We all know that massaging babies is one of the best part of their daily routine as it has many benefits like:
1. It helps the baby feel more warm and secure due to skin to skin touch and contact from the parent, and makes it easy for them to adapt to their new environment outside the womb.
2. Even babies get tired of crying and sleeping and even very little activity makes them fatigued. Massaging helps them relax as it eases out any pain they may be experiencing.
3. Massaging helps improve blood circulation in new borns and even older infants and thus helps brain development and sensory awareness too. It also gives some excercise to the baby which helps them in digestion as well as sleeping well. Babies who are trying to sit, stand with support and walk can get good help from massage.
4. It's one of the best ways of developing the baby parent bond and also instills confidence in the parent that he or she can handle the baby well.
5. Babies who are suffering from colic and gas trouble get lot of relief when massaging is done around their stomach and naval area in circular motion. Also carefully done leg cycling excercise helps release gas and comforts them.
Besides following a good massaging technique a very important part of a good massage is the oil that we use. There is a wide variety of oils with different sets of benefits available in the market as well as well known oils like olive oil, coconut oil, mustard oil, sesame oil etc which are commonly used for massaging babies. Some people even recommend pure almond oil (they themselves get it extracted) as very good oil.
As per me the oil which we use for massaging a baby should depend on the climate and temperature Conditions where we live and also our babies skin sensitivities.
One must also take care that if use of any oil is creating redness or allergy or small rashes on babies skin we must immediately stop it and show to a doctor. Also heating the oil and using too much oil on babies face should be avoided as sometimes this is the reason for an oil not suiting the baby.
I have used majorly three oils for my babies massage during her infancy and toddlerhood. In summers I had used olive oil and coconut oil for body and almond oil for hair while in winters I always preferred mustard oil for body and continued with almond oil for hair.
I used to prepare the mustard oil in winters specially for my baby and store it so am giving the method. This oil is beneficial for keeping the baby warm, helps development of bones and muscles and also relieves the baby of any pain in the body. Also it helps remove excessive hair called lanugo (birth hair) from babies body and keeps the babies skin hydrated.
1. Take one bottle of very good quality mustard oil and heat it in a pan.
2. To this oil add 2-3 tbsp ajwain, 1 tbsp methi dana and 8- 10 garlic cloves. Let the oil heat and let the spices in it almost cook.
3. Keep this oil for cooling with the spices in it so that the oil gets infused with them. When cool seive it and store it preferably in a glass bottle.
You can use this oil for babies massage in winters. It's very beneficial.
Alternatively if some babies have sensitivity towards mustard oil, and their skin is very sensitive, one can use home made ghee for their massage. Heating some ghee and burning few almonds in it makes it very good for massage. One can seive it and store it and use.