A prospective observational study of post-delivery care and neonatal body temperature, carried out at Kathmandu Maternity Hospital, was followed by a randomized controlled intervention study using three simple methods for maintaining body temperature. There were 500 infants in the initial observation study and 300 in the intervention study. In the observation study, 85% (420/495) of infants had temperatures < 36 degrees C at 2 h and nearly 50% (198/405) had temperatures < 36 degrees C at 24 h (14% were < 35 degrees C). Most of the infants who were cold at 24 h had initially become cold at the time of delivery (only seven infants had been both well dried and wrapped). In the intervention study, all infants were dried and wrapped before random assignment to one of the three methods: the "kangaroo" method, the traditional "oil massage" or a "plastic swaddler". All three were found to be equally effective. Overall, 38% (114/298) of the infants had temperatures < 36 degrees C at 2 h and 18% (41/231) at 24 h (when none was < 35 degrees C).