It’s perfectly normal that your baby sweats while breastfeeding or at the beginning of her sleep (mostly on the head). It becomes more serious when it combines with other symptoms mentioned later in this article, particularly when it’s related to night sweats.
When your baby gets a good night’s sleep, so do you. Sleep is important for anyone, but particularly for babies. When a baby comes out of the womb, their brains aren’t fully developed yet. Rapid Eye Movement (R.E.M) sleep helps stimulate neurons and develop the baby’s brain. This is one of the many reasons your little one needs as much shut-eye as possible.
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Think about how small a baby is when they come out into the world. Pretty much everything you can think of in terms of the body isn’t fully developed yet: muscles, organs, bones. When they’re sleeping, a baby’s body is working overtime to make sure everything grows properly. Sleep is almost like a nutritionally-loaded energy drink for them, so it’s essential that they sleep soundly.
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So how much sleep does your baby actually need? If your baby is three months old or less, seventeen hours of sleep is the recommended amount. Sounds a lot, doesn’t it? If your baby is between three and six months, sixteen hours a day will suffice. From six months on, fifteen hours is the magic number.
Of course, life doesn’t always come tied up neatly in a little box like that. There are many babies who aren’t great sleepers, are big criers, and seem to wake to the sound of a pin dropping. Add in discomforts like excessive sweating, and parents can often feel like pulling their hair out.
Don’t worry. These are just the facts of life. Pat yourself on the back for surviving the first few months. New parents especially are very anxious and have one eye permanently open when it comes to their baby. More often than not, you’ll find yourself waking in the middle of the night to check on them, even if they haven’t made a sound. Then there will be times when you wake up to the sound of an alarm clock that sounds remarkably like a baby’s scream!
There are many things that can cause a baby to wake up crying. This discussion focuses on excessive sweating in babies.
So, what happens if your baby breaks out in night sweats? What do you do? Well, before we get into that, let’s find out what excessive sweating in babies is first.
What is Excessive Sweating in Babies?
Night sweating is quite common in babies
Excessive sweating in babies is something of an unexplained phenomenon. Sweating is the body’s way of regulating temperature. When our body sweats more than the temperature regulation requires, this is what’s known as excessive sweating. The medical name for this condition is ‘hyperhidrosis.’ When it occurs for no reason, it’s known as ”primary hyperhidrosis.’ This is the most common type. The areas of the body affected are the palms of the hands, the armpits, and the feet. When hyperhidrosis occurs as the result of another illness, it’s known as ‘secondary hyperhidrosis.’ This kind isn’t very common and is rare in babies, so we won’t worry about it here. When we talk about excessive sweating in babies, we’re usually referring to primary hyperhidrosis.
Night sweats, as baby sweating at night is sometimes called, are relatively common in babies, toddlers, and kids. These two terms are used interchangeably and refer to any excess sweating that occurs during the night.back to menu ↑
Causes of Excessive Sweating in Babies:
Environmental conditions are the most common cause of night sweats in children
Before assuming that your baby has night sweats (baby sweating at night), check its temperature. It may have a fever. The American Academy of Pediatrics and most doctors agree that the normal temperature for a baby is anywhere between 97 and 100.3 degrees Fahrenheit. Anything above is determined to be a fever. Therefore, if you find your baby’s temperature to be 100.4 degrees or higher, read our invaluable advice about how to care for a baby with a fever.
If you conclude that your baby doesn’t have a fever but is still sweating excessively, the answer may lie in the baby’s environment.
Environmental factors are the number one reason for a baby sweating at night. If your baby’s bedroom is unusually hot or you are using too many bedclothes for your child, he or she may begin to sweat during sleep. This is normal. Try adapting the temperature control for your ventilation system and changing the bedding to something lighter. This should help. Make sure you don’t overdo it, or the baby will be able to see their breath indoors, of course!
If you’ve made the environment cooler and still notice your baby sweating at night, there’s no immediate cause for concern. For one thing, children often spend more time in deep sleep than adults do and their body temperature regulation systems are not yet fully developed which means their sweat glands are more active. These two unavoidable factors could explain why your baby is having night sweats.
If you have considered and addressed these causes and still find your baby sweating at night, don’t worry much. There are other causes of excessive sweating in babies, as outlined below:
- Is your baby taking any medication? Check the side effects. Excessive sweating is a listed side effect in many medications.
- If you keep the windows closed in the baby’s room, there could be a lack of fresh air circulating around it. The recycled air may contribute to your baby sweating at night.
- How much do you feed your baby? Is your baby overweight? Overweight babies sweat more.
- If your baby has a nightmare, it could wake up sweating.
- If you constantly modify the ventilation system, this could wreak havoc with your baby’s regulatory system. Try to keep the temperature (in their bedroom, at least) consistent.
- Your baby’s diet can contribute to how much they sweat. Avoid spicy or overly rich foods if you think your baby is sweating too much.
- General sleep issues including snoring can cause your baby to sweat more than usual.
- Blocked nose or cold and cough: even common ailments like these can cause excessive sweating in babies.
- General stress or anxiety: it’s difficult to diagnose a baby with something psychological, and also difficult to imagine that they have anything to be stress or be anxious about, but bear this in mind anyway.
- Other conditions such as sleep apnea, congenital heart disease, general breathing issues, and S.I.Ds, can affect your baby’s system in various ways. If you suspect something as serious as this, consult your doctor immediately.
Being informed about the causes of a baby sweating at night will help reassure you as a parent. The more serious causes aren’t very common. Chances are you’ll change the bed-linen from that horrible itchy fabric to a cool cotton, and your baby will love you for it.
Now that you’ve familiarized yourself with a variety of possible causes for excessive sweating in babies, it’s time to find out about the symptoms.back to menu ↑
Symptoms of Excessive Sweating in Babies
Sleeping with the mouth open is a symptom of excessive sweating in babies or night sweats
Excessive sweating in and of itself isn’t something to worry about, as previously stated. However, it’s best to monitor your child’s night routine to make sure that there isn’t some other underlying cause of the night sweats.
The symptoms listed below should always be monitored carefully, particularly if they are coupled with night sweats (baby sweating while sleeping at night). Some are more serious than others, and vigilant parents will have the natural discernment to decide which symptoms are more cause for concern. For example, weight loss and irregular breathing demand more immediate attention than the baby kicking off their blanket. The best advice in these situations? Trust your parental instincts.
- Excessive fatigue through the day
- Sleeping with the mouth open
- Irregular breathing
- Irregular bowel movements
- Abdominal bloating
- Foul-smelling stools (often green in color)
- Hot body and red face while sleeping
- The baby kicks off their blanket
- Gets easily irritated, cries or is anxious
- Increased thirst
- Calcium deficiency
- Dry stool
- Dry skin
- Night sweats regularly occur
You can afford to neglect normal night sweating in children.
However, if the night sweats accompany some other indicators such as the listed below, you should take his to your doctors:
- Night sweats regularly occur
- Shows signs of body pain
- Weight loss
- Excessive tiredness during the day
- Infrequent breathing or breathing with added effort
- Any other symptoms of sickness
If your baby has one or more of the above symptoms combined with night sweats (baby sweating at night), it’s recommended that you schedule an appointment with your baby’s doctor. This is because excessive sweating in babies is sometimes a symptom of a more serious underlying condition.
Keeping your doctor informed of any symptoms that occur simultaneously will help you rule out unnecessary doubts.
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How to Stop Excessive Sweating in Babies
Make sure your baby’s bedtime attire is light and breathable
Excessive sweating in babies might not be serious on its own, but it’s a nuisance for both you and your baby. Establishing a night-time routine is often a challenge without adding discomfort to the mix. If you’re certain your baby doesn’t have any other symptom and just suffers from night sweats, there’s no need to see a doctor right away. There are surgeries and medical remedies available for baby sweating at night, but why not try to fix it yourself first? There are a number of easy solutions listed here, for babies and older children alike. Have a look before you rush into making a costly doctor’s appointment. You never know, one of these tips might just do the trick!
- Maintain a comfortable temperature in your child’s room throughout the night
- Encourage your child to go regularly for night walks before bedtime and drinking enough water (avoid freezing cold water)
- Ensure your child’s bedtime clothes are light and breathable.
- Monitor their bowel movements and adjust their diet accordingly
- Avoid giving spicy foods or foods which may increase your child’s body temperature.
- Maintain a gap between dinner and bedtime so that their meal isn’t still churning away in their stomach when you’ve put them down to sleep.
- Avoid eating too much at once, especially later on in the day.
- Avoid using heavy bedtime accessories like blankets and comforters unless the weather requires it.
- Get your child regularly examined by a doctor.
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If you think your baby’s medication make baby sweating at night, consult your doctor. They can monitor your baby and change the type or dosage if necessary.
It’s perfectly natural for you to worry about your baby sweating while sleeping. Follow the tips above to ensure your baby sleeps soundly.Baby Sweating