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How to know if your baby is hot or cold

Health

Babies often cry when they are cold or hot due to discomfort. Therefore, to know if the baby is cold or hot, you must feel the baby's body temperature under the clothes, in order to check whether the skin is cold or hot.

This care is even more important in newborn babies, as they are not able to regulate their body temperature and can become very cold or hot more quickly, which can cause hypothermia and dehydration.

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How to know if it's cold or hot

To know if your baby is hot or cold, you must:

  • Cold: feel the temperature of the baby's belly, chest and back and check whether the skin is cold. Checking the temperature of your hands and feet is not recommended, as they are generally colder than the rest of the body. Other signs that may indicate that the baby is cold include shivering, paleness and apathy;
  • Heat: feel the temperature of the baby's belly, chest and back and check whether the skin, including the neck, is moist and the baby is sweaty.

Another great tip to prevent your baby from feeling cold or hot is to always put one more layer of clothing on your baby than the one you have on. For example, if the mother is wearing short sleeves, she should dress the baby in a long-sleeved outfit, or if she is not wearing a coat, dress the baby in one.

What to do if your baby is cold or hot

If the baby's belly, chest or back is cold, it is probably cold and, therefore, you should dress the baby with another layer of clothing. For example: wearing a coat or long-sleeved clothing if the baby is dressed in short-sleeved clothing.

On the other hand, if the baby's belly, chest, back and neck are sweaty, he is probably hot and, therefore, a layer of clothing should be removed. For example: remove the coat if the baby is wearing it, or if it is long-sleeved, wear short-sleeved clothing.

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Coordinator of the Pediatrics Service at Hospital Lusíadas in Braga, Portugal, with CRM-PR 14218.

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