Swaddle baths recommended for premature babies

Image 1 of 2

Baby Kason Graham made his arrival into the world a little early.

His mother, Kendra was only 32 weeks pregnant when he was born. She knows all too well that life in a hospital with a preemie can be difficult.

Just giving a preemie their first bath is risky.

"See, I'm nervous a little because with a full-term baby, you put them in the bath and you bathe them," she says.

However, a preemie's temperature can drop dramatically, which can affect blood flow to the intestines and cause problems.

To avoid that, nurses at Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital use a new technique called a swaddle bath; wrapping the baby in a swaddle during bath time. 

The baby's temperature stays stable and they have less stress.

Nurse and NICU team leader Barbara Belluccio says babies love it.

"They are completely relaxed when they have their bath," she says.

The technique has opened up new opportunities in the NICU.

"A lot of babies wouldn't be able to have these baths yet. We would have to delay the bath because of temperature instability concerns," says Barbara.

It helps moms, too.

"It makes the bath experience more pleasant for new mothers and they have more confidence with caring for their babies," explains Barbara.

It's a little bit of added comfort and security for little ones who have rough starts.