6 Signs Your Baby Is Overheating Whilst Sleeping & What to Do Next
Updated September 12, 2023.
As summer days approach, ensuring your baby stays comfortable and safe in the heat is a top priority for parents. Babies have a higher risk of heat-related problems because their bodies can't regulate temperature well yet. This can cause overheating during skin-to-skin contact or sleeping on your chest. It's important to monitor your baby's body temperature and ensure it remains between 36 and 37 degrees Celsius to prevent dehydration or heat-related illnesses.
While skin-to-skin contact is vital for regulating your baby's body temperature and stabilising their respiration and heart rate, if you notice your baby getting too hot or uncomfortable, take a break and help them cool down.
How to Tell If a Baby Is Too Hot
Overheating can lead to dehydration or heat exhaustion, so it's important to know if your child is too hot. Signs of overheating in babies include an elevated body temperature, fast heartbeat, lethargy, confusion or vomiting, crying, and rapid breathing. However, keep in mind that symptoms of overheating might overlap with those of fever or dehydration.
1. Elevated Body Temperature
A high body temperature is a sign that a baby is overheating.. You can check this by touching their skin and looking for redness in their face. It is also a good idea to examine their back, neck, and chest to ensure they are comfortable. Remember that damp hair and a sweaty back and chest can also suggest overheating, so monitor those areas as well. It is crucial not to use their hands or feet as a guide since they are always cooler than the rest of the body.
2. Fast Heartbeat
As a baby overheats, their body attempts to cool itself off, resulting in an elevated heart rate. If you find your baby's heart rate is faster than usual, this might indicate they are overheating. This is an advanced indicator of overheating, and you must act swiftly to cool down your child.
Lethargy is a common symptom of an overheated baby. They may appear unresponsive, with little or no energy when you touch them or try to rouse them. Children may also sleep longer than usual and be difficult to wake. They may not be attentive to sounds and visual cues, indicating that they are too hot. If you notice any of these signs, it is important to take steps to cool your baby down as quickly as possible.
4. Confusion or Vomiting
When a baby is overheated, they can experience confusion or vomiting. They may appear disoriented or even faint and wake up from sleep feeling confused, dizzy, and less animated than usual. Vomiting and feeling nauseous are also signs of overheating, which can lead to dehydration, a particularly dangerous condition for babies.
If your baby is napping in hot weather and wakes up crying, it could be a sign that they are too hot and uncomfortable. Before assuming it is something else, make sure they are clean, fed, and burped.
6. Rapid Breathing
Rapid breathing is a common symptom of baby hyperthermia, as their bodies try extra hard to cool down. Observe your baby's respiration when they sleep on hot days to see if they are breathing faster than usual. If their breathing is faster than normal and their chest feels warm to the touch, they may be overheating. Monitor your baby's breathing and body temperature to ensure their comfort and safety.
What to Do If Your Baby Overheats
If you believe your baby is overheating, here are some steps to cool them down: offer them fluids, move them to a cooler space, remove excess layers of clothing, and bathe them or apply a cold compress. It is critical to act early to avoid more significant health problems.
Offer Your Baby Fluids
Fluids are a crucial part of cooling down an overheated baby. Only breastmilk or formula should be given to babies under the age of 6 months. Offer 4 to 8 ounces of water to babies over 6 months old, and water or extremely diluted fruit juice to babies over 1-year-old. To prevent dehydration, give your baby plenty of chances to drink on hot days.
Move Your Baby to a Cooler Space
If you notice your baby becoming overheated, relocate them to a cooler location to prevent further overheating. This includes closing curtains and blinds during the day to keep the room cooler and moving them to a cooler room or area in the house. If your baby's room is upstairs and is too hot, try transferring them to a lower-level room that may be cooler.
Remove Excess Layers of Clothing
When it's hot outside, it's important to dress your baby in loose-fitting clothing that covers their arms and legs. Cotton and SPF protective clothing are great fabric choices. You might want to remove hats, as babies release heat from their heads and could overheat if they fall asleep wearing them.
Give Your Baby a Bath or Apply a Cold Compress
If your baby is overheated, a lukewarm bath or a cold washcloth on their skin can help reduce their body temperature. Playing in a shaded paddling pool is another excellent way to keep babies cool. Additionally, using a cold, wet flannel to cool your baby down in hot weather is a quick solution.
How to Protect Your Baby From Overheating During Sleep
Some steps must be taken to prevent your baby from overheating while sleeping. First, avoid using loose blankets in the crib, as they can increase the risk of overheating and suffocation. Instead, consider using a lightweight sleep sack or a swaddle blanket that is specifically designed to prevent overheating.
Second, dress your baby in layers so that you can easily adjust their clothing if they become overheated. Choose lightweight, breathable materials like cotton over synthetic items that can trap heat.
Lastly, keep your baby out of direct sunlight, especially during peak hours of the day when the sun is strongest. If you're taking your baby for a walk or stroller ride, make sure the stroller has a shade or canopy to protect them from the sun. By following these tips, you can help keep your baby safe and comfortable during hot weather.
» Find out which stroller to pick for your child based on their age
Keep Your Baby Cool and Comfy This Summer
To summarise, it is critical to recognise indicators of overheating in babies to avoid significant health problems. If your baby naps in a stroller in hot weather, you might want to ensure it has sunshades and proper ventilation.
The 5-in-1 STR3 Folding Stroller Trike is a fantastic choice for summer walks since it has a smooth ride, a UV-blocking canopy, and a reclining seat for resting. You can keep your child safe and comfortable during hot weather with adequate care and attention.