Dressing Your Newborn: How Many Layers?
Deciding how to dress your newborn can be challenging at first.
How to Know if Your Baby is Warm
How Many Layers?
There is a simple rule of thumb that you may find extremely helpful when wondering how many layers to put on your baby. That rule is, put one more layer of clothing on your baby than you put on yourself. For example, if you need long sleeves and long pants to stay comfortably warm, your baby needs long sleeves, long pants, and a sweater or blanket.
A Word of Caution
If you’re a new mom, you might want to use someone else as your guide to comfortable warmth. Some new moms experience an increase in body temperature for awhile after birth related to their pregnancy hormones. You may be warm in a tank top in the middle of winter!
How Do I Know If My Baby Is Warm?
The one-more-layer rule of thumb is a baseline guide. To be sure your baby is warm you can touch the back of your baby’s neck. If the skin is warm and dry, your baby is dressed perfectly. Yay!
If the skin is warm, but damp, your baby is too warm. When this happens the clothing next to your baby’s skin gets damp too. Therefore you should change all of your baby’s clothes and eliminate one layer of clothing or blanket.
Finally, if you touch the back of your baby’s neck and the skin feels cool, you should add a blanket or another layer of clothing, including a hat and socks.
Anytime you use this quick check for warmth and your baby feels too warm or too cool you are advised to do a follow-up check with a thermometer. Your baby may be just fine, but you need to know.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, a temperature above 100.4 degrees F (38 degrees C) or below 97 degrees F (36.1 degrees C) may be of concern and requires a call to your baby’s doctor.
For you and yours,
D. Fravert, RN