Bath time has always been traumatic for newborns (and new family members). The baby starts crying and the parents get stressed by the tears. Some hospitals, though, have started using an entirely different method for bathing newborns.
Before this method, newborns were often just given a sponge bath, leaving them cold and unprotected. This new method, though, does the exact opposite. The “swaddle bath” leaves the child swaddled while they are submerged into a shallow bath.
This method depends on a soggy wet swaddle blanket to keep the baby warm throughout the bath. It also helps the baby feel more secure so they don’t cry as much. As you bathe the newborn, you expose one limb at a time, keeping the others swaddled in the warm blanket.
According to Shelli Calkins, a nurse at a Women’s Care Unit shared, “Babies seem so much calmer. They don’t cry as much, it takes less time, and they seem so much warmer and cleaner than with a sponge bath.”
The nurse who spearheaded this new method (Edna Sailer) did a study to determine which method led to more crying from newborns. According to this study, “38 percent of babies cried during a swaddle immersion bath compared to 93 percent who cried during a sponge bath.”
Being swaddled in a wet blanket doesn’t sound like a comfortable time to me. But apparently, it is much easier for the newborns to handle. Some hospitals have even sent new parents home with instructions to do it at home. Of course, never try a new method without talking to your doctor first.
In other news, have you seen this heart-wrenching story of a son who woke up from a coma? Check out the story here.