Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Infant Massage

 I just finished reading a book called Infant massage: A handbook for loving parents. It gives parents a step-by-step routine to give baby a wonderful massage. I know that many people would think, Why can't you just rub your baby with lotion and call it a day? I could, but this gives me an established routine that Jax thoroughly enjoyed this morning. I'm pretty excited about it. :)

To be honest, I didn't really think he'd be that into it. He has the attention span of about fifteen seconds so I didn't know how well our first session would go. Well, I finally stopped after thirty minutes, and he would have gone longer! He was completely absorbed by the motion, warmth, and sensations, and was watching me intently the entire time. He didn't even try to eat his hands (as much).

What I love about infant massage is the rationale behind it. The first chapter in the book is called, Why Massage Your Baby? I was four pages in and found my answer. It said, "A child whose voice is heard, whose heart is full, and who is enveloped in love overflows with that love and naturally, unselfconsciously gives of himself to others. He learns what healthy respectful touch is by being touched that way...The deep emotional bonds formed in infancy lay a foundation for a lifetime of trust, courage, dependability, faith, and love."

Now I know that giving Jax a massage isn't going to turn him into some kind of superkid, but I can't argue with the idea that forming bonds of this sort will go far in creating the kind of relationship JDubbs and I want to foster with him. It's the first (or maybe the second or third) step in a long journey toward creating our family the way we want it to be, a place where Jax feels he is important and valued. And who can argue--what makes someone feel more special than a massage?

Plus, there are other good things that come from massage, beyond just that it feels so good. The author continues to explain how "loving touch triggers physiological changes that help infants grow and develop, stimulating nerves in the brain that facilitate food absorption and lowering stress hormone levels, resulting in improved immune system functioning...The bonds of trust and love, the lessons of compassion, warmth, openness, and respect that are inherent in the massage routine will be carried by your child into adulthood...Your child will be more likely to respond to others with empathy and warmth, to respond to social problems with compassion and altruism, and to experience life as a joyful adventure in which he has the opportunity to love and be loved."

What more could we ask for our child?


The Dadej Family said...

Can you give me the Cliff Notes on the whole infant massage deal? I've tried with Ty, mind you I didn't have any book or formal training on the subject, and he wasn't very into it. It lasted less than 15 seconds. I owuld love to be able to give him a quality massage though.
And I love J's sleeper. So cozy. :)

Zeller Family said...

I need to get the book! What cute jammies!

Tammy said...

Did you find any books on providing relaxing massage to family friends who are more like additional sisters?