Being a parent is sometimes a scary and worrying role. We worry about falls, cuts, bumps, unexplained temperatures, and generally that we will miss something that would result in our children coming to harm.
It can be stressful. As a mom of five children, I have experienced almost all the childhood worries and concerns, and then some! So when your baby feels hot but has no fever, what should you do?
Let me put your mind at rest. Babies can sometimes feel hot but have no real increase in their actual body temperature.
Just like adults, this could be for many different reasons and you should eliminate the more obvious ones before thinking that there is something more serious wrong.
These different reasons can be managed in a variety of ways and will help your baby feel more comfortable and help them to cool down naturally.
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What To Do?
First of all, do not panic. I know that this is easier said than done and that you now have millions of worse case scenarios running through your head, STOP!
Firstly, take your baby’s actual temperature using a reliable thermometer. A baby’s normal body temperature is between 97.9 to 99 degrees Fahrenheit.
When your baby gets overheated, they become more susceptible to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome or SIDS. Remember that your baby’s hands and feet will always be a little cooler than their head is.
As we said above there are many different reasons why your baby may feel hot but not have a temperature and most of them are simple to rectify. So here are a few things to check first:
Factors To Consider
Babies can sometimes feel hot but have a completely normal temperature as a result of these factors:
Too Much Clothing
Check to see if your baby is wearing too much clothing. If they have come in from being outside and are wearing lots of layers, this may be the cause of them feeling hot.
Remove any extra layers and give your baby around 15 to 20 minutes and then check to see if they have cooled down.
Teething can cause many problems such as gum pain and fussiness when the new teeth break through the gums. It can also cause their body temperature to rise but it will not cause a fever.
If you think your baby is suffering from teething symptoms, there are powders and gels that you can use to relieve some of them.
A sudden rise in the outside temperature can cause some babies to feel hot on their head and body. Again, this is very normal and is the same as it would be for an adult who gets hot when the temperature rises.
The best way to keep your baby cool would be to make sure that they are in the shade with plenty of airflow around them.
Also, make sure that your baby is dressed appropriately for the weather, with lightweight materials that allow your baby’s skin to breathe such as cotton or linen.
Room Is Too Hot
There are a few reasons why the room may be too hot. It could be due to the weather and an increase in the outside temperature. If this is the case, air conditioning may be a good option.
If this is not available, ensure that your baby is appropriately dressed for the weather and that the room is well ventilated. If the room is too hot because the weather is cold outside and you have been heating the house artificially, then you may need to check the temperature settings for your baby’s room.
While you are waiting for the room to cool down, it may be an idea to move your baby to a cooler part of the house. The best way to ensure that your baby’s room is at the correct temperature is to invest in a room thermometer.
Your baby has a great big world to explore and sometimes all this exploring gets them a little over-excited. They may be moving around a lot and this can all lead to this hot head and body issue.
This happens because moving around a lot increases blood circulation to the head. The best way to combat this is to try to get your baby to calm down. Hum their favorite tune or try to coax them to sleep. This will cool down his body plus give him a little nap.
Can Babies Regulate Their Temperature
It will be a little while before your baby’s fantastic body can adapt to outside temperature changes as we adults do.
Actually, it is not until your baby is around 18 months to 2 years that they really learn how to regulate their own body temperature naturally and they are still far more susceptible to temperature changes than adults.
The reason behind this wait is due to the fact that the process of learning to regulate your body temperature or thermogenesis takes place in your brain.
The part of the brain responsible for this process called the hypothalamus doesn’t really begin to function for a few months after birth. Then add to this that babies’ skin is thin and that they have very little fatty tissue and you can see why they struggle with temperature regulation.
Only My Babies Head Is Warm?
Babies lose most of their heat through their heads so it is quite normal for their head to feel warmer than the rest of their body. Ensure that their head is not covered with a hat or other covering.
This will allow the excess heat to escape and allow your baby to cool down naturally. If you still have any concerns or your baby is not cooling down then contact a medical professional.
When To See A Doctor
You should take your baby to a doctor if any of the following things happen:
- Your baby is distressed or seems anxious even after you have cooled him down.
- They appear to be in discomfort or pain.
- Your baby seems to be dehydrated despite them having enough fluids. If they experience vomiting, diarrhea as well for me it would be a definite warning sign that needs to be addressed immediately.
Every baby has their own normal body temperature and sometimes the hot head and body can just be a result of their thermoregulation system developing.
However, you should always air on the side of caution by checking their temperature and watching for any worrying signs or symptoms.
Sometimes, as a parent, you just know that something is not right with your baby. Do not let people make you think that you are being a paranoid parent.
If you have that feeling in your stomach that something is not right, then go and get it checked out. The worst that could happen is that your beautiful baby is absolutely perfect and there is nothing wrong with them!
Being a parent is hard. You worry about every little thing even when it turns out to be nothing. After all, that is our job, isn’t it?
Our children are the most precious thing that we will ever be entrusted with and we will do anything to ensure their health and well being is taken care of.
Babies are tricky little things to care for especially as a new parent. Their bodies are not fully developed as our adult ones are and this can lead to some little blips as it reaches its full maturity.
Trust your instincts and seek the help and advice that you need in order to do this successfully!