between parent and child by fostering mutual trust and understanding.
Most new parents might ask if infant massage is necessary. I would go as far as to say that it is essential in building a strong parent-child relationship. It has also been considered as one of the most effective techniques for improving infant development and health.
In fact, infants who experience more physical contact with parents demonstrate improved cognitive development in the first six months of life, which lasts even after eight years!
Moreover, massaging the child stimulates his central nervous system, which produces serotonin, the “feel-good” chemical that brightens the mood of your child. And of course, having a happy baby makes for a really happy mummy!
How else can your little one benefit from infant massage? Here are some other benefits to consider.
Discover the Benefits of Infant Massage
1. It provides relief and ailment
Babies who experience discomfort from gas can be hard to console due to the level of pain they are in, which might prove to be rather stressful for both parent and child.
Best done twice a day, stroking your baby’s tummy in a clockwise motion helps to stimulate the movement of gas and food out of his/her intestines, as well as to soothe digestive muscle spasms.
2. It helps to regulate sleep patterns
As every new parent will come to realise, saying that a newborn’s sleep pattern is irregular is an understatement. The lines between day and night are blurred and the hours your child dozes off at are odd, to say the least.
The good news? Some studies report that newborns who received massage therapy for two consecutive weeks showcased more mature sleep patterns, with higher levels of nocturnal melatonin – a hormone that controls one’s sleep and wake cycles.
3. It makes way for healthy development
Massage therapy has been known to stimulate blood circulation in smaller babies. Research has shown that the increased blood flow to the limbs will lead to an increase in physical growth and development. Moreover, infant massage also improves lymphatic drainage where body waste is removed via alimentary and excretory systems, which will boost your baby’s overall well-being.
In addition, the therapy aids in relaxing your child’s muscles for toning and reducing stiffness.
4. Bonus – You benefit as well!
For working mums, the inability to spend as much time with your baby might lead to feelings of guilt and stress due to the divided attention between work and caregiving.
The 30 minutes of uninterrupted interaction through infant massage provides the much-needed one-to-one time alone with your child.
The regularity of the massage sessions creates a fixed period of intimacy between your baby and you, which he can come to expect every day. In no time, you will be familiarised with your baby’s cues, and can recognise his states of awareness.
About Kiddiwinkie Schoolhouse’s Infant Care Programme*
With a warm and nurturing environment, our Infant Care programme is designed to provide opportunities for experimentation and exploration in infants.
Our experienced infant educarers facilitate meaningful learning experiences for your child. From our read-aloud story-telling sessions, to music and movement activities, our multi-sensorial learning approaches will stimulate and engage your little ones as they kick-start their learning journey.
*Infant Care services are available at selected Kiddiwinkie Schoolhouse campuses.