baby abhyanga benefits of baby massage

Yesterday we looked at the definition of Slow Beauty and the Benefits of Abhyanga (self-massage).  Today, I would like to extend the topic and discuss the many benefits massage can have on your baby.

Although baby massage is relatively new to this country, for cultures such as those in India, massage is an important part of a baby’s daily routine and the family’s way of life.  Massaging your baby has a profound positive effect on bonding between parent and child and has an unbelievable impact on subsequent development of your child.

Some of the key benefits of daily infant massage are as follows:

  1. Enhancing the circulatory and respiratory system of your baby by bringing nourishing blood to all the cells of the body.
  2. Daily abhyanga/massage improves digestion, healthy muscle tone, aiding growth and development of your infant.
  3. The massage helps to enhance relaxation enabling your baby to establish better sleep patterns.
  4. Regular abhyanga relieves muscular tension held from the fetal position.
  5. Spending time and communicating with your newborn during this precious time in their lives is particularly fulfilling and reaps long term benefits and rewards for both emotional and physical health.
  6. Helps develop baby’s first language-touch.
  7. Teaches babies how to be aware of their body’s tension and how to release it, an invaluable gift as they grow into adulthood.
  8. Releases the “cuddle hormone” oxytocin (also known as the bonding hormone) which lowers blood pressure, reduces anxiety and pain and promotes relaxation.  It also has been shown to work both ways.  As your baby’s blood pressure lowers so does yours.
  9. Relieves symptoms of colic, gas, and constipation.
  10. Massaging your baby can stimulate their major systems, for instance, massage stimulates their nervous system. Each nerve has a protective covering around it, called the myelin sheath, which speeds the transmission of impulses from the brain to the rest of the body. The process of coating the nerves (myelination) continues even after birth and natural sensory stimulation, such as massage, speeds this process. In addition, the stimulation provided by your loving touch is a natural kind that is relevant to the baby’s world, more so than artificially created toys or videos.

I recommend using a light oil for your baby such as olive or almond or, in the winter, a little sesame oil mixed with almond oil or jojoba oil will provide warmth and comfort.  A petroleum-free baby oil or oil based lotion will work as well.  Make sure you don’t miss the baby’s scalp.  Natural oils are brilliant for alleviating cradle cap, eczema and psoriasis.

Recent research has illustrated the particular benefits for premature infants; children with asthma, diabetes and certain skin disorders. Mothers with post-natal depression have achieved closer relationships with their babies through baby massage. Cross-cultural studies show that babies who are held, massaged, carried, rocked and breastfed, grow into adults that are less aggressive and violent and are more compassionate and cooperative.

Below are a few videos courtesy of to get you started enjoying the many benefits of baby massage today.


4 replies
  1. Rosann
    Rosann says:

    Jacqueline, I think this is great information. While I don’t have a baby anymore, I did massage both of my little girls when they were infants. It was part of our evening bedtime routine. After their bath I would lather them in lotion before getting them dressed. I’d also sing to them…sometimes silly songs and they would laugh that adorable baby giggle and kick their legs around. Those are some of the best mommy memories I have of them as babies. Thank you for bringing something special back to the surface of my mind. Now excuse me…I think I need to go give my girls a hug. 🙂

  2. Courtney~Mommy LaDy Club
    Courtney~Mommy LaDy Club says:

    This is so interesting, and makes perfect sense that babies would benefit, just like adults do.

    By the way, I just wanted to tell you that you do a fantastic job with substantial content in all of your posts, and I would point to you as an example in fact!

  3. The mommy talks
    The mommy talks says:

    I’ve had 8 babies and have done baby massage on all of them, and they just loved it! It was always a very relaxing, beautiful time we shared, with numerous health benefits as you mention! I hope more mothers start doing this with their babies!
    Love the layout and all the cute icons/buttons on your site BTW! Good job!

  4. Baby boys name
    Baby boys name says:

    Your baby is looking so nice . My elder sister gave birth to a baby boy and we provide him the massage therapy on daily basis as per the doctor prescriptions because he was so week in the early ages.


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