Babies are born with an innate need for physical contact and touch. According to a study published in the journal Indian Pediatrics, the type of massage oil you use can affect your baby's health and growth. Researchers found that when coconut oil was used (as opposed to mineral oil), babies (both premature and full-term) gained more weight. Simple old coconut oil is a great natural alternative to baby oil.
Olive oil is a popular choice among mothers. However, do not use the oil if your baby has sensitive skin or has skin problems. If you want to use oil for baby massage, we recommend organic, cold-pressed, unrefined, light and edible oils, vegetables, fruits, nuts or seeds. Examples include sesame, almond and coconut oils.
Joining the thousands of parents who are already playing with their babies from birth is the best way for brain and body development and laying the crucial foundations for future learning. Babies do not become so slippery during the massage process that it is not safe or difficult to handle or dress them. Although some essential oils can be safely used in infants with proper dilution, it is not recommended during children's massage. Also, because babies tend to put their hands and feet in their mouths, whatever oil you use for massage, you should be happy that your baby ingests it.
Since babies have an underdeveloped sphincter in the esophagus, they cannot burp on their own. Additional research suggests that infant massage is especially useful for mothers with postpartum depression who have trouble bonding with their babies. Although more research is needed, some studies also suggest that infant massage with moderate pressure might promote the growth of premature babies. Everything your babies absorb through their skin has to be processed by their little livers, so keep it natural and organic. As a result, babies' “senses of safety and security increase, and all of this leads the individual to a more balanced state of well-being overall” says Ronda Cheatham, owner of A Touch of Grace Massage Therapy in Remington, Virginia. In one study, babies who received massage showed better heart rate variability (HRV), a measure of nervous system function each week.
Babies long for their mother's touch, and this is the perfect opportunity to increase the health and development of their baby. There are many studies that show that human contact reduces stress and lowers blood pressure in adults, and babies are no different. For example, some micropremature babies cannot be managed too much because of changes in the baby's heart rate. This is because of the five senses; touch is one of the most developed at birth, and there is research that suggests that infant massage has tremendous benefits in helping babies grow and thrive. During the first month (or longer in premature babies), the baby's skin matures and develops its own natural protective barrier. Infant massage can help strengthen your bond with your baby while providing numerous health benefits.
It can help improve digestion, reduce stress hormones, improve sleep patterns, reduce colic symptoms and even help premature babies gain weight faster. It also helps stimulate circulation and relaxes muscles. When it comes to giving your baby a massage, it's important to remember that less is more. Start by gently stroking your baby's body with light pressure using long strokes from head to toe. You can also use circular motions on your baby's arms and legs as well as gentle kneading on his or her back. It's important to pay attention to your baby's cues during the massage session; if he or she seems uncomfortable or agitated at any point during the session, stop immediately. Baby massage can be a wonderful way to bond with your little one while providing numerous health benefits.
Just make sure you use an appropriate oil for your baby's skin type and always pay attention to your baby's cues during the session.