Touch is one of the most essential elements to a baby’s healthy physical and psychological development, and it’s one of the best ways to nurture the bond between parent and child. By combining touch, intimacy, play and care-giving, baby massage provides not only tremendous physical and psychological benefits for a baby, but it builds the foundation for a relationship of trust and love. What’s more, massage doesn’t have to end when babies become toddlers. It can be used as a tool for nurturing and maintaining a child’s health and well-being for many years.
In a study conducted by Dr. Tiffany Field at the University of Miami’s Touch Research Institute, premature babies who were massaged for 15 minutes, three times a day for two weeks, gained 47% more weight and were discharged six days earlier from the hospital, than babies who were not massaged, saving the hospital $10,000 per infant. The babies who were massaged appeared more alert and active, and they showed more mature neurological development than babies who were not massaged. Full-term infants also benefit with increased alertness and social behavior, less crying and increased weight gain.[two_third]