Over 80% of parents around the world say bath time is some of the best quality time they get with their children, yet many underestimate the proven cognitive benefits bath time offers - says global bath time report.
A survey of more than 3,500 parents of young children, commissioned by the JOHNSON'S® brand and conducted online by Harris Poll in seven countries, found that less than half of parents around the world (42%) recognise bath time as extremely important to their child's brain development.
Despite UK parents bathing their children for longer than any other country in the survey - on average 25 minutes from start to finish against 20 minutes globally), the number of parents who see it as extremely important to brain development drops to just over a third (37%).
To help parents understand the role bath time can play, Johnson's has launched their first ever global campaign, SO MUCH MORE™. The campaign highlights that bath time is so much more than cleansing; it's a ritual that allows parents to unlock the full power of baby's senses and provide parents an opportunity to nurture baby's ability to learn, think, love and grow. Through the campaign, they will be advancing research that reveals the importance of multi-sensorial experiences that can lead to happy, healthy baby development.
Dr Carol Bedwell, Lecturer in Midwifery at University of Manchester, said: "Although parents in the UK really enjoy the quality time they get to spend with their child during bath time, this new survey shows how little they understand the amazing wider impact it can have on their child's long term development. With research identifying that by age three, 85% of a baby's brain is developed it's important for parents to recognise that opportunities to engage touch, sight, smell and sound, like bath time, are crucial in helping to shape their baby's brain."
The survey shows that parents are underestimating the power touch can have, highlighting that only one in ten UK parents (13%) say they think massaging their baby is extremely important to their brain development compared to a quarter of parents globally (23%). Academic research, however, has revealed routine touch and massage by a parent or loving caregiver is critical to baby's growth and development, communication and learning . According to a study published in the Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, infants who experienced routine touch and massage (compared to those who did not) were 50% more likely to make eye contact, and 3X more likely to have an overall positive expression (smiling, eye contact).
Studies have also shown that babies bathed with a fragranced bath product, compared to those who were not, displayed 30% more engagement cues with their parent after bath and spent nearly 25% less time crying before sleep . A study of 58 mother-infant pairs found that infants who followed a bedtime routine, which included a warm bath with a fragranced bath product, took 37% less time to fall asleep and had a significant improvement in mood in the morning.