It has been known that newborn babies tend to benefit great with massages. Choosing the right massaging oil for your baby can be quite a task with so many options available. Apart from almond oil, mustard oil and olive oil, using coconut oil for newborn baby massages has been passed down for generations in Indian households. The oil you choose for massaging your newborn depends on a lot of factors including where you live, your baby’s skin and your personal preferences.
Oil massages help in blood circulation, bone strengthening, and moisturization for your baby. These are some of the reasons why most Indian households swear by oil massages for their babies.
12 Benefits Of Massaging Baby With Coconut Oil
If you are wondering why is coconut oil a well-known choice for massaging a baby, let us begin by telling you that it moisturises the skin very well. It is also lightweight, and gets absorbed by the skin easily. Plus, it makes the skin soft and supple and does not have a strong smell.
Coconut oil has many therapeutic properties that are beneficial for your baby’s sensitive skin as well. From being gentle on the skin to preventing skin infections, coconut oil has been used for many reasons for babies. Coconut oil is also rich in vitamins and fatty acids which helps in nourishing your baby’s skin. Here are 12 benefits of massaging baby with coconut oil.
1. Massaging baby with coconut oil helps with Eczema
Eczema is a condition that causes dry and flaky skin on the body. At times, it irritates the skin to an extent that inducing itching all over the body. Eczema is common in babies and can dry out their sensitive skin quickly. According to a study, the application of coconut oil helps in reducing the symptoms of eczema.
Coconut oil has anti-bacterial properties that help in soothing the skin. Use coconut oil to massage your baby’s skin before and after baths. It will hydrate and moisturise your baby’s skin and reduce the symptoms of eczema gradually.
2. Coconut oil promotes hair growth
A lot of babies are born with sparse hair and they take time to grow a full head. In order to expedite the process of hair growth, regular head massage with coconut oil could be beneficial. Moreover, it will set the foundation of beautiful, thick hair for your baby.
Coconut oil is rich in medium-chain fatty acids, also known as MCFA which has antimicrobial and antibacterial properties. These fatty acids help in nourishing the scalp by reducing sebum build-up from hair follicles. A healthy scalp also promotes better hair growth.
3. Massaging with coconut oil keeps your baby’s skin well-moisturised
Coconut oil is rich in vitamins and fats that help in moisturizing the skin. It is easy to absorb and feels light on your baby’s skin. Not only it is a natural skin-hydrant, but it also helps the baby’s skin stay moisturised for longer periods.
Many parents use coconut oil instead of baby lotions for their children owing to the fact that it is completely natural and has better moisturising capability. Coconut oil is a better alternative to baby lotions that could contain chemicals and allergens.
4. Helps with diaper rash
There is hardly any parent who has not faced the issue of diaper rashes. They not only irritate your baby’s soft skin but also cause discomfort and pain to your little one. Especially if you only use disposable, plastic diapers, diaper rashes could be a regular issue.
This so happens because when the diaper is stuck to the baby’s skin, your baby’s bottom is unable to breathe. The material of the diaper causes redness and irritation on your baby’s skin, causing diaper rash.
Coconut oil is anti-fungal in nature. Its antifungal properties prevent bacteria causing diaper rash. It acts as a protective layer between our baby’s skin and the soiled diaper and does not let friction take toll on your baby’s sensitive skin. Plus, being an excellent moisturiser, it soothes irritated skin well.
5. Baby massage boosts blood circulation
Massaging your baby with oil is an essential practice, especially during the initial months. The circular and upward movements during massages help in increasing the blood flow in the body.
Using coconut oil for baby massage helps in developing your baby’s motor skills by increasing the blood flow in the body. You may heat coconut oil during winters for more effectiveness and better absorption.
6. Massaging baby with coconut oil helps with baby acne
Many babies often suffer from tiny bumps or pimples that are due to bacteria causing acne. Most of it clears on its own in a few weeks but sometimes it can get stubborn. Baby acne spreads rapidly and can cause itchiness and infections too. It is for this type of baby acne that coconut oil can help clear.
Coconut oil contains a C12 chain of medium-chain fatty acids (MCFA) called lauric acid that kills bacteria causing acne. It also helps in preventing scarring on your baby’s skin post-acne. It is advised to consult a pediatrician before using coconut oil for baby massage to treat baby acne.
7. Helps with cradle cap
Babies often suffer from a condition known as cradle cap which involves dry and flaky patches on their scalp. Cradle cap is also known as seborrheic dermatitis. A cradle cap is often misunderstood for dandruff.
A lot of parents resort to massaging their baby’s scalp with coconut oil and rinse it after about 20 minutes to get rid of flaky patches. It is one of the most popular remedies to treat cradle cap naturally.
Coconut oil’s antibacterial properties help in healing the dry patches on your baby’s scalp. It helps in hydrating your baby’s scalp which helps in getting rid of the cradle cap. Hence, regularly massaging baby with coconut oil can help treating cradle cap.
8. Coconut oil massage prevents insect bites
You may not always be around to protect your baby from the pesky mosquitoes hovering over your baby. Insect bites can be harsh on your baby’s skin and can cause red bumps and a stinging sensation on your baby’s body.
Coconut oil has anti-inflammatory properties that help in healing insect bites. According to a study, coconut oil has insect repellent properties. It has fatty acids that help in warding off insects such as bugs, horn flies, etc. Massaging your baby regularly with coconut oil will help in keeping the insects at bay.
9. Acts as a decongestant
Babies have a weak immune system which makes them more prone to infections such as colds, coughs, and fever. If not treated promptly, your baby’s cold can escalate to more severe diseases like pneumonia. A coconut oil massage can act as a cold rub for your baby and helps your baby breathe more easily.
Mix some coconut oil with peppermint and eucalyptus and apply it on the chest. The infusion of these three magical ingredients will provide relief from colds and coughs. Many traditional decongestion recipes also include heating coconut oil with camphor or garlic and rubbing it on the baby’s chest.
10. Massaging baby with coconut oil cleanses skin
Some baby washes could contain chemicals that may cause an allergic reaction to your baby’s skin. Hence, many mothers look for natural alternatives to gently cleanse their baby’s skin. Out of the many properties that coconut oil has, one of them also involves cleansing the skin.
You can make your own natural baby wash at home using coconut oil with castor oil or castile soap. Rub it into your baby’s skin and wash it off after a few minutes. Since coconut oil has a light texture, it is easy to wash it off your baby’s body.
11. Hardens soft spots
Babies are born with soft spots known as fontanelles which are gaps in the neonate skull. These gaps allow your baby’s brain to grow and develop over time. However, these soft spots are completely normal and harden over time.
It is believed that using coconut oil to massage your baby’s head helps in hardening such soft spots. This also helps in blood circulation that helps the flow of blood from the brain to the body. Please note that this does not have any scientific backing as such.
12. Helps with constipation
Constipation is a common occurrence in babies. This is because the digestive system of babies is generally weak which makes it difficult for them to digest food. Babies do not really get to know when they are full and each food is a new experience for their still developing digestive system.
Related Reading: How To Use Orange Juice For Baby Constipation
Coconut oil is hypoallergenic and contains lauric acid which is known to improve digestion and relieve constipation. Rub a small amount of coconut oil in your baby’s perineum area. The perineum area is the area between the anus and the scrotum. Apply it before putting your baby to bed and leave it overnight.
The use of coconut oil for baby massages has been an age-old tradition in Indian households. This is because coconut oil contains many antibacterial, antifungal, and antimicrobial properties that are known to soothe the baby’s sensitive skin. Being gentle on the skin, it is widely preferred by many Indian mothers.
Coconut oil is ideal for baby massages in summer. It is non-sticky and light in texture which absorbs easily in your baby’s skin. Coconut oil also gives a cooling effect to your baby’s skin which helps them keep cool during the summer. You may use cold-pressed coconut oil for better results.
It is a myth that coconut oil causes skin darkening. There is no suggestible evidence that proves that coconut oil causes skin darkening. If you observe changes in your baby’s complexion, it may be due to other reasons such as a change in atmosphere or weather. Make sure that you are applying natural and chemical-free coconut oil on your baby’s skin.
Choosing the best brand for massaging your baby is essential. Some of the best brands of coconut oil for baby massage are:
Hathmic Raw Extra Virgin Coconut Oil.
The Moms Co Virgin Coconut Oil
Kama Ayurveda Extra Virgin Coconut Oil.
Maxcare Virgin Coconut Oil.
Now that you know the many benefits of using coconut oil for baby massages, start using it on a regular basis. If you don’t know the different techniques to massage your baby, you can always ask your mother for help. If your baby has very sensitive skin, you may consult a pediatrician before applying coconut oil for massaging baby.