During recent years, massage has become increasing popular as a gentle and nurturing therapy which helps to improve bonding between parents and their new babies.
But there are many other benefits of baby massage for all to enjoy! These include improving Baby’s sleeping and relaxation, aiding digestion, increasing muscle tone and strength, and massage has even been proven to increase weight gain in premature babies.
Which oil do I use?
With studies now showing the benefits of massage are many, using pure, organic products for your baby seems only natural.
Pure, cold pressed, organic oils contain their own unique, beneficial properties and are a great way to nourish the skin. Oils also enable massage to be carried out using rhythmic, fluid movements over Baby’s body. An added bonus is that oil can help to combat dryness, commonly experienced by new babies, by moisturising the skin.
Cold pressed, certified organic jojoba oil, sunflower or sweet almond are the preferred choice of various baby massage groups in Australia (International Association of Infant Massage – IAIM as well as IMA – Infant Massage Australia). Grapeseed oil is often solvent extracted and could be contaminated with chemical residues and other oils such as peanut are prone to causing allergies.
Whilst natural, pure essential oils may be too strong for newborn skin so aroma-free/no fragrance what so ever is ideal for young babies.
Blending your organic base oil with small amounts of other high quality oils offers additional benefits.
’massage time is great for telling short stories and reciting nursery rhymes’
Try a pre-blended massage oil formulated specifically for babies from the range at www.aromababy.com to eliminate the guess work. Or add to an organic jojoba or almond base oil 5ml of organic evening primrose oil which offers care for dry and eczema-prone conditions, calendula, an infused oil made by steeping the calendula flowers in a cold pressed base oil, which is excellent for damaged or inflamed skin and/or natural vitamin e oil which is well known for its ability to heal the skin.
Because some babies may be allergic to certain oils, it is wise to carry out a patch test before using any oil all over Baby’s body. In particular, peanut oil tends to be one of the oils with a high incidence of allergic reaction in babies and children. As such, and taking into consideration the number of other high quality vegetable oils available, this is not an oil I would recommend for baby massage. If in doubt, it is always wise to carry out a small patch test prior to using any product, particularly when there is a family history of allergic reaction.
To help Baby gain the most from massage, use firm, long and flowing strokes where possible. Use the whole hand (palm) where you can and don’t forget the soles of Baby’s feet, hands and the scalp area.
For older babies, massage time is great for telling short stories and reciting nursery rhymes.
Take a few deep breaths to relax yourself. Speak softly to your baby, letting them know that they are about to be massaged. Be sure to ask ‘permission’ before you both commence and away you go … Your child will soon learn that their ‘massage’ time is an extremely special time for you both to share!
For massage tips and easy to follow step by step guide, visit www.aromababy.com and click on Baby Massage.
© information kindly provided by Catherine Cervasio 2007