Parental touch is explained in the context of infant massage and is discussed as being central to a baby's various dimensions of health. The importance of touch is explained as it relates to the babies, parents and their union as a family. Emphasis is given on the communicative functions of touch on babies and the short and long term benefits of parental touch on the family collectively and as individuals. Finally, infant massage is promoted as being essential for parents to practice because of its strong effect throughout the receiver's life. .
Touch has long been researched but we yet need to know more about it since its effects are of such magnitude. Touch is the most essential communication channel for babies because they sense, understand and experience it more than any other stimulation. Babies need to be touched because it affects their mind and bodies' development, health and strengthens their bond with parents resulting in happier family life and facilitated development later in life. The benefits of this interaction are short term and long term if touch is properly administered at this early age. Physiological changes, action readiness, valenced emotions, discrete emotions, and most essential of all, love, along with safety and security, are communicated to babies when they are touched. All parents should take time to learn about touch and use this knowledge to improve their children's quality of life. .
Infant massage, the practice of massaging particular areas of a baby's body with gentleness and love is well established and taught by many institutions devoted to teaching parents necessary skills for child rearing. The key to successful infant massage is to remember that is it meant to be a pleasure for both parent and child. The setting should be comfortable for both parties. A warm room, pillows, blankets, hand cream to keep the parent's hands soft and avoid skin irritation, and lots of love are important when preparing for the massage (Make Way For Baby! 1999-2001).