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Posted by Deborah Sheppard, Apr 2 2016 5:22PM

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Use of oil for infant massage


I would appreciate members’ advice please.

I work mainly as an infant massage instructor and massage in schools instructor these days. I give my clients 100% organic, cold pressed sunflower oil to use on their babies, who are usually at least 6 weeks old when they start my classes. I also work with parents with babies from 3 weeks old on a 1-2 basis, but we don’t use oil at these sessions.

I have just read an article on the University of Manchester’s website, which states that using olive and sunflower oil on new born babies’ skin weakens the skin’s natural defences. I know that we don’t recommend the use of olive oil on babies’ skin anymore, but I always thought that sunflower oil was perfectly safe.
The study only mentions new borns, and it does state that “the skin of babies given oils tended to be better hydrated.” You can read the article here:

I would appreciate all comments. I have also emailed the Royal College of Midwives and the IAIM, for their opinions.

All replies will be gratefully received!
Kala Naidoo
Apr 7 2016 1:56PM

My mum used to do baby massage, you can try using a little Johnson's baby oil!

Hannah Hanraty
Apr 15 2016 12:34PM
Hi I too am a baby massage instructor I tend to use grapeseed oil although I also inform the mums they can use sunflower oil. I, like you, have read articles about which are the best oils to use and so far recommendations have been sunflower, grapeseed and coconut oil and best not to use olive oil for the reasons you stated. I would also be interested to hear if there are any other views out there on this?

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