San Diego parents are catching on; research shows that infant massage makes your baby smarter, stronger, healthier, and happier. While most parents are lured to infant massage by benefits like improved sleep patterns and relief from gastrointestinal distress, many find the most rewarding benefit to be the bond that is fostered in their new relationship with their baby.
Are you a new parent? Do you want to give your baby every advantage? Do you want something that makes parenting life easier along the way? Infant massage can give your baby a significant physical, intellectual, emotional, and social advantage that lasts a lifetime.
“Infant Massage promotes an infant’s physiological and neurological development and function, helps soothe common discomforts, promotes restful sleep and increases healthy attachment and bonding,” says Infant Massage USA Trainer and Ramona resident, Suzanne P. Reese.
Infant massage stimulates digestion, healthy weight gain, intellectual development, circulation and natural healing. It promotes relaxation, sleep, self regulation, and reduces stress hormones. It relieves gastrointestinal discomfort/pain, tension, and colic. Research shows that infants who are massaged sleep longer and cry less. Even with all these benefits, parents are finding that what they treasure most from their infant massage experience is the strong, close, and healthy attachment that is fostered.
“Our new family bonded through these classes and we found massage to be a very valuable tool for getting to know our son. We loved it and looked forward to it every week!” says Carmel Mountain Ranch mom, Elizabeth Cooper-Shultz.
Infant massage promotes parent-child interaction. Parents and babies learn to read and respond sensitively to each others’ cues. Love, empathy, and respect for each other are cultivated. Infant massage enhances verbal and nonverbal communication, provides interaction through all the senses and communicates your love through nurturing and compassionate touch. Secure attachments are formed which grow into healthy relationships based on trust and security that last a lifetime.
“I would highly recommend this class to new moms and dads. My husband and I really enjoyed the class and were disappointed when it ended. When my daughter got constipated after the classes ended I knew how to make her feel better and the same thing was true when she got a cold. It’s nice and comforting to know how to make your child feel better. Massage is now a part of our bedtime routine. Since massaging in the evenings I’ve found that Reagan sleeps more soundly and longer too! I’d suggest taking the class early so you can take advantage of the colic and calming routines. An awesome experience!” says San Marcos mom, Stacy Reazor.
Unlike the vast majority of places in our society, infant massage class is truly a baby friendly environment. Walking into an infant massage class you will find 3-8 families sitting on blankets on the floor (small class size to prevent overstimulation and exposure). Relaxing, rhythmic nature music that resembles sounds of the womb is playing in the background (auditory relaxation). All overhead and fluorescent lighting is turned off and only indirect natural light is utilized (creating a soothing backdrop for baby’s eyes so he can focus on your face). The environment is free of artificial scents (so as baby can take in your essence). Babies are laid on their own blankets and only you massage your baby (you are the gatekeeper for your baby’s sense of touch). All baby care is welcome in the circle. This includes breastfeeding, diaper changing, and any other strategy employed by you to meet your baby’s needs. And contrary to most public spaces, crying is honored and valued as a form of communication.
In addition to learning all of the strokes and techniques, parents learn about their infant’s development and enjoy the support of a group of other parents and a certified parent educator. The curriculum was developed through Infant Massage USA, an international non-profit organization whose mission is to promote nurturing touch through training, education, and research so that babies, parents, and caregivers are loved, valued, and respected throughout the world community.
The short version: if you’re a new parent who is a fan of sleeping longer and less crying, then this is the class for you. The numerous benefits of infant massage are researched and well documented. If you brought a child into this world with hopes of a healthy, happy, attached family, then enroll today. As I go through my night-night routine with my baby, I will follow our bath with a massage and we will both fall asleep with the potential for tomorrow, peace for today, and harmony with each other.