Many traditional cultures believe that massaging the new born baby is an absolute must, and even modern child rearing practices now highlight the several reasons why infants can benefit from massage:
Bonding with your new baby
The new baby’s senses are not very finely attuned; but they do love being touched.
A mother’s soothing hands and familiar voice are a source of delight for a small baby who is bewildered to be out of the embrace of his mother’s safe and warm womb and out into a world of light, noise and all manner of unfamiliar sights.
Massage is one way for a new child and mother to bond in the most basic way that there is; by touch. Looking into your baby’s eyes as you massage his lovely new skin the baby recognizes and learns to love the most important face in his tiny world. [Baby massage]
He finds comfort in the beloved voice of his mother that he has known from before his birth and in the firm touch of her warm hands as they massage him.
It will Ease baby’s Discomfort
If a new born suffers from colic or distention of the abdomen, massage will greatly relieve his discomfort and perhaps cause him to pass gas so that his fretfulness will be eased [infant colic]. A restless, wakeful baby will likely be tired out by a massage and this will help him sleep better.
As the mother massages the baby she engages with him by murmuring to him, singing to him or laughing with him; thereby keeping him amused and entertained and diverting his mind from any discomfort he may be in.
Good for Baby’s soft skin and Circulation
While it is not a good idea to use aromatherapy oils that an adult would typically use, most pediatricians recommend the use of an unscented olive oil for use on a baby’s skin that will keep the baby’s skin soft and moisturized.
Olive oil is also unlikely to cause any kind of allergic reaction or rash to develop on the baby’s sensitive skin. Massage typically aids and improves circulation even among adults and using the proper technique to massage your baby will have just such a beneficial effect on your baby’s circulation.
Improves Growth and Development
According to some studies, premature babies who are regularly massaged, have been seen to gain weight at a faster rate. They also showed better growth and development. They also seemed more alert and active and were able to leave hospital earlier than other premature babies.