Baby massage is an essential part of newborn care in our country since a long time. It involves stroking the child’s body using rhythmic movements with the fingers. Most babies enjoy massage time a lot.
After my delivery, both me and my daughter were massaged by our JAPA maid for about two months. Post that, I massaged my daughter myself and how she used to enjoy her massage! The moment I would undress her and put oil on my hands, she used to get so excited and would start giggling.
Benefits of Massage for Babies
Apart from being relaxing, massage has various health benefits for babies. Massaging the newborn helps to improve his sleep, tone the body, boost the immune system, improve blood circulation, and helps in the development of the central nervous system. Babies love to be touched and caressed. They feel secure when the mother massages them. It helps the baby to bond with the mother.
Massaging the baby helps to prevent the formation of gas and abdominal pains. It also helps to provide relief from congestion and aids in the drainage of sinuses. Massage aids in the motor development of the baby. Regular massage helps to strengthen the muscles of the baby.
How to Massage the Baby?
Click below to see baby massage techniques in this video:
There are several gentle techniques that you can use to make the massage relaxing for the baby:
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- Start from the center of the chest and follow a heart-shaped path around the rib cage to the belly. You can do this in the opposite direction as well. Gently walking your fingers up and down the tummy and chest is really enjoyable for the baby.
- The milking technique is used for the limbs. You start from the shoulder and pull down towards the palm.
- In the case of the legs, you start from the hips and go towards the feet. Use your whole palm and imitate a milking action. Then move onto the back and rub from the shoulder to the hip and back.
- When you are massaging the face or head, use only two fingers and very little pressure.
- Using the same order of movements every day will help your child understand and enjoy the routine massage time. Never tickle your baby when you massage. Instead, talk to your baby and make eye contact to make the experience positive and fun.
Often mothers ask, “What should I use to massage my baby?”
Massage with oil gives the best results but it is okay to use a moisturizer. The only drawback of using a moisturizer is that it doesn’t penetrate the skin as much as oil does. There are various essential oils that are available in the market and many mothers have this query, “which massage oil should I use for my baby’s massage?”
How to Choose the Best Winter Massage Oil for your Baby?
It might take you some time to decipher which oil is best for your baby in winter. Each baby is different and has a different skin type. Some babies have oily skin while some have dry skin. In winter, most babies have dry skin and you would need to use a hydrating massage oil. While using any oil, test a small amount of oil on your baby’s skin and continue use only if it suits you. This helps to rule out the possibility of any allergy or irritation.
Best oils for Baby massage in Winter
#1. Mustard Oil
Mustard oil has a warming effect and is the best oil for baby massage in winters. It can cause a little irritation to baby’s skin so it is advisable to use it in diluted form. In Eastern and Northern India, Mustard oil is first heated with fenugreek seeds and garlic cloves and then used for baby massage. Garlic helps to boost the immune system while fenugreek helps to relax the baby. You may use this - Patanjali Mustard Oil
Image Source: kondli bazar
Price: INR 115/- for 1 litre
#2. Sesame oil
Sesame oil is a popular ayurvedic massage oil for babies, helps the baby to relax and it moisturizes the skin deeply and provides warmth to the body, making it apt to use in winters. It is very helpful in relieving stress and keeping blood pressure levels under control. This is what we recommend - Dabur Lal Tail
Image Source: gsuperbazar
Price: INR 247/- for 500 ml
#3. Almond oil
This sweet smelling oil is known for its nourishing and moisturizing properties. Almond oil provides warmth to the body and is a great choice for massaging the baby in winters. A rich source of Vitamin E and various minerals, almond oil helps to keep the hair and skin healthy. It is very light and helps to relieve muscle pain, skin inflammation. It is also very good for the complexion and helps to strengthen your baby’s bones. The best almond oil for baby massage is - Hamdard Roghan Badam Shirin Sweet Almond Oil
Image Source: firstcry
Price: INR 363/- for 100 ml
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#4. Chamomile Oil
Chamomile oil is great for massaging in winters as it is good for sensitive skin and helps to treat rashes that occur in winters. Often babies suffer from colic in the cold weather and the soothing properties of chamomile help to relieve colic and put babies to sleep.
Note: Chamomile oil is an essential oil and should not be used on the skin directly. Always dilute chamomile oil with a carrier oil such as coconut oil, sweet almond oil or olive oil. You should add only 3 drops of essential oil for every 10 ml of carrier oil. It can be used for baby massage only after the baby turns 3 months of age since baby’s skin is very delicate and get irritated by the use of essential oils. Always test the diluted oil on a small part of the skin and only continue to massage only when there is no allergic reaction after 24 hours of use.
You can use this - Mothercare All we Know Baby Oil
Image Source: onlinekiddieshop
Price : INR 349/- for 300 ml
#5. Tea Tree Oil
You may also use tea tree oil for massaging your baby in winter as it possesses antiseptic properties and helps to soothe the skin. It helps to prevent skin allergies that occur in winters and also boosts the immunity of the baby.
Note: Tea Tree oil is an essential oil and should not be used on the skin directly. Always dilute tea tree oil with a carrier oil such as coconut oil, sweet almond oil, or olive oil. You should add only 3 drops of essential oil for every 10 ml of carrier oil. It can be used for baby massage only after the baby turns 6 months of age since baby’s skin is very delicate and get irritated by the use of essential oils. Always test the diluted oil on a small part of the skin and only continue to massage only when there is no allergic reaction after 24 hours of use.
You may use - Allin Exporters Tea Tree Essential Oil for Skin, Hair and Acne care
Image Source: Amazon
Price : INR 288/- for 15 ml
A Word of Advice
You can massage with any of the above-mentioned oils as per your choice. You can also mix 2-3 oils while massaging. Make sure the oil doesn’t come in contact with the baby’s eyes. Some masseurs offer to use their own oil. You should allow these to be used on your baby’s and your own skin only if you’re completely sure of the ingredients.
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