Temperature Stability

Temperature Check

While you and your baby are still in the hospital, the nurses will check the baby's temperature several times a day. Maybe they will even tell you that your baby is cold and he must be put on a warming bed until he has warmed up. Your baby is healthy and normal &mdash what is this all about?


Inside mom's uterus, the baby's temperature was regulated by mom's body. Once he is outside, his body must quickly adjust to regulating its own temperature. Most babies do this just fine.

Cold Stress

However, a baby who doesn't quickly begin to regulate his own temperature may suffer cold stress. Cold stress can be harmful for a new baby, affecting everything from his metabolism, to his immune system, to his nervous system. The trouble is, there is no way to know its happening. The baby just goes to sleep.

The smaller the baby, the more likely he will suffer cold stress. If your baby weighs under six pounds, you really should keep him wrapped up and hold him close to your chest (a natural baby warmer).


Thanks to Janelle Aby MD, Stanford School Of Medicine, Newborn Nursery, and Lucille Packard Children's Hospital for the use of occasional photographs.