swaddle bath | step by step guide

among the many things i learned during our 28 day NICU stay with the girls, was how to give a swaddle bath. we gave the girls baths like this for probably 6 months and there wasn’t a single bath during that time that they didn’t LOVE.
swaddle baths are perfect for preemies, but also for full terms babes, with the purpose of providing a secure environment, while also maintaining body temperature and warmth. quite frankly, i wish some would give me a swaddle bath…who likes to get out of the shower into the cold..am i right?!

swaddle baths are all about staying cozy, comfy and secure. especially helpful during that first week or two when you have to give a sponge bath, your babe will thank you and stay snuggled and warm!

set up:
before you begin, you want to make sure you have set up your space. for those first few months, i like giving sink baths, especially helpful if you’ve had a c-section so you don’t have to bend over. i also set up the following items on the countertop/by the sink {it’s never fun to get baby into the tub and realize you left the towel in the bedroom}:

waterproof pad {from the hospital.. sponge bath only}
towel folded in half {a little extra padding}
baby towel
swaddle blanket
a few wipes {clean off dirty bum before getting in}
clean diaper
baby lotion
baby soap
wash cloth
blooming bath {sink bath or pad in bathtub}

1. get baby naked, and just like you would a swaddle for bed, begin to swaddle in a large enough blanket. i always like to start off folding the bottom up because of the order i wash in.

the swaddle doesn’t have to be super super tight as the weight of the water will be enough to keep baby cozy.

2. fold over side to  wrap arms

3.  fold last arm up to complete swaddle

4.  with a clean wash cloth, always wash baby’s face first, using only water. wipe eyes from the inside out and use a new part of the wash cloth for each eye. {this helps to prevent eye infections}
then wipe the rest of the face and ears.

5.  unwrap one arm, keeping the rest of the body wrapped up { you can see miller was wiggling out of the swaddle… i just dipped the blanket back in the water and wrapped him back up}. wash one arm, then cover back up with the swaddle, pouring warm water back over the body to keep baby warm. then unwrap the other arm, wash, and cover back up. the water you pour over the swaddle will rinse baby off!

6.  continue process with legs, unwrapping, washing, and re-covering each leg.

7. pull down bottom section while keeping arms and legs covered to wash belly.
finally, wash privates and if using a wash cloth, then set wash cloth to the side.
re-cover baby.

8.  sit baby up and squirt soap directly onto baby’s back, using the swaddle as the wash cloth to wash baby’s back, lean back to continue washing.

9.  finally, pour water onto baby’s head. saving the head for last will ensure that baby maintains body temperature and if baby poops in the bath, needing a change in water, baby won’t be too cold with a wet head.

10.  rinse baby one more time, before taking baby out to dry off and lotion up!

it takes a time or two to get the hang of it, but once you get the flow, this is the easiest and most fun way to bathe your babe!

some quick tips + things to remember:

– always test water temperature to avoid water that is too hot or cold
– i have found that the blooming bath is the easiest way to give a sink bath fro babies who can not sit up yet. {while this one was provided to us, i used them with the girls that we had purchased and i loved them then, too!}
– NEVER leave your baby unattended in or around water or on a counter top. ALWAYS keep your hand on baby!
– sing songs, smile and enjoy this time with your babe!

these muslin swaddle blankets from swaddled babe are some of my FAVS and are so perfect to use in the bath… as well as for swaddling, as a nursing cover, stroller blanket, lovey and more. and as a bonus, use the code FUELINGMAMAHOOD to receive 15% off your entire purchase {and it never expires!!}

blooming bath c/o
xoxo swaddle blanket


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4 thoughts on “swaddle bath | step by step guide

  1. Ready to try this for number 2! 🙂 Dane hated the bath the first few months, so hopefully this will help!!

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