(Last Updated on : 25/03/2014)
A good aroma can make anyone happy and children are no exception. Baby massage is quite traditional in the east, especially in India. Though it takes a little time for the mother to adjust to the idea of massaging a wriggling baby, but she would gradually start enjoying it when the baby would respond to the mother's touch. Massage
is a wonderful way of strengthening the bond between the mother and the child. Aromatherapy can prove very beneficial to the new born babies through massages. Though massage is the most common form of giving aromatherapy treatment to the child, there are many ways of giving aromatherapy treatment as well.
However, one has to be careful enough to keep the amount of aromatherapy oil very low, so as not to effect the baby. The baby's body is very small in size and too much of aromatherapy oil can have a slightly toxic effect. When using aromatherapy oils
on children, make sure that the quantity of aromatherapy oil in the carrier oil is reduced to half. You can add two drops of aromatherapy oil in 4-6 fl oz (100 to 150 ml) of a carrier oil or two or four drops of aromatherapy oil in a baby bath. The best carrier oil for children is sweet almond oil, as it has a softening, lubricating effect on the skin and is better than the mineral oil that most commercial baby products are based on. Use a blend of 4 fl oz (100 ml) of sweet almond oil added with two drops of any of the following: Chamomile, Rose
, Lavender & Neroli. The steps for the massage are as follows:
Start with your baby laying against your legs on his/ her back so that the child can look up to you.
Stroke gently down the child's arms, and then legs. Repeat each movement five or six times.
Circle round the tummy, using the flat of your hand, in an anti-clockwise direction.
Stretch out the child's toes one by one then gently rub the soles of the feet, using your thumb.
Uncurl the child's fingers and then gently move each one clockwise, then anti clockwise.
Now, rub over the palms of his/her hands with your thumbs. Turn your baby over, to lie on his tummy against your legs.
Gently rub a little oil into his back, bottom, legs and feet using long, light strokes.
Stroke down his back, giving a little squeeze at the buttocks. Repeat five or six times.
Gently stroke round his/her shoulders, down the arms and off at his/her hands.
Gently stroke down his legs several times. Each time finish by giving his legs a little stretch by pulling at the ankles.
Finish by stroking gently down his back and legs in one movement. Repeat, getting lighter with each stroke, until your hand just glides over your baby without actually touching him.
Gently stroke the baby on to his back so that he can see you again.
Now gently stroke a little oil (the surplus on your hands should be enough) on to the child's face. Lightly stroke, up the forehead several times.
Gently squeeze and rub the child's ear lobes between your finger and thumb.
Finish off with a connecting stroke. With one hand cradling your baby's head, stroke gently down his body with the other and bring it to rest on top of his feet.
Hold this position (one hand on the head, the other on the feet) for a count of ten.
Gently release and lift off your hands.
Most babies enjoy being immersed in water and you can add soothing aromatherapy oils to their baths to create a lovely smell, and soothe their sensitive skins. Chamomile, rose or lavender oils are best for this and are healthier than proprietary baby bubble baths.
Try using any one of the following oils in a vaporizer in your baby's room, viz: Lavender, Frankincense, Sandalwood, Neroli, Chamomile, Eucalyptus
These oils help to purify the air and keep germs at bay as well as being pleasant and soothing. If your baby has been suffering from any sleeping disorder, then try popping a little ball of cotton wool to which you have added a few drops of Chamomile oil, far inside the baby's pillowcase. The baby will inhale its soothing vapors while sleeping.
When the baby is teething, Chamomile oil helps to calm and soothe inflamed gums. Dilute two drops in a little warm water and rub over the affected area three times a day.
Fear of the Dark:
This is a very common problem among children, especially if they have nightmares and wake up in a dark, silent room. Using an oil burner in the bedroom creates a safe atmosphere, because of its gently glowing light and soothing aroma. The oil burner can also be taken away from home to create the same safe atmosphere in a strange place. The following oils are all quite sedative and one can experiment with them until one finds a suitable blend liked by the child. These are Chamomile, Rose, Benzoin, Sandalwood, Frankincense, Marigold, Neroli, Myrrh, Patchouli, Ylang Ylang, Vetiver
and Clary sage.
Often children who are hyperactive find it difficult to go off to sleep. The following aromatherapy sequence can help them in sleeping.
First, add ten drops of Chamomile oil to a three-quarters filled bath. Encourage the child to soak in it, under the mother's supervision, for as long as possible. Use toys and games to keep the child interested and enjoy the bath.
Next, use six drops of Chamomile oil to 4 fl oz (100 ml) of carrier oil and massage it on the child's back and shoulders, tummy and chest. Do this after drying the child while the child is standing. Make the movements as soothing as possible. (You may have to turn this into a game, as hyperactive children hate keeping still).
Finally, use Chamomile and Benzoin oils in a burner or vaporizer in the bedroom. Once the child is tucked up in bed, try massaging a little of the above blend on the child's forehead with soothing strokes while you read a bedtime story.
You can also try using any of the sedative oils in your child's bath and also in a burner or vaporizer in his or her bedroom. You can also sprinkle a few drops of Chamomile and Ylang Ylang oil on to the pillow. This will help the child sleep properly.
Fear and Anxiety:
Like adults, children often lose sleep through fear or anxiety. An Impending test or exam, a visit to the doctor or any other problem may be the cause. The following oils can be helpful, which are: Bergamot, Thyme, Neroli, Marjoram, Geranium, Chamomile
Any of the above can be used in the bath, burner or vaporizer. They can also be inhaled neat from the bottle. Neroli is very effective when used this way. If the child is facing an impending test or examination, use rosemary in the child's bath and in the burner. Rosemary
oil is a great aid to the memory. It can also be inhaled just before the test or exam.
Remedies For Common Childhood Diseases
Although aromatherapy is not recommended to treat problems like measles and tonsillitis, it can definitely give the relief needed by the child. However, some problems can however be treated with the choice of the right oil and a little care and attention of the mother. Children often hate to take medicines particularly pills and syrups that taste unpleasant. Aromatherapy treatment is beyond the bars of bad taste and unpleasant smell and children are not fussy about accepting this idea. Psychologically, this is a good thing because by believing and accepting the treatment they are already on their way to feeling better.
This flaky, red, itchy condition often aff
ects small babies and aromatherapy can heal this by mixing up a blend of one drop of Chamomile oil and one drop of rose oil in 4 fl oz (100 ml) of sweet almond oil. Then gently rub it over the cradle cap three times a day. You can also add two drops of Chamomile oil to your baby's shampoo, but be careful to rinse his hair thoroughly after shampooing. All shampoos can irritate a sensitive skin.
Blend six drops of peppermint oil into 4 fl oz (100 ml) of carrier oil. Massage it on your child's tummy and temples prior to the journey. Also apply a little under the child's nose to inhale. Take the peppermint
oil with you so that the child can inhale it during the journey.
Sometimes grazes can be slow to heal, particularly on knees and elbows where the constant bending pulls the skin. The following aromatherapy blend can help. Firstly clean the graze with ½ pint (300 ml) of warm water, to which you have added four drops of lavender oil. Then, use more lavender oil in a carrier oil (wheat germ is good for this) to soothe the graze. Repeat the oil application two or three times daily until the graze has healed.
You can apply either of the following:
Add three drops of marigold and three drops of camphor oil to carrier oil. Apply to the bruise several times a day.
Make a compress out of cotton wool soaked in cool water. Apply a couple of drops of neat camphor oil to it and place on the bruise. This will quickly bring out the bruising.
Add four drops of tea tree oil to ½ pint (300 ml) of warm water and use it to rice the cut. Then apply neat tea tree oil to the cup.
Soak a flannel in 1 pint (600 ml) of cold water added with six drops of frankincense oil. Fold it in half and place over the bridge of the nose. This will stop the bleeding.
Clove oil, an old remedy for toothache, has been used to deal with toothache. Clove oil has an anaesthetizing effect on the nerve that lessens the pain and gives a lot of relief until the child gets to the dentist. Dip a cotton bud in neat clove oil, and then apply to the offending tooth. Repeat as necessary.
To treat them dip a cotton bud in neat myrrh oil and apply to the ulcer. Repeat as necessary. This mouthwash can be used as a preventive measure. Add six drops of myrrh oil to a cup of warm water and rinse the mouth out really well. Children often find this interesting as it involves a lot of spitting.
Bites and Stings:
Dab the bite or sting with neat lavender oil as required.
Add six drops of fennel oil to 4 fl oz (100 ml) of carrier oil. Rub the mixture along your child's diaphragm, then up his/her chest and throat. You can also allow him/her to inhale neat fennel oil from the bottle (you can use this remedy yourself, increasing the amount of fennel to 12 drops).
Add two drops of Chamomile, two of fennel and two of peppermint oil to 4 fl oz (100 ml) of carrier oil. Gently rub this on your child's tummy, using soothing massage strokes. Also, try adding the above oils to a warm bath- the heat helps pain and there is no need for carrier oil.
Apply neat lavender oil if the area of the sunburn is small. For larger areas, make up a spray by adding 12 drops of lavender oil to ½ pint (300 ml) of cold water. Spray the affected areas as needed. This is very effective for sore skin as it is very soothing and avoids having to touch the affected area.
Nappy Rash and Sore Chapped Skin:
Commercial baby oils are made with mineral oils, which can eventually be drying to delicate skin sweet almond oil is better for the skin of children. To make aromatherapy baby oil, add four drops of rose or Chamomile oil to 4 fl oz (100 ml) of sweet almond oil. This is very soothing when stroked on nappy rash or irritated skin. You can also add six drops of Benzoin or myrrh oil to a carrier oil and rub into the chapped areas several times daily.