With summer around the corner and nights getting warmer, your baby’s sleeping environment will need to adapt in order to lower the chances of your baby overheating. A question we hear often from parents of babies with correctional helmets is, ‘will my baby be too hot?’ It’s true that babies with a TiMbandAir helmet need a few days for their body to adjust, but this happens quickly and there are things that you can do to help your baby with this.
To make sure that your baby is not too warm, familiarise yourself with these five signs that show your baby might be too hot:
You can tell if your baby is too hot, if their neck, back or tummy is sweaty or warm to the touch. Avoid the ‘touch test’ on a baby’s hands and feet, as these will usually feel colder than the rest of their body and give an inaccurate body temperature. If in doubt, use a thermometer – normal body temperature for a baby is between 36 and 37°C.
Red Face and Rashes
If your baby’s skin is red or blotchy, this is also an indicator of overheating. When a baby gets too hot, sweat can irritate the hair follicles in their skin and present as a prickly rash or red splotches. Rashes usually appear in areas which have skin-to-skin contact such as armpits, elbows, thighs, or areas which are flat against fabrics, such as the neck, chest and back. Our guide to treating a baby’s heat rash has several tips for soothing babies with heat rash.
Rapid Breathing and Raised Heart Rate
The reason your baby’s breathing might quicken when they’re too hot is that their body is working extra hard to cool itself down. This process usually happens when your baby has been too warm for some time, so it’s important to act quickly if you notice fast breathing or a quickened pulse. For reference, on average a newborn younger than six months of age takes about 40 breaths per minute, which can slow down to 20 breaths per minute when sleeping. If your baby is breathing more than 60 times in a minute, seek urgent medical advice.
Lethargic and Disorientated
Of course, your baby will be sleepy when waking up for a feed, but if you notice that they are unusually unresponsive, dizzy, or lethargic, they could be overheated. Check their skin temperature alongside their pulse rate and remove a layer of clothing or bedding, to see if this helps them settle.
Another sign your baby is too hot while sleeping is restlessness and irritability. It could be that your baby is teething, but this could also be a warning sign that they are overheating.
If your baby presents with any of these signs during sleeping, it’s vital that attempts are made to cool them down. To prevent your baby from getting too hot or to help them cool down, ensure the room is between 16-20°C using a room thermometer. Many monitors have a thermometer function which can be useful. In addition, remove layers of bedding or clothing, open windows or use a fan as needed, in order to help.
It is fairly common for babies to be warmer during the summer or when wearing a TiMBandAir helmet and it is usually easy enough to relieve this. However, if your baby’s temperature stays high, it could also be an indication that your baby is unwell. If they don’t cool down or continue getting warmer, seek professional medical advice immediately.
If your baby is currently undergoing plagiocephaly treatment and you are concerned about your baby overheating when wearing their helmet, please contact one of our friendly and experienced clinicians, who will be happy to help you.