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Adults have a tightly controlled thermostat to help regulate their body temperature. When cold, an adult shivers, helping to raise the temperature of the body. Sweating occurs when an adult is overheated, to allow for cooling. These mechanisms, on the other hand, are not completely developed in newborns. In addition, newborns lack the insulating fat layer that older babies and children develop.
Because a newborn's temperature regulation system is immature, fever may or may not occur with infection or illness. However, fever in babies can be due to other causes which may be even more serious. Call your baby's physician immediately if your baby younger than 3 months old has a rectal temperature of 100.4° F or higher.
Fever in newborns may be due to: