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How can I keep my preterm baby warm?

Late preterm babies often have trouble staying warm. Their bodies may have to work extra hard to warm themselves -- which means there is less energy for eating and growing. Luckily, you can do a lot to help your baby stay warm. Here are some ideas:

One of the very best ways to keep your baby warm is to hold him close to you. Skin-to-skin contact -- sometimes called “kangaroo care” -- is especially good. Not only does it keep your baby warm, but it also helps him relax and improves his heart rate and breathing. It’s a great way to get your baby to eat, and both Mom and Dad can do it! Here’s how:
  • Undress your baby down to his diaper.
  • Remove your own clothing above the waist. If you’re wearing a bra, take that off, too.
  • Put a blanket over both of you to keep warm.
When your baby is not skin-to-skin, wrap him in a blanket and put a hat on him.

Most babies like to stay curled up in the fetal position. But your late preterm baby may not be strong enough to hold a nice, tight position. If you help him, he will stay warmer and use less energy. Try the following tips:
  • When breastfeeding, hold your baby in a crosscradle or football-hold position. Place his hands on either side of your breast so they are close to his face.
  • When holding your baby, cradle him closely in your arms and tuck his legs in close to his body.
  • When carrying your baby, carry him snuggled close to your body in your arms or curled up in a baby carrier. If you are using a sling-style baby carrier, check your baby often to make sure he is breathing properly.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.