Helpful Tips for Safe Aromatherapy Infant Massages
Posted Nov 17 2009 10:00pm
One of the best ways to create a lasting bond with your baby is to practice infant massage, particularly for dads. Babies listened to mom’s voice for nine months in the womb and they instinctively bond with mom during the breastfeeding process. Dads have to work extra hard to create that bond and infant massage, especially with aromatherapy, is the best way to do this.
Infant massage helps establish a lifetime of effective communication and closeness. The benefits of massage are many for your baby. They are better able to absorb nutrients through their diet. Neurological development in your baby advances almost exponentially with the closeness of massage. By massaging your child, you can more effectively identify their cues regarding their overall general health and mood.
Infant massage with aromatherapy can help your baby develop longer sleep patterns. In addition, gas and colic are less likely to occur. Your gentle caring touch through massage can calm your baby, reducing the stress hormones produced during tense times.
Guidelines for Aromatherapy with Infant Massage
Your baby’s skin is quite sensitive and delicate so you have to take care to dilute the essential oils you use. The basic rule for infants is to use slightly less than half the regular adult dose of essential oil and mix it with carrier oil.
Babies and even children respond almost instantly to aromatherapy. Therefore, it is important to choose the right scents for your infant massage. The safest essential oils for infants include rosemary, lavender, lemon, chamomile, and spearmint. You should avoid spicy oils such as cinnamon, ginger and cloves as these can irritate the skin. Choices like yarrow, pennyroyal and hyssops can be harmful to infants.
When choosing a carrier oil to mix with your essential oil for your baby’s aromatherapy massage, bypass any chemical or petroleum based oils including baby oil. These “manufactured” oils can block the healthy nutrients found in many essential oils. Select a carrier oil that you could consume internally such as grapeseed, almond or olive oil.
Conducting the Massage
Smile, speak softly to your baby, sing and make eye contact during the massage. Doing so will help you recognize how your baby reacts to your touch. Use a firm, yet gentle hand during your massage. Touching them confidently helps your baby develop an unconditional trust in you as well as reinforce your love for them. They feel safe.
Talking quietly to them as you touch each body part is essential. This helps your baby develop word associations as well as promote early verbalization. Infant massage is a strong foundation for future communication. If you want to promote healthy sleep patterns mix grapeseed oil with chamomile and lavender. For colic and gas symptoms, aromatherapy infant massage using grapeseed and fennel is effective when rubbed onto the tummy area. You can open congested passageways by massaging eucalyptus on your baby’s chest and back.
Your baby’s wellbeing and yours both are addressed with aromatherapy infant massage. With its health and intrinsic benefits, aromatherapy massage is perhaps the best way, after breastfeeding, to build a lasting bond.