Study Finds Baby Wash Safe To Use On Newborns
February 19, 2013

Study Finds Baby Wash Safe To Use On Newborns

Michael Harper for — Your Universe Online

In what very well could be an advertisement for Johnson & Johnson products, a newly published report challenges the notion parents should refrain from using baby wash and wipes when bathing their newborns.

In a four-week-long study, researchers from The University of Manchester compared plain bath water to Johnson & Johnson brand “Baby Top-to-Toe Wash" on more than 300 newborn babies. In the end, the researchers concluded there´s no evidence which proves using a baby wash is harmful to a newborn baby´s skin.

The study results have now been published in the Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic and Neonatal Nursing (JOGNN).

Currently, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) advise against parents using these types of soaps and wipes on children younger than 6 weeks.

Newborn skin is much different from adult skin and is more susceptible to environmental threats. As such, doctors have cautioned using anything more than plain wash water could damage or dry out the skin, leaving it vulnerable to even further damage.

Yet, after washing these newborns with Johnson´s baby wash, the researchers found there had been no difference in transepidermal water loss (TEWL), which indicates how much moisture the skin has left.

The results show those babies who were washed with the brand-name soap saw an increase in skin hydration compared to those babies who were washed in only water.

Dame Tina Lavender, Professor of Midwifery at The University of Manchester, led the research and now says health officials should share this research with new parents.

“Whilst internationally it has been accepted that appropriate cleansing practices are important, a dearth of good quality clinical trials has led to variations in baby skin care regimens,” said Lavender, in a press statement. “However, women can now be confident that using this specific baby cleansing product on newborn skin is equivalent to bathing in water alone.”

Recent studies have also studied the effects of Johnson & Johnson brand “Baby Extra Sensitive Wipes” and found no difference between that product and plain water. Those parents who did choose to change their baby´s diaper with plain water and cotton also reported a higher risk of diaper rash compared to those who used the Johnson & Johnson product.

“This trial adds to the existing but limited evidence in the area and provides healthcare professionals with the strongest level of evidence available to date. Therefore we should no longer base our practice on tradition and experience alone. We should share the evidence from this study with parents, so they are able to make their own informed choices,” Lavender said.

“These results should provide healthcare professionals and parents with much needed evidence-based information giving them the option to support the skin care cleansing regime chosen by individual parents for their newborn babies.”

This study could provide parents with an option, should they decide plain bath water isn´t enough to get their baby fully clean.

However, since this research only studied the effects of Johnson & Johnson brand products without mention to any other brand, it´s likely this paper could have been paid for by the company to act as a sort of advertisement for these products.