Benefits of Baby Massage
For some parents bonding does not happen instantly, it can build up over days, weeks even months. Massage can help with having a strong emotional and social bond between parent and baby. Touch is the most developed sense at birth and through massage you can communicate love, security and trust to your baby immediately.
During massage parents use eye contact, talking/singing, exchange of smells and positive touch to help develop their unique attachment.
When you massage your baby, your baby releases the “feel good” hormone called Oxytocin, which will help you both relax. Massage is very calming and can help reduce tension, restlessness and irritability as well as promoting sleep.
As you learn more baby massage techniques it increases your ability to help reassure your baby and helps your baby to relax when stressed.
Baby massage offers relief from several issues related to babies. Massaging the abdomen increases bowel movement, aiding the digestion and excretion of waste and helping to relive wind, constipation and colic.
By using special massage techniques around the eyes, cheeks, nose and chest the pain associated with teething, colds and congestion can all be relieved and by using nutritious oils during massage the condition of the skin can be improved. Stimulation of the skin through massage also increases the production of endorphins which helps to reduce pain and tension.
Massage benefits the lymphatic system which produces lymphocytes which fight infection and protect against diseases. Massage helps by stimulating the flow of lymph and removing toxins, this will help the immune system and help fight infections. Babies who are massaged have better immune systems and show more weight gain.
When a baby is born the higher part of the brain is still immature and developing as brain cells mature and wire together, this controls memories, feelings and actions. It is very important that a baby has positive first experiences so that the brain has the correct stimulation for it to run, by massaging your baby you are boosting their circulation and stimulating all the systems in their body.
Myelination is the process of when a neuron is coated in a fatty substance, allowing the neuron to transmit signals a lot quicker around the brain and body. By massaging a baby through touch, having eye contact, talking/singing and sharing smells it stimulates the body, enhancing myelination which will speed up nerve impulses helping to teach babies about communication, speech and language.
Baby massage and Baby yoga share a lot of the same benefits and are built on the same principles.
The above benefits also apply to yoga.