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Feb 08 2012     You don’t have to be a professional massage therapist to express your love to your baby through your touch. A leisurely massage is a perfect way to spend some quality time with your little one, especially after baths or at bedtime.

Benefits of massage for babies

Babies love the warm and reassuring touch of an adult caregiver and research has shown that babies who receive more human contact grow up to be more confident and secure individuals.  Massage also creates a strong bond between parent and child because your child gets undivided attention from you.  As your baby grows into a toddler, a child and then a teenager, a regular massage routine will help him develop a healthy self-image. On the physiological front, massages can increase lung capacity, thus enhancing oxygen supply to cells, it is said that massage also boosts the immune system. For active little babies who do so much every day, massages are a fun way to assist the growing process. If your baby is tired or hyperactive, a soothing massage will calm down the nervous system and help him relax. A gentle tummy rub will stimulate baby’s digestive system and alleviate problems such as colic, flatulence, constipation or diarrhea.

Aromatherapy massage techniques for babies

It is natural for parents to touch, stroke and cuddle their babies which makes the process of massaging all the more easy. Put a few drops of the selected massage oil blend of onto warm hands and spread it across your palms.  Then carry out the following movements:

Feet and Legs: Apply firm yet gentle upward strokes on the outside of the legs (towards baby’s hips) without applying too much pressure on the delicate bones and joints. Rub some oil on the underside of the feet to warm them up.

pictures of baby massage

Tummy: Soft, circular movements across the abdomen aid digestion and are relaxing for your baby.

Scalp and forehead: Babies often have trouble sleeping even when they are very tired. Use your fingers to apply gentle circular strokes across the scalp, temples and forehead. Your baby will slowly calm down and drift off to sleep. If your baby is not very distracted, you can try doing this with your free hand while breastfeeding.

Back: Start at your baby’s buttock with your hands in a triangle shape.  Perform gently strokes moving up baby’s back. Massage shoulders and return gently down the sides of baby’s back.  Repeat three times.

Here are a few tips to help you make the most of your massage time:

  • If time is a problem, you may give your baby “mini massages” throughout the day – massage the tummy at one time and do the back at another. Diaper changes are a good opportunity to rub those tiny legs that have been kicking around all day. You can encourage this habit by keeping small bottles of massage oil handy in different areas of your home.
  • While massaging your baby, be sure to maintain a complete and consistent contact between your hands and your child’s body. This will comfort your baby and encourage a bond of trust between you and him.
  • It is important that you maintain a positive state of mind as you can easily transfer negative feelings like anger, frustration and nervousness to your baby. Leave all your worries behind and lose yourself in the moments. If your baby is not in the mood for a massage, don’t force him – you can always try another time! With a little practice and patience, you will soon figure out what works best for your baby.

Which oil is best for baby massage?

Here are some ideas for you: After Bath Calming Oil: Combine 30ml (1 oz) Carrier Oil with 5 drops of Sleep Time Essential Oil and use it after an evening bath, just before tucking your baby in bed.   Tummy Taming Oil: Introduction of solid and semi-solid foods can sometimes cause flatulence and indigestion in babies. Mix 30 ml (1 oz) Carrier Oil with 3 drops of Mandarin and 3 drops of Marjoram essential oils and massage the tummy area with circular movements several times a day. To provide more comfort, apply a warm towel on the abdomen after the massage to provide quicker relief. This blend is also very helpful for colicky babies. Anti-Cold and Anti-Congestion Oil: Mix 30 ml (1 oz) Carrier Oil with 5 drops of Immune Support Essential Oil and massage baby’s feet, chest and back to relieve a stuffy nose and chest congestion. The blend also enhances the body’s natural immunity and prepares it to fight infections more effectively. Cradle Cap Clearing Oil: A blend of 30 ml (1 oz) Carrier Oil, 3 drops of Cedarwood oil and 3 drops of Lavender oil is very effective against cradle cap. Massage your baby’s scalp with this blend several times a day.   Quick Healing Oil: As babies learn to crawl and explore their surroundings, minor injuries become an everyday thing. You can keep a quick-fix handy for bumps and bruises by mixing 30ml (1 oz) Carrier Oil with 3 drops Helychrisum  Essential Oil, 3 drops Frankincense Essential Oil and 3 drops Lavender Essential Oil, Apply liberally on the affected area. By using these customized aromatherapy blends, you too can gift good health and happiness to your precious little one. After all, few things can replace the goodness of nature! Read also: How to keep your carpet clean with essential oils   References: Aromatherapy for the Healthy Child by Valerie Ann Worwood Aromatherapy for Babies and Children by Shirley and Penny Price
© 2012, Cristina Proano-Carrion, Aromandina LLC This information is based on traditional use of aromatherapy and it does not intend to diagnose or treat any condition. This information should not be used as a substitute for medical counseling with a health care professional. No part of this article may be reproduced in whole or in part without the explicit written permission of Aromandina.
Feb 13 2011 I’m often asked about the safety of essential oils during pregnancy and oils that should be avoided.  As Shirley Price mentions in her book ‘Aromatherapy for Health Professionals’,  “There is currently very little direct evidence for the safety of essential oils in pregnancy – and equally there is a notable absence of any real proof to the contrary.” Dr. Kurt Schnaubelt states a similar opinion in his book ‘Medical Aromatherapy’: “Not much is known about the safety of essential oil use during pregnancy. Sweeping disclaimers are constantly established, banishing every essential oil that exhibits only a hint of a problem potential from use during pregnancy.  But these highly defensive statements mostly ignore the potential for problems from the conventional drug alternatives.” I agree with his statement which says, “The reasonable approach is to proceed with common sense and reason, to try and maintain balance and prevent infections during pregnancy with those essences that are known to be easy on the system or “tonics of life””. Keeping that in mind, I would like to share with you some ‘common sense; recipes that will help make your pregnancy enjoyable and healthy.

Stretch marks:

  In a 4 oz bottle of carrier oil mix: Use this blend after the first trimester twice a day – morning and evening.  In the morning, think about the benefits of this blend in diminishing stretch marks. In the evening, give your tummy a comforting rub thinking about your baby and the connection you are already establishing by massaging him/her. In my 16 years of experience, I’ve never seen a pregnant woman with stretch marks after they used this blend.

Constipation:

A diet rich in fresh fruits, vegetables and other good sources of fiber is very important. Essential oils from citrus fruits not only stimulate your digestion, but they are very calming and happy oils. In a 4 oz bottle of carrier oil mix: Ask your partner to massage with circular movements in your lower back and the soles of your feet.

Hemorrhoids During Pregnancy:

Hemorrhoids may be one of the consequences of constipation and this essential oil blend can be very helpful. In a 4 oz bottle of Jojoba dilute: Rub around the anal area twice a day or as often as required.

Colds and respiratory problems:

  • Put 2 drops of Ravensara (ravensara aromatica) in a bowl of hot water.  Cover your head with a towel and inhale from it. Ravensara is believed to have expectorant, antiviral and antibacterial properties.
  • Put 2 drops of Ravensara and 2 drops of Lavender on a washcloth. Take a hot shower and place the washcloth on your chest. Breathe deeply and allow the steam and the oils open up your chest and sinus.
  • Mix 2 drops of Ravensara and 2 drops of Lavender in a teaspoon of carrier oil and apply to the chest.
  • Add a total of 10 drops of 3 or more of these oils: Eucalyptus radiataLavender, Tea Tree, Ravensara to the tank of a vaporizer.  Mix them first with a pinch of salt so that the oils dilute well in the water.  Stir well and keep vaporizer on during the night.
Or try this pre-made blends:
© AROMANDINA – All rights reserved – aromatherapy blog
This information on this blog is based on traditional use of aromatherapy and it does not intend to diagnose or treat any condition. This information should not be used as a substitute for medical counseling with a health care professional. No part of this blog may be reproduced in whole or in part without the explicit written permission of Aromandina.

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