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Massaging your baby is a wonderful way to bond with your little one and promote relaxation and wellbeing. However, when it comes to combining massage with bath time, many parents wonder whether it's better to use baby oil before or after bathing.

To answer this question, to ensure safety and maximise benefits, massage your baby after their bath. This promotes relaxation, and bonding, and helps lock in moisture for soft, supple skin. The warm, cosy post-bath environment is ideal for a nurturing and gentle massage. Always exercise caution and follow proper techniques for a safe, enjoyable experience.

The Benefits Of Using Baby Oil After Bathing

Using baby oil after bathing can also offer several benefits for your baby's skin. After bathing, your baby's skin may be dry and in need of moisture. Baby oil can help to lock in that moisture, leaving your baby's skin feeling soft and smooth. It can also provide a protective barrier against further moisture loss and help to prevent dry skin, especially in colder, drier months. 

Applying baby oil after bathing can also help to soothe and relax your baby, making it a great addition to a calming bedtime routine. Just be sure to choose a high-quality, cold-pressed oil and apply it gently, using slow and soothing strokes to massage your baby's skin.

The Perceived Benefits Of Using Baby Oil Before Bathing

Some parents believe using baby oil before bathing is beneficial for their little ones. They might believe that the oil acts as a protective barrier, locking in moisture and preventing the baby's delicate skin from drying out. Additionally, it could be thought to help loosen stubborn dirt or grime, making it easier to wash the baby thoroughly. Parents might also view baby oil as a gentle cleanser that removes impurities without irritation while promoting relaxation and bonding through massage. These are all incorrect assumptions.

It is crucial to note that using baby oil before bath time can be very dangerous, as it makes it difficult to securely hold your baby, potentially leading to accidental drowning. Please prioritise safety and consider alternatives for nurturing and bonding with your little one. If you are going to use baby oil around bath time, only ever do so afterwards.

Considerations For Using Baby Oil After Bathing

New parents may consider using baby oil prior to bathtime, massaging before a bath can be dangerous as oil on the skin can make it slippery and difficult to maintain a grip on the baby. Applying baby oil after a bath is not only the only safe technique but also the one with the most vital benefits. It can help to lock in moisture and nutrients in the skin and is generally recommended for older infants. It is important to always follow the child's cues and stop the massage if they display any discomfort or disinterest. 

The length of the massage should be determined by the child and never by the clock. By keeping these considerations in mind, parents can provide a safe and enjoyable massage experience for their baby while also promoting healthy skin and overall wellbeing.

Tips For A Safe And Effective Baby Massage

When introducing massage to your baby, ensure you’re focusing on safety and effectiveness. You can begin massaging within the first few days after birth, during your baby's quiet alert state. Use a high-quality, cold-pressed baby oil and pay close attention to your little one's cues, ensuring they remain comfortable and engaged.

Until your baby is 5 months old, it's best to separate massage and bath time with a sleep. After 5 months, you can experiment with massaging after a bath if desired. If your baby appears unsettled or doesn't sleep as well as usual, it may be a sign of overstimulation. In this case, return to separate massage and bath times, and try combining them again in another month or so. This approach will help you find the perfect balance for your baby's wellbeing whilst fostering a warm and nurturing bond.

Remember, the child, not the clock, should always determine the length of the massage. Consider your baby's stimulation threshold and how much stimulation they've received that day when deciding how long the massage should last. By following these tips and taking your baby's needs into account, you can provide a safe and effective massage that can benefit both you and your little one.


Baby massage can be a wonderful bonding experience for both parents and infants, offering numerous physical and emotional benefits. However, it is important to consider the timing of the massage and the use of baby oil.

When using baby oil, it is recommended to always apply it after your baby’s bathtime, never beforehand. As well as ensuring you massage your infant after their bath, always prioritise your baby's cues and stop the massage as soon as they indicate discomfort or disinterest. With these considerations and tips in mind, parents can confidently provide a safe and nurturing massage experience for their little ones.