There’s nothing quite as soft and smooth as a baby’s skin. As a mom, I want to do everything I can to protect my child’s delicate skin and keep it soft, clean, and protected.
With my first few baby’s, I would bathe them every night before bed and lather on the baby oil or lotion. I have since learned that it isn’t necessary to bathe everyday. It can strip the baby’s skin of it’s natural, protective oils. Besides, let’s face it, babies just don’t get that dirty. At least not until they start to walk and are getting into everything! Babies need a bath only about 2 times per week.
Even so, after I cut down on the bath times, I was still using the store bought baby oil, thinking that I was doing a good thing. I know that infant massage is great for baby and can have so many benefits:
Massaging your infant can aid in digestion and relieve gas.
It increases circulation and improves skin condition.
Infant massage stimulates the nervous system–I like to believe it even makes my baby smarter!
Massage can actually boost the immune system.
And my favorite reason to massage my baby–it is a bonding experience and releases oxytocin (the love hormone) for both mommy and baby.
In my experience, there is really no wrong way to massage your baby. As long as it is gentle, baby will let you know if they don’t like it. But if you would like more information on infant massage, there are many articles on Pinterest.
So while I believed I was doing what was right for my babies by rubbing them down with baby oil, I found out that my efforts might have been counter-productive. Do you know what is in baby oil? Baby oil is comprised of just two ingredients: mineral oil and parfum. Mineral oil doesn’t sound so bad, does it? After all, we need minerals in our diets. But this is the wrong kind of mineral. The mineral found in baby oil is derived from petroleum, and coats the baby’s skin like a layer of plastic. Since I was coating my baby’s skin with this plastic-like oil, the skin couldn’t breathe or release toxins like it was supposed to, and it even could have been causing cell damage and premature aging! And parfum is just a fancy way of saying synthetic scents. Who knows what kind of chemicals that could consist of.
In my effort to replace harmful chemicals from my home, I began making my own baby oil. It is so easy, only takes a few ingredients, and I am confident knowing that what I am putting on my baby’s skin is beneficial to her and not harmful. Plus, everyone is always commenting on how nice my baby smells.
Here’s what you will need to make your own all natural baby oil:
A 4 oz. mason jar with lid (or any glass jar will work-I have even used old baby food jars!)
1/2 cup organic, unrefined, cold-pressed coconut oil
15 drops lavender essential oil
10 drops frankincense essential oil
I whipped the coconut oil for a few minutes, then stir in the essential oils before putting it all into the glass jar. During the cool months, you could leave this on the counter and it will stay solid, but in the warm months it will liquefy. If you still want a more solid texture, you can store it in the refrigerator and then warm a little up in your hands before massaging it onto baby.
Lavender and frankincense oils are both very good for skin. I am extremely selective when it comes to which essential oils I will use on my family. It is important to know and trust the source. The FDA allows natural products to say 100% pure even if it only contains 5% of what it claims, so I researched many companies before I found one I felt comfortable with. You can find out where to get high-quality essential oils here.
This is the coconut oil I used:
I have also used this one and really liked it:
Find out more about chemicals in baby products and baby massage:
10 Most Unwanted Ingredients in Personal Care and Beauty Products
Guide to Less Toxic Products
Benefits of Infant Massage