It is a puzzling sight indeed – your newborn cries when you lay him down, but smiles when you pick him up.
“Why is that so?” you may ask.
Since touch is the primary non – verbal communication received by a newborn, it enhances the interaction between parent and child by fostering mutual trust and understanding.
Most new parents might ask if infant massage is necessary. I would go as far to say that it is essential in building a strong parent-child relationship. It has also been considered as one of the most effective techniques for improving infant development and health.
In fact, infants who experience more physical contact with parents demonstrate improved cognitive development in the first six months of life, which lasts even after eight years!
Moreover, massaging the child stimulates his central nervous system, which produces serotonin, the “feel-good” chemical that brightens the mood of your child. And of course, having a happy baby makes for a really happy mummy!
Here are some other benefits of infant massage.
Relief and ailment
Babies suffering from gas can be hard to console due to the level of pain they are in, which might prove to be rather stressful for both parent and child.
Best done twice a day, stroking his tummy in a clockwise motion helps to stimulate the movement of gas and food out of his intestines, as well as to soothe digestive muscle spasms.
Regulate sleep patterns
As every new parent will come to realise, saying that a newborn’s sleep pattern is irregular is an understatement. The lines between day and night are blurred and the hours your child dozes off at are odd, to say the least.
The good news? Some studies report that newborns who received massage therapy for two consecutive weeks showcased more mature sleep patterns, with higher levels of nocturnal melatonin – a hormone that controls one’s sleep and wake cycles.
Massage therapy has been known to stimulate the blood circulation in smaller babies. Research has shown that the increased blood flow to the limbs will lead to an increase in physical growth and development. Moreover, massage also improves lymphatic drainage where body waste is removed via alimentary and excretory systems, which will boost your child’s overall well-being.
In addition, the therapy aids in relaxing your child’s muscles for toning and reducing stiffness.
Bonus – You benefit as well!
For working mums, the inability to spend as much time with your infant might lead to feelings of guilt and stress due the divided attention between work and caregiving.
The 30 minutes of uninterrupted interaction with your newborn provides the much-needed one-to-one time alone with your child.
The regularity of the massage sessions creates a fixed period of intimacy between your baby and you, which he can come to expect every day. In no time, you will be familiarised with your baby’s cues, and can recognise his states of awareness.
When should I start on infant massage? What do I need in order to start? What’s the ‘golden hour’ to massage my child?
Find out the answers to these questions and more at our Infant Massage demonstration on Saturday, 17 December at Kiddiwinkie Schoolhouse @ The Grandstand.
Register today at https://skoolopedia.com/events/kiddiwinkie-christmas-craftstravaganza-2016/ !
About Kiddiwinkie Schoolhouse’s Infant Care Programme*
With our literary rich curriculum, our Infant Care programme is designed to provide a child-safe environment for experimentation and exploration.
Our experienced infant educarers facilitate meaningful learning experiences for your child. From our read-aloud story-telling sessions, to music and movement activities, our multi-sensorial learning approaches will stimulate and engage your little ones as they kick-start their learning journey.
*Infant Care services are only available at Kiddiwinkie Schoolhouse @ The Grandstand.
About the Expert: Ms Betty Lee – Education Panel at IAIM (Singapore)
A trained nurse and midwife, Ms Betty Lee has worked in a local public hospital for more than 35 years and 18 years as a Nurse Clinician in an Obstetric and Gynaecology department.
As a certified Lactation Consultant, she started a home care consultation in 2003 to help new mothers with breastfeeding and baby care.
Currently, she is a Certified Infant Massage Instructor trained with the International Association of Infant Massage (IAIM), where she also serves as a committee member of the Education panel at IAIM (Singapore), and a member of the Association of Breastfeeding Advocates (Singapore).