When we discuss the benefits of infant massage, we generally view them in four categories -

  • Interaction

  • Relaxation

  • Stimulation

  • Relief

Below you’ll find documented research on many of the benefits of infant massage. Click here to view all sources listed on this page.




1. “The main noticed benefits were increasing mother-child bond and relaxation”

2. “The results of the study have shown that baby massage is effective in increasing the mother-infant attachment

3. “Infant massage is an important approach in baby-mother relationship. Mothers who learned infant massage had greater success in adapting to motherhood. Infant massage helped mothers developing strategies to better cope with motherhood.”

4. “Learning the practice of infant massage by mothers is an effective treatment for facilitating mother–infant interaction in mothers with postnatal depression

Sources: [1] [2] [3] [4]


Encourages Non-Verbal Communication

1. “…these studies suggest that direct caregiver–infant interaction, exemplified in this study by touch cues, may play a key role in infants' ability to find word boundaries, and suggests that early vocabulary items may consist of words often linked with caregiver touches.”

Source: [1]



1. The CDC identifies nurturing parenting skills as one of the most important protective factors for lessening child abuse and neglect with approaches that enhance parent skills and promote healthy child development having a demonstrated effect on prevention.

2. “…less physical affection (or more physical neglect) can contribute to greater aggression. Massage therapy has been effective with violent adolescents, perhaps because the physical stimulation reduced their dopamine levels and increased their serotonin levels.”

Source: [1][2]






1. “This bedtime routine resulted in improvements in child and mother night wakings, maternal perceptions of child sleep and mood (ie, sleep problem, bedtime ease, and morning mood), and improvements in maternal sleep quality."

2. “Massage improved the post massage sleep

3. “Based on parent diaries the massaged versus the control children (who were read bedtime stories) showed fewer sleep delay behaviors and had a shorter latency [delay] to sleep onset by the end of the study.”

Source: [1][2][3]


Reduces Stress

1. “The findings suggest that massage has pacifying or stress reducing effects on preterm infants.”

2. “The results of present study showed that […] massage therapy techniques reduces the stress hormone levels of preterm infants.”

Source: [1][2]


Improves Self Regulation

1. “The results showed that therapeutic touch promotes relaxation of the baby, favoring reduction in vital signs and, consequently in the basal metabolism rate. “

Source: [1]





Supports Physical Development

1. Massage improved the weight, length, and midarm and midleg circumferences as compared to infants without massage.”

2. “Parents reported improvements in children's muscle tone, joint mobility, sleep patterns, bowel movements and response to other forms of therapy, e.g. physiotherapy.”

3. “The massage therapy and kinesitherapy protocol improved weight, size and head circumference in preterm infants. “

Source: [1][2][3]


Supports Brain Development

1. “We explored the effects of body massage in preterm infants and found that massage accelerates the maturation of electroencephalographic [brain] activity and of visual function, in particular visual acuity.”

2. “We suggest that massage therapy by mothers combined to skin-to-skin care during neonatal hospital stay improves neurodevelopment outcome at 2 years corrected age.”

Source: [1][2]





Relieves digestive discomforts

1. “This study showed massage therapy has the potential effects on increasing physical growth and gastrointestinal function in premature infants”

2. “ Massaging significantly improved colic symptoms

Source: [1][2]


Relieves Pain & tension

1. Gentle massage of the leg prior to heel stick is safe and decreases pain responses in preterm infants.”

2. “Upper limb massage may be effective in decreasing infants' venipuncture pain perception.

Source: [1][2]