Looking for Safe Massage Lotion for Infant Massage

Updated on November 09, 2008
S.B. asks from Leesburg, VA
35 answers

I massage my 4 month old daughter every night with some lavander lotion made especially for infants by Johnson and Johnson. Although I've read the ingredients and honestly I don't know what half that stuff is, I'm worried about what kind of chemicals she's absorbing through the lotion. Are there any ingredients that I should stay away from?

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T.L.

answers from Washington DC on

I took an infant massage class at Georgetown Hospital when my daughter was 3 mo. The instructor suggested that I NOT use the Johnson's & Johnson's massage oil or gel. Instead, she recommended I use canola cooking oil. It worked great until my daughter learned how to roll over and decided she didn't want to be massaged anymore.

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C.D.

answers from Norfolk on

Good for you! I massaged both of my babies and it was the best thing I could do for them. It gives you a chance to inspect them head to toe everyday. You are right to be concerned for them ingesting chemicals. I used sweet almond oil which you can find at an upscale grocery store. Just try to get a first press oil and use it straight. Babies don't need all that fragrence, they are sweet, as is. I'll warn you though, by 2 they get ticklish and it may not happen any more.

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L.G.

answers from Washington DC on

I use regular massage oil such as almond oil. Jojoba is the only one that won't absorb into the skin since it comes from a wax. Be careful if you want to use lavender, a lot of the stuff is fake since theirs no regulation on essential oils. I only use Young living oils since they are certified and have been using them on my daughter since she was born and whenever she has a boo boo.

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S.J.

answers from Washington DC on

You definitely want to stay away from anything with parabens. Parabens have been linked to breast cancer. They are a chemical preservative that mimics estrogen. There was a study done recently in Great Britain (I can find the link if you are interested). In this study, 18 out of 20 breast cancer tumors were found to have toxic levels of parabens. This was the only common thread found in the tumors. Parabens are in almost every cosmetic that we put on our body. The scary thing is, our FDA suspected that parabens had something to do with breast cancer so they took them out of underarm deodorants back in the 80's but they left them in everything else. As the other posts have mentioned, Whole Foods has many many lines of organic products for you and baby.

1 mom found this helpful
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S.M.

answers from Washington DC on

Dear S.,

Plain cold pressed coconut oil is great for the skin. Some Moms have used it for eczema that occurs in children. It's solid at room temperature, but you can pour it into a wide mouth jar and just take onto your fingers. It will melt into an oil right away from the warmth of your hands. Go to Google and do a search on the healing benefits of coconut oil. There are books written about it.

S. M

1 mom found this helpful
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H.P.

answers from Richmond on

If you read Dr. Allen Greene's book called Raising Your Baby Green, he gets all into what products he reccomends using. A big one to avoid is Parabens. You might see the word Methyl or Buthly in front of it. It's in a lot of stuff - loations, foundations and lots of the baby bath soaps and shampoos. I like the Earth's Best Bath and Shampoo wash and Burts Bee's has some options. Dr. Greene reccomends California Baby, Kiss My Face, and some other organic brands. Target has that and Burts Bees. I get the Earth's Best from Kroger or any of the health food stores. Generally if you buy from the Organic section you are avoiding those ingredients that are theorized to cause harm.

1 mom found this helpful
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S.G.

answers from Washington DC on

Yes, S. there is one main ingredient to look for. MINERAL OIL! A lot of cremes and lotions contain it. It actually leeches out vitamins and minerals from the skin. Adults should stay away from it too.

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S.B.

answers from Richmond on

we were told at the hospital that although many baby products have lavender, they are not to be used until babies are at least 6 mos old, preferably older. so stop using the lavender. i really love method products. they are all-natural, no harmful chemicals, and not harmful to the environment either. they make a lovely rice flower and milk baby lotion that smells divine. you can buy method products at target, and possibly at walmart as well.

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A.B.

answers from Norfolk on

Almond or olive oil are good alternatives. Almond oil smells kinda like cherries. If you want to add a few drops of lavender essential oil that's fine, but just add a few drops because it can cause chemical burns if you add too much.

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L.B.

answers from Washington DC on

Check out www.ewg.org for the ingredients and their ratings.

You definitely have reason for concern. In my opinion, it is best during this "go green" time to stick with a companies that have been around for a lot of years and have been "green" way before it was "cool". I also have chosen Melaleuca as my store of choice - they have been around for almost a 1/4 of a century and we couldn't be happier with the service, quality, safety and health results we've experienced.

Off topic but something to consider in this "challenging" economic time: The difference with stores like Arbonne or Melaleuca is you can get the products for free if you choose to. They pay customers to do their marketing. In fact, I have never paid for one of my products, ever! So you're talking about a nice $120-200 chunk out of the monthly bills or more! Plus it is a great way for me to "redistribute" the wealth to folks/families in my local community, not to big stores and manufacturers. :)

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T.Y.

answers from Washington DC on

Do you live near a Whole Foods? You could check out their lotions -- lots of choices with natural ingredients. Trader Joe's probably has some too. The Johnson and Johnson lotion is most likely fine also. You have a lucky daughter!

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T.G.

answers from Washington DC on

I'm a massage therapist and I use cold pressed safflower oil or shea butter. These two items are more suitable for baby's skin and will be absorbed instead of just laying on top of the skin. You can purchase shea butter at some large retail stores like Wal-mart.

Stay away from nut oils - fear of allergies is important.

Good Luck and Enjoy your baby!

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N.B.

answers from Washington DC on

Hi, S. - What a lucky baby! I wish I could have a massage evry night! :) You are smart to be concerned about harmful ingredients in products. Most large manufacturers use formaldehyde as a preservative - not good! Google formaldehyde + names; you won't see formaldehyde listed as such, but it is in MANY products that we all use on a daily basis - shampoos, body wash, lotions, mouthwash, household cleaners, etc. Check out saferforyourhome.com and/or melaleuca.com. Feel free to contact me for more info. Good luck! N.

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Y.L.

answers from Richmond on

Avalon Organics, Burt's Bees, Jason... they all make natural stuff which I use with my son on a daily basis. If you have an organic isle in your grocery store they should have all that stuff. Even Target and Walmart now have a lot of that stuff. And of course if you have Whole Foods or Trader Joe's, then you would have a much wider selection. Also try www.drugstore.com and look in their Natural section and then within that, in the baby stuff and you will also find lots of reviews. Just know to use massage oil on a towel because it will stain. I use just lotion after his bath and massage it into his skin (I like California Baby or Avalon Organics) and it works just great. I hate dealing with oils.

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E.F.

answers from Washington DC on

California Baby makes a great safe one. You can get it at Whole Foods, Wegmans or online.

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A.R.

answers from Charlottesville on

my suggestion is not actually a lotion but Burt's Bees apricot baby oil. i have found this to not only be great for babes but also moma's. i used it for my belly, breasts, etc. when pregnant with my first and it greatly reduced my stretch marks. as far as what chemicals or additives to stay away from , i can only suggest that if you don't know right off what something is, don't use it. enjoy those baby massages!ps apricot oil found at Rebecca's or Wholefoods

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W.T.

answers from Jacksonville on

I heard something about lavender being bad for boys but I honestly can't remember why.

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M.M.

answers from Washington DC on

In the baby massage class I took they recommended regular cooking oi, olive vegetable whatever. They said not to use any of the baby oils or lotions on the market as they actually dry out the skin and are harder for baby to absorb and break down once on the skin..(or something like that) The recommendation was whatever cooking oil you have in your kitchen cabinet. I think I used canola and olive oils.

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A.C.

answers from Washington DC on

Go to Whole Foods grocery store, they carry a whole section of child and infant care products. You will find something that is acceptable to you, and probably more! I shopped there exclusively for my infant needs and that was 5 yers ago- I can only imagine the choice of products in double now. The clerks on dury are usually pretty knowledgable for any questions you might have. They also carry a great line of organic infant food.

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L.S.

answers from Washington DC on

Arbonne Baby Oil...no parabens in it...no mineral oil...heavy shea butter and oatmeal base...no fragrances added...absorbs well while still allowing you to massage...also will help manage any baby eczema and good for cradle cap too.

If you don't have a rep...can get from me...first order 50% off. [email protected]____.com

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E.V.

answers from Roanoke on

Hello! If you are looking for safe products (not JUST lotion) that don't have harsh chemicals, then Melaleuca is what you need! Their Renew lotion has a light fragrance, but is not harmful, and actually keeps my son's eczema completely out of the picture! It is safe for babies too! They also have laundry detergents, dish/dishwasher detergents that don't have harsh chemicals (and are concentrated, so they last longer, too!) I talked to a lady who uses Melaleuca and she didn't even realize that the fumes coming out of her dishwasher made her daughter's asthma act up until she switched! They also have home cleaning products and their bath tub cleaner doesn't make you lightheaded while you are cleaning! www.melaleuca.com is their website! They prices are cheaper if you join as a member, and they give you free products the first few months you are a member. If you are interested and need someone to sign up under (that is just the way it works, you can't just join by yourself), Let me know. I haven't made it a business for myself, although many have, and in fact I don't even have anyone signed up under me, but I always love to tell people about the products, and especially what miracle the Renew lotion was for my baby (he was 7 months old when he had THE WORST eczema...woke up one morning w/his eyes swollen...he looked like he was in a Rocky movie...it was heartbreaking and none of the store creams or steroid prescription lotions worked...and I didn't really want him on a steroid cream at 7 months, especially since I wasn't seeing any improvement). He was completely cleared in 2 weeks after Renew, and I saw improvement EVERY DAY...I even took pictures everyday! Its amazing stuff! Hope you find what you are looking for, and if you have any questions about Melaleuca, you can contact me. If I don't know the answer, my friend that signed me up will! Happy Lotion shopping!

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L.B.

answers from Dover on

Burt's Bees Baby Bee Apricot Massage Oil is GREAT! You can sometimes find it at Target or Happy Harry's. Also at health food stores! My girls both love it!

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M.K.

answers from Washington DC on

Hi S.,
I am not only a mom who massaged her daughter but a certified Infant Massage Trainer. When I teach my classes, I suggest the parents use grape seed or apricot seed oil instead of lotion. You can find these oils in most health food stores and they are perfectly safe and recomended by the IAIM (International Association for Infant Massage)

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S.G.

answers from Norfolk on

Use baby oil when you massage your 4 month old girl instead of the lotion. At least you will use less chemicals that maybe absorb into her skin.

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S.W.

answers from Norfolk on

Infant massage such a GREAT thing to do for you little one, brave to you!! I used some the Edgar Cayce oils, they are pure and you can get them with or without scents. You can order them through www.organicfooddepot.com or the Heritage Store in VA Beach stocks them.

Take care, S.

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B.F.

answers from Washington DC on

Hi S.!

You are right to question ingredients in products!! Unfortunately, no government agency is set up to monitor household chemicals! I find it alarming that manufacturers are exempt from labeling all ingredients if the product is for personal use! (according to the Federal code of Regulation)

One harmful chemical that is a formaldeyde releaser (think high school biology and disecting frogs, cats) which has been linked to cancer is Quarternium-15. You can find that ingredient listed on the back of Johnson and Johnson baby shampoo! That's just one example!!

Children are most vulnerable because pound for pound they consume more water, food, and air than adults! They also are closer to the ground where toxins settle and they explore the world with their mouths! Also, their metabolic pathways are immature--nervous system, reproductive organs, immune system. . . absorption throught the skin is certainly one way to be exposed to the toxins.

I DON'T TELL YOU THESE THINGS TO CAUSE YOU STRESS AND WORRY, but so that you will investigate and provide your daughter with the safest environment!! How lucky she is to have you! Infant massage is wonderful!!

I am a SAH mom with 5 children, ages 4-14yo. I am a registered nurse with a masters degree as an Adult Nurse Practitioner. I have found a GREAT company to shop with for everyday needs! They are a Wellness company that has close to 400 products that are based in nature and focused on health and wellness!! You can shop at wholesale prices! They have a WONDERFUL lotion you could use on your baby without ANY concerns!! Their products are free of harsh and harmful chemicals!! The company's name is Melaleuca and the product is Renew.

Please feel free to call me--any time--for more information!!
I can be reached at ###-###-####. Thanks! Have a blessed day!

B. F.

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L.R.

answers from Washington DC on

Remember to check with your pediatrician as well. Your infant is very young and even the most baby-friendly, natural products, used every single day, are getting absorbed into that tender skin. Essential oils are great for older kids and adults but can be quite potent and you'd need to know the exact amount to use on so small a baby; also I would avoid almond oil as it is a nut oil -- and at four months it's unlikely you know yet whether she has any nut allergies, right? Also, do you really need oils or lotions daily on her skin anyway? I used to give my baby massage a lot when she was small but did not use lotions/oils except occasionally olive oil if she had a dry patch. Most of all do avoid baby oil as it is just mineral oil; if swallowed, it can be fatal.

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C.P.

answers from Washington DC on

Olive or almond oil. Add a drop or two of lavender essential oil from whole foods and you have a great night-time massage oil that is natural and safe enough to eat.

Oh yeah, California Baby make a great massage oil and it is siold at Target and Super Target. And oil warms up with your hand making it a much more relaxing massage in winter, whereas lotion will get chilled again once it is rubbed on.

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H.H.

answers from Washington DC on

I've heard that Arbonne (a home based sales company) sells products that are all natural and their claim is that their products are safer than J&J because there aren't all the chemicals in them. I received an email from an Arbonne rep before claiming that J&J has carcinogenic ingredients. I haven't used Arbonne products before (their a touch expensive), but what I've heard has been all good things. I looked on their website and they have the Arbonne Baby Care lotion for $14. Their website is www.arbonne.com and look under prodcuts then baby. Let us know what you try!

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L.M.

answers from Washington DC on

As a massage therapist and doula, I refer my clients to products that are found at health food store. I would also be concerned about ingredients in that product. If you want to go the simple route, plain almond or apricot seed oils are great. You can add your own essential oils(i.e. lavender). Weleda is a great company that makes either oil or lotion, and has a great diaper cream too. Little Twig has a baby massage oil. Aubrey is the other company that makes natural products and has either oil or baby lotion for massage.
Hope this helps.
L. M
Birthbliss
HypnoBirthing childbirth education and birth doula services in MD, DC and Northern Va

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K.A.

answers from Washington DC on

Olive Oil.. it's all natural and works great.

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J.J.

answers from Washington DC on

I took a baby massage class and we used olive or safflower oil. Essential oils are too strong for them at that age and I would avoid any of them.

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T.B.

answers from Washington DC on

Try olive oil. My daughter is 14 mths and I still use it. It's safe, just in case she puts her hands in her mouth.

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L.G.

answers from Norfolk on

My basic rule on massage lotion (or anything that I put on my body): If it can go IN my body, it can go ON my body. Look at the ingredients and if you can eat it, it is ok to use on your baby's skin. Olive oil, almond oil, and grape seed oil are all good oils that make good massage oils. In fact, if you get the "massage oils" that the professionals use, those are the main ingredients. You can add a drop lavender oil to your hands right before you start the massage. If you get essential oils (such as lavender), I highly suggest getting the Young Living brand oils. They are top of the line. If you cannot find a rep where you are, let me know, my mother-in-law sells w/o taking her profit.

I had tried the J&J lavender lotion and bath stuff for my baby, it gave her a rash. So I went back to my basic rule.

I also like the Arbonne baby oil. All natural ingredients. Your baby can get it in her mouth and you won't be worried.

Leslie

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T.C.

answers from Washington DC on

you can check the ingredients of any product (well, most products) on this website: http://www.cosmeticsdatabase.com/index.php. it'll explain the ingredients as well and their effects on people.

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