Once upon a time every parent had a bottle of baby oil in their nursery and used it religiously. A decade later, parents still had baby oil on thechanging table and probably didn't know what to do with it. Today, baby oil has dropped out of fashion. Many parents only have baby oil as a result of a baby shower gift and still don't really know what to do with it.
Baby oil is meant to hydrate and moisturize your baby's skin. Most baby oils create a smooth barrier over your baby's skin locking in moisture to prevent drying, especially if applied right after bathing. Most baby oils leave a light greasy feeling on the skin before it is fully absorbed. Newer baby oils are made to absorb quickly into your baby's skin, leaving no residue behind, similar to baby lotion.
Most babies don't need baby oil; their skin has just the right amount of oil to keep it hydrated. Applying too much baby oil can clog your baby's pores leading to irritations and pimples. When using baby oil, use sparingly, especially with heavier oils.
Baby oil is most helpful when your baby has very dry skin or eczema. It can help moisturize and soften your baby's dry skin. If any areas are dry and cracking, talk to your doctor before applying baby oil to the area – It could irritate the area even more.
The best time to apply baby oil is fresh out of the bath while your skin is still damp. Baby oil is available in oil, gel, and cream form, in either pour or spray bottles. Baby oil in spray bottles tend to be lighter than the oil in bottles. Pouring a cap full into a warm bath can also help moisturize dry patches and eczema.
Baby oil can also be used to massage your baby, allowing your hands to slide easily over your baby's skin. It is best not to use fast-absorbing mineral oil-based baby oil for massage, as it absorbs too quickly into the skin. A sweet almond oil or grapeseed oil-based baby oil stays on the skin's surface longer allowing you to easily massage without tugging or pulling your baby's skin.