How to Bath your Baby


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  • Getting ready
  • What you will need
  • Step by step guide
  • Importance of Healthy Baby Skin
  • The Wash and Lotion Routine

A Downloadable PDF is available below the brochure

Getting Ready:

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  • Make sure you have everything you need before you start bathtime.
  • Room should be warm and draught free.
  • NEVER leave baby unattended in or near the water.
  • Settle and reassure baby.
  • Undress baby but leave the nappy on.
  • Wrap baby in a towel to prevent him from wriggling too much and getting cold.
  • Add a few drops of baby oil to the bathwater.
  • Make sure the water is warm but not too hot.

What You Will Need:

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  • A towel
  • Cotton wool
  • Baby shampoo
  • Baby soap or baby wash
  • Baby powder
  • Moisturising lotion or oil
  • Baby jelly
  • A clean, dry nappy
  • Set of clean clothes

Step by Step Guide: Baby Bath

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Importance of Healthy Baby Skin

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Why is healthy skin important?
Your baby’s skin is the first line of defence against the outside world, acting as a shield against germs and diseases. If it becomes dry, its protective barrier may be damaged, allowing germs and irritants to enter.1

Your baby’s skin is different to yours
Your baby’s skin continues to develop beyond the age of 2 years old. It’s up to 30% thinner1 and loses moisture up to 5 times faster than adult skin2, that’s why baby’s skin needs special protection.

The new understanding of the importance of the Infant Skin Microbiome to infant health

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  • Our bodies are hosts to millions of micro-organisms. Emerging research is focused on this microbiome and the role it plays in battling skin disease, maintaining skin immunity.4 The microbiome helps the skin barrier protect itself from pathogens.4, 5
  • Birth and the 1st few years of life offer a limited window in which to nurture the Infant Skin Microbiome to ensure optimal skin health and immunity in the future.4, 6
  • Healthy Skin Microbiome plays an essential role in overall health i.e. Healthy Skin Healthy Baby.5

For nearly a decade, JOHNSON’S® has been leading the field in the study of the Skin Microbiome. This has allowed us to formulate gentle products that help nurture the Skin Microbiome.7

The Wash and Lotion Routine

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Clinically shown not to disrupt the developing Skin Microbiome in newborns up to 6 months old.6, 7

Clinical Proven Baby Skincare Guidelines

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Practice Guide based on Research

  • Johnson’s® has helped advanced 90% of robust research on Infant Skin Care.12
  • It has been proven that Healthy Skin Barrier protects against Infection and Atopic Eczema.12

Ask your Health Care Provider for advice & recommendations based on the South African Healthy Newborn Baby Skincare Care Guidelines.

  • Vernix Caseosa is the white creamy substance on babies’ skin at birth, this should NOT BE removed as it has many benefits.
  • Bathing the first newborn bath should therefore be delayed to least 6 to 24hrs after birth, so as not to remove the vernix. Use a mild and gentle cleanser that is specially formulated not to disrupt the skin barrier and the developing skin microbiome.
  • Moisturise babies’ skin routinely at least daily, to prevent dryness and chafing. This will ensure baby’s 1st defensive barrier stays healthy and strong.
  • Cord care. It is very important to keep the cord area clean and dry to help it fall off. It has been proven that the cord will dry and fall off by cleaning with clean water or breast milk. When changing the nappy, always ensure the cord is outside of the nappy. The cord may be submerged in water, during the bath.
  • The nappy area should be kept as clean and dry as possible to prevent irritation from the wetness of urine and faeces on babies’ delicate skin. This is done by changing the nappy regularly and cleaning the area well e.g. with soap and water or wet wipes, and by applying a barrier protection.
  • Disinfectants. Be aware of potentially harmful and irritating substances used on baby’s delicate skin. Everything used on baby’s skin should be mild and gentle and should not disrupt the acid mantle and natural microbiome.
  • Skin wound care such as male circumcision, as well as the need and use of medical adhesives must be discussed with your Health Care Advisor.12

1. Stamatas. 2011. Int J Cosmetic Sci.: 17-24.
2. Nikolovski J et al. 2009. J Invest Dermatol.
3. Russel M. Walters, Designing Cleansers for Unique Needs of Baby Skin. 2008. Vol. 123 pp. 53 – 58.
4. Cogen, A. L., V. Nizet, and R. L. Gallo. “Skin Microbiota:
A Source of Disease or Defence?” The British journal of dermatology 158.3 (2008): 442–455. PMC. Web. 21 Feb. 2018.
5. Egert M., et al. 2017. The association of the skin microbiota with health, immunity and disease. Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics. 102(1):62-69.
6. Data on File. Examination of changes in the Skin Microbiome with baby’s first bath & Longitudinal development of the Skin Microbiome during the neonatal period studies. 2014.
7. Data on File, Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. (Global Apollo Message Map)

8. Odell ID, Flavell RA. Ecology of eczema. Nat Microbiol. 2016;1(9):16135.
9. Kennedy E, Connolly J, Hourihane J, Fallon P, McLean W, Murray D et al. Skin Microbiome before development of atopic dermatitis: Early colonization with commensal staphylococci at 2 months is associated with a lower
risk of atopic dermatitis at 1 year. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. J Allergy Clin Immunol 2017;139:166-72.
10. Capone K, et al. Diversity of the Human Skin Microbiome Early in Life. Journal of Investigative Dermatology [Internet]. 2011 [cited 14 March 2019];131(10):2026-2032. Available from:
11. Data on File, Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. (Global Apollo Message Map).
12. The South African Newborn Baby Skin Care Guidelines.
13. Data on File, Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. (Examination of changes in the skin microbiome with baby’s first bath & Longitudinal development of the skin microbiome during the neonatal period studies).
14. Telofski L, Morello A, Mack Correa M, Stamatas G. The Infant Skin Barrier: Can We Preserve, Protect, and Enhance the Barrier?. Dermatology Research and Practice. 2012;2012:1-18.
15. Data on File, Claim ID CLM201805504.
16. Data on File, Claim ID CLM201805666.


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