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Watching your baby sleep peacefully is a blissful experience. Any discomfort that your baby faces while sleeping or even otherwise, can be heart-wrenching for many parents. What if you wake up to see your baby drenched in sweat while asleep? It can be quite worrisome, right? You may be curious to know whether sweating at night is normal in infants. Through this article, we will answer all your queries about the causes of night sweating in babies.
Video: Baby Sweating While Sleeping – Causes and How to Deal With It
What Are Night Sweats in Babies?
Night sweats occur when babies sweat excessively at night while they are asleep. There are various causes of night sweats, and the condition must not be ignored, especially if it persists longer.
Are Night Sweats in Babies Normal?
Sweating while sleeping is a normal phenomenon in babies. However, if your baby sweats a lot while sleeping, it might be a symptom of a health issue he is suffering from, and hence, must not be ignored.
What Are the Reasons for Night Sweating in Babies?
We have listed some of the reasons why your baby might be sweating while sleeping.
When babies are in a deep sleep, they tend to sweat, as they do not move as much as adults do. Body temperature may rise when the baby stays in one position for a long time, and sweating is the body’s way of regulating this increase in temperature.
2. Position of Sweat Glands
Unlike adults, babies’ sweat glands are located close to their heads. This causes them to sweat excessively at night, especially because they do not change their head positions while sleeping, as much as they do when they are awake. As mentioned above, sleeping in one position may cause body temperature to rise, and sweating helps ensure that it is regulated.
3. Room Temperature
The temperature of the baby’s room can also make the baby sweat excessively at night, as is the case with adults.
Covering the baby with a blanket during summers is a practice commonly followed in many families. This makes the baby’s body temperature rise and leads to them sweating excessively.
These are the common reasons why babies sweat could sweat a lot. However, certain health conditions can also be responsible for night sweats in them.
Other Causes of Night Sweating in Babies
If your baby sweats abnormally while he is asleep at night, then you may have something to worry about. There are some health conditions that may lead to abnormal sweating in babies while they are asleep at night. Let’s take a look at some of them.
1. Congenital Heart Disease
Children suffering from congenital heart disease may sweat abnormally at night while sleeping. Such disorders develop while they are still in the womb, and these infants tend to sweat excessively, even while eating and playing.
2. Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea has been detected as one of the causes of excessive night sweating in infants. In this condition, children pause for some time while breathing, causing the body to get overworked. This, in turn, makes the baby sweat abnormally in sleep. Children suffering from sleep apnea also display other symptoms like bluish skin and wheezing, along with night sweats.
3. Suffocation When Sleeping
Suffocation due to the sleeping position of the baby or getting strangled by a blanket can lead to SIDS or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. If you are watchful, you could notice the baby’s body overheating while he is asleep, which shows up in the form of extreme night sweats.
It has been observed that sometimes, despite a controlled room temperature, babies sweat at night. This could be because of a condition called hyperhidrosis or excessive sweating. Although it is not a common cause in children, those suffering from hyperhidrosis also have sweaty hands and feet. However, it is not a serious condition and can be cured by a specialist. The treatment may involve a surgical procedure, or may even be cured non-surgically, by applying ointments or administering oral medication. Be sure to consult a dermatologist to determine the treatment your baby needs.
5. Common Cold
The night sweats in your baby could be because he is fighting the infection that causes the common cold. Your child may then also show other symptoms like a runny/stuffy nose, cough, etc.
Certain allergies can also lead to night sweats in babies. Look for signs like an allergic skin rash, a runny nose, etc., that he usually has when awake and exposed to the things he is allergic to.
7. Respiratory Health
Night sweats in babies can be linked to the child’s respiratory health too. In rare cases, babies with asthma, tonsillitis, hypersensitivity pneumonitis (a lung inflammation) have night sweats.
So, what is it that you can do when you find your child sweating excessively at night? Here are some tips that can help you deal with it.
Tips to Deal With Night Sweating in Babies
Here is a list of simple steps that you can follow, in order to keep a check on night sweating in babies.
1. Control Room Temperature
Ensure that the room temperature is always cool (between 26-27 degrees centigrade). Remove any unnecessary blankets and coveralls from the crib to ensure that your baby has a comfortable and sound sleep.
2. Keep Your Baby Hydrated
It is essential that you hydrate your baby well before putting him to sleep. This will help to make up for the fluid loss that takes place due to sweating.
3. Dress Your Baby Appropriately
Remember to dress your baby in breathable and light clothes. This will keep the baby’s body temperature under control and bring down night sweating. Irrespective of whether your baby has a night sweating problem or not, it is important to dress him in comfortable clothing for a sound sleep.
4. Keep the Baby’s Crib Clutter-Free
Get rid of the blankets, stuffed toys, sleep positioners (if you are using one), pillows, etc. before you put your baby to sleep in his crib. Ensure he has nothing around him that can suffocate or strangle him while he sleeps.
Here are some points you must remember when your baby has night sweats.
Points to Remember
Parents need to be very watchful when it comes to their babies. These points will help you keep deal with night sweats and also seek medical assistance when required.
- You may want to consult a doctor if your baby continues to sweat at night, even after taking the above precautions. The cause of night sweating in babies must be diagnosed at the right time, for appropriate treatment.
- If excessive head sweating is accompanied by dry stool and dry skin, this could be an indication that the baby has weak kidneys, and it is advisable to consult a doctor, as soon as possible.
- Look out for other signs or symptoms in your baby, like head banging, rocking, teeth grinding, snoring, and snorting. If you notice these symptoms, along with night sweats, you must consult your paediatrician immediately.
- Head banging: This may indicate that the baby is in pain. Ear-ache and teething are common causes of head banging, and the child is sure to grow out of it. However, if the habit persists even after the baby is 3 or 4 years old, it may indicate a developmental problem that needs to be evaluated.
- Teeth Grinding: Pain because of teething, the discomfort of an earache, or difficulty in breathing due to a stuffy nose, may cause teeth grinding.
- Rocking: This is a way babies soothe themselves and is not a cause for concern.
- Snoring and Snorting: Babies who have a stuffy nose due to cold may snore and snort in their sleep.
1. When Should I Consult a Doctor for My Baby’s Night Sweating?
The first time you notice your baby drenched in sweat during the night, try and understand why it may have happened. If external factors such as the temperature of the room, a thick blanket, etc., may have been the cause, you could try correcting it and notice if the issue occurs again. If it persists, it is advisable to consult a doctor. Additionally, if you notice other associated symptoms, such as teeth grinding, snoring, etc., consult a doctor, as soon as possible.
2. Is it Normal for My Baby’s Head to Sweat While Sleeping?
As babies’ sweat glands are positioned near their heads, night sweating can occur only in the head as well. Lack of movement causes overheating in the head, which the body tries to control by sweating to bring down the heat. However, if you notice your baby sweating more than normal, as well as other symptoms such as hard stool and dry skin, be sure to consult a doctor.
Now that you know all about night sweating in babies, be sure to take necessary precautionary measures so that your baby has a comfortable and sound sleep. Also, don’t forget to consult a doctor for further queries and concerns.