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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.
Jan 31 2012

Since ages, humans have tapped into nature’s abundant resources to nurture their children and help them stay healthy.

Aromatherapy is a modern, yet simple extension of this concept as it captures nature’s goodness and healing power in tiny bottles.

Aromatherapy for babies is gaining popularity because it is completely non-invasive, does not involve subjecting your little one to harsh medicines and the best of all – your baby will love the pleasant and soothing fragrances.

When it comes to using essential oils for babies, many parents have concerns regarding safety and side effects of aromatherapy. As a professional aromatherapist with 17 years of experience and a mother of a very healthy teenager, I can confidently vouch for the safety of aromatherapy for babies. Ever since my son was born, I have used only essential oils to handle common conditions that kids encounter. I am proud to say that in the fifteen years of his life, my son hasn’t had any condition that didn’t resolve with essential oils.

My sister had a beautiful baby and I have been very fortunate to take care of him every Saturday.  It is an absolute joy to have him at our home on weekends, watch him grow, learn and in turn, learn a little from him. I use this bonding time to treat my nephew to the benefits of essential oils, just as I did with my son. My personal experiences have inspired me to write this article and share useful tips not only to address common ailments, but to help parents enhance their babies’ general wellbeing with the use of nature’s essential oils.

Aromatherapy for Restful Sleep

Most new parents would give their eyes and teeth for something that would help their baby sleep soundly so that they can grab a few moments of peace for themselves. I gave my sister a special blend of Lavender, Mandarin, Marjoram and Palo Santo – she just puts a couple of drops on a cotton pad and places it on one corner of my nephew’s bed, under the sheets.  The baby has been sleeping through the night since he was eight weeks old!

Aromatherapy for Boosting Immunity

Some essential oils like Lavender and Tea Tree are believed to stimulate the production of T-cells (immune cells) and strengthen the body’s immune system.  Mix 1 drop of Lavender essential oils with 1 tablespoon of unscented shower gel and add it to bath water. This recipe, when used on a weekly basis, will help your child ward off disease-causing organisms as he learns to explore the world around him.

Aromatherapy Baths for Babies

When you do not have the time for an elaborate massage, a few drops of essential oils added to your baby’s bath water will do just fine. Here’s how you can make your baby’s bathing ritual more pleasant and enriching: Fill the bath with warm water and add the chosen oil or blend. Do not use more than 2 drops of essential oils for babies under the age of 2 years. To make the oils disperse adequately in water, always mix them first with 1 tablespoon salt or a fragrance-free shampoo/ body wash. Baths should be for babies 6 months or older

  • For colds and congestion, use 2 of Frankincense essential oil.

  • For tummy troubles, use a drop each of German Chamomile and Mandarin essential oils.

  • To help your baby sleep better, mix a drop each of Lavender and Mandarin essential oils.

  •  If your baby is often restless and irritable, use 2-3 drops of Ylang Ylang and Sandalwood essential oils to help calm your baby and make him cheerful.

  • Clary Sage and Frankincense essential oils are great for an evening bath, just before tucking your little angel in bed. These oils are rejuvenating in nature and can help relieve tired muscles.

© 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.

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