One of the most commonly asked questions during baby massage classes is "what oil should I use to massage my baby?"
Most Certified Infant Massage Instructors (CIMI's) recommend a cold pressed, organic vegetable oil. A baby massage oil should be edible, but not all edible oils are suitable for infant massage.
Olive oil is not recommended as it is a very viscous oil, and very slippery too!
Some suitable oils include cold pressed sesame oil, apricot kernel oil and coconut oil. In recent years, coconut oil has become very popular. A randomised control study conducted in 2004 (Sankaranarayanan et al) found that baby massage using coconut oil on well newborns resulted in better weight gain, as well as improved skin barrier function.
Remember too, that if you are massaging your baby with any type of oil, that massaging them on the floor is the safest place for massage. Babies prefer to be massaged during playtime when they are in a quiet alert state. Massaging them just before a bath may make them too slippery, so it is safest to massage your baby separately to bath time.
About the Author:
Marney Merritt is a Certified Infant Massage Instructor, Registered Nurse, Midwife and Child Health Nurse. As Founder of Rockabye Baby Massage she offers new parents a series of home visits to guide them through Infant Massage techniques, and the skills to pick up their baby's cues, promote their baby's development and bond with their baby through positive touch. Marney services most suburbs on the Northside of Brisbane.
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