What kind of oil should you use to massage your baby?
Health professionals do not recommend using oil or lotion for massaging the baby until they turn one month oil. This is done to avoid moisture loss from the baby’s skin, which is very delicate at the time of birth. However, during the first month (or longer in case of a premature baby), your baby’s skin develops its natural protective barrier. Owing to this, the baby’s skin becomes relatively thick. This is the time, under the consultation of a pediatrician, when you could start massaging your baby.
For babies over one month, you may use any odorless and edible oil so that there may not be a problem even if the oil is ingested by mistake. Consult your pediatrician to know about the most suitable oil for your baby.
How to Massage Your Baby
Step 1: Seeking the permission
The first step is to take your baby’s ‘permission’ since you would not like to give them a massage when they are not interested. The simple way to do this is by taking some oil in your palms and rubbing it gently on the baby’s tummy and behind the ears and observe their body language. If the baby resists being touched or grumbles and cries when massaging, then it is probably not the right time yet.
Step 2: Massaging the legs
Step 3: Move to the arms
Step 4: Chest and shoulder massage
Step 5: Tummy massage
Step 6: Lastly, the back and shoulder blades.
Tips to help you massage your baby properly
- If, at any point during the massage, your baby becomes cranky, then just stop the massage and attempt again later when the baby is less irritable.
- Always be gentle during a massage. Never apply too much pressure on the baby’s body since their bones and tissues are very delicate. Also never massage the genitals or around the groin area.
- When done, wipe away the oil on the baby’s palms and fingers using a tissue paper to prevent the baby from accidentally ingesting the oil when they put their fingers in their mouth.
- Speak, laugh, and smile while massaging your baby. This helps to keep the baby interested and more cooperative.
- Maintain a fixed time for the massage. This will help establish a routine, making a baby more comfortable during a massage.