What Oils Should I use for Baby Massage?
Did you know that whatever oil you use for massage will be absorbed by the skin and into the blood stream of the baby?
Did you know that once its in the blood stream, it will be circulated through the body via the lymphatic system and blood circulation system?
Oil massage can make the strokes smoother and rhythmic. It helps to glide smoothly without causing friction with baby’s skin.
But there are many types of oils – Animal Fats Oil, Mineral Oil and Cold Pressed Vegetable Oils (Natural Oils)
What do you look for when choosing oils?
- Absorb into the skin well
- Not sticky, greasy or have a scent that is too strong
- Moisturise the skin without a sticky feeling
Animal Fats Oil does not absorb well. Mineral Oils aka baby oils is actually gotten from crude petroleum. Therefore not advisable at all to use for baby massage.
A newborn skin is very soft and thinner than adult’s skin. A wrong use of oils can harm the baby’s tender skin.
Check if your baby has eczema, if your baby has sensitive skin? This is important. If you have history of that and I advise you to monitor. Do not use olive oil. Try sunflower oils that are high in linoleic acid, which is a better choice for babies with sensitive skin.
Linoleic acid is a type of omega 6 fatty acid. This acid can help combat dryness by providing protection against loss of moisture.
Cold Pressed Vegetable Oils
This is nourishing to the skin and contain essential fatty acids.
Use very natural oil, do not use mineral oil. As a guideline, use only oils that can be consumed – like sunflower oil, grapeseed, jojoba and sweet almond oils.
Natural oils that are not specifically formulated for baby skin may be chemically and biologically active. If you used the wrong oil, skin may become dry. Therefore, please bear in mind not to use cooking grade olive oil.
Vegetable oils that are high in linoleic acid is gentler on baby’s skin. This is because linoleic acid helps to protect the skin. Consider Sunflower and grapeseed oils if these requirements are important for you. Sunflower is light and non greasy. If you are more creative, you can mix it with avocado oil. Both have much vitamins like A, D and E and contains high level of linoleic acid which benefits the skin.
Sweet Almond Oil has a high amount of fatty acids and has vitamin E. But, due to the nut element, it may cause allergies to very small percentage of babies. Otherwise, it’s a great oil
Grapeseed oil is very affordable and inexpensive. Jojoba oil is the really expensive one compared to grapeseed oil. Nevertheless, it contains a high amount of linoleic acid which moisturises the skin and prevent lost of moisture. This is a light oil without any scent and odour.
Good oils opens up pores, remove toxins and encourage sebum secretion. Good natural oils will help to make skin more elastic and resistant to infection. It also promote good flow of lymph fluids to improve body’s immunity system.
Again, I need to emphasis that there has been much research and confusion over the use of olive oils vs sunflower seed oil. There have however been findings to determine that olive oil could cause harm and damages skin barrer. Therefore, the use of olive oil for the purpose of baby massage should be discourage.
Anyway, there are many grades and types of oils, just be mindful and use unscented natural oil – as natural as possible. For safety reasons, invest and buy a bottle of organic cold pressed vegetable oil. Just avoid oils with high oleic acid content which olive oil is known for.
Finally, it is not advisable to use aromatherapy oils on new borns and infants. If used incorrectly, it can be potent. If you know how to use, please ensure it is diluted appropriately. Secondly, use only pure (expensive) and high grade essential oils, not the commercial ones. Thirdly, if you have to use, start with Lavender, the safest of all the essential oils and make sure its properly diluted.
With babies, we have to be safe!