1. Lazzeri, Jessica MSN, RN, NEA-BC
  2. Giordano, Nicholas A. PhD, RN
  3. Christ, Lori MD
  4. Polomano, Rosemary C. PhD, RN, FAAN
  5. Stringer, Marilyn PhD, WHNP, FAAN


Background: Hyperthermia is a known risk for sudden unexpected infant death. The practice of hat placement at birth to prevent transient hypothermia may not be necessary and sets an early standard for clothing infants that may lead to hyperthermia postnatally.


Objective: To examine the elimination of hats on thermoregulation (eg, hypothermia, <97.6[degrees]F) in full-term newborns with no abnormalities within 24 hours of birth.


Methods: In 2018, an institution guideline discontinued the use of hats at birth. Subsequently, newborn body temperatures were respectively extracted from electronic health records and data were compared from 482 infants (>38 weeks' gestation and newborn birth weight >2500 g) prior to (n = 257) and following (n = 225) the practice change. Body temperatures prior to and after the practice change to eliminate hats use were compared.


Results: No statistically significant difference was observed: (1) in the proportion of infants experiencing hypothermia with or without hat use, respectively, 23.7% compared with 31.1% (P = .09) and (2) in the odds of an infant experiencing hypothermia when adjusting for relevant covariates (odds ratio = 1.44; 95% confidence interval 0.89-2.32; P = .14).


Conclusions: Our findings demonstrate that the use of hats on infants at birth had no measurable impact on newborn thermoregulation.