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Why We Should Stop Putting Hats on Newborns! - The Snap Mom

Why We Should Stop Putting Hats on Newborns!

I am in shock right now! This article will blow your mind! The human body is amazing and sometimes we forget that.


by BellyBelly | Article Source

More often than not, those Facebook birth announcement photos feature a gorgeous little baby, swaddled in a hospital blanket, with a cute little hat covering their head.

Depending on where you gave birth, the notion of ‘hatting’ a newborn will either seem like a normal part of the post-birth process, or a non-issue. The use of hats seems to vary between hospitals.

In the past, it was considered standard practice to put hats on the heads of all newborn babies, though many hospitals now only offer hats to premature or low birth weight babies. At some hospitals, baby born via caesarean, or after induction, may also be offered hats as they recover from the birth.

However, for healthy mothers and babies born after a spontaneous birth, many healthcare professionals are now not bothering with recommending hats, and here’s why:

#1: It Hides That Newborn Baby Smell

Hmmm, newborn baby smell, also known as the best smell, ever. That smell, though beautiful, is also pretty important in terms of biology. The moment your baby is born, she recognizes your smell, and you are also biologically tuned to recognize the scent of your baby. This helps you to bond, as you nuzzle into your baby’s head to soak up some more of that delightful scent. Instead of breathing in washing powder, choose skin-to-skin with your baby immediately after birth, and make the most of the bonding benefits that your baby’s sweet-smelling head can offer.

It’s not just bonding that gets a helping hand from that newborn smell, the third stage of labour is also triggered by a big sniff. After the birth, one of the cues that tells your body that it’s time to expel the placenta, is a noseful of your baby’s scent. Once that happens, you will experience an increase in oxytocin, which will cause your uterus to contract and helps to safely expel the placenta.

#2: Your Baby Doesn’t Need It

It is a common misconception that newborn babies need to wear hats to stay warm. In fact, there is no need to rely on hats to keep your baby warm, because you will be keeping your baby warm. Your body temperature helps to regulate your baby’s body temperature, which is why skin-to-skin contact is so important in the hours following the birth. During skin-to-skin contact, if your baby feels too hot, your body will cool down, and if your baby feels too cold, your body will heat up.

Babies can actually overheat wearing hats indoors, and experts advise removing hats as soon as you are indoors. This should apply to hospitals too, where temperatures are often higher than in some homes.

What You Should Do Instead

A 2010 study (Gabriel, 2010) found that skin-to-skin contact after birth leads to better thermal regulation, a faster third stage of labour, and also improved rates for exclusive breastfeeding at the time of hospital discharge.

Bear in mind that it is not possible in all cases to do skin to skin. If you are separated from your baby, have a sick or premature baby or perhaps he or she is having a few troubles after the birth, putting clothes and a hat on, or using a warmer, would be the best option. Uninterrupted, skin to skin time is for well mothers and babies.

So if all is well and you are offered a hat in the hospital, explain instead that you would rather hold your baby skin-to-skin, and let your body help regulate your baby’s temperature. Your baby should be placed directly on your chest, skin-to-skin, with a warm blanket placed over the two of you to help you maintain body heat. Now, lie back, relax, and enjoy that gorgeous new baby smell whilst nature takes care of the rest.

As some birth professionals have adopted the saying: “No hatting, patting, or chatting!”, which traces back to the lovely Carla Hartley. The moments right after birth are SO important, and should be an undisturbed as possible. It’s the beginning of an attachment, a precious and important moment that you will never, ever get back.