While you may worry about your baby being too cold, being too warm and overheating is just as risky. According to the American Pediatric Society's informational website, Healthy Children, a baby can overheat easily with heavy pajamas and blankets, which can lead to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Monitoring your baby's physical appearance, especially during extreme temperatures, is crucial to preventing overheating.
Just like adults, babies perspire to cool down their core temperature when overheated. Because the baby is usually clothed, the most noticeable sweat appears around the forehead and neck. Damp hair stuck to the baby's skin is one warning sign of overheating. Excessive or persistent sweating can also be related to illness or thyroid conditions, so it's important to consult your pediatrician if you notice these changes in your baby.
As humans become too warm, oxygenated blood rushes to the surface of the skin. Flushed skin, particularly around the face, is another indicator your baby may be overheating. Intense blushing may, or may not, accompany perspiration, so if your baby looks a little too pink, remove the extra sweater or underclothing.
A 1-month-old baby may not know much, but he feels when he's too warm or cold and will communicate this through crying and general discontentment. Especially during your baby's first few months of life, physical needs dictate the vast majority of your baby's behavior, including crying or fussiness. Physical exertion from crying can cause a baby to overheat more, thus perpetuating the cycle.
As babies become too warm, their little bodies breath heavily and rapidly. Being overheated won't necessarily waken your baby, so pay attention to his breathing rate if you suspect overheating while he's asleep. Rapid breathing, or gasping breaths, may indicatie respiratory problems or overheating.