Skip to main content

Your gentle, loving touch during your baby’s bath and cuddle time afterward supports your baby’s healthy happy development. But the JOHNSON’S® Global Bathtime Report found that while 84% of parents say bathtime is some of the best quality time they get with their little one, many underestimate its power and benefits.

Emerging science reveals multisensory experiences are critical to helping shape your baby’s growing brain. With opportunities for touch, sight, smell and sound, bath time is an excellent time for you to nurture baby development.

Social-Emotional Development

What you can do What your child is learning
Have fun and celebrate your child’s accomplishments, such as squeezing the water from the sponge or floating a toy. She is smart and competent and that you delight in sharing her discoveries when you play together.
Explore and play games like patting the water back-and-forth to make a splash. The skill of taking turns and that engaging with activities together is fun and rewarding.
Cuddle up together after bath time and share a bonding moment That she is loved, which builds her self-esteem.

Building and Strengthening Baby’s Language and Thinking Skills

What you can do What your child is learning
Connect and engage with your baby. For example, when your baby makes sounds and gestures, such as indicating she would like you to read a book, respond with praise and the action she requested. She is communicating with you and you understand. This reinforces that sounds and actions are a good way to show what you are thinking or feeling.
When bathing your baby, talk with her and explain what you are doing together. For instance, drop the ducky in the water and exclaim, ”Look, he floats!” When you talk to your child like this during activities, it helps your child to learn words and concepts like sinking and floating.
Make bath time fun to help your child learn new skills. Show her how to stick sponge letters to the wall of the tub, how to make the ducky squeak, how to make a big splash and find her belly under the bubbles. She will learn to make things work by copying your actions, understand cause and effect when she splashes, and discover that things are still there even when you can’t see them when she finds her belly—all while bonding with you.
Sing to your baby or play a song and sing along! Listening to music stimulates the parts of your baby’s brain responsible for memory.

Understanding Physical Development

What you can do What your child is learning
Make bath time fun and educational by offering your baby a variety of toys so she can explore and discover with her hands. How to have fun and explore in new ways from a seated position. Transferring objects from one hand to another and using her hands to make objects work, such as trying to get the bath stickers to stick to the tub, teaches your baby confidence.
Point out and talk about your baby’s different body parts as she uses them. Praise her when she uses her hands to pop bubbles and tell her what body part she is using. To recognize her body parts and how they work to help her reach her goals.

Baby Science!

Familiar and pleasant scents can make your baby feel happy. In studies, babies who were bathed with a fragranced bath product (compared to those who were not):

  • Displayed 30% more engagement cues with their parent after their baby bath
  • And spent nearly 25% less time crying before falling asleep

Remember, part of keeping bathtime fun is making sure your baby is safe. NEVER leave a baby alone in the bath. Not even for a second. So gather all the things you will need for the bath beforehand and let the phone ring over to voicemail. Also, be sure to set your water heater below 120 degrees to help prevent the possibility of scalding.

Bathing Baby

Learn the steps to take when bathing your baby.

Logo Baby Center

Soap, bubbles, bath toys…focusing on specific objects with your baby helps her build concentration. BabyCenter® examines this key cognitive skill.

Back to Top