Infant Massage FAQ

Introducing touch can be started soon after birth. Start with skin-to-skin care (such as Kangaroo Care). This involves placing your baby on your chest to facilitate close contact between you and your baby. (Dads love this!) You can gradually introduce back and leg strokes and then involve other parts of the baby’s body. By following your baby’s cues, looking for signs of being quiet and alert, you can begin massage during the first few weeks after birth and then gradually develop a nurturing routine that will last a lifetime. Throughout your course you will learn specific massage strokes for different parts of the body as well as a massage for relief of colic / gas.

While there are many books and videos available on Infant Massage, learning along with other parents from a Certified Infant Massage Instructor is a more hands-on, interactive and personal experience. IAIM instructors teach each of the strokes one-by-one so you will feel comfortable and confident that you are doing them correctly. Instructors also help you understand your baby’s responses and can help answer any questions you may have about touch, bonding/attachment and other topics. During an Infant Massage class, you will also benefit from the interaction, knowledge and experience of other parents. 

It's hard to predict baby's routine at the best of times so it may be tricky to find a class time that will suit you and your baby's routine. We are a baby led, parent supported class and encourage you to join us anyway you can. We will provide you all the supports you need to read and understand your baby's cues and you'll how infant massage can be used to support those messier moments of your day. It can be hard to leave the house with a crying, fussy baby but we want you to take that step and join us so we can support you. Infant massage is truly amazing. You'll be glad you did.

Both research and anecdotal evidence from families have shown that there are many ways that babies and families may benefit from infant massage. At the top of that list is bonding and attachment that parents and babies experience through massage. More specifically the benefits can be grouped into four categories: Interaction, Stimulation, Relief and Relaxation. We cover them all detail in our classes.

We recommend that your baby be in the 'quiet alert state' to massage him/her. Your baby will look calm, gaze at you, be happy to lay still, have open body posture, or reach out towards you. We will support you during class to to recognise these optimimal times and as you learn your baby’s cues you will know when it is the right time.

Of course! The course fees are a family enrolment as we encourage both parents to participate in Infant Massage classes. This gives your baby a chance to bond with each parent in his/her own way. Each parent often develops different styles and unique ways to interact with their babies, and these classes are a great opportunity for both parents to form a life-long bond with their child.

We are a baby-led program and always follow the lead of our babies so we will work with you and your baby to understand their cues and ensure that their needs are always being met. All temperaments are welcome in class and crying or sleeping is all part of being a baby. Should your bubba not be receptive to massage at any time during our sessions we have a doll for you to practice your skills on. You'll still leave the class with everything you need to enjoy massage during the week when baby is more receptive.

Infant massage can be very helpful for babies who have experienced challenges in their lives. It is a wonderful way to strengthen the communication between parents and their children using nurturing touch. Our focus is always on the interaction and connection between you and your baby. Here at IAIM, we believe infant massage is something you do with your baby, not to your baby. It is not another therapy but an opportunity to share love and care through touch.

We like to introduce babies to massage at their own pace. We watch their cues and introduce new strokes gradually, week-to-week. During our Infant Massage classes, you will be introduced to new information each week and build on previously taught techniques. Classes are designed to build relationships between parent and baby to instill trust and create positive associations. Long term training sessions also encourage engagement between parents fostering opportunities for ongoing support and friendships long after the classes are over.

We recommend the use of a vegetable oil, which is preferably organic and cold pressed.  We generally say, if you can put it in your salad, you can put it on your baby.

To get you started, we include a bottle of oil as part of your enrolment.

The use of oils is sometimes entwined in cultural and family traditions. Here at the International Association of Infant Massage (IAIM) we don’t recommend using essential oils or oils with with a fragrance near a young baby. These fragranced oils can mask the 'chemical signatures' of both baby and mum which is such an important part of the bonding and attachment process that is such a huge part of infant massage.

In addition babies put their hands and feet in their mouths which could mean ingestion of essential oils which is not recommended.

Of course, once baby is older, the safe use of essential oils is personal preference.

Babies understand much more than we realise. When babies are quiet and alert, we ask them if they would like a massage. This helps them know that they can say yes or no to touch. We respect their body ownership and watch their cues to know if they want massage or not. 

Follow your baby’s cues.

It is wonderful to have massage be part of your daily family routine. Depending on your baby, she may be receptive in the morning, after a bath or before bedtime. Or he may be only open to accepting massage on his legs at one session, may like tummy massage during a nappy change, and like the whole body at bath time.

Many of the benefits are increased with regular daily massages. And some babies happily receive more than one massage a day.

You might like to bring along your usual nappy bag items (nappies, wipes, change of clothes, feeding items etc).

Classes are floor based so you might like to wear comfortable clothing and bring along any other comfort items for yourself.

We supply everything else you'll need to enjoy the classes, including massage oil, wraps, blankets and cushions.

If you prefer, you can bring your own blanket and a pillow either for you to sit on or for baby during massage.