"Soft as a baby's bottom" is an apt and humorous reference to the delicate, sensitive skin of infants. However, even the most attentive parents will have difficulty shielding their babies from the normal "hazards" of life: the ravages of tears, diaper rash and chapped skin. Many skin-care product available commercially contain chemical additives that may actually further irritate the skin. Why not make your own homemade baby oil to moisturize and protect your infant as it soothes with its scent.
Moneysaver Tip: Sweet-almond oil makes a gentle and effective substitute for moist baby wipes. Simply apply a few drops to a soft tissue and use as you would a wipe.
Baby Oil Recipe:
For daily skin care
3 tbsp. sweet-almond oil
1 tsp. evening-primrose oil
3 drops rose essential oil
2 drops neroli oil
2 tbsp. sweet-almond oil
4 tsp. St. John's-wort oil
1 tsp. evening-primrose oil
2 drops German-chamomile essential oil
2 drops neroli oil
For bloating and colic
2 1/2 tbsp. sweet-almond oil
2 tsp. St. John's-wort oil
3 drops ginger essential oil
3 drops Roman-chamomile essential oil
Mix all of the ingredients in a dark bottle with a dropper top, which will help to preserve the oil and prevent bacteria from forming. Shake well before each use. The baby oil will keep for about 6 months.
A foot massage can be beneficial for your baby's health and help to calm the nervous system. In addition, most babies love foot massages. Pour about 1 tsp. of baby oil on your hands and carefully spread it on the baby's feet. Use your thumbs to gently massage the soles of the baby's feet in small, circular motions. Gently stretch each toe up. Finish by holding the baby's feet in your hands to warm for a minute or so.
A gentle body massage for your baby can relax both of you and help to create a very special bond. The focus is on closeness and body contact, so be sure your touch is soft and gentle at all times, especially with newborns. Choose a warm, peaceful place where you can relax. Use 1 tsp. of baby oil at a time and gently massage your baby all over while maintaining eye contact.
Apply a thin layer of baby oil to the infant's feet after bathing. Gently massage the oil up the legs and over the body. Small circular strokes on the abdomen are soothing and stimulate digestion.
Sweet-almond oil for sensitive skin: Sweet-almond oil is particularly well suited for babies' skin. The oil, which is extracted from pressed almonds, is mild and nourishing. It is gentle enough even for sensitive skin.
St. John's-wort oil for rashes: Skin irritations, eczema and painful itching can be alleviated by St. John's-wort oil. However, it tends to make the skin more sensitive to light, so it should not be used if your baby will be outdoors in direct sunlight.
Rose and primrose oils to soften and protect: The delicately scented essential oil obtained from roses can keep your baby's skin soft and smooth. One of the best skin oils for infant care, it imparts a light, gentle scent. The oil obtained from primrose flowers can protect skin from diaper rash and inflammations.
Neroli oil for eczema: This essential oil is made from small white blossoms of the bitter-orange tree. Its sweet, fresh scent helps to ease itchy rashes and heal inflamed skin. In addition, neroli oil supports the skin's renewal process and acts as an effective, yet gentle, deodorizer.
Orange and Roman-chamomile oils to help relax infants: Orange and Roman-chamomile essential oils have a relaxing effect on babies when added to an aromatherapy lamp and placed in the nursery.
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