As a new and first time mother every woman wonders about how, when and with what to massage her little baby. Some of us prefer the age old tradition of massaging the baby just before bath with  mustard/coconut/olive oil while others prefer using baby oils from popular brands to massage. The best oil, time of massage and duration are variables dependent on the weather and your baby’s skin. So this post is about the basics of baby massage and the type of oil you should opt for. To me massaging my baby is a great time to play, get to know and bond with my baby. I started massaging my little one after he was one month old. It has been a learning  experience for me since then. While  internet is flooded with information about baby massage here are some of the things I learned  from my own experience which might be useful to the Rookie Moms Guide To Baby Massage.

  1. Less is more. We do not need a lot of oil to massage since the main reason for using oil is for easy gliding of hands on your baby’s skin. So just a dab works best. I mean who likes bathing in oil ? Babies have preferences too and they certainly prefer to feel relaxed and not oily and sticky.
  2. The main purpose of massage is to sooth and relax your little one. If your baby seems uncomfortable or cries during massage, give it a pass. Try next day.
  3. Babies enjoy gentle short strokes while massaging.
  4. The duration of massage can be from five to fifteen minutes daily depending on how your baby responds to it. If your little one enjoys the sessions, you can go on for twelve to fifteen minutes.
  5. Oils which are light on skin are better choice since they get absorbed by the skin easily and feels less sticky.
  6. In hot and humid weather coconut oil is the best choice for massage. Mustard oils works best in winters. However mustard oil is a bit harsh on infant skin so do a patch test before you use it.
  7. Always prefer edible oils for massage because your little explorer constantly puts his fingers in his mouth so if the oil is edible it’s okay if he swallows a bit of it.
  8. Mom is the best masseuse. I always prefer to massage my little one myself. As a mother you know your baby like no one else so you can read her cues about what she likes or does not like, when is the time to stop etcetera better. If you can’t do it yourself let someone close do it instead like grandmother.
  9. Choose unscented oils over the ones with scent. You do not want to put your little one at risk of developing allergy to chemicals.
  10. Besides oil you can also use baby lotions for the purpose of massage. It should ideally be preferred after bath. During summers I like to massage my baby with baby lotion after bath. This works for my baby just fine since the weather is already humid and sticky and no one wants to add to it.
  11. Before you try anything new on your baby, always do the patch test. This is how it’s done. Take a small amount of oil in your palm and apply on a small area of your baby’s skin. Wait for a day to observe any kind of reaction or allergy. If everything is fine then carry on with your regular massage.
  12. Try to massage your baby at the same time every day.

So this is Rookie Moms Guide To Baby Massage.

Got any queries ? Please drop a comment below and I will do my best to answer your questions. Also if you have any suggestions feel free to comment below.

Motherhood doesn’t come with a manual. We do and we learn. So go ahead. Get started and let your baby guide you.

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About Satarupa Mishra

Satarupa Mishra homemaker and mother of a lovely baby boy formerly worked as a researcher in the field of plant biochemistry. An author in making, Satarupa loves to write about her personal experiences as a mom and everyday struggles of women in India. Minimalist, travel enthusiast and book lover since childhood her nocturnal romance with writing is a recent pursuit.

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