Continuous recordings of rectal temperature were made from 40 normal infants, aged 3-4 months, at home during two days of normal activities. We found that the rectal temperature of a normal, healthy baby may vary from 36.0 degrees C at night to 37.8 degrees C during active periods of the day. During daytime sleep rectal temperature fell, but to a lesser extent, and for less time than during night time sleeps. Feeds raised the temperature unless the baby slept, when they reduced the rate of fall of temperature. Bottle feeds affected temperature more quickly than breast feeds. The changes in temperature during sleep and after feeds were independent of the room temperature or thermal insulation of clothing and wrapping.
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