Research by the University of Warwick suggests that infants who receive massage cried less, slept better and showed lower levels of stress hormone, compared to infants who did not receive massage.
Baby massage has been seen across many cultures, however it has only been practised in the UK since the late 1990’s.
It can be used as a tool to help with bonding, colic, constipation and can even help get your baby into a better sleep pattern.
So how did I find it?
I took Bear to a 5 week course, starting when he was 8 weeks old. Each week we focused on a new part of the body and learnt about different strokes, which are used in a sequence. The groups for baby massage are relatively small, which makes it a very relaxed and calm environment. Being a small group also meant that it was easier to meet other Mum’s and I still see every person that was on my baby massage course, with some of us regularly arranging playdates.
Personally it was one of my favourite things to do with him. Bonding with your baby is very important and I found that baby massage really helped with the bonding process. With baby massage being a course, it meant that after I had learnt how to do it, I could also do it at home. So I tried to set aside a few afternoons a week in order to do it at home.
Bear has always been a very contented baby and I feel a lot of that is down to baby massage. After taking the course I was often told by people that they had never met such a contented baby, which is always lovely for a Mum to hear.
Despite being a contented baby, Bear did suffer with constipation, but baby massage really helped move things along, meaning that he didn’t have so many tummy aches. I also found that after starting baby massage Bear only woke up during the night to have some milk and fell straight back to sleep again afterwards. So despite having interrupted sleep, it was at least very short interruptions.
I couldn’t recommend baby massage enough and would encourage any new parent to attend a course.
Information regarding baby massage will be available from your local children’s centre. Alternatively you can search for a class or instructor on IAIM baby massage website.