Using cue-based infant massage to support infant mental health

Runtime 00:28:42
Released 13/6/23
Emerging Minds Podcast
Emerging Minds Podcast
Using cue-based infant massage to support infant mental health

Infant mental health is primarily concerned with how infants (0-3 years) and toddlers (3-5 years) experience the world around them. Mental health and development are the result of many interrelated factors, including aspects of the child’s inner world as well as their relational world.

Cue-based infant massage is mostly delivered to infants under 12 months of age. It can have many benefits for infant mental health including interaction, stimulation, relaxation, and relief. Cue-based infant massage is less concerned with the technicality of massage strokes; rather, it is focused on supporting parents and infants to get to know each other, allowing parents to learn their infant’s cues and ways of communicating. Cue-based massage provides both infant and parent with quality face-to-face time together and a chance to build their relationship and bond.

In this episode, Nicole Rollbusch talks to Kerryn Roberts, Coordinator of Infant Massage at Relationships Australia South Australia (RASA). Kerryn shares her knowledge and experience in delivering cue-based infant massage to families in various settings. She explains the value of cue-based infant massage for infant mental health and the emphasis this program places on relationship development, encouraging parents to follow the infants’ lead. She also explores the importance of working alongside the parent-infant relationship as a practitioner and how this contrasts to intervening in the relationship.

In this episode you will learn:

  • what is cue-based infant massage? [02:10]
  • principles of cue-based infant massage [05:49]
  • why families might engage in cue-based infant massage [09:28]
  • the benefits of cue-based infant massage for infant mental health and wellbeing [12:55]
  • the challenges and settings of cue-based infant massage [18:25]
  • how practitioners can learn more about cue-based infant massage [23:48]

Further information and resources:

To express interest in the upcoming ‘Infant Massage Instructor’ course, visit the Australian Institute of Social Relations website.

Relationships Australia South Australia

International Association of Infant Massage

Infant mental health learning pathway – Emerging Minds

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