Yesterday, a new mum came to my clinic to learn infant massage. We were discussing different types of products that were suitable to use on a baby for massage and ones that weren’t so suitable. There are so many varieties of products (not to mention ‘natural’ products) to use on our bodies whether it is for our skin, or our babies skin. One thing we need to remember is a baby’s skin is different to adult skin.
At Natural Tranquility, we recommend using an organic, pesticide free, cold pressed fruit, nut, vegetable or seed oil. Cold pressed oil means no heat has been used when extracting the oil from the source. The oil you decide to use will be absorbed by the baby’s skin so it is important to remember whichever you choose to use, you must be happy for your baby to ingest. The oils I suggest to my new mums are sesame oil, apricot oil or sweet almond oil (discussed below).
Why don’t I recommend olive oil or coconut oil for massaging your baby?
You may be thinking these oils are edible and fine for human consumption, and rightly so. However, the reason they’re not recommended for infant massage is because the texture is too thick and won’t be absorbed sufficiently by the skin.
How about mineral oil?
Mineral oil is a popular baby massage product (sometimes even fragranced) and is readily available. Mineral oil is not recommended for infant massage is because it is extracted from paraffin oil which is distilled from petroleum.
The oils I recommend for Infant Massage are:
- Cold pressed
- Easily absorbed & due to its chemical structure penetrates the skin easily
- Contains a range of antioxidants
- High in vitamins A, B, E and contains iron and calcium
- Sesame oil contains 40% linoleic acid (a polyunsaturated fatty acid). Due to this property sesame oil has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
Apricot kernel oil
- Easily absorbed
- Moisturizes the skin & is light in texture
- Contains vitamin A & E
- Contains approximately 20% linoleic acid therefore, like sesame oil has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
Almond oil/sweet almond oil
- Easily absorbed
- Moisturizes the skin
- Contains vitamin E
Whichever oil you decide to massage your infant with, ensure you always read the labels.
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