Baby Massage - A Careful Choice Of Which Oil To Use

Benefits Of Massaging A Baby

Slowly and gently massaging the whole body of the baby with the use of oil or lotion is a great way of expressing love and care for your baby and has a ton of benefits for your baby.

  • Massaging the body with a good oil helps to strengthen their bones.
  • It helps to strengthen baby’s bond with their parent.
  • Massaging the body helps to strengthen their muscles, helps to get good sleep, helps in relaxing, helps in removing toxins from the body, stimulates blood circulation in the whole body and helps to improve the metabolic system.
  • Massaging also helps in improving the digestive system of the baby thus help in gaining weight in the babies.
  • A good massage helps in developing the sense organs of the baby as it learns to feel and reciprocate to the touch of her parent.

Massaging should be a process in which the parent and baby spend quality time together. You can talk to your baby, hum a song and have a longer eye-contact with the baby, thus making your baby feel more loved. It helps to emotionally strengthen your baby as well.

How To Massage Baby Safely

Massaging should be done with gentle but firm strokes. The baby should enjoy the whole process. You can use a good oil or lotion for a massage so that your fingers can easily glide over your babies body. Your touch should be soothing and relaxing to the baby. Before massaging make sure your baby is comfortable and undisturbed. The room and the room temperature are well adjusted. Lastly, make sure your baby is in a good mood. Then you are all set to go and start with the massage routine.

A Step-by-Step Guide To Massage Baby Safely

Take some oil in your hands and gently start rubbing between your palms.

  • Legs: Start with your babies legs. Very gently start rubbing your babies toes. Your baby would like the touch. Work your way to the thighs and calves. Massage this part with firm but gentle strokes.
  • Arms: Lift your babies arms and massage in a circular motion starting from the palms. Make small strokes while massaging his upper and lower arm moving towards the fingers. Gently massage his wrist and elbow in a circular motion.
  • Chest And Shoulders: Place both your hands gently against the centre of her body and then spread out your hands to the sides of the body. Keep your hands flat and repeat the process by using your fingertips to make a stroke in the outward direction. Make gentle strokes in tandem from left to right shoulder towards the chest
  • Tummy: Massage your babies tummy in a circular motion Remember to avoid even the slightest pressure as babies belly is very delicate. Start from beneath the chest bone and move in a circular motion towards the belly avoiding the belly button. In babies, belly button can be sensitive and delicate as they have recently shed their umbilical cord.
  • Face And Head: Massaging Face can be a challenging job as babies tend to keep moving their face. Keep your index finger on the center of the forehead and move along the outline of his face towards the chin. Massage his cheeks in a circular motion.

Which Are The Best Massage Oils For A Baby

Giving oil massage is really very beneficial for your baby, but do make sure to choose the right kind oil for massage.

Massage Oils That Are Good For Baby During Summers

1. Coconut Oil

Coconut Oil

  • Coconut oil is very beneficial to babies skin as it is loaded with antioxidants which helps to improve their skin texture as babies skin tend to dry out faster.
  • Coconut Oil has antibacterial and antifungal properties, which helps in fighting many skin disorders that are usually seen in babies like Eczema and Diaper Rashes.
  • Coconut Oil has got anti-inflammatory properties as it has a healing effect when applied on insect bites, itchy or swollen skin, patchy skin, dermatitis and cradle cap.
  • Due to its medicinal value, Coconut Oil can be used as decongestant during cold and cough in babies.
  • Coconut Oil is soft for lips, even for adults, also acts as good moisturizer keeping their skin soft and supple

2. Sesame/Til Oil

  • Sesame Oil has got many therapeutic and medicinal uses.
  • Massage with Sesame Oil helps in detoxifying the body.
  • Sesame Oil has antioxidant properties due to which it is very beneficial for babies sensitive skin. Regular massage with sesame oil helps to improve the texture of skin and hair in a baby.
  • For adults and children aline, Sesame Oil nourishes skin, bones and muscles.

Massage Oils That Are Good For Baby During Winters

1.Olive Oil

Olive Oil

Popular among moms as their favourite massage oil.

  • Olive Oil is a rich source of Vitamin E which helps in enhancing the skin tone in babies.
  • Olive Oil has regenerative property thus helps to repair damaged skin tissues.
  • Olive Oil is rich in healthy fats, phenolic anti-oxidants, squalene, and oleic acid, which help to nourish the muscles and bones of the baby.
  • Olive Oil is also very effective in treating Cradle Cap due to its hydrating properties.

Note: If your baby skin is dry, sensitive, or broken please avoid using Olive Oil. Please avoid using olive oil for babies below 6 months.

2. Almond Oil

Sweet Almond Oil is very beneficial for your infant’s delicate skin.

  • It is light in texture hence easily absorbed by the skin.
  • Almond Oil is a rich source of Vitamin A, Vitamin B2, B6, and Vitamin E which helps in nourishing dry skin.
  • Almond Oil has a pleasant smell. Regular application helps to make the skin smooth and supple.
  • Almond Oil has amazing benefits on face and skin.
  • Fatty Acids present in almond oil helps in getting rid of dandruff and scalp inflammation.

Know More: Almond Oil For Babies-Benefits And Precautions

3. Mustard Oil

Mustard Oil

Mustard Oil is an excellent massage oil for winters as it helps to retain the warmth of the body.

  • It helps in strengthening the bones of your baby.
  • Mustard oil is loaded with antibacterial properties which are strong enough to destroy many diseases causing bacteria.
  • Massaging your baby with lukewarm mustard oil (add a pod of garlic when heating) provides relief from a chest and nasal congestion in the little ones.
  • Mustard Oil has a pungent smell thus it also acts as a good insect repellent.

Note: If your baby has broken skin, sensitive skin or eczema, avoid using mustard oil.

Massage Oils That Are Good For Sensitive Skin

1.Castor Oil

Castor Oil

  • Castor Oil is a rich source of Vitamin E, protein and Omega 3 which helps in nourishing the delicate skin of your little one.
  • Castor Oil has got antibacterial and antifungal properties due to which it plays an effective role in treating various skin disorders in babies like skin rashes, eczema, itchy skin etc.
  • Essential fatty acids in castor oil help in restoring the natural moisture of the skin.
  • Castor Oil is also known to treat constipation. Take your doctor's advice for using castor oil for constipation in babies.

2. Jojoba Oil

  • Jojoba Oil helps to protect, nourish and moisturize baby’s delicate skin.
  • Jojoba Oil is very effective in dealing with common skin problems found in the little ones like nappy rash, cradle cap, and skin inflammations.
  • Jojoba oil has wax esters which act as a natural and a protective barrier for sensitive skin. Check here to know about the various combinations of skin.

3. Sunflower Oil

Sunflower Oil

  • Sunflower Oil containing higher amount of linoleic acid works good for sensitive skin.
  • Sunflower Oil is mostly known as edible oil and is safe on skin.
  • It contains Vitamin E and fatty acid which helps in skin nourishment.

Important Points To Consider while Choosing Massage Oil For Babies

It is always advisable to consult your doctor for using the best massage oil for your baby. Generally, some basic points that should be kept in mind while choosing massage oil for your baby are:

  • Massage Oil should be 100% chemical free.Avoid massage oil which contains strong perfume as it may not be suitable for your baby.
  • Avoid using products which are meant for adult use as it may be harmful to your baby’s delicate skin.
  • Avoid oils containing mineral oil.
  • Use natural edible oil because it may not be harmful even if swallowed.
  • Avoid mixing two or three oils together for massaging your baby.
  • Avoid changing the massage oil frequently.
  • Always check for any allergic reactions on the skin of your baby. Always do a sensitivity test before using any new oil.

Which Oils Are Not Good For Baby’s Skin

  • Vegetable Oils which contain high levels of oleic acid (fatty acid found in vegetable oils) may not be suitable for your baby’s skin as it increases the permeability of the skin which means that it increases the water and oil absorbing capacity of the skin but at the same time it may lead to loss of water and moisture content of the skin as well.
  • Unrefined Peanut oil as it contains high protein which may trigger an allergic reaction on the skin.
  • Essential Oils are not recommended for babies and kids.
  • Use of Mineral Oil is not recommended for babies.

Should You Use Massage Oil On Infant Before Or After Bath

Actually, both are good.

Massaging with oil before bath relaxes your baby’s muscles, body, and mind. Helps in better blood circulation and also in getting sound sleep.

Oiling after a bath when the skin is still damp helps to trap moisture thus keeping it soft and supple. But avoid putting too much of oil after bath. It should be sufficient enough to just moisturize your baby’s skin.

Can You Use Besan To Massage Baby

Applying besan (gram flour) along with raw milk, turmeric and cream is a traditional form of bathing babies. This mixture is also known as Ubtan. Ubtan is known to remove facial and body hairs of the baby. Applying the besan mixture/ubtan is a good alternative to soap. But applying ubtan is generally not safe for babies below 3-6 months as there are chances of baby ingesting the mixture which may cause infections as the mixture contains raw milk and cream which is not suitable for babies below 3 months.

Should You Use Massage Oil On Baby With Water Or No Medium

Mixing massage oil with water is a good practice, but the water should be lukewarm. Mix both the contents in equal quantities. Warm water helps in opening up of pores so that the oil can easily penetrate deep inside the skin.

So, these are the top popular oils which have been used since centuries in massaging babies and keeping them and their skin healthy. I am sure you too have had your fair share of these massages in your childhood. So go ahead, give your best love to your baby too! Oil massage is one of the things that brings you two even closer. If in doubt about which oil to use, it is always advisable to consult your doctor and seek an expert opinion before applying anything new on your babies skin.

Also Read:

 How to Choose Safe Skincare and Bath Products for Babies

 

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Author Name: Akhila Menon

 

 

 

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