Dressing Your Baby for Warm Weather: What Every Mom Should Know

Dressing Your Baby for Warm Weather:  What Every Mom Should Know

Normal Temperature for Newborns.

During pregnancy, your baby's temperature is regulated inside the womb. Once delivered, it is like stepping out of a warm bath, which is why hospitals have strategies to minimize heat loss.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), hospitals;

  • Maintain the delivery room and all other patient care rooms at a temperature of 72°-78° F,
  • Rapidly dry the newborn after delivery.
  • Cover the newborn's head with a hat to reduce heat loss.
  • Initiate skin-to-skin contact with the mother.
  • and, place the newborn in an incubator or isolette when not skin-to-skin with the mother or the newborn is exhibiting difficulty maintaining the body temperature.

The AAP also explains that the normal core body temperature for a newborn is 97.7° to 99.3° F.

If the baby's body temperature increases, it may be because of being in a warm room, being overdressed or over-wrapped. To reduce baby’s temperature, remove some layers of clothing or take the baby to a cooler room and the temperature should become normal.

If your infant has an elevated temperature of 99.5 to 100.4 F or a fever over 100.4 F call your pediatrician. 

The best method for taking the temperature of a child, newborn through 3 months, is to use a regular digital thermometer and take a rectal temperature (The Mayo Clinic).

Dressing Your Baby for Warm Weather.

Sweating is our body’s way to keep our temperature down in summer. However, infants have limited ability to regulate their body temperature.  This inability can cause their body temperature to rise more quickly than an adult.

So, how does a new mom know how to dress her baby for warm weather?

As a general guide, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends dressing baby as you would dress or, in no more than one layer more than an adult would use to be comfortable in the same environment.

  • Your baby’s head should be uncovered, unless he/she weighs less than eight pounds and the room is cold or baby is in a cold environment.
  • Dress your infant in loose-fitting, lightweight garments, preferably made from a natural fiber like cotton.
  • Reduce the risk of overexposure to the sun when outdoors by keeping your baby out of direct sunlight.
  • On extremely warm days a short sleeve romper is perfectly acceptable.
  • If the weather cools off, cover baby with a lightweight blanket made from a breathable material like cotton or muslin.
  • Shield your baby’s face with a wide brimmed hat.
  • Resist the temptation to leave baby exposed on a gray day, since harmful rays can penetrate the clouds.
  • When at home, it is perfectly alright to dress baby in just a diaper as long as the room is not too cool – he/she will be more than happy to show some skin.
  • and, in the evenings, dress your baby in lightweight long pants and a long-sleeved shirt to protect him/her from pesky mosquitoes.

Tip:  Avoid extra layers when the temperature soars and you’ll also greatly reduce the risk of pesky prickly heat (an itchy, red rash) or in extreme cases, heatstroke.

Should You Wrap?

Although wrapping or swaddling infants is not needed in summer, if your baby likes to be wrapped up for sleeping, let him/her wear a diaper and swaddle in a soft, light, natural fabric like cotton or muslin leaving the head and hands uncovered.

When is the Baby Too Hot?

Signs that your baby is too hot:

  • A flushed face
  • Rapid breathing
  • Skin that is unusually warm to the touch

Babies need to be comfortably warm. If they start to get too warm or too cold, they will often get fussy. Parents and caregivers should use their common sense and best judgment when it comes to their baby and  should always be nearby so they may check on and respond to the baby as needed.

Resources:
American Academy of Pediatrics
HealthyChildren.org
The Mayo Clinic

http://www.saigenicoles.com

1 Comments

Douglas M.D.

06/27/2014 at 03:16:42 PM

Great post, the kind of information I like to see shared. Practical information that we should not assume people know. There is no such thing as a bad question , the only way to know something is by asking and sometimes just putting the information out there is the best approach. Doug