- Skin sensitivity is the earliest developed function
- Studies have shown that animals that are gently handled & stroked are fatter, more bright-eyed and have more easy-going dispositions than other animals
- Gentle handling improves stability of the nervous system and resistance to disease
- Infants who are massaged regularly are more alert and sociable when awake
- They tend to do more 'vocalizing' or 'baby chatting'
- As they grow they tend to be more relaxed and open with healthy touch - hugging, cuddling, holding hands, etc.
- Babies sleep better and soothe more easily
- It enables them to release pent up tension and anxiety
- Massage helps babies practice handling input and responding to it with relaxation
- It enhances their positive feelings about their bodies, helping them grow up with a healthy body image
It teaches them relaxation techniques they will carry through their life
- Massage helps with relief of colic and digestive problems
- It helps tone the digestive tract, thereby moving gas and fecal material for easier expulsion
- It may help relieve discomforts of teething, congestion and emotional stress
- Massage enhances the bonding process
- Infant and caregiver 'feel' closer as they share this communication of love
- Eye contact is enhanced during this 'quiet' time of the day
- Intuitive interaction is enhanced since the massage is done mostly in silence without a lot of extra 'chatter'
- It is a dance that builds trust and intimacy
- enhanced through increased eye contact
- increased prolactin levels - a hormone needed to produce breast milk
- also known as the "mothering" hormone
- this increase has been noted in fathers and other caregivers
- has the effect of helping you "fall in love" with your baby
- has been used with great results in cases of neglect and abuse
- In studies it has been shown that mothers who had a lot of early contact were able to choose their 3 - 8 year old children's pajamas from among others that were identical
- Gives you a chance to 'mirror' your love
- Computer studies have shown that infants synchronize their body movements with the speech of their caregivers.
- This shows the important 'dance' of communication that occurs
- Massage enhances this response as infant and caregiver become more in 'sync' with each other
HAPPY FACE AFTER MASSAGE
- There is a decrease in cortisol levels (stress hormone).
- If you routinely massage a baby , you will have a measurable decrease in your stress levels.
- Routinely practicing the breathing and relaxation techniques needed to successfully do the massage will become automatic in other parts of your life
- Many working parents have found that doing the massage as soon as they get home helps them to relax and "reconnect" with their baby before they start their evening routine