A baby's skin is incredibly smooth and soft, making it a joy to touch, but difficult to massage. From diaper rash and eczema, baby skin faces a lot of challenges before any creams and lotions are used, but with the right treatment, new parents can give their child a relaxing massage without damaging their precious skin.
Pediatricians strongly recommend against using anything with harsh chemicals, like sunscreen, on baby's skin. Not only because it can irritate the skin, but also because a baby's skin is so delicate it can end up doing more harm than good.
What to Use
Giving a baby a massage is a wonderful way not only for parents to bond with their new child, but also to help the baby feel comfortable. After all, baby's spend nine months growing inside their mother and may have muscles that feel knotted or crunched upon entering the world.
To improve the massage, many people add a little bit of oil. Parents giving their child a massage will want to look for products with either sunflower or grapeseed oil as the primary carrier oil. Both of these products contain linoleic acid, an essential fatty acid that can help protect sensitive baby skin.
There are also some products to avoid. Any products that have mustard oil, unrefined peanut oil or Aqueous cream. Each of these has ingredients that can be harsh on skin, causing irritation or rash.
Many parents also use simply vegetable oil, but that can be difficult to mix with essential oils that can bring added benefits to the massage. Olive oil is also an option some parents have tried, but it has been known to sometimes cause a mild redness even without a history of sensitive skin.
Taking the time to massage your baby is a great way to bond, but make sure to use the right oils as some may cause your baby irritation.