Regulating your babies temperature at home
As parents taking your baby home for the first time you may worry about their temperature control.
Babies are unable to regulate their body temperature in the way adults do. However, by the time your baby comes home, he/she will be reasonably good at controlling their own body temperature.
It is still important to keep your baby neither too hot nor too cold; the following suggestions are given to help you keep your baby's temperature within the normal range:
To check if your baby is too hot, look for sweating or feel them. If you think your baby is to hot, remove one or more layers of blankets. Remember to take off your baby's outdoor clothes once you are inside.
Your baby does not need a hot room. Your house does not need to be as hot as the NICU or SCBU where babies are sick. Your baby is now well enough to be at home.
You should never lay your baby down to sleep next to a radiator or in direct sunlight.
You should always put a hat on your baby in the summer to stop them becoming sunburnt.
In the summer make sure your baby stays well hydrated. If you are Breastfeeding make sure you drink plenty of liquids.
Do not worry if your baby's hands or feet are cold this is normal, but if your baby's hands or feet look blue and blotchy, add mittens and socks. You may need to put on a hat and cardigan on your baby or a blanket.
Your baby will lose a lot of heat from his/her head, because babies' heads are large in proportion to their bodies. Your baby should wear a hat in the winter to stop him/her getting cold.
Make up your baby's bed with several layers of cotton blankets and sheets rather than a duvet.
Before bathing your baby make sure the room is warm and the windows and doors are closed.
To keep an eye on your baby's temperature buy a simple room thermometer. Generally, you should try to keep the room your baby is in between 16°C to 20°C, to maintain your baby's temperature within the normal range of 36.6°C to 37.2°C.
If your baby still weighs below 2.5kg, he/she may still need to be kept a bit warmer than bigger babies. Your home will probably be cooler than the SCBU and it may take some time for your baby to adjust to this new temperature. Avoid bathing your baby for the first 24hrs. Check the room temperature is within the recommended limits (16oC to 20°C) before undressing or bathing your baby. You may find it useful to purchase a thermometer to check your baby's temperature. If your baby's temperature is below 36.6°C do not bath your baby.