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Wirral University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

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Temperature

There should be no need to try to imitate the extremely high temperatures of the Unit, as you are aware your baby has progressed from the Intensive nursery, which is kept a consistently high temperature, to the more acceptable levels of the outside nurseries. An ideal room temperature for your baby is about 19 C.

Do not be deceived by baby’s cool hands and feet, the ideal places to check for warmth are the back of the neck or the tummy with your warm hand. A baby’s normal temperature is 36.7 C or 37 C.

This is the most accurate way of finding out if the room temperature is right for your baby, if you find they are hot and sweaty and otherwise well, they may have been overdressed or over wrapped.

Alternatively if they feel cool then they may need more layers of clothing . If the room is too cold, make sure their cot or pram is kept out of draughts.

A baby that is too hot will feel hot and will sweat, especially from the face and head, will be irritable and may breathe faster than usual. In this case remove one or two layers of clothing or blankets.

If very hot, undress and cover with one sheet, call your Health Visitor for advice or your GP .

A baby that is too cold will be lethargic, their arms and legs may appear very pink but will be cool to the touch and they may not want to feed. Dress them more warmly and heat the room. Cover them with an extra blanket and check that they are starting to warm in about 15 to 30 minutes. If they do not seem to be warming up quickly, call your GP for advice.

Following the guide-lines from the Department of Health we do not recommend sheepskin blankets for babies to sleep on, or the use of duvets or baby nests for a baby to sleep in, all three can lead to overheating which has been linked to cot death

We recommend that babies be nursed on their back, this is to lower the risk of overheating (the baby can lose heat from their face more easily  and also if they are sick the baby will usually turn their head, the milk will soak into the sheet with no risk of them breathing it in.

To try to avoid the risk of cot death we also recommend, not smoking in the same room as your baby, not overheating them, not allowing them to become too cool, also to breastfeed if possible, should you require further information please ask for a leaflet from your Midwife or Health Visitor.

As a general guide a three month old baby (regardless of whether they are full term or premature). will feel as hot or as cold as an adult does. Therefore if you feel cool in a room your baby will, but if you feel hot make sure your baby is not overheating by being over wrapped or having too many clothes on.