Bedtime has become much easier for Cassandre Collazo and her baby Kassandro now that she has discovered infant massage.
"At night, I find by massaging her back, massaging her feet, she goes into a calm state," Collazo told FOXNews.com. "And it's easier for her to get to sleep after that."
It has been proven that infant massage can relieve ailments such as colic, constipation, growing pains and teething. Studies have also found that infant massage can also improve learning ability.
Collazo is one of dozens of parents participating in a free infant massage class at a public school in New York City. The group meets once a week for two hours.
The class is taught in English and Spanish, and is part of a home-based program. A certified infant massage therapist visits each family three times a month so they can perfect their techniques together.
Erica Quezada, education director for Early Head Start, runs the program.
"The teachers go through the strokes with the parents,” Quezada said. “We have dolls so if the child is not comfortable and doesn't really want to engage in the process of infant massage, (the parents) can still practice the strokes with the doll.”
And there are benefits for the parents, as well as the babies.
"It's a wonderful time to learn how to bond more with your child," said Melissa Marty, who attends the class with her 9-month-old son, Jayden.
"While I'm learning exactly how to execute massage, the appropriate way to be able to comfort and soothe her, she's learning exactly what an appropriate touch is," Juliette Esquea said while holding her 11-month-old daughter, Jenna.
"The ultimate goal is that they're comfortable,” Quezada said. “It's a nurturing type of technique and we want them to have that one-on-one bond and just to enjoy each other's company."