Will regular massages help my baby's growth and development?
There is some evidence to suggest that massaging your baby can help his growth and development, especially for premature babies. But the research is still too limited for us to be sure how it affects your baby in the long run.
Some studies show that massage, particularly when done with oil, may help a premature baby to gain weight. Massage stimulates a key nerve, called the vagus nerve, which connects the brain with important parts of the body, including the stomach. Stimulating this nerve can improve digestion and bowel movement, helping your baby to gain weight. Some experts have suggested that small amounts of the fats in the oil could be absorbed via your baby’s skin too.
The gentle strokes of massage are also thought to generate heat and encourage good blood circulation to all parts of the body.
There is also a theory that touch and skin-to-skin contact with your baby will help to stimulate your baby's brain development. But more research is required to confirm this and explain how it works.
Traditionally, in India it's believed that massages strengthen a baby's bones. There is not much evidence to back this popular belief, although one study suggests that regular massage might help the formation of healthy bones in premature babies. In the absence of much scientific evidence, it's best to make sure you feed your baby as often as she wants so that she gets all the nutrients, particularly calcium, that she needs to grow healthy bones. Some exposure to the sun will give your baby Vitamin D, which is needed in the body to absorb calcium.
There are massage techniques you can use to strengthen your baby's muscles. Watch how in our video!
So, even if you do not have the time to massage your baby every day, try massaging him once or twice a week. You could share the responsibility with your husband as well!
Courtesy By - babycenter