Written by Emma Diacono


Posted on February 08 2022

Infant Massage and its Benefits

an article shared from our partners, Linea Mamma Baby

Massaging a unique and exclusive bonding moment between parents and their baby. It stimulates the senses and conveys a deep feeling of fulfilment, helping to relax before bedtime or providing relief from minor ailments, such as colic.

The massage ritual is anchored in ancient traditions and specific courses are held to teach it. Learning how to massage your infant is more about investigating a new channel for bolstering the relationship with your child rather than the simple matter of learning the techniques. Infant massage also has a positive effect on the baby’s physical, psychological and emotional development and growth. Massage is a game, a joyful way to bond that is good for the baby. How your baby reacts and responds to your touch will help you understand your newborn and yourself. It is important to remember that massage is with – not for – your baby. All parties must be active participants and this is how this deep communication is established. The distinguishing factor of the approach promoted by Vimala McClure, from Colorado who spread the infant massage culture in the West, was the observation of the child’s reactions. She teaches to modulate the massage according to the responses she receives from the baby. This is essential to give a massage together with the child who is not a passive recipient. This process is called “reading the signs” and parents must understand its relevance to better respond to their child’s needs.


A number of courses are organised to teach the basic massage techniques (locally do have a look at MyMama - and most will recommend the use of oil to facilitate it. The main benefit of the oil is to facilitate the movement of the hands on the baby’s skin. Experts will typically recommend using natural, unscented oils.

Linea MammaBaby® is the official supplier of Sweet Almond Oil for A.I.M.I. (Italian Association of Infant Massage) The product is a cold-pressed oil from almonds with no added chemical additives. It is a delicate, light, fragrance-free oil that maintains the natural vitamin E content beneficial for healthier skin. The sense of smell is a key component in the development of the attachment bond and the olfactory system develops as early as the 17th week of gestation. It is considered to be an important function for the infant because it helps the baby to pick up chemical signals from the mother already at birth. The infant’s sense of smell can be assaulted by odours and fragrances that could inhibit the bonding and this is why an odour-free natural oil should be preferred.


The massage starts with the parents sitting in a circle, on the floor, on a mat, with their baby resting on comfortable cushions in front of them. The teacher, also in the circle, shows the parents the massage sequences using a doll without ever touching the babies directly, respecting the important bond that is being created.

The parents moisten their hands with almond oil and rub them in front of the child’s eyes. The infant will learn to recognise this gesture as the beginning of the massage. Finally, they will seek eye contact and ask for permission to start. As mentioned, reading the signs is important and even the youngest children have several ways to show if they want to be massaged or prefer to stop. Following their cue is a great demonstration of respect. Massaging a child has four basic benefits: stimulation, relaxation, relief and interaction. As a stimulant, it acts on all the systems of the body, such as the cardiovascular, respiratory or gastrointestinal systems. It has a relaxing effect and helps to fall asleep. It calms the baby and regulates their sleep-wake and circadian rhythms. It is soothing because it activates endorphins and alleviates pain from stomach aches or teething. At the same time, parents activate beneficial hormones, such as stress-reducing oxytocin. Finally, the interaction process is fostered through the exchange of loving messages, both verbal and non-verbal, while observation, patience and attention help the parents to understand the baby and the baby to feel loved and pampered. Massage time can also be an opportunity for mothers and fathers to discuss parenting issues. It is precisely this possibility that they have to exchange opinions in a peer-to-peer context, which becomes a profound moment of well-being for parents, who objectively do not have many chances to share experiences


Find out more about our Linea Mamma Baby Sweet Almond Oil here



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