Mothers massaging their newborns with lotion versus no lotion enhances mothers’ and newborns’ sleep

Tiffany Field, Gladys Gonzalez, Miguel Diego, Jodi Mindell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Sleep is frequently interrupted in newborns and their mothers. Massage therapy is noted to facilitate sleep in adults and infants. Infant massage has also been more effective with oil versus no oil. In this study 76 mothers of newborns were randomly assigned to a massage with lotion versus a massage without lotion group and a non-massage control group. The mothers were then taught a simple newborn massage and were asked to massage their newborns daily for 15 min at bedtime for one month. The Brief Infant Sleep Questionnaire was adapted for newborns and for mothers, and the mothers completed the questionnaires on their newborns’ and their own sleep behaviors (the same behaviors for both mothers and newborns). The 3 groups were compared on the mothers’ and their newborns’ sleep behavior changes from birth to one month. By the last day of the study, the lotion massage group versus the other two groups showed a shorter latency to sleep and longer sleep for the mothers and fewer nightwakings and longer sleep for their infants. This may relate to the lotion group mothers massaging their infants more frequently as the number of massages was correlated with the total time sleeping and negatively correlated with nightwakings for both the mothers and the infants on the last day of the study. And, the mothers’ and the infants’ sleep behaviors were significantly correlated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)31-37
Number of pages7
JournalInfant Behavior and Development
StatePublished - Nov 1 2016


  • Lotion massage by mothers
  • Newborn sleep

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


Dive into the research topics of 'Mothers massaging their newborns with lotion versus no lotion enhances mothers’ and newborns’ sleep'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this