'Swaddle baths' help preemies feel safe, secure

"Swaddle Baths" are becoming more common at Neonatal Intensive Care Units at hospitals, including Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg. 

Video released by the hospital shows a newborn baby girl enjoying a bath in what might have been a traumatizing experience with the difficulties premature babies have adapting to the stimulation of a regular bath. 

With a swaddle bath, the baby is immersed in the warm water, swaddled, blanket and all. 

The hospital says not only does body temperature stay up, but the baby feels comfortable and secure in the womb-like environment. 

“Before, it was all about giving the baby a bath fast, so they didn’t get too cold. It mattered less whether they enjoyed it,” says Joan Muth, R.N. at John's Hopkins. “Now, it’s more developmentally correct to have the babies feel comfortable and secure. There are clinical reasons that we don’t want bath time to be stressful.”