We’ve all heard that massaging your baby with oil is good for his development. But, have you ever wondered how these oils help and which ones are the most suitable for your baby’s sensitive skin? If yes, then read on.
Video: Baby Massage Oils- Which One is Good for Your Child?
Benefits of an Oil Massage for Your Baby
There are various benefits of an oil massage for a newborn baby. These are:
- It makes your baby feel secure and safe, reduces crying, regulates breathing and keeps him warm.
- It improves the blood circulation to the hands and legs.
- Massaging makes digestion and bowel movements easier. This is especially beneficial for colicky babies.
- A massage relaxes your baby and makes him less anxious.
- It regulates his sleeping pattern.
- In premature babies, massaging gives amazing results. It has shown to boost weight gain, stabilise the heart rate and increase brain activity.
Which Are the Best Oils for Your Baby’s Massage?
Although many types of oils are useful for your infant’s skin, season-specific oils keep him happy all day long.
Oils That Are Good for Your Baby in Summer
1. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil should be used in summer as it has a cooling effect, is light in texture and easily absorbs into the skin. Being anti-fungal and anti-bacterial, you can rest assured that coconut oil is great for your baby’s skin.
2. Sesame Oil
Sesame oil is light and keeps your baby comfortable. This is the best baby massage oil that helps your baby develop strong bones.
Oils That Are Good for Your Baby in Winter
1. Mustard Oil
Mustard oil is very beneficial during the winter months. Note that mustard oil should be used in combination with other carrier oils. A carrier oil is used to dilute a concentrated essential oil so that it can be applied on the skin without the fear of side-effects. In North India, many people recommend heating the oil with garlic, fenugreek seeds, and carom seeds and then using the oil after it has cooled down.
2. Olive Oil
This oil is a popular choice among mothers. However, don’t use the oil if your baby has sensitive skin or other skin problem.
3. Almond Oil
Almond oil can be used in any season as it’s rich in vitamin E. It also smells great and makes your baby’s skin soft and supple. We recommend that you use only pure almond oil for your baby’s massage.
4. Sunflower Oil
While sunflower oil has been used traditionally, studies have shown that sunflower oil for baby massage can be linked to cases of eczema. To reap maximum benefits, use sunflower oil that has been specially formulated for massage.
Which Massage Oils Can Be Used for Babies With Dry and Sensitive Skin?
Any vegetable oil that is rich in polyunsaturated oils is the best oil for baby skin. These oils have a high content of linoleic acid which is great for your baby. Some vegetable oils that fit this bill include:
5. Chamomile Oil
Chamomile is a good choice if your baby has sensitive skin or skin rashes. This oil can help to cure colic and ensure your baby gets sound sleep.
6. Tea Tree Oil
This natural oil is well known for its antiseptic properties. You can mix a few drops of tea tree oil with a carrier oil and use it on your baby’s skin.
7. Calendula Oil
Calendula oil is also an essential oil that has a soothing effect on your baby’s skin and a mild smell that doesn’t irritate your baby’s nose.
8. Castor Oil
This oil is great for using just before giving a bath to your baby. It can also be used to treat dry hair and nails.
Whichever oil you choose, do a patch test on your baby first. Apply a small amount of oil on your baby’s skin and observe how it reacts. If you don’t see a reaction in three hours, then you can safely use that particular oil.
How To Choose the Right Oil for Your Baby’s Massage?
Follow these tips before you settle on a specific oil for your baby’s massage time.
- Ask your paediatrician for the oils that will suit your baby’s skin type.
- Use products specially formulated for babies. Products made for adults’ skin aren’t advisable as they can cause harm to his delicate skin.
- Don’t use oils that have a strong fragrance. Food grade oils are the right choice as they’re safe even your baby licks it off his skin.
- Essential oils need to be diluted with a carrier oil before application.
- Avoid using mineral oils for your baby’s massage.
Which Oils Are Bad for Your Baby’s Skin?
If your baby dry or sensitive skin or excema, avoid using mustard oil, clarified butter, and olive oil. These oils are high in a substance called oleic acid. This substance is said to make the top layers of your baby’s skin more permeable. This, in turn, makes the skin drier.
Things You Should Do Before Starting With a Massage
Creating a suitable environment is as important as the massage oil itself. This is how you can prep up the room before you start massaging your infant.
- Shut the doors and windows. Put the pet in another room. Turn your phone on silent.
- Set the room temperature to around 24 degrees C.
- Play soft and relaxing music.
- Lay your baby on a towel or changing mat.
- Have the massage oil bottle, hand towels, a change of clothes for both, and a diaper bag at hand.
Tips To Keep in Mind While Massaging Your Baby
Here are a few points you should keep in mind while giving your infant a massage.
- Most babies fall asleep after a massage, so ensure that massage time precedes his nap time.
- Massage your baby only if he likes it.
- Don’t apply too much pressure while massaging your baby.
- Test the temperature of the oil before using it on your little one. The oil should neither be too cold nor too hot.
- Ensure that your hands are warm, clean and dry.
- Use cold pressed oils as these are neither refined nor have any additives.
- Learn the techniques you can adopt for massaging your baby. You can ask a trusted elder in your family or watch YouTube videos on the same.
- Avoid storing large quantities of oil as they may turn rancid.
- Check the expiry date on the bottle before buying.
1. Can I Apply Oil on My Baby in Hot and Humid Weather?
You can give an oil massage in hot and humid weather provided the oil is applied before bath time and rinsed off properly after. This will make him comfortable.
2. Should I Oil My Baby Before or After Bath?
In India, the traditional oil massage is followed by a bath. This works well for heavier oils that leave a thick residue that can be washed off.
There are many benefits of massaging your baby with oil. One of the best is that it is an unbeatable bonding experience with your baby. Babies crave their mother’s touch and this is the perfect opportunity to increase the health and development of your baby. Use oils according to the season and do not hesitate to talk to your doctor about any concerns you have. Massaging your baby with oil is one of the oldest practices in India. It promotes healthy growth and bonding with your baby. Make sure you use pure oil as your baby’s skin is very delicate. Just to be sure, get approvals from your doctor regarding the oil you choose.
Also Read: Essential Oils for Babies and Kids