The Bath Tub
Mar 13, 2015 01:03PM
● By Pamela Johnson
From bath time to bedtime, there are a number of rituals parents participate in with their children that bring them closer together. These small acts provide a sense of security to little ones and serve as family bonding time. However, many parents do not realize these everyday moments can be more impactful than they seem.
A recent JOHNSON’S Global Bath Time Report, found that 84 percent of parents say bath time is some of the best quality time they get with their child, yet many parents underestimate its power and benefits. In fact, more than half of parents (58 percent) say bath time is not extremely important to their child’s brain development. Yet, emerging and foundational science reveals multi-sensorial experiences such as bath time can be critical to baby's happy, healthy development.
During the first three years of life, 85 percent of baby’s brain is formed. Researchers have found that during the formative first years of life – every interaction – every moment – is an opportunity to help shape baby’s developing brain.
Bath time is more than cleansing; it’s a ritual that allows parents to unlock the full power of baby’s senses with opportunities to use smell, touch, sight and sound. Make bath time mean more with these fun ideas:
- Don’t leave out the bubbles:Playing with bubbles can help babies develop hand-eye coordination and discover objects exist even when they can’t be seen.
- Be a rock star for the night: Play music and sing songs during bath time, which can stimulate parts of the brain responsible for memory. Did you know that playing certain types of music stimulates parts of the brain responsible for visual imagery?
- Give a language lesson in the tub: Talk back and forth with baby during this time. It can help with language development.
- Link smell with happy memories:Pleasant smells, like those from a fragranced bath product, can create long lasting memories for baby when paired with the loving interaction of a parent.
Another big part of the after-bath routine is routine massage, and research shows that babies who receive routine touch and massage are more likely to make eye contact and have an overall positive expression. According to the JOHNSON’S Global Bath Time Report, only 19 percent of parents in the U.S. understand that baby massages are extremely important to their child’s brain development with nearly three in 10 (28 percent) saying it’s not at all important. Yet, this skin-on-skin contact through routine massage can lead to improved cognitive development and increased alertness and attentiveness for children.
Remember to think of the bath time routine as more than a simple task – it fosters development and a sense of well-being for baby and parents, alike. For more ideas and inspiration to create meaningful moments with your family, visit www.johnsonsbaby.com/so-much-more.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images