Wellness

Natural Body Massage Oil for Baby – Benefits and How To of Infant Massage

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Everyone loves a massage – your baby does too, and using natural body massage oil benefits both baby and parent.  Each infant massage takes about 10 minutes and is a delight.  My first son received a massage after each bath and it became a relaxing ritual, both soothing and bonding for parent and child alike.

A natural oil massage is also a great trust builder for your newborn as it builds their body awareness and connection to you.  Massage is so important in helping with sleep, reducing colic or congestion, and developing muscle coordination.

When choosing a time for your baby’s natural body oil massage, be sure it’s a time when your wee one is alert, not sleepy or fussy.  Massage can overstimulate a crying baby and defeat the whole purpose of the massage.  They should be neither hungry nor too full from a meal as well.  After a bath is an ideal time as most babies find bath time relaxing.

When choosing a natural body massage oil for your baby’s infant massage, simple, all natural ingredients are key.  Extra virgin organic coconut oil is simple and pure – one ingredient.  It’s the best (and cheapest) way to moisturize your baby.    I don’t mix it with any other oils.  I just scoop a teaspoon full out of the jar and warm it in my hands.  You don’t even need a full teaspoon to complete your baby’s natural body oil massage.  Coconut oil’s consistency is another bonus for parents and caregivers.  The oil is solid at room temperature and doesn’t become oil-like until you warm it in your hands, so if your baby kicks the jar over or you have to quickly drop it catch a baby-on-the-move, you won’t spill oil all over your baby, blanket or floor.    Babies hands and feet will also go to their mouth during and after a natural body oil massage and coconut oil is eatable, so no worries on that front either.

If you are not crazy about the smell of coconut oil, I also like Weleda’s Calendula Baby Oil.  Welenda products offer excellent products for babies and their natural body oil smells wonderful.  And their baby massage video, found near minute 3:45 of this link, is wonderful in its technique.

Here is a great overview of the “how to” for baby massage from our friends at Parents Magazine.

Leg Massage:  Gently but firmly wrap your hands around your baby’s leg and glide your hands down from thigh to ankle. Do this a few times; then repeat on the other leg.

Belly Massage:  Place your hands at the level of your baby’s navel. In a clockwise motion, rub your fingertips firmly and gently over her tummy in a circular motion. Repeat.

Arm Massage:  Gently roll your baby’s arm between your hands, starting at his shoulder and moving down to his wrist. Repeat two to three times, and then switch to his other arm.

Neck Massage:  Support your infant’s head and upper body with one hand. Place the thumb of your other hand on one side of her neck and your first two fingers on the other side. Then use your fingertips to gently rub your baby’s neck in a circular motion. Repeat these circles a few times.

Colic-Relief Massage:  First give your baby a belly massage. Then bend his knees up to his tummy and hold for about 30 seconds before releasing. Repeat a few times. Then place the edge of one hand on your baby’s belly, gliding from the belly button down in a rhythmic pattern, to help release pent-up gas. Repeat if needed.