Massaging the baby with oil has been an age old tradition in many Indian homes. The massage is done for many reasons. It is said to help in proper blood circulation as well as for aiding in the digestion process. For many people, massaging the baby with oil is done to improve complexion and promoting growth and strength. An oil massage results in calmer babies. Good quality massage oil is used in this process for facilitating smooth and gentle movements. The oil used for massaging is often medicated and usually warm and is massaged on to the entire body before bathing.
There are many kinds of massage oils available for varying uses. Massage oils are available for strengthening the muscles and bones of babies, for toning the skin, etc.
The best oils for massaging the baby
There is a variety of oil available and choosing one from among them might be a hard task. But as a baby’s skin is very sensitive, choosing cold pressed vegetable oils that are edible and unscented would be good idea. Oils from olive, almond, mustard, coconut and sesame are said to be ideal for the baby’s skin. Mustard oil is preferred for giving massages in cold weather as it warms the body and coconut oil is ideal for the summer months as it has a cooling effect on the body.
Massaging your baby the right way
Massaging the baby regularly leads to a happy and non fussy baby. In addition to this, it also promotes healthy bonding and attachment between the mother and the baby. But while massaging the baby it is important to follow some guidelines so that you and your baby can get the maximum benefit from it.
Massage, when done in the proper manner, can make a baby less cranky and enable them to sleep better. Massage the baby only when in a good mood, not sleepy or hungry. Never massage the baby immediately after food.
When starting out on a massage, choose a room that has a comfortable temperature. Put the baby down on a mat and rub in a small amount of oil on your hands. Using gentle, upward strokes, start massaging the baby with your palm or fingers. Light circular movements on the chest and stomach, stroking across the shoulders, downward movement on the arms and legs and upward movements on the back works best for babies. Use upward strokes if you want to stimulate the baby and downward strokes if you want to calm the baby. Stop messaging if you find that the baby is not enjoying the massage or if you see some kind of allergic reaction to the oil used.
After half an hour, the oil can be washed off with warm water.
Benefits of massage
An oil massage and bath can benefit the baby and the parents in many ways:
- Massaging your baby daily can help if the baby suffers from colic.
- It boosts his / her muscle development
- It promotes motor activity
- It promotes better sleep
- It promotes weight gain
- It makes babies less fussy
- Babies thrive better if they are massaged well and regularly
Ayurveda and oil massage
In Ayurveda, the anointing of the body with oil is called Abhyanga. It has been used for centuries for rejuvenating and providing softness, strength and color to the skin. It is believed that there are seven layers of tissue in the skin called dhatus. A daily massage for 15minutes is enough to penetrate all the layers and invigorate the body.
Oils are chosen depending on the Prakriti (constitution) of the individual, the climate and the season of the year and the dominant dosha. To correct the imbalances in the doshas, the dominant dosha is pacified.
Nalpamaradi baby fairness oil
Oils are also used to improve the condition of the skin and in lightening the complexion. One such oil is the Nalpamaradi baby fairness oil. It is applied externally and is prescribed mainly for aggravated pitta conditions and also recommended for twak rogas (skin diseases), kandu (itching) and kushta (dermatitis).
Nalpamaradi oil, when massaged regularly, not only imparts a glow on the skin but also makes the baby healthier. It conditions and prevents dryness ensuring smooth skin. It also promotes love between the mother and her baby by making the baby feel emotionally secure.
Application of Nalpamaradi baby fairness oil
Nalpamaradi oil can be applied over the whole body of the baby. It should be massaged gently on to the baby using circular and upward strokes. After half-an-hour, the oil can be washed away with warm water and a paste made out of chickpea flour or green gram dal.
Ingredients of Nalpamaradi fairness oil
Nalpamaradi fairness oil is made using several natural herbs, the main being the bark of a tree named Nalpamaram. The oil is blended with extracts of herbs boiled with sesame oil. The main ingredients include
- Nalpamara (a group of four types of tree barks)
- Ficus racemosa (Athi) – heals skin
- Ficus microcarpa (Ithi) – improves complexion
- Ficus relegiosa (Arayal) – helps in treating skin diseases
- Ficus benghalensis (Peral) – soothes skin
- Manjishta – improves skin tone, gives a radiant glow to skin
- Haritaki – acts as a healing agent
- Paimanjal – gives a glowing skin
- Chandana – treats various skin disorders
- Tila taila – reduces the dryness of the skin
By giving your baby a good oil massage with Nalpamaradi fairness oil, you can ensure glowing and healthy skin for your baby.