It is normal for a mother to get concerned about her child, especially if the baby sweats and they do not have a fever. Just like adults, babies, including infants have sweat glands in their heads and necks. Therefore, they are likely to sweat if the environment is too warm. However, if your baby is experiencing excessive sweating, it is advisable to consult a pediatrician.
Sometimes your baby may sweat a lot for regulating body temperature. This is a natural response to warm weather. Also, if your baby is heavily covered while in the house or while in the car seat, the child may sweat due to the high temperatures. If you are feeling too hot, then the child is feeling the same and you should probably avoid heavy covering on your child. If your house is cool, and the child is sweating, then consult a pediatrician.
Baby sweating at night/cold sweats
It is common for a baby to experience excessive sweating at night. Night sweats may be due to various factors:
- Endocrine dysfunction/hyperhidrosis: This is one of the most common causes of excessive sweating in babies. The condition may be caused by environmental factors, such as high humidity and heat illness. Another common reason is eccrine nevus. This congenital condition results in excessive sweating in babies.
- If your baby sweats a lot at night, then it could be due to the room temperature. The room should be warm, not hot. You should set the room temperature to a level that feels comfortable for a lightly dressed adult.
- Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS): As the term suggests, SIDS is a mysterious condition in which the infant dies in their sleep. SIDS causes overheating of the baby, particularly at night. To read more on the symptoms and causes of SID, you can visit Mayoclinic.com.
- Sleep Apnea: Refers to a breathing disorder in which the baby experiences a reduction in breathing during their sleep. It is important to note that a small percentage of babies who die from SIDS often exhibit symptoms of apnea prior to their death.
- Congenital heart disease: Babies suffering from this condition may experience night sweats. The baby may also sweat when eating or playing.
Cold sweats, which are also known as night sweats tend to occur if the baby has a cold/flu/or sinus infection/or fever. Sweating helps the child cool down from the high temperature resulting from the infection. However, if your child is sweating and is not unwell, then you should speak to a doctor.
Baby sweaty feet, head, hands
It is normal to have babies with sweaty hands, feet, or a sweaty forehead. In some extreme cases, there are mothers whose bundles of joy happen to be clammy babies. However, as your child matures, their body is able to regulate the temperature which leads to reduced sweating. In rare instances, the excess sweating be a sign of medical conditions such as endocrine conditions.
The baby’s hands and feet act as temperature regulators. This is because, at this stage, only the glands in the feet, head, and hands are active. If your child is overdressed, then they may start sweating at their hands, feet, or head. For a newborn, the baby is likely to experience excessive sweating on the head at night, due to limited circulation.
It is important to remember that the baby’s nervous system is not yet mature. As a result, they may sweat excessively when exposed to high humidity, or high temperature. It is only at about 9 months that the body’s regulation mechanism improves.
Treatment and remedies: Preventive Measures to Consider
If your baby sweats a lot, then you should consider checking the baby’s room temperature. This is the best way to deal with baby sweating at night. Remember, if you’re feeling hot, then the baby is feeling the same way. Also, you should hydrate the baby. Prior to putting the baby to sleep at night, make sure that he/she is hydrated to make up for the water lost as baby sweat.
You should remember to dress your baby properly, including at night. Place your baby on a comfortable night clothing.
If you have a stroller, then you should get an air thermometer to check the temperature. You might discover that the child may be over-bundled and you might need to reduce their coverings.
As a rule of thumb, you should recognize that there is a difference between excessive sweating and normal sweating. Severe sweating may be linked to a genetic factor. However, if you notice other signs such as being underweight, or the baby is relatively inactive, then it may be wise to take the child to be examined by a doctor.
- Baby Centre.com Baby sleep habits: Snoring, sweating, head banging, and more, Accessed from https://www.babycenter.com/0_baby-sleep-habits-snoring-sweating-head-banging-and-more_1467374.bc?page=2#articlesection3
- Mayo Clinic. Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Accessed from http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/sudden-infant-death-syndrome/symptoms-causes/dxc-20322702
- Sleep Education. Infant Sleep Apnea – Symptoms & Risk Factors, Accessed from http://www.sleepeducation.org/sleep-disorders-by-category/sleep-breathing-disorders/infant-sleep-apnea/symptoms-risk-factors