" I took part in Sylvie’s baby massage classes when Jack was 5 months old. Her welcoming presence, her clear explanations have really motivated me to massage Jack on a regular basis (I had books about Shantala massage at home but never..."

Read full quote

Place a quote

Become a teacher

Leave your email address to receive updates

Benefits of baby massage

Touch is the first sensory system that your baby develops, and even at just a few days old, massage offers a simple and highly effective way to make him or her feel secure and loved. But that’s not all. Massage can bring a whole range of benefits, not only for your baby, but also for you.

On a physical level, it:

helps relieve pain and discomfort

Massage can help relieve common problems such as cramps, colic and constipation. For example, using certain movements you can help to disperse gas, ease muscle spasms, and generally tone your baby’s digestive system and help it to work more efficiently. Massage can also help relieve fever as well as chest and nasal congestion.

boosts the immune system

Massage works to boost the immune system by increasing the activity of the white blood cells, which are important for fighting infection, and by increasing the blood flow, which assists in the removal of toxins and increases oxygen and nutrients to the organs.

fosters deep sleep

Massage helps babies release the stress they accumulate during the day from new experiences, leaving them more relaxes and ready for a deep sleep.

helps your baby understand his or her body

Newborn babies don’t have a sense of their body structure and how the different parts connect with each other. Massage can gradually help your baby understand how his or her body works and start to make sense of the world. When the time comes to moving around, this can encourage the development of motor skills.

On an emotional and psychological level, it:

increases alertness and stimulates neurological development

Research by Dr. Tiffany Field, of the Touch Research Institute in Miami, has shown that a five-minute massage on a daily basis enhances the performance of babies and children on tasks requiring attentiveness.

Research by Dr. Ruth Rice of the University of Texas, has shown that baby massage can have a marked positive impact on babies’ neurological development.

reduces stress hormones

Whether on the giving or receiving end, massage is a wonderful way to relieve stress as it stimulates the release of the ‘feel good’ hormones oxytocin and serotonin, and reduces stress hormones. This can help to generally calm both you and your baby, making the massage a very enjoyable experience, and can be beneficial if you are experiencing difficulties understanding your baby’s needs and various emotions.

makes you a more confident parent

Once you have learned the basics of massaging your baby, you will be better able to deal with a whole range of situations – settling a fretful or upset child, calming an overexcited child or helping relieve problems such as colic, constipation and cramps.

improves parent-child communication

Massage provides a unique, one-on-one experience for you and your baby. As it requires your full attention, and intimate interaction, you get the chance to observe your baby’s behaviour and reactions. This will let you become more sensitive to your baby’s cues - hopefully meaning less crying - and ultimately help you understand him or her better.