Infant massage is a routine of gentle massage strokes that you do with your baby or child. It offers a quiet and calming time where you are completely focused on your baby. It can be a very therapeutic experience for you both.
Infant massage has been practiced by many cultures World Wide for centuries. Vimala Schneider McClure founded the Association of Infant Massage after witnessing the practice and benefits for mothers and babies whilst working in India in the 1970's.
It is a valuable way of interacting between parents/ caregivers and children that can help with bonding, attachment, child development, post natal depression and much more.
How old should my baby be?
Infant Massage can be used with babies as young as 6 weeks and with children of any age if they are happy for you to do it.
Ideally, for me to be able to teach you techniques babies should be aged between 6 weeks - crawling. However I will happily adapt sessions and teach parents with older babies/ toddlers/children in groups or individually.
Benefits of Infant Massage
There are many benefits of Infant Massage, here are just a few:
Benefits for babies:
Infant massage can help them to feel loved and secure, can alleviate trapped wind and colic, can improve quality of sleep, can unblock baby's nose, can help to regulate and strengthen baby's digestive and respiratory systems and stimulate circulatory and nervous systems.
Benefits for parents/ caregivers:
Infant massage gives you some very special time to focus just on yourself and your baby, to be in the moment and to really appreciate some precious moments together. It is a brilliant way to connect and bond with your baby and it gives you practical tools to help soothe your child. It also helps develop communication between parents/ carers and their babies and raises levels of oxytocin, the "feel good hormone".
There has been much research into the effects of baby massage and the results make fascinating reading. A team at the University of Warwick found that infant massage may help infants under six months to sleep better, cry less and have lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
Other studies have shown that infant massage can help mothers who are coping with depressive symptoms and it is also particularly beneficial to young parents.
I am also a qualified Story Massage Instructor. Story Massage is often a peer to peer massage that can be used in schools and education/ health care settings. It is designed for children to practice on each other. To learn more about Story Massage, Click HERE.