Baby massage: What oils to use

Posted in: ayurveda, Children and parents topics- Dec 11, 2016 No Comments

Baby massage has a long tradition in India. Just after birth, a cleansing massage is done with a soft wheat-dough ball, to which a little almond oil and a dash of turmeric is added. Just before rubbing, the ball is dipped in a bit of almond oil. This practice is continued for the first six days after birth, before the bath. Ayurvedic baby massage enhances circulation, helps in the expulsion of toxins and aids the digestive system of the baby.

On the seventh day after birth, actual baby massage with the dough ball starts and this goes on every day for three weeks. The dough ball should be dipped in oil every now and then, which helps to keep the 3 doshas in proper balance.
Massage with the hands begins when the infant is one-month old, when the baby’s body has become strong enough. The baby massage is continued every day for 3 months, during which the most time is spent in massaging the spine, back, neck, waist, hands and feet because these parts need to gain strength to support the body.
Once the baby starts lifting its head on its own and supporting its body weight on its arms, more general daily body massage should continue for 18 months. The massage of the spine, nevertheless, remains an important aspect of infant massage.
After this time, baby massage can be given on alternate days, although a daily massage routine will aid in making the child strong and happy.

Take a quick look at the oils that are commonly used to massage a baby. Try to avoid branded oils as they have perfume and other harmful chemicals that may be harmful for the baby. Always us oil in its purest form of oil and the one that is suitable for your baby’s dosha.

Almond oil: Almond oil is neutral and sweet; it pacifies all doshas.

Coconut oil: Coconut oil is considered another best oil to massage your baby. It is widely used in Southern India for baby massage. It contains antiseptic and antibacterial properties that help to prevent infection of the skin caused by the baby’s skin. It is suitable for “Pitta” dosha.

Pure Ghee:  is also used for massaging babies and is recommended in Ayurveda.  It is used generally in winter when the weather is too cold to protect the body against the cold. It is also used for various skin infections and diaper rashes. It is good for all doshas.

Mustard oil: Mustard oil is indicated for “Kapha” dosha.

Olive oil: It is rich in anti-oxidants and is a good moisturizer and full of vitamins. Remember to use olive oil especially packaged for massaging babies. It is good for all doshas.

Sesame seeds: Sesame oil is one of the best oil that can be used for massage.It is a natural skin conditioner and when rubbed on the skin it penetrates to the marrow of the bones. On the way, it collects oil soluble toxins and takes them into the bloodstream to be eliminated by the body as waste. It neutralizes the oxygen radicals, which are believed to be one of the main reasons for aging. It is used to cure sinusitis and other conditions. Babies can improve growth and have a sound sleep. It is good for “Vatta” dosha.

For best results, massage your baby regularly until your baby is between one to two year’s of age. Use proper ways to massage your baby or consult an experienced practitioner to massage your baby. In India massaging a baby is a traditional treatment that has been passed from generation to generation. Basically, grandmothers are in charge of massaging the mother and the newborn baby.


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