Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Clinically proven to help babies and toddlers get a better night’s sleep

A new Johnson and Johnson marketing campaign claims that their “3-step night time routine is clinically proven to help babies and toddlers get a better night’s sleep”  I keep hearing it on the radio and felt compelled to investigate.

Step One: Bathe baby with Johnson and Johnson Bedtime Bath
Step Two: Massage baby with Johnson and Johnson Bedtime Lotion
Step Three: Quiet time

We all know what a difference a good bedtime routine can make with babies, toddlers and children.  In fact, bath + massage + quiet time is an excellent bedtime routine.  But what about the need for including Johnson and Johnson Bedtime products?   I wanted to know more about this clinical trial.

I called Johnson and Johnson USA and the customer service agent I spoke to told me that I had to get the information from Johnson and Johnson Canada. After being on hold for 15 minutes, an American answered the Johnson and Johnson Canada line.  I’m on hold again while he attempts to get me the information I asked for.

While on hold, I am researching these two Johnson and Johnson products on Skin Deep. The Skin Deep website endeavours to gather information about a variety of personal care products and rates them for toxicity.  For the sake of simplicity, a low number is good and a high number is bad.  In our family, we aim for a rating of 0-2 on our personal care products.

Johnson and Johnson Bedtime Bath is listed as a 4, so a moderate hazard. A closer look shows ‘allergies and immunotoxicity’ to be the main issue.  I should note that this product is also tagged as having limited data.  In other words, Skin Deep gave it a rating but the rating would be more accurate if they had more data.  Johnsons and Johnson Bedtime Lotion scored a 5, so is considered slightly more of a hazard than the bedtime bath.

In comparison, a warm bath with one drop of essential lavender oil mixed with a tablespoon of grape seed oil has a toxicity rating of 0 and a massage using grape seed oil also has a toxicity rating of 0.  I’m going to go out on a limb and assume that at the end of the day, the natural choice would also save money. A bottle of essential lavender oil will set you back about $10 and last you about a year.  Grape seed oil costs around $5per 750ml and stays fresh for about 6 months.  I should add that both these effective products have multiple uses and can be purcahsed at most grocery stores.

35 minutes later…news for Johnson and Johnson.  No one on their customer service team can tell me which clinical study is being referred to the Johnson and Johnson 3-step night time routine marketing campaign.  After much insistence, I got them to open a file for my query and I am supposed to hear back within 5 business days.  I’ll keep you posted.

Oh, and in case you are wondering about my motivation: I am a certified infant massage instructor and I teach fitness classes for new moms.  I am also a strong supporter of informed choice.  New parents need to know how to get information about baby care products so that they can make informed choices.   I hope that this post will encourage parents to check out and question that they are putting on their baby’s skin.