When it comes to our little munchkins, we want nothing but the best for them. We take extra care in providing for every need and making life easy and happy for our babies. One of the ways parents ensure this is by using quality products for their nutrition, hygiene and overall well-being. This is why a lot of parents opt to cook food in olive oil, when cooking for their children. Olive oil is more healthy and easier to digest as compared to other common oils used in Indian kitchens.
However, off-late, olive oil has also found applications in skin-care, especially baby care. These benefits of olive oil are primarily a result of the high vitamin E and K content of the oil. Olive oil also has a higher percentage of unsaturated fats (the good fats) as compared to saturated fats (the bad fats). These unsaturated ‘good’ fats have a lot of benefits for the human body, and more so for the brain development of babies!
Due to its unique composition, olive oil has several applications apart from culinary ones, especially if you plan to use it for your baby. Let’s find out what these applications are.
10 Applications of Olive Oil for Babies
While the applications given below are safe, it is recommended that you consult your child’s paediatrician before trying any of them on your baby. Every baby is different and may react differently to the use of olive oil. Once your paediatrician gives a green signal, you can go ahead and let your baby soak in the benefits of this wondrous oil!
1. For Cradle Cap
Most babies suffer from cradle cap before they become toddlers. It is a fairly common occurrence, with an easy solution – massage with olive oil! Mix olive oil with equal parts water, and gently massage on the crusty bits on your baby’s scalp. If the crust is thick, use more olive oil than water. Leave it for minimum 30 minutes, and rinse with lukewarm water. Do not rub at it, simply let the oil do its job of loosening the crusty portions. Choosing a trusted brand of olive oil is of priority when you are using it on your baby. Consider Figaro, if you are unsure of which one to go for and you will not be disappointed.
2. For Improved Hair Growth
While some babies may be born with a head full of hair, others may show no signs even after a few months! This can be especially concerning for parents of baby-girls. Not only is olive oil good for cradle cap, it is also shown to accelerate hair growth.
3. For Diaper Rash
This is another common ailment most babies are struck by. While diaper rash creams are effective, olive oil makes for a more natural and organic remedy for this baby problem. Not only that, the moisturising property of olive oil prevents the problem from recurring. Mix 2 parts olive oil with 1 part water, beat this mixture thoroughly to prepare an emulsion, and apply it to your baby’s diaper area.
4. For a Cough
This is one application of olive oil that not many parents know about. Olive oil, mixed with a couple of drops each of rosemary oil, eucalyptus oil and peppermint oil make for a potent potion to rub on your baby’s chest. The oleic acid in the olive oil increases the absorption capacity of the skin, allowing the essential oils to make their way to your baby’s body more easily. The best time to apply this mixture is before your baby goes to sleep.
5. To Clean Your Baby
For their tiny sizes, babies can get pretty dirty! This is especially true of crawling babies. Olive oil helps remove dirt and grime from the body – especially from the folds and creases of the belly button, ears, and nose. Dip a long-stem cotton bud in olive oil and use it to soften and remove dirt stuck in these parts.
6. For Baby Massage
Olive oil makes for one of the most effective massage oils because it is easily absorbed through the skin. It, hence, deeply and thoroughly nourishes and moisturises your baby’s skin.
7. As a Moisturiser
The most important quality in a moisturiser for babies is how easily it gets absorbed into the skin. Olive oil hence makes a great moisturiser, because you don’t need to rub it in hard for it to get absorbed by your baby’s skin. Depending on which part of the world you are in, and how the climate is over there, you may have to apply it more than a couple of times a day.
8. For Constipation
Constipation is fairly uncommon in babies, especially those who are exclusively breastfed. However, it is not unheard of. It is a very painful condition for your baby to be in, so if you are looking for simple home remedies for constipation, consider using olive oil. Heat up some olive oil till it’s warm, and rub it in a clockwise motion on your baby’s tummy. You can also use it in your baby’s diet if he is a little over 6-8 months.
9. For Healthy Weight-gain
If you are concerned about your baby not gaining enough weight, you can make the scales tip in your favour by including olive oil in your baby’s diet. The monounsaturated fats in olive oil lead to healthy weight gain in babies.
10. For Brain Development
Did you know that unsaturated fats are essential for brain development? In fact, it has been found that a diet high in monounsaturated fats favourably affects learning ability, memory, and overall health of the brain. Seeding your child’s diet with olive oil from an early age can hence ensure that his cognitive development stays on track. It will also prevent your child from getting neuro-degenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s disease during old-age.
As a parting note, it would be interesting for you to know that olive oil has a lot of applications for adults too – from removing make-up in a jiffy, keeping lips baby soft, and promoting strong nail-growth, olive oil can also be used as an exfoliator (when mixed with salt scrub), as a face mask, and even to lighten scars. Indeed a multi-purpose oil for the entire family! Always choose a trusted Olive oil brand like Figaro to ensure that you are using and consuming only the purest form of olive oil!