Coconut oil can be used all over your baby’s body when you are giving a massage. It is light and moisturizing and works as a massage oil as well as moisturizer. Coconut oil is also great for baby acne, eczema and dry skin. Almond oil is highly-moisturizing, making it a great choice for baby massage. It also has healing properties that help with dry skin, eczema and rashes. Petroleum Jelly is a good option because it doesn’t go rancid like most essential oils do. Baby Oil is safe for babies who may have allergies to petroleum jelly but it doesn’t give the benefits of other oils listed above
Coconut oil is the most popular massage oil. It’s light, while still offering all the benefits of a great carrier oil, including a high concentration of lauric acid and antioxidants. Almond oil is another good choice because it’s absorbed quickly into the skin and leaves behind a moisturizing feeling after use. Petroleum jelly doesn’t absorb into the skin properly, so it’s not recommended for baby massage but can be used as a barrier cream in small amounts to protect newborn skin
If you’re looking to make a massage for your newborn, you may be wondering which oil is best for baby massage. There are many types of oils you can use, but there are some that are particularly good for massage
When choosing the best oil for baby massage, you should consider your baby’s skin. The skin of a newborn can be sensitive and dry, which means it will dry out quickly when exposed to too much moisture. Also, some babies have allergies or sensitivities to certain types of oils.
You’re going to want to start with a gentle massage technique on baby’s skin. For example, if a baby has cradle cap, massage it gently with some sweet almond oil. If your baby has eczema, use safflower oil or grapeseed oil.
When To Start Oil Massage For Newborn Baby
Massages are soothing and healthy for your baby — and you might just enjoy them, too.
Using the right oil for your baby massage can make all the difference. Massage oils help protect your baby’s soft, delicate skin and moisturize at the same time.
However, not all oils are made equal — and they’re not all good for baby’s skin. Just because an oil is “natural” doesn’t mean it’s safe to use for a baby massage.
Let’s look at the best oils to use for a baby massage and which oils you should avoid.
Regular baby massages can help you and baby bond. Touch is a language both adults and babies can understand. Baby massages can help comfort and relax both of you!
During a baby massage, you and your little one are facing each other — without an embarrassing dirty diaper in the middle — and making eye contact. This helps your baby learn your facial expressions and develop their communication skills.
Massaging your baby regularly can also help develop their brain and nervous system.
Plenty of medical studiesTrusted Source show that regular touch and attachment with a parent or caregiver are necessary for healthy brain and emotional development in a baby. The benefits of are lifelong!
You can choose from a variety of oils that are normally safe for baby’s tender skin. Try these oils during a baby massage and for moisturizing their skin. Some might suit your baby’s skin better than others.
The best oils to use during a baby massage — in no particular order — include:
A 2020 medical study found that applying virgin coconut oil on premature newborns helped improve and strengthen their skin. It can do the same for newborns and older babies as a massage oil and moisturizer.
Several other studies also support these findings, but more research is needed.
Almond oil is rich in vitamin E, and clinical research from 2020 shows that it’s safe to use as a baby massage oil. The researchers found that using almond oil on premature babies improved their skin’s thickness and strength — and didn’t cause any side effects.
Petroleum ointment or jelly (also known by the brand name Vaseline) may have been your mother’s choice of baby lotion, and for good reasons — this tried-and-true product is good for your baby’s skin as a massage oil.
Baby oil is actually a mineral oil. A 2012 medical reviewTrusted Source showed that, like petroleum jelly, mineral oils are safe to use on baby’s skin.
Shea butter is a creamy natural moisturizer that’s safe for your baby’s thin skin. Look for pure shea butter that doesn’t have any added perfumes or chemicals.
Safflower oil is a cold-pressed vegetable oil that contains vitamin E. Cold-pressed means that it’s less processed than other kinds of oils.
This makes it a good choice to use as a massage oil for your baby.
Grapeseed oil is a cold-pressed oil that’s normally safe to use as a massage oil on your baby.
Jojoba oil is recommended for babies with eczema because it helps heal the skin. It’s also high in vitamin E. Use cold-pressed jojoba oil for your baby’s massages.
Borage seed oil
Borage seed oil is high in a fatty acid that can help soothe and heal your baby’s skin. It’s safe to use as a massage oil even if your baby has eczema.
Rose hip oil
Rose hip oil is high in fats that are good for baby’s skin and help build it up. It helps soothe redness and irritation in baby eczema and other skin rashes.
You might find oat oil listed as “Avena sativa” in your body lotion. This common skin care ingredient helps heal skin rashes and get rid of dry, itchy skin.
Oat oil is generally safe for baby’s skin.
If your baby has mild to severe eczema, it may be best to use the cream your pediatrician has prescribed for them. Baby’s very sensitive skin or eczema rashes may have reactions to oils that are otherwise safe to use.
Even natural oils can cause skin irritation and may not be safe for your baby. Oils to avoid using on your baby’s skin include:
While olive oil is a heart-healthy choice for your daily diet, it’s not good for your baby’s delicate skin (or your skin).
One of the fats in olive oil is called oleic acid. This fat can break down skin instead of improving it. Olive oil is especially not safe if you or your baby have eczema or other skin rashes.
While mashed avocados are a great baby food for when your little one starts on solids, avocado oil is not great for baby’s skin.
Like olive oil, avocado oil contains the fat oleic acid. This can lead to skin irritation and breakdown.
Peanut oil contains peanut proteins. Some babies may be sensitive to peanuts or develop an allergy to peanuts. Using peanut oil can result in skin irritation and may lead to reactions in your baby.
This “spicy” oil can irritate and heat up your baby’s skin.
Like olive oil, soybean oil may break down the skin’s barrier and cause irritation and redness.
Tea tree oil
Tea tree oil has antibacterial and antiviral properties but can cause irritation on baby’s delicate skin.
Other essential oils
Essential oils are very concentrated and can be irritating for both babies and adults, so be careful in selecting other oils for baby massage. (Some are safe, but essential oils must always be diluted before use on skin.)
Which Oil Is Best For Baby Massage in Winter
Most parents massage their babies for the first few months after birth. However, to ensure their baby gets the full benefits of the massage, they should pick the best baby massage oil to keep their little one’s skin healthy and glowing.
Research suggests that massages are more beneficial when performed using a medium such as essential oils. In addition, massage therapy helps promote neuromotor development, emotional connection, a healthy sleep-wake pattern, and weight gain (1).
So read on to know more about massaging babies with oil, including its safety, how to select the right massage oil, and tips to keep in mind while massaging the baby.
Is Oil Massage Safe For Babies?
Massage therapy is considered to be a safe practice, and there are no significant harmful effects if it is performed appropriately. But if your baby has any underlying health issues, consult a pediatrician before you try oil massages for the baby. The pediatrician can help determine the safe and appropriate way to massage the baby to address their specific needs (2).
[ Read : Himalaya Baby Massage oil Review ]
Measures To Take While Selecting A Massage Oil
- The wrong selection of massage oil may cause adverse effects such as skin rashes and bacterial colonization (1). Thus, it is wise to consult a pediatrician to select an appropriate oil for your baby.
- The use of thick massage oil in hot and humid weather is not ideal, as the same may clog the pores of the skin, trapping dust and dirt.
- The oil should have moisturizing properties, which will start to work when it is absorbed into the baby’s skin.
- The oil should be non-allergenic and free of chemicals. So, the selection of unprocessed oils can be good, provided you have checked on their safety and efficacy.
- The list of natural plant oils includes both vegetable and essential oils. Essential oils cannot be used on the skin directly and need a carrier oil. Check about this with the doctor before you try combining the essential oil with a carrier oil.
- The oil should have a mild fragrance.
Consider the above points to select a massage oil for your baby, and discuss in detail with your pediatrician, before purchasing one.
In addition to selecting the right kind of oil, you should also learn about how to massage the baby safely. There are no fixed guidelines describing the exact methodology of neonatal massage. However, the improper technique could be detrimental to the baby’s well-being, which makes pediatric consultation a must.
[ Read : Nature’s Veda Dasapushpam Baby Oil Review ]
Tips To Keep In Mind While Massaging Your Baby
You may have many thoughts in your mind on how to massage your baby. Here are some tips you can follow while you are all set to give the massage (2).
- Before you try any oil on your baby’s skin, just dab a little on her hand and see if it is compatible with her skin. If your baby’s skin develops any rash, then avoid using that oil.
- Establish a conducive environment before initiation of massage. A room with soft light, warm temperatures, and low noise levels are ideal.
- Massage should be given between the feeds, ideally 45 minutes to one hour after a feed to avoid regurgitation or vomiting of the food.
- It should involve the entire body starting from the head and neck to the trunk and extremities.
- A firm stroke with fingertips should be used during massage therapy. Avoid applying too much pressure. Remove your jewellery to prevent scratching your child.
- Give a massage only when your baby is content. The comfort level of the baby is more important.
- Generally, babies sleep after the massage, so keep a check on your baby’s sleep cycle and decide to give a massage accordingly.
[ Read : Top 10 Baby Hair Oils ]
Next, we talk about the various massage oils you can consider using for the baby.
Uses Of Massage Oil For Babies
Massage for babies has been in practice for long and is considered important too. Yet, most of the available evidence is methodologically limited, demanding further research in the domain. However, if you want to try massage for a baby after consulting a pediatrician, here is the list of oils you can consider.
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For Normal Skin
1. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is suitable for topical use during hot and humid climates. It has a light texture owing to which it gets absorbed into the skin easily during a massage. It contains nutrients, such as vitamin-E and bioactive compounds like polyphenols, which help nourish the skin. The oil also has antibacterial and antifungal properties that aid in treating eczema, rashes, patchy skin, dermatitis, and cradle cap. Two types of coconut oil – copra and virgin coconut oil – can be tried for massaging babies.
2. Sesame Oil
A research study involving 125 healthy full-term infants showed that massage in infancy could improve growth and induce sleep, especially when sesame oil was used (3). Sesame oil has antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and antipyretic properties (4). Massage with sesame oil could reduce inflammation and the severity of pain. It may also help protect from the UV radiation of the sun when applied topically (5).
3. Mustard Oil
Mustard oil is commonly used for cooking, but its use as a massage oil is also prevalent in some communities. Some research studies show that the use of mustard oil for massage may improve thermoregulation, skin texture, and skin barrier function (2). Yet, recent evidence suggests that this practice may have detrimental effects, especially for preterm infants or for those whose skin barrier function is sub-optimal (6).
4. Olive Oil
Olive oil is recommended for neonatal massage as it is known to improve skin hydration. Yet, olive oil contains around 55-85% of oleic acid and is considered to have the potential to disrupt the skin barrier, leading to dryness. Increased risk for atopic dermatitis has also been reported with the use of olive oil (7). So, if your baby has sensitive skin, talk to a pediatrician or dermatologist before using olive oil for massaging them.
5. Almond Oil
Almond oil has emollient and sclerosant properties, which have been used to improve complexion and skin tone. The topical application of almond oil has also been shown to prevent the structural damage caused by UV irradiation. However, previous research on plant oils have demonstrated that almond oils applied topically, mostly remain at the surface of the skin (1).
For Sensitive Skin
If your baby’s skin is sensitive and prone to eczema or dryness, do not use vegetable oils like olive oil or high-oleic sunflower seed oil. Oils containing oleic acid make your little one’s skin more tender and drier. Instead, look for vegetable Oils containing linoleic acids. However, it is wise to consult a pediatrician before you select the oil for a baby’s massage.
Below is a list of oils that contain high amounts of linoleic acids and are considered to be suitable for sensitive skin.
6. Sunflower Oil
A research study has claimed that the topical application of sunflower seed oil provides protection against nosocomial (hospital) infections in preterm very low birth weight infants (2). On the contrary, another study led by The University of Manchester claimed that sunflower oil used on a healthy newborn baby is likely to damage the skin barrier exposing it to water loss and infections (8). So, talk to your pediatrician to determine whether this is good for your baby.
7. Chamomile Oil
Chamomile oil is an essential oil used widely for aromatherapy, as it is known to provide therapeutic benefits. The FDA has regarded chamomile as GRAS (generally recognized as safe). Though, it is possible that some reports of allergic reactions may be due to contamination of chamomile by “dog chamomile,” a highly allergenic plant of similar appearance (9). A research study conducted on infants showed that the topical application of chamomile oil had the potential to alleviate the infantile colic symptoms.
8. Tea Tree Oil
This is an essential oil tested positive for its antifungal and anti-inflammatory activity in vitro on topical application (10). So it is used for babies in a few communities, although recent research presented at ENDO 2018 (the Endocrine Society meet) that essential oils possess a diverse amount of chemicals and should be used with caution because some of these chemicals are potential endocrine disruptors (11).
9. Calendula Oil
Calendula oil can be safely used after bath as it is known to have a soothing effect on the skin. It has anti-inflammatory properties that might be effective in treating diaper rashes, inflammatory skin lesions, and other skin issues (12).
[ Read : KLF Nirmal Cold Pressed Virgin Coconut oil ]
10. Castor Oil
The use of castor oil for baby massage is largely anecdotal. As the consistency of the oil is thick, it is generally used as pre-bath massage oil. If you are using it, be careful not to apply the oil around the eyes and mouth. Castor oil is also used for hair growth in babies. However, it is wise to use castor oil for babies after a pediatric consultation.
Massage is a great technique that helps you bond with the baby. The type or technique of massage you choose could also determine the benefits that your baby derives from oil massages. Always check with your doctor before selecting an oil for massaging your baby – for it must be suitable for them and have no detrimental effects.