You heard it here first! Nourish your baby’s skin AND soul with this healthier nightly routine.
Like many new parents, I heard that a nightly routine with a warm bath is key to developing good sleep habits. And sleep was something I definitely did not want to sacrifice! However, when my daughter developed eczema shortly after she was born, we realized that her nightly baths were causing her a lot of pain. The frequent water exposure was further drying out her skin and causing redness and irritation.
Our Pediatrician advised us to reduce baths to 2-3 times a week and on non-bath nights, we gave her nightly coconut oil massages instead. This new ritual did wonders for her skin and became bonding time for us...and she is now in her third winter with much happier skin!
With the creation of Bubbsi's ultra moisturizing coconut oil products, I wanted to help new parents think beyond the traditional ritual of nightly baths by spreading the word about nightly moisture massages that worked so well for my family. With skin sensitivity on the rise, it’s important that families reconsider bathing frequency to proactively protect their kids’ skin.
Massage is a practice that benefits both the skin and the soul! Below are a few of the key benefits of massage (for both parent & child!). Next week I'll share my top tips on integrating massage into your already-packed daily schedule...for kids across all ages!
So why do we love massage?
1) Massage rejuvenates and strengthens skin
A baby’s skin - specifically the moisture barrier - isn’t fully developed in the first few years. Their skin absorbs AND loses water more freely than adult skin, so it is more prone to drying out with excessive water exposure, especially when using harsh soaps. Gentle massaging with a nourishing oil-based product helps remove dry skin cells at the surface level and pushes hydration deeper into pores. It also increases blood flow and delivery of nutrients to help strengthen baby’s natural skin barrier.
2) Moisturizing massages could even prevent eczema
Exciting news for families who suffer from eczema: recent research has shown that consistent use of emollients (ingredients used to moisturize skin) on infants pre-disposed to eczema can actually help prevent or significantly reduce this skin condition. By forming a barrier on the top of the skin, the emollients hold in hydration and reduce water loss, thereby preventing inflammation from occurring below the surface of the skin.
3) Touch fosters emotional development and reduces stress for everyone
I remember struggling with how to “play” with my infant in those very early days. Massages are a great bonding activity at an early age and a way to build your own confidence with baby. Massage reduces stress in both the giver and receiver by releasing serotonin, oxytocin and endorphins – all of the ‘happiness’ hormones. These hormones also foster alertness, memory, cognition, focus and learning in your baby’s brain - so you are literally helping your child’s brain grow! Recent research even shows that the benefits of physical touch can be seen in children at the molecular level even many years later.
4) Massage encourages sleep!
Skin-to-skin contact lowers your child’s levels of the stress hormone cortisol and induces the release of the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin. This is key in promoting a consistent sleep schedule. Studies have shown that massages helps babies develop their circadian rhythm, or internal 24 hour clock, and makes it easier for them to follow their parent’s day and night schedule. Less crying and more sleeping at night - for both baby and parents!
5) Massage boosts immunity while removing toxins and congestion
Massages literally pump your child’s lymphatic system, which clears the body of harmful toxins. Moving lymphatic fluid around helps drain waste - this is why drinking water after a long massage helps flush the newly-released toxins out of your system. Important lymph nodes to massage are behind and under the ears, down the neck, and across the clavicles to the armpits.
Every parent has experienced sleepless nights when their baby’s nose gets congested. Baby massages are also a great relief for this. Gently stroke down the nose and across the cheeks helps to clear the sinuses.
Now, if the idea of baby massage conjures up images of candles, instrumental music, and an unachievable zen-like calm in your home, DON'T STRESS. It doesn’t have to be like that and certainly isn’t in my home. Next week I'll share tips on integrating happy daily massages into your daily family life!
In the meantime, check out our coconut oil skincare for babies and toddlers (made for massage!) and sign up for our newsletter below.