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How to Tell Whether a Newborn Is Too Warm

by Shelley Frost

Newborns don't come with a manual, so it's sometimes difficult to figure out exactly how to care for your newest family member. Newborns need a little extra clothing to stay warm -- especially premature babies until they reach the weight of a full-term baby at which time, they can better adjust to changes in temperature. Multiple layers keep your baby warm, but overdressing can cause discomfort. Once the temperature reaches 75 degrees Fahrenheit, extra layers aren't necessary to keep your newborn at a comfortable temperature, according to healthychildren.org, a website of the American Academy of Pediatrics. Recognizing the signs of overheating helps you keep your baby comfortable whether you're indoors or out.

Check your own comfort level and the amount of clothes you are wearing. A general guideline is to put one more layer on your baby than you are wearing to keep her at the correct temperature, according to healthychildren.org. If your newborn is wearing several extra layers, she might be too warm.

Respond to your newborn's crying. If there isn't another cause for her crying, such as being hungry, tired, ill, or having a messy diaper, she might be too warm. When a newborn feels too hot, she's likely to get cranky and might cry. Remove a layer of her clothing to see if the crying stops to determine if heat was the cause.

Touch your newborn's baby's ears to check her temperature. Her ears should feel warm but not hot if she is the correct temperature. Kissing her forehead is another way to tell if your newborn's skin feels warmer than usual. Your hand isn't always a reliable.

Look at your baby's skin for signs that she is overheated. A baby who is too hot may look red or have what looks like a rash on her skin. She might also look and feel sweaty.

Warning

  • Although rare, heatstroke can occur if a baby is in a very, hot humid place such as a hot beach or car. If you take your newborn's temperature and it is greater than 105 degrees F, she might have heatstroke, which is an emergency condition, according to healthychildren.org. If this is the case, quickly reduce her temperature by removing her clothing, moving her to a cool place and sponging her with cool water. After she's cooled, immediately take her to a pediatrician or emergency room.

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