ubbles, bathtub toys, playful splashing. Bath time with your baby is supposed to be fun, right?
The reality is that, for many parents, the daily ritual can be fraught with stress, when you're worried about things like your baby slipping.
So a few years ago, scientists at Johnson's? started brainstorming ways to help address that anxiety. What they discovered was that they could transform the baby bath time experience by infusing products with a unique ingredient that came out of the company's research about touch: cotton.
“During our consumer studies, cotton kept coming up as something people identify with as being gentle, soft and natural,” says, Senior Scientist, Baby Franchise R&D/Product Development, Johnson & Johnson.
Armed with these findings, the brand created its new CottonTouch? line, which includes a newborn wash & shampoo and lotion—all infused with real cotton.
It’s also a renewable resource, which parents can feel good about, explains Janet O’Regan, director of nonwovens marketing at Cotton Incorporated. “Plus, the plants are drought-tolerant. In the U.S., two-thirds of the cotton crop grows just from rainfall, so no extra water is needed.”
As the new line arrives in stores, we talked to the scientists behind CottonTouch to learn more about the truly innovative ways cotton can help enhance your baby's bath time experience.
"Cotton is soft, absorbent and naturally hypoallergenic," O'Regan says. "That's a big reason why it has always been used in medical products, like gauze and bandages."
Cotton fibers also maintain a 6% moisture level, no matter how humid or dry the surrounding environment is, O’Regan adds. Skin likes to have just a little bit of moisture next to it—not too much and not too little—so that's why cotton ends up feeling so good against it.
This feel-good quality of cotton is especially important when it comes to your little one's delicate skin, which is why newborns are swaddled in cotton blankets. “When babies are born, their skin is up to 30% thinner than more mature skin, making it even more sensitive,” O’Regan explains.
So Johnson's scientists took this intel and refined the milling process just so to infuse the products in the CottonTouch line with forms of cotton that suspend, as opposed to dissolve, in the formulations. "As a result, the cotton sits on the surface of your baby's skin, rather than getting absorbed, giving it a soft, powdery, velvety feel," Dinapoli-Marzano explains.
So how exactly does this help improve bath time?
Products that feel good on the skin, like Johnson’s? CottonTouch? Newborn Wash & Shampoo, encourage more meaningful parent-baby bonding through interactions like massage and play.
In fact, Johnson's researchers found that parents who used the CottonTouch line reported having more playful moments with their little ones during the bath routine than when they used a line that didn’t feature cotton ingredients.
When parents used CottonTouch products, there were more emotional moments during bath time.Share
“In our research, parents told us the products allowed them to feel their baby—not their baby covered in soap,” says, Senior Scientist, Global Baby Research and Development Platforms, Johnson & Johnson.
That’s because scientists formulated Johnson’s CottonTouch Newborn Wash & Shampoo to be quick-rinsing.
“The specific blend of ingredients we use ensures that when water runs over your baby after soaping up, the product leaves no residue behind,” Dinapoli-Marzano says.
The most important hurdle the brand's scientists wanted to help solve for is the fear parents have that a soapy baby might slip out of their hands in the bath.
So they also designed the wash & shampoo with a mix of ingredients that lathers quickly, so there’s less time spent with a slick layer of soap on your baby’s skin.
During our consumer research, “parents said they had the confidence to move their babies without worrying about the baby slipping out of their hands," Rotella says.
And those benefits translate post-bath, too.
Because the Johnson's? CottonTouch? Newborn Face & Body Lotion absorbs quickly and leaves no unwanted residue behind on baby's skin, parents will have a good grip on their little one during massage or playtime.
It's innovative thinking like this that sets Johnson's products apart, paving the way for more loving moments between parents and their little ones.
Just ask fellow parents themselves.
“Our research found that when parents used CottonTouch products, there were fewer functional moments and more emotional moments during bath time,” Rotella says. “Parents said they had extra time to spend singing, tickling and making eye contact with their baby.”