In India and many other parts of Asia, the tradition of baby massage is an old one. The practice of baby massage with oil has become an integral part of babies’ skincare routines in most households today and for good reason. An oil massage can provide multiple benefits, not just for your baby, but for you too.
What are the benefits of baby massage for newborns, infants, and babies?
Regular oil massages moisturize your baby’s skin deeply, protect it from infections, help to improve its texture, promote good muscle strength and calm down your baby and you! They are also said to relieve gas and colic in babies. Since they involve touch, baby massages are also a great way to bond with your baby.
Choosing the right baby massage oil is crucial to gain maximum benefits from this time-tested childcare practice. Read on to know how you can do that!
How to choose a good baby massage oil?
When choosing a baby massage oil, there should be 3 main considerations:
- Ease of application
Your baby’s skin is still in its developmental stage. It is thinner than an adult’s skin and has a more alkaline pH value that can be disturbed by using the wrong products. A baby’s skin is more prone to dryness and irritation than your skin — which is why you must be very careful about any skincare products you apply on his/her skin, including any baby massage oils.
Let’s look at each of these parameters in detail.
Safety: Toxin-free, fragrance-free, no undiluted essential oils
At the most basic level, your baby massage oil should be free from harmful chemicals that can irritate your baby’s skin. These include parabens, sulphates, silicones, mineral oils, toxins, and allergens. Read the product label and screen these ingredients carefully.
Harsh fragrances can also irritate your baby’s delicate skin, so look for fragrance-free options.
But this is not all. Just because an oil is natural, it does not mean that it is safe for use on your baby’s skin. Some oils such as Tea Tree oil, Mustard oil, Avocado oil, and even Peanut oil can actually irritate your baby’s skin due to certain compounds present in them.
All essential oils like Lavender oil, Chamomile oil, and Peppermint oil are a big no-no for your baby. Essential oils are very potent and need to be diluted with a suitable carrier oil, like Sunflower oil before being used on your baby’s skin.
For babies older than 3 months, a safe dilution ratio of 0.5 to 1 per cent is recommended. You should completely avoid the topical use of dilute or undiluted essential oils completely on babies younger than 3 months of age, and for older babies, consult a paediatrician before using them.
Benefits: Moisturizes, nourishes, and provides protection from skin infections and irritation
You must select the most nourishing natural oils to reap maximum benefits from an oil massage for your baby. A combination of safe natural oils that are nourishing, anti-microbial, and anti-inflammatory works best to provide your baby with the all-around care that his/her skin and health need.
CITTA’s Nourishing Baby Massage Oil is a conscious blend of 12 natural oils that manages to achieve this. It combines the wisdom of our traditions with scientific knowledge in a chemical-free and fragrance-free natural formulation that is highly effective for a baby’s skin.
Coconut oil, Almond oil, Sesame oil, Sunflower oil, Brahmi oil, and Castor oil provide nourishment and moisturize your baby’s skin deeply. Basil oil, Turmeric oil, and Ashwagandha oil protect your baby’s skin from infections and irritation with their anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Working together, this unique combination of natural oils promotes good muscle strength and skin health in your baby.
Ease of application: Non-sticky consistency that spreads and gets absorbed into the skin easily
The best baby massage oil will have a consistency that spreads easily on your baby’s skin and gets absorbed easily into it. Different oils have different consistencies, some may be heavier and thicker than others. The right baby oil for you would be one that lies somewhere in between so that it is non-sticky and comfortable for your baby.
Our baby oil is crafted to have a lightweight, non-sticky consistency that makes it super convenient to use, before baths or even afterwards, as you would prefer. It quickly gets absorbed into your baby’s skin and gives it a moisturized, soft feel while nourishing it from within.
What should I avoid when choosing a baby massage oil?
As mentioned previously, you should avoid harsh chemicals, fragrances, and essential oils when looking for a baby massage oil for your little one. Reading the product label carefully and purchasing from a reputed brand are some good practices that you should follow for every babycare product that you buy.
What precautions should I take while using baby oil?
Always conduct a patch test before using any massage oil for your baby. Apply a little quantity of oil on a small area like the elbow and observe for 24-48 hours. Most allergic reactions show up within this timeframe, but some may take longer, so observe for at least 3 days before you start using a new product for your baby’s skin.
If you notice any kind of skin irritation or infection, you should discontinue using the product. If there are other signs of discomfort, such as breathing difficulty, excessive sweating, fever, etc., you should seek medical attention at the earliest.
Apart from these precautions, it is important not to put oil in your baby’s ears or navel area, as it can lead to fungal infections. The strokes used while massaging a baby also need to be gentle and soft, since a baby’s skin and organs are both much more delicate than an adult’s.
Remember, your baby’s skin may react differently to a product than another baby’s, for example, a baby with an extremely dry skin condition may react better to a heavier formulation, but one with an oily skin condition may not respond as well. It is always good to take these precautions and understand the particular needs of your baby’s skin.
A good baby massage oil is one that has safe natural ingredients, is nourishing, and protects your baby’s skin from skin infections and irritation. It should also spread and absorb easily into your baby’s skin. A combination of anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, and nourishing oil can help to achieve multiple benefits that the practice of oil massage has to offer, for the baby as well as the caregiver.