Massage Oils for Baby Massage
All babies need massage. There are many reasons why this is needed.
- Massage relaxes the baby.
- As the baby cannot exercise on its own, massage ensures flexible movement of the baby’s limbs.
Babies who are not given a massage from a young age may not have well-shaped bodies. Since the bodies of infants are soft, mothers can take advantage of the tenderness to rectify the visible defects in the shape of the limbs and especially the head. Newborn babies’ heads take the shape in the position they are placed for a long period.
So massage helps to give a proper shape to the body. Babies depend on their parents to gain flexibility of movement and for any bit of movement until a particular age. When the mother massages the baby’s body, the baby experiences proper blood circulation, which energizes the baby.
While massaging, babies start crying; so there is a need for the mother to distract the baby by singing songs, talking to the baby, and laughing with the baby. This is how the baby responds to sound and shows healthy signs of reciprocation of feelings. The baby also passes gas during the massage; this prevents babies from suffering from any sort of discomfort due to gas formation in the stomach.
Since massage is essential for the baby’s growth and strengthening of its muscles, the oil selected should be of good quality. Baby’s skin is very tender, and baby’s skin should not be exposed to harsh weather and touch. So, mothers need to take care that their nails are cut short and avoid wearing any jewelry while massaging the baby.
A reason for choosing the edible variety of oil is that babies put their fingers and feet in their mouths. Non-edible oil, if consumed by baby, may cause illness, so choosing pure almond oil would be the right choice. In West Bengal, India, raw turmeric pieces and tulsi leaves are boiled in mustard oil and applied on the baby’s body. Recent studies warn parents against using mustard oil as it is believed to have a toxic effect on the skin.
In other parts of India coconut oil in used. Sesame oil can also be used because sesame is also consumed in various parts of the world. Besides that, sesame is known for its medicinal value. You can also use apricot oil. If you are not applying edible oil and the oil is a mineral oil, take care that you don’t apply oil to baby’s toe and palms.
It is always good to massage the baby with oil and leave him or her exposed to mild sunrays for a brief period. Mineral oils are known to cure skin infections. If you are not sure of the contents of the oil, don’t apply the oil on parts where there are rashes or open wounds.
Don’t apply oil on baby’s genital areas. After you have massaged the baby, wrap the baby in a towel and keep close to your body for some time.