The benefits of baby massage are well known: Babies are more relaxed, sleep better, cry less, and may even be healthier if they get a routine rubdown. And because a baby knows the scent of her mom (and her breast milk) and can recognize other calming smells she’s encountered before, adding soothing aromas to your new baby’s massage routine is a smart idea. But certain scents may not be appropriate for your new baby. To be safe, follow these tips.
Safety’s first: Speak with your doctor before using any kind of scent during your baby’s massage. She may not recommend a scented baby massage oil for infants less than 3 months of age, as sensitive skin may be a factor. Never allow your baby to ingest essential oils and be very careful not to apply it near the eyes or mouth; you’ll also want to avoid massaging your new baby’s hands as she will likely try to suck her fingers or rub her eyes during or after the massage.
Shop around: There are many specially-made scented baby massage products on the market, so take a look (and a whiff!) to determine which ones might be appealing. Lavender is a popular, calming scent, as is chamomile, apricot, and vanilla. If you want to use an essential oil, speak with your baby’s doctor about a formula to dilute it.
Make it routine: As you may know, babies are creatures of habit and tend to thrive on a regular routine. Schedule your baby massage at about the same time each day (after bath time and just before bed is ideal). Use the same scent each time, too. Your new baby will be relaxed not only by the familiar smell, but also by the fact that she can count on this special treat.
Your own aroma: The most soothing scent you can provide during a baby massage comes from your own body. Here’s your chance to skip a shower -- your baby prefers your natural scent!
Take advantage of your new baby’s smart and sensitive nose. Adding
soothing scents to her baby massage will increase her pleasure and add to an
already relaxing experience.