Our first detailed article about oil bath has triggered any parents to practices this time tested system. We are very happy to hear some good results. Many parents have responded back to us about their traditional or family way of oil bath.
One such parent is Lakshmi Bharadwaj from Pune. She is been a active member in promoting ancient wisdom to all parenting community. She share a great inside about oil bath followed in Maharashtra. So we invite her to be our guest author.
So, here we go..
Massage can be a great way to bond with the baby. It has its own way and is practiced differently in every state. One among them would be Maharashtrian oil bath or massage. Massage can be done using baby oil or any suitable oil. Traditionally in North or Eastern part on India, Mustard oil is used for oil massage. Its good in winter season as its warms the body.
Dough Ball Preparation
Newborn babies are given oil massage using a dough ball for first few days for cleansing. This is a gentle act which is very soft as cotton. Take a little quantity of wheat or Maida, dip it in warm oil and do rub it on baby’s body. This enhances circulation, expels toxins from the new born. The ingredients are:
- 1 bowl mustard or any oil preferably
- 4-6 cloves of Garlic.
- ½ tea spoon of Ajwain
Now, Heat Oil with Garlic Cloves and Ajwain until they turn black and filter the oil.
Art of Massaging
A traditional baby massage starts from toe to the face which is to be massaged in the last. Legs and arms are usually very soft and firm downward strokes like hip to ankle and shoulder to palms. Circular clockwise movements are used for the stomach and chest. Anti-clock wise movements to his/her back. Usually quite a lot of pressure is applied for vigorous strokes especially to the legs and head. There is a belief that it straightens the slight bow shape of the legs or curve shape head.
This generally helps in the physical development of the baby. Doctors suggest best not to massage the baby with Ubtan Oil until their Umbilical Cord stump falls off.
The traditional way is Mother or Granny or well-practiced Mausi to to sit on the bath floor or any very short stool with legs stretched in front and crossed at ankles. Baby either lies along the legs with his head towards the body and feet towards the feet. Usually baby is placed facing downwards when washing his head.
After giving bath, baby is thoroughly wiped with a soft towel and moved over an aromatic smoke coming from incense Sambrani on a heated coal by sprinkling Ajwain crushed Garlic, Vavding and Shepa. Vekhand should be used to dry any wet parts like hair, armpits etc. This makes the baby to have a very good sleep.
Vekandh is applied all over the baby’s body after giving him warming with an aromatic smoke. He is then swaddled in cloth to make baby’s legs held together and kept straight for them to develop properly.
- Be gentle while massaging
- Do not use rough strokes
- Do not put oil in baby’s ears, nose eyes, etc. without proper guidance
- Be cautious while using Ubtan [Mixture of Gram flour, Turmeric & Milk]. This is applied to the human body in order to remove the dirty stains, hair and used to moisturize baby’s skin
- To make sure that the babies does not ingest anything in their mouth while giving the bath
- It is utmost important to handle the baby at a safer distance from coal as the fumes from the heated coal would harm the baby
- keep away the smoke from the baby’s face as it may cause him discomfort
Lakshmi Bharadwaj is a home-maker and mother of two lovely kids. She comes with a rich tradition that follows home-remedies. She was the Parent of the month last year. She is passionate about reviving our ancient lifestyle practices and has guided parents, from whatsapp, about various home remedies.
8 thoughts on “Oil Bath – A Maharashtrian way”
Ma’am, i have seen your article. Thanks and is useful. I have another question rgnd bath powders on skin. My baby is allergic to wild turmeric and even green gram powder. But i want to use only natural products on her skin. Can you plz ping me on WhatsApp to explain the situation and get my doubts clarified. It would help.
Sorry to know about the allergy. Are you using it post oil application or using it directly on skin? You can make the bath powder at home by reducing these quantity and use it for your baby. If you could join us our whatsapp community and ask the same doubts there we could help you out as we might have to understand more about this issue. You can join the community by filling out the form here
Nice article. Thanks.
I have a few queries, listed below –
1) Does oil massage followed by bath, benefits grown up kids also (say 6-12 yrs)?
2) Is it compulsory to take bath after oil massage?
3) Is there waiting time, between oil massage and bath?
1. It does help. irrespective of any age. But benefits are more from birth to teen.
2. Yes, it is compulsory, because kids would catch cold.
3. 20 to 30 mins is in summer. Minimum 10-15 mins in winter is better. Again, this is not specific rules, as your perform it for your baby, over a period of time you know what works best. And you can follow it.
Is it safe warming the baby on coal smoke in summer after massage?
Nice article.Thanks for sharing.
Thanks for sharing such a wonderful Maharashtrian way of Oil bath. Keep it up!!!!