August 12, 2016

3 Facts for the 5 Senses — 1 Goal for Baby

Written by Johnson's®

Making the Most of Child Development with Multisensory Stimulation

Mother holding baby

Photo: Johnson’s®

Babies are inspirational. That’s why for over 125 years we’ve utilized the latest science to create safe, mild and effective baby products, and to focus on “what is best for baby?”

A strong body of foundational and emerging research suggests that Multisensory stimulation—what a baby feels, sees and smells— supports the healthy development of preterm and full term babies, benefiting the social, emotional, cognitive and physical development of babies. Multisensory experience such as a bath and a loving massage introduces baby to the world, making the most of everyday routines between parents and caregivers and baby creating a lasting positive impact on child development.

At the International Congress on Pediatrics 2016, the global pediatrics community is gathering to explore and share the latest evidence and best practices in pediatrics. For JOHNSON’S®, our role remains to provide the latest research to answer “What is best for baby?” Through our scientific symposia, expert talks and literature, we’re sharing the science of why multisensory experiences can contribute to happy and healthy baby development.

Ahead of IPA, here are three facts about how engaging the five senses through multisensorial stimulation can have lasting positive development for baby.

  1. The first three years are essential.
    In the first three years of life, there is rapid development of most of the brain’s neural pathways supporting communication, social development, understanding, and emotional well-being. Multisensorial stimulation helps promote the long-term survival of synaptic connections during brain development.1,2
  2. Multisensorial auditory, tactile, visual, and vestibular stimulation reduces stress levels in healthy infants.
    Decreased stress (cortisol) levels were shown in babies who received multisensorial stimulation versus those that were not exposed to multisensorial stimulation. Babies in the stimulation group received 15 minutes of multisensorial stimulation. Saliva samples were collected before, immediately following, and 10 minutes after the multisensorial stimulation. Babies who received multisensorial stimulation showed a significant steady decline in cortisol levels over time.
  3. Multisensorial stimulation benefits full term and preterm babies.3
    A multisensorial auditory, tactile, visual, and vestibular stimulation study showed that sensory enrichment intervention increased the alertness of preterm infants, increased nipple feeding and reduced the length of hospitalization by 1.6 weeks.4

Multisensorial experiences helps ordinary moments become extraordinary opportunities to stimulate baby growth and development. Just as pediatricians prioritize the health of the families in their care, JOHNSON’S® prioritizes sharing the highest quality research with healthcare professionals. That’s why at IPA 2016, we’re sharing the latest evidence in multisensorial stimulation to answer our shared goal for health and wellness, ‘what is best for baby?’

1 World Health Organization. Integrating Early Childhood Development (ECD) activities into Nutrition Programmes in Emergencies. Why, What and How. 2014;1-16.

2 Eliot L. What’s Going On in There? How the Brain and Mind Develop in the First Five Years of Life. New York, NY: Bantam Books; 1999.

3 White-Traut RC, Schwertz D, McFarlin B, et al. Salivary cortisol and behavioral state responses of healthy newborn infants to tactile-only and multisensory interventions. J Obstet Gynecol Neonatal Nurs. 2009;38:22-34.

4 White-Traut RC, Nelson MN, Silvestri JM, et al. Effect of auditory, tactile, visual, and vestibular intervention on length of stay, alertness, and feeding progression in preterm infants. Dev Med Child Neurol. 2002;44:91-97