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Baby Abhyanga

Ayurvedic oil massage for babies is one of my favorite practices to teach parents.

The word ‘sneha’ in sanskrit means oil, but it also means love. An oil massage is food for your baby’s body and soul.  Little baby has been living in a warm and lubricated womb for their entire existence, and then one day they are out in the world! The oil softens that transition physically, mentally and spiritually.

The skin is the body’s largest organ, with more surface area and sensory receptors that any other organ in the body. So it is a beautiful way to invite healing and nourishing qualities to all areas of the body! Their little bodies are growing so fast every day, the oil helps to lubricate achy points and muscles as they develop. 

Oil massage directly nourishes their nervous system leaving them feeling soothed and relaxed.  It is so beneficial to their skin by improving circulation, texture, complexion and softness. It can help with digestion by relieving constipation, gas or colic. Immune functions are increased through the stimulation of the tissues and neurological development is increased through movement. 

Another amazing benefit of this practice is the bonding that it supports between caregivers and the baby.  I invite families to use the abhyanga as new way of connecting, fostering a deeper bond, having skin to skin contact and tapping into their softness and devotion. I find that many dad’s feel left out of the skin -to -skin time and are seeking a way to create a deeper bond with little baby. This is often a wonderful tool to create that sacred space between the non-breastfeeding partner and the new little baby. 


  • nourishes the nervous system 

  • soothing and relaxing 

  • sound sleeps 

  • increases circulation 

  • helps the skin’s texture, complexion & softness

  • Improves digestion (colic, gas, constipation) 

  • Boost immune function 

  • increases neurological development 

Some golden rules for baby abhyanga: 

  • Most practitioners would advocate starting massage after around 4 weeks of age, when the baby has gained strength, and after the navel has healed.

  • The palms, rather than the fingertips, should be used to ensure gentle pressure is applied, and the touch should be very light.

  • You can massage at any time of the day, but preferably not immediately after feeding or when the baby is hungry or distressed. Many people like to massage their baby in the evening just before bath time to promote a deep relaxing sleep.

  • Carry out massage in a warm, draft-free place, on the floor or a table, covered with a towel or blanket that can be washed easily. Traditionally, you would sit on the floor with legs straight out, and support the baby between your legs.

  • Turn off the tv and radio, and talk or sing to your baby while you perform the massage.

  • Use a certified organic oil for massage. 

  • The traditional massage oil in Ayurveda is sesame oil, which is warming and nourishing. Other good choices are almond, and sunflower. During the hotter months, or for babies with very sensitive skin, coconut oil can be used. Avoid at all costs mineral-based oils which are petroleum-derived, may contain toxic contaminants, and do not nourish the skin. Many people like to carry out a patch test with the oil on the baby’s arm a day or so before applying to the whole body, to ensure there are no sensitivities. Essential oils and oils containing perfumes or synthetic ingredients should not be used on babies. 

Please reach out to me for more information, questions and tutorials!!!

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