Last week, I attended a Johnson’s Baby #SoMuchMore event in New York City. I was able to meet the very smart and stylish mom and journalist, Lisa Ling (I hope you saw my IG and Tweets!), who honestly helped me put some things into perspective.
I have suffered from “mom guilt” when it comes to comparing how much time I was able to spend with my oldest, than with his brothers, who are 4 and 5 years younger than Diego. I did SO much with him. Everyday I read books with him, spent a great time cooking and making all his food from scratch, and would sing and play games with him while he was in the bath.
Today, managing and balancing my housework, freelance work, school volunteer time and 2 more boys…I have spent less quality time with my babies. When I listened to Lisa Ling and her distinguished panel of researchers from Johnson and Johnson about the benefits of interacting with children during bath time, I completely did a 360. The #SoMuchMore campaign is about enhancing rituals, including bath time, to stimulate baby’s senses and provide parents an opportunity to nurture baby’s ability to learn, think, love and grow. I realized it is time for me to put everything down, and rather than catching up on emails while Santi and Jordi play in the bath together, I decided I was going to step my game up. Here’s why:
1) Bath time is an opportunity to stimulate the senses! Touching, smelling, hearing and seeing multiple things during bath time is such a beneficial time for children.
2) It’s critical for babies development for parents to interact with them at bath time. Listening to bath time music or talking back and forth with baby can stimulate parts of the brain responsible for memory and language development. Studies show infants who are spoken with more have larger vocabularies by 24 months of age.
3) Science shows that touching and massaging baby helps their cognitive development. Research shows that infants who experienced routine touch and massage (a big part of the after-bath routine) were 50% more likely to make eye contact and 3X more likely to have an overall positive expression.
4) Scent strengthens emotional connection with parents, creating powerful memories. Smell in general can evoke powerful emotions, and a clean, fresh, after-bath smell appears to be no exception for parents in the US, especially Latino parents. We love that fresh baby smell!
5) The young brain is ready for multi-sensory experiences and babies love it! Today’s brain research is “golden!” Especially with all the new discoveries on the development of babies’ brains.
My two youngest are not babies anymore, but once I started to pay attention at bath time again, Santi was happily spelling for me, Jordi was picking out the colors I was calling out, and they were hugging and smiling a lot more than usual. I’m not proud to say that I dropped the ball during this special evening routine…but I am so grateful to have been reminded of the importance to stop, to be present and to enjoy these ever-lasting memories with my boys. Not only are their little brains benefiting from the bath time experience, but so is my heart. Soak up every moment of bath time with Johnson’s Baby.
This is a compensated collaboration with Johnson’s® and Latina Bloggers Connect. However, all opinions expressed are my own.