Guest blog by Gayle Berry
Love Your Baby’s Skin: Using Coconut Oil for Baby Massage
Gayle Berry, baby massage expert and founder of Blossom & Berry baby massage and yoga training explains the benefits of baby massage:
Baby massage is an amazing way to connect and communicate to your baby how much you love him. It is, also, a fantastic way to support your baby’s physical development whilst helping ease common newborn problems such as colic and constipation.
I have been teaching baby massage for over thirteen years and I know how much love and enjoyment parents gain from learning this valuable skill.
Baby massage originates from India where babies would be massaged everyday as part of routine baby care. It was observed that babies that received massage seemed to sleep well, fuss less and gain weight because of the massage and physical contact. Further studies and research have shown that skin contact and touch is as important to infants as food. Massage, positive interaction, cuddles and love are vital for a baby’s survival.
I teach baby massage across the world to parents and to staff in orphanages in Malawi to help ensure that babies receive as much positive touch as possible.
Lucy Bee has been amazing in supporting in this project by providing us with the coconut oil we use.
Some Tips for Baby Massage
The beauty of baby massage is that it is so simple and easy to learn and practice with your baby. You need to make sure your baby is happy and healthy before you begin. Avoid massage immediately after a feed. Ensure your hands are clean and then you are ready to go!
The best oils for baby massage are always organic and vegetable or seed based. Organic coconut oil is a great choice for baby massage for many reasons:
- The nourishing effect of coconut oil, due to its saturated fats, helps to prevent moisture escaping from the skin which helps keep your baby’s skin supple. It is easily absorbed by the skin and helps deliver all the nutrients in the oil to your baby’s body. (A note from Lucy Bee:From our research it would appear that vegetable oils high in oleic acid could prove to be a problem if a baby has dry or broken skin, or atopic eczema. It seems that these can be harsher on a baby’s skin than oils which are rich in linoleic acid.
Coconut oil is often used for baby massage as it has a small percentage of oleic acid as well as linoleic acid. It is predominantly (approx. 48%) made up of lauric acid, which has antimicrobial properties.
Coconut oil is (approximately)
6% oleic acid
1.4% linoleic acid
Olive oil is (approximately)
55-83% oleic acid
3.5-21% linoleic acid)
- It has a subtle odour which does not interfere with your baby learning about you and your scent.
- If the oil is on your baby’s hands and then he puts his hands in his mouth, it does not have a strong or unpleasant taste and is not harmful to your baby.
- Coconut oil is, also, wonderful for your hands so your skin benefits when you are massaging your baby.
For more information on learning baby massage, please visit http://www.blossomandberry.com/learn-online
See Gayle’s wonderful work in Malawi here
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