Our new baby arrives and she is perfect, pure, delicate. We protect him, keep him warm, feed him. We shower her with love, positive emotions, warm touch. We wish we could keep them safe from harm and nourish their bodies and souls forever. We monitor and scrutinize everything they come in contact with. Make sure the car seat is safe, the blanket is clean and the crib is cozy.
Our skin is the body's largest respiratory organ. All the products we lather, wash and rub on our skin is soaked in through the skin and penetrated deep into our bodies. Here’s an experiment that illustrated this fact: rub your baby’s feet with garlic-infused olive oil, within a few minutes the smell of garlic is detected in their breath.
So what do we (and don’t we) rub on our newborn’s body?
A proverb from Psalms (34:14) “Depart from evil and do good” sums it up well. Do we really want to put petroleum-based products on their skin? Are we interested in preservatives or harsh detergents penetrating deep into their bodies? I’m not saying these things are “evil” but we can agree that they are not positive, they don’t do us “good”. Our bodies didn’t coevolve with these substances. In addition, using these doesn’t leave room for treasures and treats that nature (and online shopping ;)) has available.
A newborn isn’t rolling around in the mud, he isn’t using finger paint, cleaning toilets or sweating like a hog. What I mean is she doesn’t really need to be hosed down with detergent at the end of the day. Oil is a wonderful cleanser at the same time it nourishes the skin.
The benefits of massaging a newborn are numerous:
It is a wonderful bonding experience for both parent/ caregiver and baby, contributing to the emotional well being of the child.
Massaging a baby is calming “When you give your baby a massage, you're actually stimulating her central nervous system, That sets off a chain reaction: It makes her brain produce more serotonin, a feel-good chemical, and less cortisol, a hormone that's secreted in response to stress. As a result, your baby's heart rate and breathing slow down, and she becomes more relaxed." Tiffany Field, Ph.D., director of the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami School of Medicine.
Massage is a sensory experience involving touch, sight, sound, nd smell.
The massage has positive effects on many systems in the body including: improved respiration, gastrointestinal function, enhanced immune system, normalizing muscle tone, improves circulation and more.
So here is a tried and true recipe that we used as a massage and bath oil for our newborns.
1.6 oz (50 ml) calendula infused almond oil
1.6 oz (50 ml) chamomile infused almond oil
15 drops jojoba oil
15 drops wheat germ oil
4 drops lavender oil
Mix together and store in a labeled bottle.