What is infant massage:

Dr. Cassie and her staff are certified infant massage instructors through the International Association of Infant Massage (IAIM ® )

The basic meaning of infant massage is just what it sounds like, massaging your baby. To have a deeper understanding of why massage is important for you and your baby, let’s take a deeper look at what is happening when you massage your baby. 

Mother’s have been touching, caressing, kissing, and massaging their babies since we’ve been having babies. The reason that we do this is instinctual for the success and survival of our offspring.   So what is actually happening to caregivers (both men and women) and babies when they are experiencing infant massage.


During massage, both baby and caregiver release hormones called oxytocin, also known as the “cuddle hormone”.  This hormone is especially important in the early stages of development, as this is the hormone that causes us to fall in love with our babies.  (We’ll that and their just so darned cute)

Bonding has been defined as a “unique relationship between two people that is specific and endures through time.”

Touch is a very powerful element in human bonding. Communication, both verbal and non-verbal, and prolonged eye contact are also important elements of bonding. Infant massage encompasses and supports all these vital aspects of bonding.

Delayed bonding may occur due to situations such as premature birth, recovery from caesarean, medical complications, adoption, lack of physical and emotional support and postnatal depression. In these cases, infant massage can help families recreate the elements of bonding, which may help a parent and baby fall in love with each other.

Massage may be helpful in encouraging the connection between parent and child as children grow. It may facilitate deeper understanding, integration and the connection with parents or caregivers. Some families have found that massaging their baby is particularly helpful in enhancing the bond with children with special needs.

Massage gives fathers a chance to connect and interact with their child on a deeper level than the usual day-to-day contact might provide. Fathers are always welcome in infant massage classes and some instructors even hold a special father’s class during their course.

You can find IAIM Instructors in your area by clicking on your country’s IAIM Chapter. To find a chapter near you, go to International Representation. “ content provided by IAIM ® Sept 1, 2020

  See social emotional for more details (LINK)


The process which a massage is given involves touch, pressure, and movement (the strokes). 

Touch: Through this process, the skin (which is the largest organ in the body) receptors are stimulated and the sensation of touch is received.  Touch is a primary sense and is usually the first sense to develop and be organized.   

Smell: The closeness of a baby and caregiver during this process allows the baby to smell the caregiver.  When using Oil to massage your baby, we recommend using an oil that has no scent or a very light smell, so that the baby can smell you.  Smell is very closely related to emotion and memory fibers in the brain.  Have you ever got a whiff of perfume or apple pie and suddenly remembers a person?

Vision: During massage we encourage caregivers to look into the babies eyes.  Visual connection with another, is the first step to learning communication skills and developing social emotional connections.

Hearing: We encourage caregivers to sing and talk to their babies when massaging them.  Hearing your voice is usually very calming to a baby.

Taste: While we ask that caregivers use only natural vegetable based oils for the safety and wellbeing of a baby, we also ask that you use light oils.  However, even the safest of oils, even the oils from your own hands have a taste.  And babies always put their hands in their mouths, that’s normal. 

See sensory processing for more details.


Why learn the techniques of Infant Massage? 

The strokes and pressure that are taught in an infant massage class have shown to have the greatest impact and success when massaging your baby. 

Parents May Find that Infant Massage Helps Relieve:

    • Gas and colic
    • Constipation and elimination
    • Growing pains and muscular tension
    • Teething discomfort
    • Cramps

The Massage Promotes Relaxation which May be Shown Through:

    • Improved sleep patterns
    • Increased flexibility and muscle tone
    • Regulation of behavioral states
    • Being calm and being able to calm themself
    • Reduction in stress hormones