Massaging and bathing comes naturally to a mother. There might be a little apprehension since the baby is tiny and it’s a first experience for a mother. Also, she has just come out of delivery so she will be reluctant to stress herself, after all she has to get back to her toes in few days and take care of her routine life.
I was always confident when it came to handling babies. May be this is called maternal instinct, which we women have. I never liked the idea of setting up a maalishwali who vigorously massages your cotton like baby with gallons of oil and even sometimes hanging them upside down. Yes, these scariest movies and many such traditional gimmicks performed by them forced me to do this entire procedure myself. I agreed to keep maalishwali only for a month, closely monitored and instructed her how to massage and bathe my baby. After a month as I went on a relax mode to my mom's place I took charge and did it all by myself. Believe me it’s fun and not at all painful even if you had a c section done.
Few steps to prepare yourself:
- Wear comfortable clothes.
- If you are getting your body massaged too, since that’s the routine all new moms follow, do your child’s massage after you take your bath, since you have to feed the baby after her bath as children usually feel hungry and are cranky once you tie them or make them wear clothes. A light massage with warm bath makes them drowsy too.
- Keep oil ready but away from the baby. Usually one massages with warm oil. Make sure it’s not hot. Coconut oil mixed with Olive oil gives good results.
- Keep a bed sheet below so that it doesn’t stain your bed and incase if the child pees or passes poop you are safe.
- Wrap the baby in a towel and keep her aside till the time you arrange for her bath.
- Clean the bathing room. Make sure water is not too warm. Fill one bucket rather than keeping water running and avoid getting up holding your child in between, since it can tend to get slippery with oil and water. One bucket is more than sufficient.
- Keep soap/body wash, towel ready and accessible.
- Keep your legs straight and make the baby lie facing you. Keep talking and singing. It’s one of the best time to bond and also way to distract the child.
- Do not pour water directly over face. Start with body wash then head wash. One need not wash head daily. Do not rub.
- Make sure the soap doesn’t get into the eyes. Use tear free body wash like Johnson & Johnson top-to-toe wash, which is mild and gentle for the kids.
- It’s important to clean kids but not necessary one need to give daily bath to infants. You can always sponge and give bath alternatively specially in cold weather.
- You can sit on a small stool since it becomes comfortable to get up with the child.
- There are lovely bathtubs available with seater. That is more convenient if you find it difficult to sit down. But ideally I started using it after 3 months.
- Wrap the baby immediately after bath and switch off the fans.
- Make them wear comfortable clothes
- A warm sponge bath at night especially during summers makes them sleep well at night.
I took extra care when it came to the aspect of hygiene for and around baby.
- Wash all baby utilities regularly with antiseptic soap/liquid and warm water. Hair comb, body sponge, hair brush, towels, baby clothes, etc.
- When it came to clothing, I always purchase pure soft cotton clothes. Infant’s new clothes should be washed before using them.
- Soak used and soiled clothes in warm water overnight and in antiseptic liquid half n hour before washing with mild liquid detergent.
- I still don’t buy clothes with lot of work or harsh designs which can prick my babies skin. There are various baby shops which keep soft and specially designed clothes for infants.
- Even blankets should not have lot of fur since it can cause allergies.
It’s always the first time for baby and mums. Everything is new and confusing. It is always good to show a little extra care and precaution towards our little ones.
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