Baby Massage increases the Quality of Sleep and Infant Body Weight


eMediNexus Editorial    08 December 2022

Sleep patterns and weight in infants are crucial concerning infant growth and development. Baby massage is a slow and gentle stroke movement over the baby′s body, starting from the baby′s feet, stomach, chest, face, hands, and back. It is a form of tactile stimulation. Studies have shown that the babies who receive massage experience an increase in vagus nerve tone (10th brain nerve), leading to increased levels of gastrin and insulin absorption enzymes, ultimately enhancing food absorption. It thus increases the body weight and sleep quality more than those who did not receive a massage.


A recent systematic review and meta-analysis conducted by Fauzia RL. et al. used PRISMA flow diagrams to investigate the effects of body massage on weight and sleep quality. It searched articles through journal databases like PubMed, Science Direct, Google Scholar, and SpringerLink by selecting articles published in 2010-2020 and including the relevant articles.


On meta-analyzing 16 articles, the study found that baby massage improved sleep quality and increased body weight. 


Kachoosangy & Aliabadi (2011), in their study on the effect of tactile-kinesthetic stimulation on motor development of low birth weight neonates, also showed that babies who received tactile-kinesthetic stimulation three times a day for ten days experienced a significant increase in body weight and motor development compared to the control group. 


Rahmatnezhad et al. (2018) also stated that one of the stimuli to optimize the development of neonates is tactile stimulation in the form of massage or touch. They also showed higher development of neonates in the experimental group than in the control group. 


Thus, it is conceivable to conclude that baby massage improves the quality of sleep and the babys weight.


Fauzia RL, Budihastuti UR, Adriani RB. Meta-Analysis the Effect of Baby Massage in Increasing Quality of Sleep and Infant Body Weight. Journal of Maternal and Child Health. 2022;7(1)

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