Baby Oil Massage or ...

... What does a sponge cake has to do with baby massage

by Paula

There are three things a mother must provide her baby: a lot of love, milk and ... hydration.

I liked very much this motto from one of the cosmetic products I received in a bag from the maternity. And I must admit, I absolutely loved the tutorial movies about how to massage your newborn baby.

What's in a massage oil

However, I did not use the sample oil that came with the bag.

It had a big list of ingredients like paraffinum liquidum, isopropyl palmitate, PED-8 dilaureat, acetylated lanolin alcohol, parfum and others. I got shivers reading the label of what was supposed to be a gentle baby oil.

Instead, I looked for a more natural and homemade baby massage oil.

When I had my first baby, Roxana, I didn't massage her, simply because she was born in autumn. The weather outside was cold and my daughter would began to hiccup the moment I would take her clothes off. So, I just bathe her quikly and didn't waste any more time with the massage.

My second baby, Mihai, was born in June and it would had been a shame not to have a little fun with the massage. Moreover, I toyed with the massage idea while I was pregnant, so I wouldn't miss it for the world.

Homemade baby oil massage recipe

The oil I used for massage was originally prepared for solving another problem - diaper rash. Speaking of which, I recently made an investment in textile diapers.

After much documentation, I have concluded that the best recipe for the baby massage oil is "the oldies but goldies". That is, extra-virgin olive oil cooked in bain marie and cooled.

There are variations, of course. Two of them are obvious, but I haven't tried them, because I thought it was too much for a beginner like me.

  1. The first variation is fortified oil. That means you add vitamins in it.
    According to some, you should fortify the oil with vitamin A and/or E oil capsules. Others disagree, because the olive oil, they say, contains sufficient vitamins.

  2. The second one is essential oils.
    I know mothers who added essential oil (especially lavender) in the baby massage oil.

    Aromatherapy specialists recommend strongly the use of it. But that's their job, no? The choice is ours.

You should dilute the essential oils:

  • 0-2 months: 1 drop essential oil to 15 ml base oil / vegetable oil;
  • 2-12 months: 1 drop essential oil to 10 ml base oil / vegetable oil

Use just a drop of this mixture for the massage.

I personally don't see the point in it. My baby is too small and there are already too many elements that he needs to get used to. My smell and the room's smell are just two of them. I didn't want to cover them with essential oil scent.

How to make your own baby massage oil

My mother-in-law prepared the oil before I gave birth. She didn't used extra-virgin olive, but cold pressed sunflower oil. I think that it was a good choice, considering that domestic oil is more likely to be the real deal than a forged extra-virgin olive oil.

She filled a 0.25 liter dark glass bottle with oil and she put it in a larger pot with boiling water (baine marie) for 30-40 minutes. This is somewhat similar to making gee (clarified butter).

She said she already used the same kind of oil 30 years before, for my husband and his sister. The oil is very liquid and, she told me, it wouldn't stain the clothes (not much at least).

When can you start doing the massage

baby massage

I called our pediatrician after 10 days to check up the baby. Among other things, she told me to give him massages starting the next day.

Awesome, I thought, because I've previously read that you can do that only after six months. There may be cases when it is not recommended, but I had the doctor's go.

Do you massage before of after the daily bathe?

This is another thing you have alternatives and there are followers of both ways.

Our pediatrician recommended doing the massage before bathing. The reasoning is the water flushes out the excess oil and the remaining oil is just enough to hydrate the skin.

That was the plan we started with. Being that we live in a city near the sea, the air is very humid and hot in the summer, and the baby sweated very much. How would I oil the sweaty skin?

What I did was to first clean him up a bit with a little warm water in the bathroom sink. After that, I gave him the massage. And you know, the sensation it's much nicer on a wet skin.

After this, we bathed him. That is I bathed him. My daughter and my husband cheered for us :)

You could say I did the massage before and after the bathe.

Is it good?

It was very oily :) and the baby felt like a greasy sponge cake. He was still slipping out of my hands after the bathe. Only after I dried him with the towel, the skin became shiny, silky and smooth.

I don't know if the massage technique I did was correct. It always seemed to me massage was rather complicated. It is possible I may have missed some vital points, but the baby didn't complaint and I thought he was quite relaxed.

What we certainly accomplished was socialization. For me, for the baby and, most of all for his big sister who was super ecstatic from her brother's noises.

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