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Origins of Infant Massage

An Age-Old Tradition

“A young mother gently cradles her baby in her lap as the afternoon sun streams through cracks in the wooden door. For the second time that day, she  carefully removes the tiny cap and begins to unwrap the swaddling bands of soft white linen and wool. Freed from his snug encasement, the baby kicks and waves his little arms, listening to the now familiar swish-swish of the warm oil in his mother’s hands and the comforting sound of her balmy lullaby. So begins his twice daily massage. The scene is a Jewish shtetl, one of the small enclaves in Poland in the early nineteenth century, for it is a familiar tableau of motherhood in every culture throughout the ages."

Vimala McClure: Infant Massage, A Handbook for Loving Parents

Infant Massage is so much more than simply learning massage strokes for your baby, it is a two-way communication. It is a gentle dialogue of positive nurturing touch between you and your baby.

The interactions you experience with your baby through touch will help you to gain a deeper understanding of your baby's behavioral states, and unique language and cues. Such experiences can empower you as a parent, giving you the means by which you become an expert on your own baby and therefore feel more able to respond according to their unique needs. Learning infant massage is a wonderful experience that can provide lifelong happy memories and nurture the parent-infant bond.

IAIM mission: The purpose of the International Association of Infant Massage is to promote nurturing touch and communication through training, education and research so that parents, caregivers and children are loved, valued and respected throughout the world community.

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