Sesame Oil has a wonderful texture for massage. When purchased as a cold pressed product (i.e. not cooking sesame oil found at the supermarket) it is easily absorbed by the skin, keeping it supple and soft. Sesame oil is rich in vitamins A, B and E and contains iron, calcium and other beneficial minerals. It contains a range of antioxidants, some of which help to naturally preserve the oil. If stored properly , sesame oil is not likely to go rancid. It is naturally comprised of up to 40% linoleic acid, providing anti-inflammatory and moisture retention benefits when applied to the skin. It is also naturally antibacterial and is used in the production of many soaps and emulsifiers because of the combination of these qualities. This oil is immensely popular in India where for many people, its use in massage is a part of everyday life.
APRICOT KERNEL OIL
Apricot Kernel Oil has a lighter texture for massage and is easily purchased as a pure cold pressed product. It nourishes and moisturises the skin, keeping it healthy, elastic and glowing. The oil naturally contains vitamins A and E and it is commonly used in the manufacturing of creams, balms, lotions and cosmetics due to its moisturising properties and its effectiveness in treating skin ailments. It also naturally comprises of approximately 20% linoleic acid and is an excellent antioxidant. Most apricot kernel oil is considered pesticide free due to the kernel being protected from pesticide sprays by its shell in addition to the flesh of the fruit itself.
SWEET ALMOND OIL
Sweet Almond Oil has a good texture for massage, although it is slightly thicker than apricot and sesame oil. It is easily purchased as a pure cold pressed product. Sweet almond oil nourishes and moisturises the skin, keeping it smooth, soft and glowing. It is rich in Vitamins A, B and E and oleic and linoleic acids, and is effective in treating skin irritation and inflammation. Most almond oil is considered pesticide free due to the kernel being
protected from pesticide sprays by its shell.
Caution should be taken if you are aware or concerned regarding a family history of nut allergies. In these situations it is recommended to avoid using nut oils. In any case, peanut oil is never recommended for use in infant massage.
TESTING FOR SKIN SENSITIVITY
An Infant Massage Instructor can show you first hand how test a product before covering your baby in it head to toe. Conducting a patch test is a worthwhile exercise and it's a lot better than discovering your baby is sensitive or allergic to a product after you've used something for a full-body massage. The Infant Massage Information Service provides a free international referral service to parents looking for a qualified instructor. Simply contact the service with your name, email address and location (country and postcode/zipcode) and you will receive contact details for a qualified instructor in your local area.
Leaning against a wall or sofa, sit on the floor with your knees bent. Your newborn can comfortably lie on your thighs, with their head resting on your knees. This a wonderful position for new babies as it provides a good distance between you both for eye contact.
It is best to massage your baby on the floor, as opposed to a change table. During massage time, your baby’s skin will be slippery while covered with oil, meaning you could slip when you pick them up. Lay your baby on a change mat and a towel or blanket in front of you. To make sure you are comfortable during massage time sit on a cushion in front of a wall or sofa to support your back.
Sitting up for massage time
Once your baby can support herself a little she can sit in front of you for massage time.You can place some of their favourite toys in front of them to keep them entertained or even sit in front of a full-length mirror so they can watch themselves throughout their massage. Sitting in front of a mirror for massage is fantastic for increasing your
baby’s body awareness. She will both see and feel you massaging her arm as you say “arm”, and feel and see you massaging her leg as you say “leg”, and so on.
ROLLING OVER DURING MASSAGE TIME
If your baby is happy to receive massage while rolling back and forth in front of you, massage the areas that are available each time they roll. Massage on the floor and never restrict his/her movement to ensure massage is a relaxed and happy experience for both of you.
CHECKLIST PRIOR TO MASSAGE