Why Do Hospitals Put Hats On Newborns: The Science and Tradition Behind It

  • By: Charie
  • Date: April 27, 2022
  • Time to read: 6 min.

IWhen a baby is born, one of the first things that happens is that a hospital staff member puts a hat on their head. You may have wondered why they do this – it seems like such a simple task. But there is actually a lot of science and tradition behind putting hats on newborns! In this blog post, we will discuss the history and significance of this tradition.

When a baby is born, they are used to being in a warm environment – the womb. Suddenly being exposed to the cooler temperatures of the hospital can be quite a shock to their system. This is why it is important to keep them warm, and a hat is one way to do this. Newborns have very little body fat, so they can lose heat quickly. A hat helps to keep their head and face warm, which in turn helps to keep their whole body warm.

Why Do Nurses Put Hats On Your Newborn Baby?

As soon as babies are delivered, they come out of a moist, warm environment (i.e. the womb of their mother) – and into an environment (the hospital room) that can be downright freezing. That is why nurses cover their heads immediately with those adorable knit hats.

However, after you leave the hospital with your newborn babies, they do not need to wear hats always unless it is winter or fall or your home is very chilly, if they are a full time baby, if they were born premature you might want to keep the hats on as they tend to lose heat.

Full-term, healthy infants do not need to wear hats once they reach their house. Although in case you think your newborn baby looks cute in a hat, feel free to put a hat on your baby as long as your baby seems relaxed and comfortable in it.

In case your baby looks flushed or acts fussy or looks overheated while wearing a hat, then you need to take the hat off immediately to check whether your baby is more satisfied without the hat or not.

If you see your baby is comfortable without the hat then it is advised not to put hats on your baby’s head. Hats may look cute but there is nothing more important than your baby’s comfort right? So, avoid continuing wearing their hats even though nurses do so.

Reasons Why Do Newborn Babies Wear Hats?

A newborn baby in a cute little hat, particularly at the hospital just after being born, is the ideal look that we tend to think of as soon as we think of infants.

In case you’re a new parent or soon-to-be parent then it is common for you to wonder why newborns wear hats just after being born and whether you should continue this even after leaving the hospital or not, and also when should/shouldn’t wear hats.

Prevent Excess Heat Loss Of Your Newborn Baby’s Body Temperature

A newborn baby’s head makes up 21% of the complete body surface. Newborns similarly tend to have a low rate of body fat.

Thus, heat loss can happen to a newborn baby as heat escape through their body surface, via evaporation, and by hands or cooler surfaces touching the baby’s skin.

Due to the large percentage of head to a baby’s body, it is necessary to keep the newborn baby’s head covered. This is one of the main reasons why do hospitals put hats on newborns.

Reduces Cold Stress Effects

Babies who undergo heat loss may encounter cold stress. As soon as a baby is cold-stressed, the body of the baby will try to restore the lost heat by utilizing excessive amounts of oxygen and energy.

As soon as a baby utilizes oxygen and energy to compensate for lost heat, the baby doesn’t have the oxygen and energy available for remaining and growing healthy. For this reason, hospitals put hats on newborns so that cold stress can’t place negative effects on your newborn’s body.

To Keep Your Baby Warm

Hospitals i.e. nurses put hats on a newborn baby’s head to keep your baby’s body warm and prevent any effects of hypothermia.

In case they don’t put a hat on your baby’s head in cold weather, then your baby’s ears, hands, and feet will start getting cold first and consequently, symptoms of hypothermia will start to show up.

Hypothermia is a health condition where a baby’s body temperature falls below normal. This generally leads to severe health complications. It is more commonly seen in newborn babies because they normally have less immune power and a higher risk of getting difficulties.

That is why newborn babies need to wear hats to keep their newborn baby’s heads warm. Babies wearing hats seem to have perfect body temperature. And it also reduces the risk of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome).

Monitoring Body Temperature Of Newborn Babies

In the first few hours after your baby’s birth, pediatricians will observe a newborn or especially premature baby to make sure your baby stays warm as well as to confirm that the baby is holding the required body temperature.

Nurses dress your baby in a diaper, hat, undershirt, a swaddling blanket, and a 2nd blanket to cover your baby entirely in the bassinet.

They generally check your baby’s temperature every 30 minutes or so until your baby maintains newborn and premature babies’ minimum body heat for at least 2 hours after they are born.

In case the baby has a problem maintaining body heat, nurses may place your newborn in a warmer or put a hat on to see how your baby’s body responds to the changes.

Babies Feel Protected With Laying

A new analysis has discovered that newborn babies who wear a hat are less prone to cry. The investigators behind the investigation discovered that the newborns who wore hats or caps slept longer, nursed less, and also were far more prone to have their moms go back for breastfeeding. This provides various health advantages to both the mom and the kid.

This showed that babies feel more protected as soon as babies wear hats indoors or outdoors than the babies who do not wear hats.

Protection From Sun Rays

Sun exposure is harmful to newborn babies, because of the chance of sunburn. Additionally, a newborn baby’s skin is very sensitive and you can’t apply sunscreen on them.

In case you take your newborn baby outdoors, you need to keep the baby in the shadow to protect the baby’s skin. That is why hospitals put hats and extra laying on newborn babies.

How Long to Wear a Hat?

Baby cool

So how long should a newborn wear a hat? The answer to this question depends on the hospital and the circumstances of the birth. In general, though, most newborns will wear a hat for their first few days in the hospital. After they are discharged, it is up to the parents to decide whether or not they want their child to continue wearing a hat.

There are many reasons why parents may choose to keep their child in a hat after they leave the hospital. For one, it can help to keep them warm. Newborns are still adjusting to the outside world and may have trouble regulating their body temperature. Wearing a hat can help to prevent them from getting too cold. Additionally, a hat can help to protect a newborn’s delicate skin from the sun. Babies have very sensitive skin, and the sun’s rays can be harmful to them.

Some babies HATE wearing hats! If you need help keeping a hat on a baby read out tips and tricks in that handy guide1

FINAL WORDS

After reading all through the article it must be clear to you why hospitals put hats on newborns. And it must also be clear to you that you do not need to continue this habit unless needed.