What Oil Is Best For Baby Massage?

Massaging your baby can be a lovely relaxing ritual, and a great way of connecting with your baby, but most people don't realise that there is something even more valuable about massage than the actual strokes…

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Ayurveda teaches us that more important than the strokes is the oil! It penetrates the skin deeply, rejuvenating all seven tissues in the body.

Ayurveda suggests that you shouldn't put anything on your skin that isn't good enough to eat. I love this idea of the skin as a digestive organ and it narrows down your massage oil options immensely. It also explains why we should never, never use mineral oil for massage. Mineral oil is a highly processed by-product of petroleum and aside from being something you definitely would NOT eat, it blocks natural skin secretions and stops the skin from regulating temperature.

Any oil used on a baby is best organic, extra virgin and cold pressed. To keep it simple I'll only suggest four oils and you can choose what works for your baby. As with everything in the world there is a small risk of allergy.

Here is an Ayurvedic description of four massage oils.

Sesame Oil is the most classical Ayurvedic massage oil, particularly organic black sesame oil if you have access to it. It is considered the only oil to penetrate all seven tissues. It's hot and heavy qualities are very grounding and nourishing, but may need to be avoided if Kapha or Pitta are very high. I recommend that you use this oil - unless you or your baby have allergies or heat rash.

Olive Oil is one of my favourites because very high-quality olive oil is so readily available. It is not as heavy as sesame oil and is cooling, so very useful for any kind of hot red rash. Allergy is very rare, but it’s not so good for eczema. Avoid it if you think your child might be prone to eczema.

Sunflower Oil is a light, cool oil that suits all Ayurvedic constitutions. It is not as rich and nourishing but it is high in essential fatty acids and Vitamin E. It is most useful for Kapha.

Coconut Oil is very cooling and does not penetrate as deeply. It is useful for Pitta.

Store your oil out of direct sunlight, in a dark glass bottle in a cool place.