When you’re a new parent, it’s natural to be hypersensitive to any changes in your baby’s appearance and behavior.
And many parents become worried when they notice that their baby’s hands and feet are very hot compared to the rest of their body.
However, most of the time, the heat coming from your baby’s feet and hands is completely normal and could even be a good sign – so don’t worry!
Why Are Your Baby’s Hands And Feet Hot?
There are a few reasons that your baby’s feet might feel warmer to you than the rest of their body, but most of the time, it’s caused by something completely normal and natural.
The World Health Organization suggests that newborns’ hands and feet are supposed to be much warmer than adults.
It shows their healthy blood flow. They may even remain warmer than the rest of their body until they’re around two years old.
However, it could also be because of these following reasons.
Babies are much more sensitive to temperature than we are. A warm room might seem perfect to us, but they might be feeling a little too hot, especially in the summer.
Just like we have to consider the bathwater temperature, we should consider the overall room temperature too. Try putting a fan on to see if this helps.
It’s tempting to wrap your baby in layer upon layer of woolly clothing, especially in the winter.
But babies are actually hardier than you think, and overheating your baby could lead to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
Obviously, you need to make sure they’re wrapped up if you go outside, but when you come into the warm house, make sure you remove a layer; otherwise, they could overheat.
Other common signs of overheating include red, sore-looking ears, red cheeks, rashes on legs and chest, or lethargy – leading to unresponsiveness in severe cases.
Even babies get hot when they’re doing a lot of moving around. If you’ve had a full-on play session, it could be that they’re just a little excited and are warm from the exertion.
Having warm hands and feet could just be a sign that they’re content and having a good time. Warm hands, warm heart – as they say. The heat coming from their hands and feet can indicate happiness and comfort.
Conversely though, if their hands and feet are cold, it could indicate stress and discomfort.
Check if they need a diaper change if they’re hungry or if they just need to get out of an environment where they aren’t comfortable.
If your baby’s hands, feet, and heads are hot and they have accompanying behaviors such as excessive crying, mood swings, or a loss of appetite, it could indicate a fever.
Don’t’ worry too much, actually, a fever could be the sign that your baby is fighting off an infection, which shows that their immune system is working correctly.
If you notice fussy behavior alongside the temperature, take them to a doctor to see if there’s anything you can do to make them feel more comfortable.
Any cuts or scrapes exposed to the elements may invite bacteria that could develop into an infection. The infection is caused by your baby’s body trying to fight off any illness as a result.
While this is a positive sign for their immune system, you should go to the doctor right away to seek treatment. Infections can develop into sepsis if not treated properly.
As soon as you notice a cut on your baby’s skin, you should wash it out with warm water and monitor the skin around the wound to ensure it heals properly.
How Can You Tell If Your Baby Has A Temperature?
A baby’s temperature should always be taken orally if you believe that there’s something wrong.
Their hands, feet, and heads are usually much warmer than the rest of their body, so judging whether they have a fever using the touch of their hands or touching the back of your hand to their forehead is likely to make you worry.
Always take your baby’s temperature using an oral thermometer (but ensure you hold onto the other end to prevent a choking hazard).
Your baby’s temperature should be 97-100.4 degrees Fahrenheit.
What Should You Do If Your Baby Does Have a Temperature?
If you’ve used a thermometer to find that your baby’s temperature is a little too high, you should immediately try to bring the temperature back to normal levels.
- Ensure the room you’re in is well ventilated.
- Remove any excess layers of clothing (but make sure that their body is still warm enough – keep the bottom layer of clothing on, your baby could still catch a chill).
- Prepare a bath of water that’s slightly cooler than normal – Not cold!
If your baby’s temperature remains high, you should seek professional help from your pediatrician. It’s probably nothing serious, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.
What If Your Baby’s Hands Are Cold?
If you notice your baby’s hands or feet are excessively cold, especially in a warm climate, this could be something to check with your pediatrician.
It could be just that they are cold – in which case, you should just put on an extra layer.
However, if they have cold, clammy hands, it could be a sign that they’re struggling with blood circulation or that they have the beginnings of something much more severe, such as meningitis.
If in doubt, take a trip to the doctor straight away.
It’s normal to be worried about any changes to your baby’s temperature, but most of the time, it’s something completely normal, so try not to panic.
It’s usually your baby’s behavior that will alert you to something serious; if they’re crying more often or have lost their appetite, this could signify that there’s something wrong.
Typically, having hot hands and feet is normal for babies, but there’s no harm in seeing your pediatrician to put your mind at rest.