Baby Sweating While Sleeping – Causes & How to Deal With it

Watching your baby sleeping peacefully is a blissful experience. However, any discomfort that your baby faces, while sleeping or even otherwise, can be heart-wrenching. What if you wake up to see the baby drenched in sweat while asleep? It can be quite disturbing for parents to find their babies drenched in sweat during the night. As a parent, you may be curious to know whether sweating at night is normal in infants or not. Through this article, we will answer all your queries about the causes of night sweating in babies.

What is Night Sweat?

Night sweat occurs when babies sweat excessively at night while they are asleep, There are various causes of night sweating, and the condition must not be ignored, especially if it persists.

Is Night Sweat in Babies Normal?

Sweating while sleeping is a normal phenomenon in children. However, if your baby sweats a lot while sleeping, it might be a symptom of an infection that he/she is suffering from, and hence, must not be ignored.

What Are the Reasons For Night Sweat in Babies?

We have listed some of the reasons why your baby might be sweating while sleeping.

1. Movement

When babies are in 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

High room temperature can also make the baby sweat excessively at night.

4. Blanket

Covering the baby with a blanket during summers is a practice commonly followed in India. This makes the baby’s body temperature rise, and leads to them sweating excessively.

Causes of Abnormal Head Sweating in Infants

If your baby sweats abnormally while he/she 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.

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 over worked. 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. Sudden Infant Death Syndrome

SIDS or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome also causes overheating in the baby’s body while he/she is asleep, which shows up in the form of extreme night sweat.

4. Hyperhidrosis

It has been observed that sometimes, despite a controlled room temperature, babies sweat at night. This is because of a condition called hyperhidrosis or excessive sweating. Children suffering from hyperhidrosis also have sweaty hands and feet. However, this 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. Make sure to consult a dermatologist to determine the treatment your baby needs.

Tips on Dealing With Newborn Sweating While Sleeping

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 20-22 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/her 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/her in comfortable clothing for a sound sleep.

Points to Remember

  • 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.
  • 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 sweating, in your baby, then 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 baby’s way of self-soothing, and not a cause for concern
    • Snoring and snorting: Babies who have a stuffy nose due to a cold may snore and snort in their sleep
  • 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.

FAQs

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, with 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, make sure to consult a doctor.

Now that you know all about night sweating in babies, be sure to take necessary precautionary measures to ensure that your baby has a comfortable and sound sleep. Also, don’t forget to consult a doctor, in case of any doubts.

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Published by
Deboshree Bhattacharjee

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