Newborns and infants cannot yet regulate their body temperature like adults can, which is why it’s important to help them stay warm during the cold months. Compared to other regions, the Augusta area doesn’t usually have many very cold nights. Still, though, it doesn’t take much to reduce your baby’s body temperature, which makes them more susceptible to cold, cough and flu. Here are some tips to help keep your baby warm when it’s cold outside.
Dress Your Baby Correctly: Dress your baby in easy-to-manage layers. Instead of overloading them with heavy or woolen clothes, put them in a few thin layers of warm clothes that are easy to remove during diaper changes. Generally, it’s a good idea to dress baby in one more layer than you.
Set the Room Temperature: Keep baby’s room at a comfortable temperature of between 65 to 68 degrees. Ideally, the room should feel good to a lightly clothed adult.
Swaddle or Use a Sleeping Bag: If the weather is too cold, dressing baby in a onesie is not enough to keep her warm. Wrap them in a thick swaddling blanket instead. If your little one kicks the blankets off very often, put them in a sleeping bag or wearable blanket.
Stay Out of the Wind: Position the crib or bassinet several feet away from air vents, drafty windows, fans and outside walls. Prevent cold air from entering the room by closing windows and doors.
Use a Firm Mattress: A firm baby mattress covered with a waterproof mattress protector will keep the crib warm from the underside. Mattresses that are too soft put your little one at risk of smothering while increasing their chances of getting cold from air coming through the mattress.
Cover Your Baby’s Head and Hands: Babies lose a lot of heat through their head and hands, so it is important to provide your little one with an extra layer of warmth with a soft baby cap and lightweight mittens. Be sure to keep their feet toasty with a pair of socks.
Do Not Overheat Your Baby: Because babies cannot regulate their temperature, it is possible to make your little one too hot. Here are some signs that your little one is too hot:
- Warm to the touch
- Flushed or red skin
- Rapid heartbeat
- Fast breathing
- Lethargic or unresponsive
- Sweaty neck or damp hair
- Heat rash
- Restless and unable to sleep
- Rectal temperature of 100.4 or higher
What do I do if my baby is too hot? If you are concerned that your little one has overheated, stay calm and work to get their temperature back to normal:
- Offer fluids (breastmilk, formula or water depending on baby’s age)
- Apply a cold compress to forehead or limbs
- Give a lukewarm – NOT COLD – bath
- Take off some clothing
- Go to a well-ventilated room
- If your child is unresponsive, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room
Pediatric Partners has three locations to better serve our patients. The Evans office is at 411 Town Park Blvd.; the downtown Augusta office is at 1303 D’Antignac St., Suite 2600; and the new Grovetown office is at 5135 Wrightsboro Road. For more information about Pediatric Partners, call the office at 706-854-2500, visit PedPartners.com, or follow the Pediatric Partners of Augusta Facebook and Instagram pages.