The hot summer heat of the Indian sub-continent has diminished and it has now stepped aside to let the chilly weather of the winters come by. The winters do give us some much-deserved respite from the heat and humidity, but it comes with its own set of problems. This is especially true if you have a baby to think about.
The soft skin of a baby is perhaps one of the most precious things about the baby. It is hard to imagine that a baby can stand to lose the natural softness and plumpness of his/her skin. The winter season comes with chilly winds and the babies also have less exposure to the sunlight. The combination of these two conditions can make winter hard on your baby and your baby's skin. Immunity of your baby can also be compromised on in the winter season and your baby may catch cold, infections and other seasonal diseases.
Among the various measures taken to protect the babies in the winter season, one of the prominent ones is giving the baby an oil massage. If done correctly and the appropriate oil is used to massage the baby, it can provide the baby many benefits during the winter season.
Today, we shall look at the benefits of giving your baby an oil massage during the winter months. We shall also talk about the various oils that are best for baby massages during the winter. Read on to know more.
Benefits Of Oil Massage For A Baby In The Winter Season
- It relaxes the baby
The winter season is a time when the baby cannot be taken out a lot. Being inside all the time can cause the baby to become irritable and moody. A nice oil massage will help your baby relax and calm down.
- Provides relief to the muscles and bones
The winter season can cause stiff muscles and bones in a baby too. A good, long massage can help relieve any aches and pain of the baby's muscles and bones.
- Helps digestion
The winter season can cause tummy problems to come up. A good massage can help alleviate these problems in a baby.
- Helps better circulation
A massage in the winter will help give a boost to the baby's blood circulation.
- A massage has a therapeutic effect
It is said that the first two years in a baby's life is the most important period. It is the time when the baby learns and opens himself to the world. All his senses are awakened to the world around him. A massage has a therapeutic effect on the baby and helps in instigating all the five senses of the body.
- Warms the body
With the dropping temperature, the baby can get cold too. An oil massage will help raise the baby's body temperature and will in turn help the baby to cope with the winters.
- Helps the baby sleep
As the climate turns colder, the baby will have trouble going to sleep. An oil massage a few hours before the baby's bed time will help the baby relax and have a sound sleep.
- Helps bond with the mother
The bond of the mother and the baby is a special one and the one like no other. A routine of daily massage will help the mother and the baby truly bond with one another.
How Should The Massage Be Given?
- Use warm oil of your choice. Make sure that it is just comfortably warm and not hot, as you may risk burning or hurting the baby.
- Take some oil into your palms and rub your palms together. This will further help regulate the temperature to a comfortable level.
- Now, apply the oil on the baby's body in gentle and firm strokes.
- Make sure that you do not put excessive pressure in applying the oil. Now, massage the oil into the baby's skin for some time.
- Some oils are leave-in and need not be washed off. If the oil is not of the leave-on type, then you can use some soap to wash off the oil in the bath.
- Make sure to use the oil on a patch of skin on the baby's body to make sure that he is not allergic to it.
- Avoid massaging any areas with rashes or wounds.
- Try to massage only during the time when your baby seems to be happy about the massage.
What If People Warn You Against Massaging In The Winter?
It is a common advise given to new mothers by well meaning people around them not to massage the baby in the winter. This is a misconception. On the contrary, it is very beneficial for the baby to have massages even during the winter time.
The Best Oils To Give Your Babies A Massage In The Winter
1. Almond Oil
Almond oil is rich in vitamin E, making it one of the best oils to be used in the winters for baby massages. It helps the baby relax and sleep well in the cold climate. Always go for pure almond oil instead of the perfumed almond oils that are available in the market.
2. Mustard Oil
Mustard oil is used commonly in the northern parts of India. It is pungent and can irritate sensitive skin. Therefore, it is to be used by adding a base of another oil. Mustard oil is very good to be used in the winter season, as it helps to warm the body. It also boosts immunity in the baby.
3. Chamomile Oil
Chamomile oil is a great massage oil for babies with sensitive and rash-prone skin. It helps soothe babies who are suffering from colic. Colic usually is seen in the winter season, which makes chamomile oil one of the best oils to use in the winters.
4. Olive Oil
Olive oil is a popular oil used for massages. It helps in boosting the circulation in the baby's body. It is often added to mustard oil to enhance its properties and also to reduce the pungent flavour of the mustard oil. Avoid using olive oil if the baby is suffering from rashes or other kinds of skin diseases.
5. Tea Tree Oil
Using tea tree oil to massage your baby will help boost his immunity, as the tea tree oil has good antiseptic properties. It helps soothe skin diseases and helps keep allergies that are common in the winter at bay.
6. Castor Oil
This heavy oil is great to treat the dry and chapped skin that comes with the winter season. It can be applied to the hair and nails too.
7. Sunflower Oil
Sunflower oil is light and easily absorbable into a baby's skin. It is rich in vitamin E. It also contains fatty acids that help nourish the baby's body in the winter season.
8. Calendula Oil
Calendula oil is a light oil that is easily absorbed into the baby's skin. It can be used as a leave-on oil and helps hydrate the baby's skin in the winter season. The soothing smell also helps the baby relax better.
9. Sesame Oil
Sesame oil is one of the most used oils in India for the massage of babies. It is also an important oil used in Ayurveda. It is healthy and also helps the baby be warm in the winter. Use the oil extracted from black sesame seeds, as it is better and healthier.
Ghee is rich in vitamins A, D and E. A massage using ghee will help keep your baby warm and will also help establish a better blood circulation in your baby's body.
11. Vegetable Oil
Vegetable oil is light and is apt for massage due to this reason. A massage with vegetable oil helps in warming and relaxing your baby. It also helps to help your baby sleep better in the winter.
12. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is light and easily absorbable into the skin. These features make it an excellent oil for massages in the winter. As it is not very greasy, it can also be used as a leave-on oil for the babies. The antibacterial and anti-fungal properties are a plus point.
13. Ayurvedic Oil
Investing in an ayurvedic baby massage oil will help you gain the benefits of multiple oils and other ingredients. Ayurvedic oils are made with your baby's needs kept in mind. This will help keep your baby warm in the harsh winters and will also boost his immunity.