Shishu Abhyanga: The Ayurvedic Art of Baby Oil Massage for Newborn

14 May 2024
Shishu Abhyanga: The Ayurvedic Art of Baby Oil Massage for Newborn

Every mommy wants a happy and healthy child for which she puts in her best efforts in every possible way. In today’s era, where mommies are more aware and have lots of information sources, the baby nurturing approach is a mix of traditional and modern practices that ensure the best care and upbringing for infants in the initial days.

One such practice that has been an inseparable part of Ayurvedic practice for children is Shishu Abhyanga. This term is also known as baby oil massage, a practice mothers consider necessary for ages because it has unbelievable health benefits for the child.

Realities of Traditional Baby Massage

Today, we will try deepening the facts of traditional baby massage so that mommies with limited knowledge can understand its importance and incorporate this valuable gift from Ayurveda for the child’s good. 

When talking about baby massage is a simple process involving oil that is applied to the baby’s skin and gently rubbed until it gets absorbed.

The choice of oil varies according to the skin type and season; however, it is suggested that you opt for an ayurvedic baby oil massage with essential herbs that greatly benefit the body and skin.

Understanding Shishu Abhyanga

We all have heard our grandparents and elders discussing the benefits of oil massaging at some point in time. Many of us may wonder why massaging is so essential for infants, but if you are aware, you will know that massaging has been an inseparable part of our tradition.

The roots of Ayurvedic baby massage go back to times immemorial, and the origin is believed to be China. However, this practice has existed for ages in ancient India, where trained massage givers used to give massages to small children.

Since then, it has been an inseparable part of child nurturing, and even in modern times, several parents opt for this therapeutic massage. 

The philosophy behind massaging is strengthening the body parts and eliminating doshas that have a crucial role to play in attaining body balance. There are several benefits associated with traditional baby massage, which new parents should be aware of to take maximum advantage of the process. 

Significant Benefits of Shishu Abhyanga

1. Improved sleep and relaxation

Newborns need time to adjust to the outer world and have an abrupt sleeping routine. They tend to take small naps and wake up often at night, which is where massaging proves helpful. When you massage your child daily, it calms and relaxes him immensely and improves sleep.

It is observed that infants who receive regular massaging have better sleep cycles, which keeps them active throughout the day. This is also reflected in the growth patterns since good hormones are released during sleep. It also promotes neuromuscular wellness and better skin health.

2. Stimulation of growth and development 

One of the significant benefits of baby oil massage is growth stimulation. Babies tend to grow quickly during the first two years; thus, parents must be vigilant about adopting the correct practices to promote it.

Massaging enhances immunity as the oil penetrates the skin, activating the minute capillaries. Babies gain healthy weight due to regular massages, and this becomes very important in premature babies who are underweight and need extra care for the right development.

3. Better digestion and relief from colic

Most newborns suffer from colic and digestion issues during infancy as their systems are still maturing. The use of ayurvedic oil refreshes kids and promotes digestion.

4. Stronger parent-child bonding

Apart from developmental benefits, massaging allows parents to bond with their children. When parents can interact and engage the child in activities, it promotes cognitive, emotional, mental, and sensory well-being.

As the child feels connected to you and feels secure, he becomes a better learner and a happy soul.

Preparing for the Ritual

Now that we have discussed all the benefits of baby massaging let us focus on the right Shishu abhyanga techniques so that new parents can make aware choices and follow the right practice for the best results. Read on to know the right way of preparing for the ritual.

1. Choosing the right oil

Massaging oil is the most critical component of the whole process, and as dotting parents, you should make choices after thorough research and analysis.

Several oil types render different benefits for the child, like sesame, coconut, and specially formulated ayurvedic herbal oils for infants.

2. Creating a warm and comfortable environment

The main aim of baby massaging is to relax the baby; hence, creating an ideal environment is also a requisite. When you choose a room for massaging, it should be calm and adequately lit.

Ensure that the room has an average temperature, especially during winter, as you must remove all the clothes when massaging, which can cause sudden fluctuation in the baby’s body temperature. 

3. Gathering necessary supplies

Before you undress the child for massaging, make sure you have all the required supplies like oil, towel, and blanket in reach so that the child doesn’t have to stay naked for long and also you don’t have to leave him unattended for long.

Step-by-Step Guide to Shishu Abhyanga

Understanding the steps of the newborn oil massage ritual is essential to avoid any mistakes that may have a negative impact. An educated parent comprehends and follows every step religiously, making this process fun and impactful.

When you choose an oil, read the details on the bottle about the ingredients and the directions. You must be vigilant while massaging and avoid distractions during the process. Connect with the infant and let him feel loved so that he feels connected to you.

It is recommended to lay down the baby on a soft and even surface when massaging to ensure correct positioning. This is crucial so the baby is safe and has proper support.

This also lets you apply strokes effectively along with body stretches. Remember that your baby is delicate, so you need to be gentle with the strokes so there are not any side effects.

Incorporating Shishu Abhyanga into Your Routine

Considering the benefits of baby massaging, parents should consider incorporating it into their daily routine. Massaging twice daily for a few minutes until the baby is comfortable and enjoying the process.

The best time for massaging is the morning before bathing and the night before sleep, as this relaxes the child mentally and physically.

However, we recommend you consider your baby’s cues and proceed only when he is ready for the session. This will help him get acquainted with the routine and relish every moment.

Experts suggest that every child is different, so parents should consider their lifestyle and needs when planning to incorporate massage into the routine. If a child cries or shows signs of discomfort, it is suggested to stop and let him get calm.

If the discomfort continues for several sessions, it is best to consult the child’s pediatrician and find an appropriate solution.

Safety Considerations and Precautions

You consider baby massaging to render the benefits and best care to the little one, but there may be conditions where you may need to reconsider continuing it. If your baby has some skin conditions or allergies, look out for the symptoms, and stop massaging straight away.

In such scenarios, conferring with a health specialist and seeking advice on the action plan is best. In case your tot is born premature, you need to be mindful while massaging as the baby is very delicate and requires more care.

You need to treat preemies with a distinct approach and be very cautious about the pressure you exert and the strokes you make. Indeed, massaging has its benefits, but it should not be overdone in any case. Restrict the duration of massaging, and make sure you change your approach according to your baby’s response.

If your baby is unwell and is irritated, the best approach is to skip the session and let him recover before resuming. It would be best to avoid massaging immediately after feeding as this may lead to problems. 

Suppose the kid is exhibiting any indigestion problems like diarrhoea, vomiting, and other stomach-related issues. The abhyanga should not be done if the child shows signs of a cold, cough, fever, etc. Shishu abhyanga treatments are often done on an empty tummy and also avoid contact with oil with the eyes.

Also Read: Garbh Sanskar for Working Moms: Strategies to Incorporate Prenatal Edu

Key Takeaways

Shishu Abhyanga is an excellent traditional massaging process that parents should be aware of. There are numerous benefits for a baby’s development and growth, as well as enhanced immunity and an improved digestive system. If you have an infant in the house, go ahead and incorporate this vital ritual into the daily baby care routine.

So, if you are searching for quality baby massage solutions, check out R for Rabbit’s website and choose appropriate products according to your baby’s needs. The brand offers best-in-class ayurvedic, organic massage products developed to render the best results.

There are products for varied baby needs, and each of them is formulated with love and care. When you buy R for Rabbit products, you can stay content and see your tiny tot growing well happily.

Faq's On Shishu Abhyanga: The Ayurvedic Art of Baby Oil Massage for Newborn


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