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Why Do Infants Need Massage?

Interaction: From an early age babies need interaction with caregivers. They do not have a way to reach out and hang on as some other babies in nature do. Infant massage promotes one on one quality interaction in a verbal and nonverbal way. This interaction promotes the secure attachment between baby and caregiver. Parents are encouraged to engage all of baby’s senses to communicate love, empathy, imitation, tolerance, nurturing touch, and respect.

Stimulation: Infant massage stimulates all the systems of the body. The circulatory, digestive, hormonal, immune, lymphatic, nervous, respiratory, and vestibular (coordination and balance) systems are stimulated with the strokes of infant massage. The stimulation of the systems of the body improves language development, learning ability, muscular development and tone, growth, elimination, sensory integration, mind/body awareness, and stroking promotes the growth of the myelin sheath around the nerves.

Relief: Infant massage can help to relieve the pains from gas and colic, constipation, digestive cramps, growing pains, excess mucus, muscle tension, teething discomfort, sensitivity to touch, physical and psychological tension. These are all pains and discomforts that babies experience. They have no verbal skills to let us know where the pain is and how we could fix it. By being proactive in addressing these discomforts you show your baby the love, empathy and respect they need to thrive.

Relaxation: In Infant Massage class you will learn to encourage your child to acknowledge the need for relaxation. She will show you how relaxed she can be with improved sleep patterns, normal muscle tone, increased flexibility, coping better in her environment, regulation of behavioral states, and the ability to calm herself. When she is showing you these signs of relaxation you can know her little body is sending out higher levels of relaxing, anti-stress, hormones like oxytocin, dopamine, and serotonin and lower levels of stress hormones like cortisol and norepinephrin. The higher levels of the relaxing hormones will help her to be less hypersensitive and hyperactive.

Why Do Parents need Infant Massage?

Parents who practice Infant massage tend to be better at reading, understanding, and respecting their baby’s cues. This promotes bonding between the parent and baby. Infant massage is a positive activity that increases the self-esteem and confidence of the parent, which can lead to better parenting skills. Parents relax with their babies when they give infant massage therefore higher levels of relaxing hormones like oxytocin and prolactin in the parent improve sleep, stimulate lactation, and decrease postnatal depression. Parents in classes also meet other parents of babies and are able to socialize together.

Why Do Families need Infant Massage?

Infant massage allows early involvement of the whole family Dad, siblings and extended family can practice infant massage. Because the whole family can be involved there can be a reduction in sibling rivalries, reduction of conflicts, a relaxed environment and better sleep. Because of the positive touch environment there can be a reduction of abuse and violence and increased health throughout the family.

Why choose a program with an IAIM Certified Instructor?

All babies are welcome in an IAIM class. The classes are baby lead, meaning if your baby is not in a quiet alert state during class we may have discussion at the beginning of the class then the massage demonstration later. Classes provide a social opportunity for families, and reduce isolation. The classes are flexible and adaptable to many situations. It is non-threatening, non-invasive and each caregiver and baby is able to go at his own pace. The IAIM Program is well established and taught in over 50 countries.