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It's the first thing you learn how to do when you have a baby. And there's a really good reason.

I’m due to give birth in five months.

Besides the actual birth, there is one thing I am absolutely petrified about.

Bathing the baby.

The whole water, slippery hands, little baby, potential drowning situation has me completely freaked out.

So I’ve been researching how necessary baths are for babies. I mean, all they do is sleep, right? But it turns out they are very, very necessary.

“So I’ve been researching how necessary baths are for babies. I mean, all they do is sleep, right? But it turns out they are very, very necessary.”

I recently attended a JOHNSON’S baby event, and beyond the calming smell of their baby powder, I learned that, 120 years on from pioneering baby skin care, they had been doing research on the one thing I feared the most and how beneficial it is.

Just as an FYI, you should know that this is an advertorial for Johnson’s Baby.

For more than a century, JOHNSON’S® have been providing products that are formulated and designed with baby in mind, and they have published more clinical research on the science on baby’s skin than any other global skin care company over the last five years.

They’ve been looking into what, in fact, makes a healthy baby. According to them, babies are born with all their brain cells. But what happens next in those first few weeks, months and years is when those brain cells start talking to each other and making connections with each other.

Baby brain development depends on how babies interact with the world. And it’s not just connected to those early milestones like walking and talking –  it has been shown that routine massage and touch can lead to improved cognitive performance and increased alertness and attentiveness.

So…important, then.

GP, TV presenter and journalist Dr Ginni Mansberg says, “Sharing beautiful experiences like bath time, touch, massage and even verbal communication will not only create special moments between parent and child, but stimulate their baby’s brain as well.”

“Sharing beautiful experiences like bath time, touch, massage and even verbal communication will not only create special moments between parent and child, but stimulate their baby’s brain as well.”

When a baby is exposed to the senses like touch, smell, sight and sound, their brain cells talk to each other, making connections. And the one activity that ticks all these boxes? Bath time.

Why? Well, first you can’t bath a baby and be distracted. No Facebook checking. No watching last night’s episode of Game of Thrones. Nothing. It’s just you and the baby.

Second, it’s something that happens every day. No matter how crazy the day has been. No matter how many tantrums, number two nappies, or emotional breakdowns you’ve had, bath time is a ritual that brings all of that to an end as baby gets ready for sleep (hopefully, through the night) and brings you a few minutes closer to that precious, precious time when mums get to rest too.

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And finally, it is the perfect moment to bring in all of those senses.

Skin-to-skin touch between a parent and baby essentially lets a baby know that you are there, and that you love them.

The smells in the room, whether it is from JOHNSON’S® baby TOP-TO-TOE bath or a burning candle, help associate the baby’s memory with comfort, relaxation and love. Smells evoke more powerful memories than any other of the senses.

“The smells in the room, whether it is from JOHNSON’S® baby TOP-TO-TOE bath or a burning candle, help associate the baby’s memory with comfort, relaxation and love.”

While they can’t fully understand what you are saying during bath time, just talking to them will help them start to learn words. Studies have shown that by age two babies with larger vocabularies got that way because mum and dad spoke to them.

And finally, with having no access to your phone, there is nothing you can look at besides your baby’s eyes. And eye contact is one of the earliest forms of communication between parents and their newborns.

JOHNSON’S® has even done research into mums who suffer from post-natal depression and the common side effect of feeling disconnected with their baby. The research found bath time and massage can be one of those activities that help improve the bond between mum and baby.

And yes, I hear you. We already do this, you cry. But now at least you know how important it is to make sure bath time happens, especially during that dreaded witching hour.

And for me, a new mum, it shows that it is pretty important. No matter how much it freaks me out.

What have been your experiences with bathing your newborn?

Click through to see behind the scenes of JOHNSON’S baby event.
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JOHNSON’S® believes that ordinary moments offer extraordinary opportunities for your baby’s development; that rituals like bath time play a powerful role in your baby’s development!
Bath time is the time for stimulating baby’s senses; It’s bonding time, learning time, growing time. Because it is the time for more skin-on-skin contact, these intimate moments of contact help in developing your baby and making them happy! In a day packed with tiny battles, bath time carries the sweet smell of victory.

A Johnson’s bath enhances your baby’s bathing experience – With more crackles and pops of tiny bubbles; More gentle splashes of warm, lathered water; More calming aromas; all playing a role in stimulating your baby’s senses and helping in early development!

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