Skip to content

    Health & Baby

    Font Size
    A
    A
    A

    Babies May Be Soothed by Massage

    Baby Massage Might Help Infants Sleep Better, Cry Less, and Relax
    By
    WebMD Health News

    Nov. 10, 2006 -- Massage may help infants relax, sleep better, and cry less, shows a study in The Cochrane Library.

    The researchers included Angela Underdown, MSc, associate professor at the Institute of Education at England's University of Warwick.

    They reviewed 23 studies on infant massage, mainly in newborns.

    The reviewers note "some evidence of benefits on mother-infant interaction, sleeping and crying, and on hormones influencing stress levels" in massaged babies.

    For instance, massaged babies had lower urine levels of certain stress hormones than babies that didn't get massage.

    "Given the apparent effect of infant massage on stress hormones, it is not surprising to find some evidence of an effect on sleep and crying," Underdown says in a University of Warwick news release.

    The studies varied in length and massage style. So it's not clear what type of baby massage or how many sessions work best.

    Baby massage didn't affect infant growth and didn't appear harmful, the reviewers note.

    Underdown and colleagues say their findings support infant massage, but they aren't ready to recommend massage for all babies.

    The reviewers call for more studies on infant massage. Meanwhile, if you're interested in massage for your baby, talk to your doctor.

    Baby's First Year Newsletter

    Because every week matters, get expert advice and facts on what to expect in your baby's first year.

    Today on WebMD

    mother on phone holding baby
    When you should call 911.
    parents and baby
    Unexpected ways your life will change.
     
    baby acne
    What’s normal – and what’s not.
    baby asleep on moms shoulder
    Help your baby get the sleep he needs.
     

    mother holding baby at night
    ARTICLE
    mother with sick child
    QUIZ
     
    Chinese mother breast feeding newborn baby girl
    SLIDESHOW
    Track Your Babys Vaccines
    TOOL
     
    Baby Napping 10 Dos And Donts
    Slideshow
    Mother with her baby boy
    Article
     
    baby in crib
    Slideshow
    baby gear slideshow
    Slideshow