Why use oil in baby massage?
We always start our Baby Massage courses by explaining what oil we recommend using for massaging babies as this is an important part of ensuring your baby enjoys the massage.
To ensure a comfortable massage for your baby, oil is important as it allows your hands to easily glide over your baby’s body. The oil will warm up during the massage bringing a lovely warmth to your baby’s muscles, without oil there is a chance that your hands may cause warmth via friction rather than from the warm oil, this might be rather uncomfortable for baby.
The additional benefit of using oil is the absorption of the oil itself. It is therefore important to consider the type of oil used, it is our preference to use the most natural and gentle oil possible for baby’s delicate skin and body.
We always test a small amount of oil on the baby’s wrist and carry on with our introductions, then before massage begins we just check there is no reaction to the patch test.
Best oils to use for baby massage
We provide small bottles of grapeseed oil in our classes, because this oil is full of natural goodness (e.g. vitamin E which is moisturising) and it doesn’t contain any nasty chemicals. The best baby massage oil will be a food grade oil that can be ingested, which means it doesn’t matter if your baby puts their oily hands in their mouth.
There are other lovely oils parents use to massage their babies, coconut oil is a favourite of many parents. The key thing to remember is to use a natural cold pressed organic edible food grade oil.
Oils to avoid for baby massage
We don’t recommend using anything perfumed when massaging babies, especially newborns, as they love to smell you, and even a lovely relaxing smell of lavender can interfere with the pheromones you and baby both give off, these support the bonding process.
Although products like Baby Oil have been marketed for babies they are often mineral based, and they contain such a long list of chemical and perfume ingredients we wouldn’t want any baby to get this kind of product in their mouth.
Olive oil is still recommended by some health care workers, but there has recently been some research that shows that it irritates the top layer of the skin and can cause it to become more permeable. It’s high in a fatty acid called olieic acid which has been shown to irritate sensitive skin, especially in those prone to eczema. Book onto one of our baby massage classes in Bristol today to find out more.