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Using your loving touch to boost your baby's development

Kate Ogg, a mother of three, says a loving touch has been critical in her children's development. She believes that loving touch is a lifesaver — that touch saved her baby's life.
/ Source: TODAY

Kate Ogg, a mother of three, says a loving touch has been critical in her children’s development. “Cuddling, being held, holding someone and communicating my empathy, concern or love through touch, has always been an important part of my life.” She believes that loving touch is a lifesaver — that touch saved her baby’s life.

Five years ago, Mrs. Ogg gave birth to twins. When the second baby was delivered, she experienced a parent’s worst nightmare, “The doctor sat down on the bed holding my boy and said, ‘Jamie didn't make it.’”

Mrs. Ogg took the baby and unwrapped him. Instinctively, she laid him on her bare chest. “I think I just wanted to bring him back to life, I really didn't want him to be cold.” She asked her husband to take his own shirt off and to help her warm the baby with skin to skin contact. “Jamie gasped,” Mrs. Ogg says, “then started regularly breathing.” She believes it was the touch of his parents’ skin that brought Jamie back.

Jamie and his twin sister Emily are turning five this month. Mrs. Ogg describes her son as “a sparky, tender, funny and very active boy.”

Since Jamie’s birth, his mother has continued to rely on touch in raising him and her two other children. “I've seen how vital skin-on-skin touch has been for the kids as they’ve grown over the last five years,” she says. “As they seek it whenever they’re tired, cranky, hurting, feeling down or upset, heck, even when they’re hungry!”

“Our habits regarding touch are being mimicked by our children every day,” she says. “I often walk into a room to find them sitting almost on top of each other ‘reading’ their books, they cuddle and kiss when they say sorry to each other for taking a toy or upsetting someone, they hold hands with each other often and will help wash each other in the bath.”

For many parents, bath time is a great time to bond with baby. But a new survey conducted by the JOHNSON’S® Brand — the Global Baby Bath Time Report — found that many parents underestimate the power of bath time and its benefits on baby’s brain development. In fact, according to the study, more than half of parents (58%) say bath time is not extremely important to their child’s brain development.


But studies have found that by age three, 85 percent of a baby’s brain has been developed, and that every experience leading up to this age helps shape the brain. Bath time offers an opportunity to surround your baby with smell, touch, sight and sound.

The JOHNSON’S® Brand, So Much More™ Campaign, focuses on ways to enhance rituals, such as bath time, that nurture your baby’s ability to learn, think, love and grow.

  • A soft touch. Cuddle with your baby after bath time — touch is critical to your baby’s growth and development. Hold your baby in the bath and after massage with a gentle lotion product.
  • The impact of play. Babies love to play with bubbles — and while your baby plays, he or she is developing better hand-eye coordination. Splashing water can help babies learn cause and effect.
  • Sounds stimulate. Sing and talk with your baby while you bathe — listening to music can help develop your baby’s memory. Talking to your baby can help with language development.

The power of smell. When you think of the JOHNSON’S® Brand, it’s the smell that comes to mind first — the scent of childhood. Researchers have found that memories evoked by smell are more emotional and pleasant than those triggered by any other sense.

Mrs. Ogg says she uses scents to help soothe her own children when they’re tired or sick.

When asked for her advice for new parents, Mrs. Ogg doesn’t hesitate. She says "use touch! You will not create whining, clingy children, quite the opposite. On top of that, the lasting memories you have of holding your children will get you through any dark days. They truly are a joy. Having a lovely cuddle with them will boost your energy reserves to help you continue being a great mum."