Baby Massage: A Video for Loving Parents shows an oil massage.
Massage with oil has more positive effects of neonatal infants: Infants showed fewer stress behaviors (e.g. grimacing and clenched fists) and lower cortisol levels (stress hormones) following massage with oil versus massage without oil.What oil to use? Use an edible oil.
Why? Oil on the baby's hands and feet will get into their mouth. (Watch for that cute scene In the video. While the narrator explains that you will want an edible oil, a baby pops a nearby shoelace into his mouth).
Grapeseed and almond oil, often sold as massage oils, are great.
Oil from your kitchen is OK, too.
Use an unscented oil for your newborn.
Why? Because YOU have a personal scent that your baby will recognize shortly after birth. Your baby will become deeply attached to you, and this recognition is an important part of that. The massage time can promote this attachment.
Later, when you are massaging a toddler you can be more casual - use Aunt Ada's hand-cream while you are visiting her, and coconut oil at the beach. The world is full of wonderful scents.
While you are learning to massage, and while your baby is learning to trust the massage as a reliable connection to YOU, stick with unscented oil.
We will add links below to sites that offer a plain, unscented, edible oil, and also carry the Video Baby Massage: A Video for Loving Parents.
A word of caution: Put some thought into using scents. A true story:
Links to places to buy oil:
To purchase oil visit Infant Massage USA