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Benefits of infant massages

Published On: Feb 25 2014 04:42:19 PM CST
Updated On: Mar 11 2014 11:25:38 AM CDT
mom, mother with baby

iStock/NiDerLander

By Mayo Clinic News Network

Infant massage is a way for you to gently nurture and spend time with your baby. Find out about the possible benefits of infant massage and know how to get started.

What are the benefits of infant massage?

Research suggests that infant massage can have various health benefits. For example, infant massage might:

  • Encourage interaction between you and your baby
  • Help your baby relax and sleep
  • Positively affect infant hormones that control stress
  • Reduce crying

Although further research is needed, some studies also suggest that infant massage involving moderate pressure might promote growth for premature babies.

When should I massage my baby?

Massaging your baby too soon after a feeding might cause your baby to vomit -- so wait at least 45 minutes after a feeding. Also pay close attention to your baby's mood. If your baby has a steady gaze and appears calm and content, he or she might enjoy a massage. If your baby turns his or her head away from you or becomes stiff in your arms, it might not be the best time for a massage.

When you start massaging your baby, what time of day you do massages and how often you massage your baby is up to you. You might give your newborn a daily massage. Your toddler might enjoy a massage at night as a soothing part of his or her bedtime routine.

Source: http://www.mayoclinic.org/infant-massage/ART-20047151

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