Parenting is not easy, especially when it is your first child and everything is new to you. Even the simplest things become a conundrum. You don’t want to hurt your baby, nobody does. Well, don’t worry because we have everything you need to know about the question, should you massage your baby before or after a bath?
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Should you massage your baby before or after a bath?
The short and simple answer is after the baby is done taking a bath. The reason why you should massage a baby after they have taken a bath is because their skin is still moist. When the skin is moist it retains more of what we put on it, as a result, the oil or lotion that we apply onto our baby for a massage will go a long way than if we were to apply said oil onto dry skin.
You may be wondering now, how does one give a baby a massage after they are done bathing? Look down below for step-by-step instructions formatted in a How-to style:
How to massage a baby after a bath
- First, place your baby on a flat and sturdy surface. A bed is fine, as long as it is resilient and won’t fall apart due to your movements. Make sure to place a towel under your baby. This is done, in order to prevent your bed from getting wet either from the moisture from the bath or the oil/lotion that you will be applying on to your child.
- Take either lotion or oil and squeeze a small amount into your hands. Don’t worry about it not being enough because for each part that we massage we will be reapplying lotion onto our hands.
- Begin the massage on the baby’s arms. Start at the shoulders and apply a small amount of pressure in a circular motion, and begin working your way down towards the fingers. Remember to not squeeze, you don’t want to hurt your baby. You simply want to create a calming effect that soothes their nerves by gently applying pressure.
- Once the arms have been completed, reapply the lotion and begin to apply it to the baby’s chest and back. For these areas, we want to create a wave motion throughout the body. Moving up and down like the ocean’s vast, mighty, and yet soothing waves. The goal for this massage is to end each rotation by moving downwards. We always start from the top and work our way down because we are manually pushing any stress and nerves that the baby may have out of their bodies.
- Now we arrive at the legs. Reapply lotion one more accursed time. Begin at the baby’s thighs and repeat the same process that we did to the arms earlier in step 2. Gently apply pressure in a circular motion. Before we created waves, now we want cyclones to rip and tear through the stress, which by now should be located in the legs. Push the stress downwards and out through the feet.
Ta-Daa! Your baby should now be feeling stress-free and relaxed. Don’t be surprised if, during the massage, your baby fell asleep. This is a clear indicator that the massage was a success.
You may be thinking to yourself, “Alight, I’m going to head out.” but not so fast. Sit back down in your chair because this isn’t a one-time deal. A massage of this kind should be given to your baby every time you are done bathing them. You want to get them into the habit of being pampered and waded upon, this way they will grow up with a sunny disposition.
The end goal should be to massage your child until they are old enough to do it themselves. Getting them used to the idea of unwinding and relaxing at the end of the day is a great way to ensure that not only do their bodies develop the right way but also their minds. With properly developed bodies they will be less likely to suffer from back pain as they get older. Prevention begins from the first day that one is born.
Taking care of yourself and your child should be the number one constant in your life.
It depends on what you and your baby enjoy and what works best for you both. If you want to massage your baby before a bath, make sure the room is warm so they don’t get cold. And if you massage them after a bath, make sure the lotion you use is gentle and hypoallergenic. Whichever you choose, enjoy the special bonding time with your little one.
If you have any questions or concerns about massaging your baby, talk to your pediatrician. They will be able to give you more specific advice based on your child’s individual needs. Thanks for reading!