Have you ever wondered what infant touch and massage is?
Infant Touch and Massage is an effective and proven paradigm of developmental support that fosters parenting skills through dynamic social and communicative experiences. This paradigm is family-centered and flexible to meet a family’s ever-changing needs, a distillation of over 30 years of experience teaching touch and massage to families with babies and children in early intervention in hospitals, community settings, and home visitation.
Infant Touch and Massage is NOT a generic inventory of consecutive strokes. Infant massage requires parents to mindfully engage with their baby, to recognize non-verbal communication, and to creatively adapt their touch approach so that it supports their child’s sensory needs and capabilities. These are skills I specifically train parents to provide for their children.
It is my fundamental belief that it is most advantageous that parents (and not therapists) learn to massage their children, and that they function as their children’s most entrusted and competent advocate.
Infant massage has the general effect of normalizing many conditions including but not limited to:
• Helping to normalize muscle tone
• Assisting in pain relief
• Assisting in increasing vocalization
• Encouraging mid-line orientation
• Improving sensory integration
• Assisting in relaxation
• Helping baby to sleep deeper and longer
• Helping to stimulate circulatory and GI systems
• Helping to relieve colic or “gassy spells”
Each baby is unique and different from any other person. A baby can be better understood and appreciated for his uniqueness through the process of individualizing touch and massage so that it really works for him.
You should also know that what “works” is likely to change from moment to moment for some babies, so individualizing means mindfully watching and then transitioning to the next touch component at the right time. We know that parents know their babies better than anyone, and that many parents have an innate “felt-sense” of what their child is experiencing.