Baby Care with Olive Oil

Given the fact that olive oil is incorporated into cooking, beauty regimes and products, and is associated with keeping us healthy, it’s not very surprising that olive oil is known as ‘Liquid Gold’. Anything that is natural is generally looked upon favourably to be used on your baby, and olive oil has a whole heap of benefits.

 

Before we start looking at the general uses for olive oil for babies, let’s first talk about olive oil itself.

 

Olives (olea europaea) is native to the Mediterranean basin. Olive oil is a fat obtained by processing whole olives unlike most other oils which are usually obtained from the seeds of fruits. Besides being used in food, olive oil has been used for religious rituals, medicines, as a fuel in oil lamps, soap-making and skin care application from the ancient times.

 

If you are usually looking for olive oil, you will come across two varieties – one which is virgin olive oil and the other extra virgin olive oil. Oil produced by mechanical means and without any chemical treatment is called virgin oil. Extra virgin olive oil is by far the purest of the different variants of olive oil due to its unadulterated and pure extraction process. Olive trees are harvested at the right time of the year and from there yields extra virgin olive oil.

 

Babies have gentle skin and tend to be sensitive to products with synthetic ingredients, which is why all-natural products are preferred and recommended by most doctors, thus olive oil has a whole heap of benefits when used on babies. When purchasing olive oil, always buy from a genuine and reputable seller to verify the authenticity and purity of the extra virgin olive oil.

 

 

Uses for olive oil for babies are as follows:

 

1.Baby Massages

 

Olive oil has moisturizer properties and is a great choice to use for massaging babies.

 

Olive oil is low in a fatty acid called linoleic acid and high in another fatty acid called oleic acid. Linoleic acid can strengthen your baby’s skin barrier. Oleic acid, on the other hand, can make some layers of his skin more permeable.

 

Olive oil is best used on infants with normal skin. Avoid it if the baby’s skin is permeable and sensitive because the oil is rich in oleic acid, which makes the skin permeable and weakens its natural defences. There is also less of linoleic acid, the fatty acid that strengthens skin barriers. If the baby has eczema or damaged skin, then olive oil can worsen the condition.

 

To give a baby massage:

  • Take equal quantities of oil and water in a jar and mix well to massage the baby.
  • After 15 to 20 minutes of massaging, use lukewarm water to clean.
  • Clean thoroughly to avoid any residue rashes.

 

2.Eliminates Diaper Rash

 

Diaper rashes are never good, babies become very uncomfortable and they can cause infections if left untreated. Olive oil acts as an emulsifier and treats diaper rash effectively. To make the emulsion and eliminate diaper rash, mix two tablespoons of olive oil in one tablespoon of water. Rub it on your palms and spread gently over the genitals and buttocks of your baby. Remember, if the diaper rash persists or does not subside, please seek professional medical advice.

 

3.Treat Cradle Clap

 

Cradle clap is a form of dandruff that leads to the formation of a dry, flaky skin layer on the baby’s head. Olive oil is hydrating and can be used as a natural remedy in removing cradle caps in infants.

 

To treat cradle clap:

 

  • Apply olive oil on the baby’s scalp.
  • Using a washcloth or a very soft brush, massage the olive oil into the hair and leave it for 10 to 20 minutes. Leave the oil to soak overnight if the crust is thick.
  • Wash the scalp thoroughly using mild shampoo and lukewarm water.
  • Use a comb to gently remove the loosened crust from the infant’s scalp.

 

Remember, if the cradle clap persists or does not subside, please seek professional medical advice.

 

Olive oil is great on the baby’s hair and can be used to strengthening the baby’s hair and soften fizzy and coarse hair.

 

4.Nutrition

 

Constituents & Nutritive Value of Olive Oil

 

According to USFDA, one tablespoon of olive oil contains:

  • Calories: 119
  • Fat: 13.50gm
  • Carbohydrates: 0
  • Saturated fats: 2gm
  • Fibers: 0
  • Protein: 0
  • Vitamin E: 1.8mg
  • Vitamin K: 8.1 microgram

Olive oil has a healthy dose of monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA). These monounsaturated fatty acids promote cardiovascular and pancreatic wellbeing. Olive oil can be a healthy source of fat for a weaning baby and thus play a significant role in their growth and generally when eaten in the right quantities can be beneficial to the baby. Over consumption of the oil can lead to diarrhea.

Remember the following:

  • It’s best to introduce olive oil into your baby’s diet when he turns 6 months old and above.
  • Remember to always discuss it with your paediatrician or general physician before you introduce olive oil or anything new into your baby’s diet.
  • Olive oil is good, but you must never use more than one-fourth teaspoon for two ounces of baby food.

 

5.Olive Oil for Constipation in Babies

 

One natural tip to ease constipation in babies or soothe a colic baby is to rub warm olive oil on the baby’s stomach in a clockwise motion. It is said to prevent gas and ensure peaceful sleep.

Olive oil has been used in diet and associated with healthy living for centuries. Irrespective of the benefits linked to olive oil, always seek an expert advice before using it for your baby and if any conditions arise, please discuss with a medical professional.

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