Bathtime sensory enrichment
Everyday rituals such as bathtime provide an ideal opportunity to create an enriched multisensory experience involving increased skin-to-skin contact and direct eye contact, as well as the introduction of new textures, sounds and smells.
To understand what bathtime means to parents, the JOHNSONS® brand commissioned a global survey in 2014 across seven countries (Brazil, Canada, China, India, Philippines, UK and USA) of more than 3,500 adults with children aged 0 to 3 years.24 Results showed that most parents refer to bathtime as a special activity and describe it as some of the best quality time they have with their child. However, more than half of parents (63% of parents in the UK) underestimate its importance in their child’s brain development
During bathtime, parents can provide multisensory stimulation with the touch of their hands during massage; by engaging in direct eye contact; by talking directly to their baby; and by introducing scents that their baby will recognise.
Using scented bath products and massage oils can enhance multisensory stimulation in babies, which in turn, can confer physiological and developmental benefits. However, the skin of a newborn baby is physiologically different to that of an older child or adult in terms of structure, composition and function. It is more sensitive to external influences and has a greater tendency towards dryness or irritation in these early weeks.
Concerns about skin health have led to conflict between national guidelines and professional advice for the care of newborns and the growing evidence supporting the use of specially-formulated skin cleansers that have minimal impact on a baby’s skin surface pH. This conflict has resulted in confusion and myths amongst parents as to what constitutes good skin care for their baby.