Signs Your Baby is Overheating

Two parents lying in bed with a small baby between their heads.

The physical weakness inherent in a baby's limbs is not because of its willpower; it's because of its inherent innocent nature. This is why parents should always be as vigilant as possible when caring for their little ones.

Parents should always watch their young ones. But your vigilance should be deductive as well. Since babies can't talk, parents must learn their feelings based on their crying tone, actions, and routines.

After a while, parents can naturally intuit what the baby wants through proximity, tactile sensation, variations of cries, and its mannerism.

But there is one thing that parents may not be able to naturally intuit in their babies – whether it is overheating or not.

Overheating

The dangerous thing about overheating in babies is that it may overlap with others, making you think it is something else. 

Overheated babies get fussy or tired.

And you may not worry too much if a baby is hot to the touch if you are in a hot environment. Sometimes the baby might be overheating without feeling too hot to the touch or showing signs of it.

Small babies can't regulate their body heat like a full-grown adult. 

The average baby has a temperature of 97.5 degrees Fahrenheit

However, that average temperature can vary based on time of day taken, what baby is wearing, or whether the temperature was taken by tactile touch or thermometer.

And babies usually don't sweat a lot which could make it look as though they are not overheated.

Misunderstanding these signs can sometimes have deadly consequences.

Sudden infant death syndrome, or SIDS, is believed to be caused by an inability of the infant's brain to consistently regulate its breathing while asleep. Some scientists suggest that a baby's inability to regulate its body heat may be an inherent factor in SIDS as well.

So, we are going to list six signs that your baby is overheating. And we will discuss all the risks an overheated baby could endure without proper treatment.

Finally, we'll give you some practical tips on how to protect your baby from overheating.

When in doubt, always call a doctor. It's better to be safe than sorry.

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Related: When You Should Stop Using A Pacifier

Signs Your Baby is Overheating 

The problem with sensing overheating in your baby is that overheating can deceptively overlap with other symptoms. For example, your baby may be hot because it has a fever, not necessarily because it is overheated.

Additionally, your baby may feel overheated because it is in a hot environment. And remember that babies can't regulate their body temperatures and usually don't sweat a lot. So, you may miss that it is overheating if you don't touch it or notice it isn't sweating a lot.

Always contact your doctor when in doubt if you sense your baby has any of these symptoms. 

Here are six signs your baby may be overheating.

Red-Colored Skin or Red Patches

One primary symptom that your baby may be overheating is the appearance of red-colored skin or red-colored splotches on the skin.

Still, some babies may experience red-colored skin or splotches for various reasons. Take a temperature and feel their skin, neck, and behind their eyes to confirm.

Watch out for beet-red-like skin combined with other symptoms like nausea or a rapid pulse. That could be a sign of heatstroke.

High-Temperature Reading

If your baby has a thermometer reading of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit, it may have a fever or overheating. Both symptoms may overlap and look indistinguishable at that point. 

If your thermometer's temperature reading is 103 degrees Fahrenheit, but your baby is not even slightly sweating, then it could be a heatstroke.

Warm Skin

The simplest way to know if your baby is overheating is to touch them. 

They may be extremely hot to the touch when you feel their skin.

And don't just go by the tactile sensation of the skin. Touch your baby's neck and behind their ears as well to get a sense of their internal heat.

Rapid Heartbeat

Overheating causes a rapid heart rate because the tiny body has become overly stressed due to the internal heat, and its body is desperately trying to cool off.

If you notice your baby experiencing rapid breathing combined with a rapid heartbeat, call a doctor. 

In such circumstances, you can remove its clothing, take it to a cool, air-conditioned room, or try to hydrate. But always call a doctor if symptoms look grim.

Nausea and Vomiting

It can be hard to discern if a newborn baby, or one that is a few months old, is nauseous. But vomiting may be a symptom of nausea enabled by extreme overheating or heatstroke.

It is not uncommon for babies to vomit. But if you notice your baby vomiting while it is overheating, contact a doctor right away.

Unresponsive or Lethargic

Your baby can become unresponsive or perhaps cranky if they are overheating. Check their temperature if they aren't as responsive as usual or don't respond to you or your touch.

Now you understand the possible signs of overheating in your baby. Here are some of the risks and various health concerns that can occur if an overheating baby does not get prompt medical attention.

Lack of Sleep

Small baby sleeping while covered in a grey blanket.

Overheating babies are more fussy, irritable, and more likely to experience disruptive sleep patterns.

Dehydration

As previously mentioned, babies can't regulate their body temperatures like an adult. As a baby's body temperature rises, it could start sweating. And even light sweat may be a sign of overheating.

And overheated babies may cry without exhibiting any tears. Or their wet diapers may be minimally wet.

These could be symptoms of extreme dehydration, which could cause an excessive loss of electrolytes and precious fluids.

Reddish Rash (Heat Rash)

Overheating can cause heat rashes, also known as prickly heat. Heat rash can manifest as a reddish rash with small red bumps located on the baby's bottom, skin folds, and around the neck.

SIDS

In the worst-case scenario, SIDS may happen if such symptoms occur unnoticed and the baby is left alone for hours while it sleeps.

What You Can Do

Mother wearing sun hat talking to baby she is holding up at the beach.

Remember to keep the baby hydrated, cooled off, and in a well-ventilated or air-conditioned area if it is overheating.

Don't cover your baby in multiple layers of thick blankets as it sleeps. Make sure the blankets are thin and made of cotton. 

Numerous layers of thick blankets could cause a baby to overheat while it sleeps.

Keep the baby well hydrated as per doctor's advice.

Try to keep the temperature in the baby's room no higher than 72 degrees Fahrenheit or as per the doctor's advice.

Remember that these are just suggestions that can help you recognize the symptoms of overheating in your baby. Always contact your doctor when in doubt.

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