Parents may often feel discouraged when confronted with a fussy newborn at bath time.
This little being, so new to the world, wants nothing more than to feel safe. But newborn fragility means that even insignificant parts of daily life can be destabilizing, resulting in crying and reactions that are frustrating for caregivers.
Swaddling a baby brings back feelings of safety from before birth, warm in mother’s belly. It is an almost magical way to soothe, reassure, and help your baby to adapt.
The lilititi bath swaddle makes swaddling simple even at bath time. Contained in the swaddle, enveloped in soft cotton, and submerged in warm water, your baby may recall some of the sensations from the last weeks in the womb. In the bath, your baby will relax, yawn, and may even fall asleep in the water, slowly rocked by you.
Traditionally, newborns are bathed without swaddling. This can be very stressful for a baby.
Many pediatricians and nurses assert that newborns experience a great deal of anxiety, which may not be obvious to us as adults. Being so new to the world, they haven’t yet developed a sense of orientation or a relationship to their own bodies. Their bodies may feel like they are constantly falling, or falling apart. Just a few weeks prior to this, they had been warm and contained in their mothers' bellies as fetuses, with time to discover themselves slowly. In the last few weeks of pregnancy, the future newborn was rolled in a ball, head down and limbs folded into his or her body. Birth stretched out this fetal position: the baby was no longer contained. In some cases, newborns demonstrate uncontrolled movements throughout their bodies, called Moro reflexes (natural defense reflexes, vestiges of our primate evolution, that can result in crying, shrieking, and general agitation).
Several studies* have shown that swaddled bathing reduces physiological stress, specifically, swaddled infants show more stable heart rate and oxygen saturation. They also show a reduction in motoric signs of stress, less crying, and less agitation.
To diminish these uncontrolled movements, reassure and calm the newborn, many people use folded muslin squares or blankets to swaddle their babies. The disadvantage of this system is that it is difficult to make a tight swaddle this way, especially with a wiggling baby.
*1) Effects of swaddled and traditional tub bathing methods on crying and physiological responses of newborns. Caka SY et al. J Spec Pediatr Nurs 2018 Jan.
2) Effects of Swaddled and Sponge Bathing Methods on Signs of Stress and Pain in Premature Newborns: Implications for Evidence-Based Practice. Ceylan SS et al. Worldviews Evid Based Nurs 2018 Aug.
3) Bathing a Premature Infant in the Intensive Care Unit: A Systematic Review. Fernandez D et al. J Pediatr Nurs 2018 Sept.
4) Comparing the effects of swaddled and conventional bathing methods on body temperature and crying duration in premature infants: a randomized clinical trial. Edraki M et al. J Caring Sci 2014 Jun.
The benefits of swaddled bathing
The lilititi bath swaddle (patent pending) is an original concept that makes it easy to swaddle your newborn, from birth until about three months (from 5-11 lbs, 2.5-5 kg).
Made of unbleached, undyed organic combed cotton, it poses no risks to your baby (no zips, snaps, staples, buttons, velcro…). The bath swaddle allows you to safely bathe and soothe your baby in warm water (maximum temperature 98.6˚F/37˚C).
A swaddled bath can be one of the first calm moments after birth for you to connect with your baby. The magic of that first eye contact and the emotions linked with these first moments will make them unforgettable.
a closeness leading to a secure attachment!