The rising mercury in summer increases worries for parents of newborns. Sometimes, it becomes a challenge to care and protect your baby against the scorching summer heat. The start of summer brings in lot of questions to the parents’ minds - what to feed their baby, how often should they bathe their baby, what type of clothes are suitable, should they massage the baby, how much fluids should they give the little one…Oh, What Not!
Relax! Caring for your precious little bundle in summer is no different from other seasons.
However, there are certain things which you can keep in mind that will help your baby to stay comfortable.
One of the most important things to keep in mind is about massaging the baby in summer. Many parents are not sure if they should massage their babies in summer or not. Let us know more about it.
Should you massage your baby in summer?
Massaging your baby is very beneficial and is known to stimulate its central nervous system.
Many parents believe that massaging can increase heat in the body or it can cause heat rashes on the baby’s delicate skin or increase sweat or can cause stress to the baby. However, massaging can, in fact, reduce fussiness, and also reduce chances of constipation and colic. It also helps your baby to relax and help your baby to sleep well. The touch and rhythmic movement also helps in building the bond between mother and the child.
So, the summer season should not be a reason for you to stop massaging your baby.
Also Read: Baby Skin Color | 10 Effective tips for a healthy skin (and surprising facts)
Should you use oil or lotions/creams for massage in summer?
There is absolutely no harm in using oil for massage during summer. Oils score over lotions/creams as they are completely natural as compared to chemically manufactured lotions/creams.
However, you should choose an oil that is suitable for your baby’s skin and ensure that you wash it off completely during bath time. Oil that stays on the skin for a longer time blocks the sweat pores, which increases the chances of developing heat rashes.
Which oils are suitable for massaging in summer?
Some oils are by nature, known to generate heat. Oils such as castor oil, mustard oil, sandalwood oil, etc., are best avoided in summer. You can choose oils like coconut oil, virgin coconut oil, olive oil, sesame oil etc., which are known to have cooling effects.
Let us know the benefits of using these oils in summer:
#1. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is a very stable oil and hence, even if you leave it on your baby’s skin without washing. It does not turn rancid or invite any infections. It is hypoallergenic and does not cause any reactions on the baby’s sensitive skin.
It is also rich in Vitamin E which is the most essential nutrient your skin requires. It does not produce heat or warmth during massaging which makes it best suited for summer.
Also Read: How To Treat And Prevent Heat Rash In Kids
#2. Olive Oil
Olive oil does not generate heat/warmth on massaging. It stays stable at all temperatures and also contains healthy fats essential for maintaining skin tone. It is also a wonderful moisturizer.
#3. Sesame Oil
Sesame oil is easily absorbed and has high content of Vitamins - A, B & E. Since it is high in linoleic acid, it has antibacterial properties. It also doesn’t generate heat during massaging.
#4. Virgin Coconut Oil
Virgin Coconut oil is also a very stable oil and is easily absorbed by the skin. It need not be washed off after massage as it does not turn rancid and cause infections. It contains high quantity of lauric acid which has regenerative properties. It does not generate heat/warmth during massage. It is important for you to understand the nature of the oil before using it for massaging. Also, use the natural form of oils such as cold-pressed and organic oils rather than commercially processed ones.
What should you do after massaging your baby?
Massaging no doubt helps your baby to relax and sleep well. So, in summers, a massage should be a precursor to a warm bath. Bathing your child immediately after a massage ensures that there is no oil left on the skin to clog the skin pores. Use a suitable soap and wash your baby especially focusing on areas like neck, underarms, skin folds and groin areas.
Wipe the baby with a soft, cotton towel. If your baby has dry skin, apply a moisturizing cream/lotion after the bath.
Dear Parents, summer time no doubt brings lots of questions to parents’ minds, especially first-time parents. Massaging the baby is essential no doubt what time of the year it is. Massaging helps your baby physically as well as emotionally. It relaxes your baby and helps it to sleep well and also enables the child and the mother to form a close bond.
However, ensure that you only choose oils with cooling effect and also wash off the oil by giving a warm bath to the baby.