Why do babies wear a hat when born?

Excessive Heat Loss:

A newborn's head makes up 21% of the total body surface area.  Newborns also have a low percentage of body fat.  Heat loss can occur for a newborn by escaping through the body surface, through evaporation and by cooler surfaces or hands touching their skin.  Because of the large ratio of head to body, it's important to keep the newborn's head covered.  That is why you may barely catch a glimpse of your newborn baby's head and hair before the delivery room nurse places a hat on their tiny head.

 

Monitoring Baby's Temperature:

In the first hours after birth, medical professionals will monitor a newborn to ensure he/she stays warm and to ascertain that the baby is regulating body temperature.  Nursery staff will dress babies with a hat, diaper, undershirt, one swaddling blanket and a second blanket to cover the baby in a bassinet.  Staff generally monitors the newborn every 30 minutes to ensure the baby maintain minimum body temperature for at least two hours.  They will ensure your baby is wearing a baby during this important time.

 

Keeping Baby Warm After Discharge:

Parents receive instructions for keeping a newborn warm after discharge.  Babies feel colder faster than adults.  During baths, dry the baby quickly to prevent heat loss and place a hat on the baby's head to minimize heat loss.  In situations where there is a draft or a cold breeze on the baby,

cover their head to keep them warmer.  

 

Baby Blessings to Your Soon-to-Be Sweet Buddle of Joy!