Thursday, June 30th, 2016
General FAQs
What kind of oil should I NOT use to massage my baby? PDF Print E-mail

Mineral Oil - also known as 'Baby Oil'.
It's made from petroleum, it's the cheap run-off of making gasoline, and it's flammable. If aspirated (breathed in), it can cause chemical pnuemonia and even result in death.

When looking for an oil, consider this: Would you cook or bake with the oil? Is it something that we would feed our children because it's good and nutritious?

Also, the molecules of mineral oil are too large to be absorbed into the skin; hence, when rubbed on our body, it forms a clear synthetic coating over the largest breathing organ of the human body: Skin.

 
What kind of oil should I use to massage my baby? PDF Print E-mail
As with any new product we use with our little ones, it is recommended that a healthcare practitioner be consulted.

For infants without any special needs, Infant Massage USA and the International Association of Infant Massage-Sweden recommends the use of a natural, edible and food-grade fruit or vegetable oil. Organic and cold-pressed oils are recommended, but by no means are they the only choice. This means we look in the baking and cooking aisle of the grocery store. You probably are already stocked with a suitable oil in your pantry.

Babies will tend to chew, suck and gnaw on their hands, feet and the hands of their caregivers. They end up eating the oil. If it is an oil that you would cook or bake with and be comfortable feeding to your child, then it is an oil that that can be used to massage your baby.

Generally, a patch test is advised. Rub a small amount on an area that your baby cannot further irritate (if irritation occurs). If no redness, rash and/or bumps appear after about 30 minutes and/or if your baby does not seem to be having any systemic reaction (check respiration and skin & muscle tone), then you're probably doing fine with the chosen oil.

Oils generally considered safe are:

  • Grapeseed
  • Apricot Kernal
  • Safflower
  • Coconut
  • Almond - botanically, almond is a fruit related to the plum & peach family. It is a tree nut, so do take care.
  • Shea Butter - A lubricant not commonly found in the baking or cooking oil in mainstream markets, but it is edible, is Shea Butter. Shea Butter is a solid fatty oil extracted from the nuts of the karite nut tree in West Africa. The shea nut has a seed like an avocado seed. The butter that is extracted from inside this seed nut is Shea Butter. It is used for cooking, food preparation and cosmetic purposes. Among it's many uses, it has been used as a baby massage lubricant for babies in Africa for centuries. 

Beware of oils produced for comsetic puposes only. Typical "massage oils" are not food grade. Consider this scenario: You find a bottle of oil that is labeled something to the effect of 'Oil For Baby Massage" - it's all natural, it's organic, it's all that a baby needs!...it was found at a most exclusive store or site for the worlds most all- natural beauty and skin care products. Would you pop the top open and use it to bake a biscuit that your child can chew on?

If the answer is "no", then go back to the food aisle, your pantry or try an edible Shea Butter at www.infantmassageusa.org.

 
When is the best time to massage my baby? PDF Print E-mail

Because baby massage is a baby-focused activity that should be a positive experience, look to your baby and consider where you are in your day. Is it a good time for baby? He'll tell you. Is it a good time for you? Is it then a good time for both of you? It should be a good time for both of you.

Will there be major distractions? Phones ringing, doorbells chiming, other members of the family calling for your attention and/or you just can't get that task list out of your head. Sure, baby massage can happen anytime and anywhere, but if it's not a good time for you, if you can't be relaxed, it will be hard for your baby to relax. 

So, a good first step is that no matter what is going on around you, be certain that you and your baby can still be focused and connected with one another. Relax, take a deep breath, look at your baby and consider that you are committing whatever time you have just for you and your baby. Babies are intelligent beings, intuitive and can't be fooled. They know when our heads are somewhere else. Relax, breath, and think of a time when you felt relaxed - like walking on the beach or napping (ahhh those days! remember?), how about laughing with friends, or the feeling of getting hugged by someone you love?....As these thoughts run through your head, your biochemistry is likely changing and you are begninning to relax. This is a good time to check in with baby.


 

 

 

 

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Baby Massage - Soothing Strokes for Healthy Growth
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