Why Does My Baby Sweat While Sleeping? by Dr. Srikanta J T

5 min read

By Dr. Srikanta J T, MBBS, Diploma in Child Health (DCH), Diplomate of National Board(DNB), Fellowship in Pediatric Pulmonology and Sleep Medicine(NUH, Singapore), Training in Interventional Pulmonology
Consultant - Paediatric Interventional Pulmonology, Allergy and Sleep Medicine, ASTER CMI Hospital
10 years of experience

why does my baby sweat while sleeping

Nothing is more pleasing to parents than their babies having a sound sleep. ‘Sleep like a baby’ is a phrase that means to have sound sleep. Regardless to say it implies that babies have an undisturbed and satisfying slumber. Sometimes, you may observe your baby sweat while sleeping.

As a parent, this may worry you. Why does your baby sweat while sleeping? Is it normal or should you consult a doctor? What are the underlying reasons behind your baby sweating when sleeping? Read our article to know more.

In This Article

Why Does the Baby Sweat While Sleeping?

Babies spend most of their time in the deepest stages of sleep. Hence, they are more likely to sweat while sleeping than in the hours they are awake. This is common among infants and as the baby grows, they will sweat less. In fact, you will notice that your baby sweats more than older children and even adults. While this is not always a cause for worry, you can always check with your pediatrician to make sure everything is fine with your little one.

What Causes Abnormal Head Sweating in Babies?

What Causes Abnormal Head Sweating In Babies

Generally, a baby’s head is sweatier than the rest of the body. This is because a baby only has active sweat glands on the head. Hence, if the baby is feeling a little hot it is natural that they will sweat on the head. Another reason the baby’s head sweats more while sleeping is because babies do not toss and turn while sleeping. The constant position of the head causes overheating and results in sweat.

If you observe that your baby is sweating more than usual, especially on the head while sleeping, chances are, there could be some health concerns. If your baby is sweating profusely at the back of this head and you observe that your baby’s skin and stools are getting drier it could mean that your baby has weak kidneys. Hence, in such cases, you must consult the doctor immediately.

What Causes Sweat While Sleeping in Babies?

Following are the main causes of baby’s sweating while sleeping:

1. Sudden Infant Death Syndrome

Sudden infant death syndrome more commonly known as SIDS happens due to the overheating of the body. Overheating results in excessive sweating. It puts the baby in a deep state of sleep and makes it difficult for the baby to wake up from their slumber.

2. Sleep Apnea

If a baby sweats excessively at night, it can be sleep apnea. Sleep Apnea in babies is a condition in which a baby stops breathing for approx 20 seconds. Due to this, the baby’s body has to work harder to breathe, producing excessive sweat in the process.

3. Heart Disease

One of the early symptoms of heart disease in babies is excessive sweating. Babies suffering from congenital heart diseases sweat during the day, but they sweat profusely during the night.

4. Hyperhidrosis

If you notice that your baby’s hands, feet, and head are sweating more than usual, it could mean your baby has hyperhidrosis. Hyperhidrosis is not very dangerous and can be easily cured.

5. Night Sweating

Excessive sweating can indicate that the baby has weak kidneys. Your baby will be thirsty too often and you may notice that your baby is losing weight rapidly. This syndrome is known as Night Syndrom.

How Can I Help My Baby to Deal With Sweating While Sleeping?

mother dressing baby

You can try the following steps to deal baby sweating while sleeping:

1. Dress Your Baby Appropriately

Bundling up your baby in a dozen clothes is not going to help your baby in any way. The baby might feel extremely hot and even suffocated when you cover them up with layers and layers of clothes.

Two layers of fabric are sufficient to keep your baby warm and cozy. Also, consider the fabric while dressing your baby. During summers opt for cotton and during winters you can opt for slightly warmer fabrics. Also, never dress your baby too tightly. Your baby’s clothes need to be light and airy and as comfortable as possible.

[Read: Dressing Your Baby For the Bed – Safe Dressing Tips]

2. Choose the Correct Sheets and Linens

Another factor to consider is the kind and quality of the sheets and linens you use for the baby. Make sure the sheets are not satin. Satin will make your baby sweat even more. Always opt for cotton sheets and linens for your baby.

3. Feed Your Baby Plenty of Fluids

Keeping your baby hydrated all the time is crucial. If your baby sweats during the night make sure you feed them plenty of fluids before you put them to bed. This will keep his body temperature under control, prevent dehydration, and considerably reduce the sweating.

4. Keep the Room Temperature in Check

A well-ventilated room is always an ideal option for your baby. There are several measures to be taken while using AC in the baby’s room. If the room is a tad bit hotter or warmer than usual, it is natural the baby is going to sweat. Hence, make sure the room is cool and has windows to let some fresh air in.

[Read : Is Using An Air Conditioner (AC) Or Cooler Safe With A Newborn?]

Top 5 Tips to Help Your Baby to Deal With Sweating While Sleeping

baby sleeping

Before you take your child to a doctor for a diagnosis, try the following tips to deal with night sweats in babies.

  1. Avoid covering babies with thick blankets.
  2. Set a comfortable room temperature.
  3. Make the baby wear only cotton nightwear, preferably single-layered.
  4. Think of what your baby needs and fix it if they are sweating from crying hard.
  5. Taking the child to a cooler area and removing the layer of cloth may also help. Nevertheless, avoid putting the baby directly in front of an air conditioner and doing anything that may cause them to become cold.

Sweating can be common in babies and not much cause of concern, especially during summers and when the ventilation is less. But frequent and heavy sweating during sleeping may warrant a visit to the doctor. Remember to monitor your child for any other accompanying warning symptoms to stay on the safe side.

Sleep sound! See your pediatrician if you feel the above measures are not helping.

FAQ’s

1. At What Age do Babies Start Sweating?

During the fourth month of pregnancy, the eccrine sweat glands start to form. When a baby is born, the eccrine glands on their foreheads are the most active ones. As a result, newborns start sweating in these locations.

2. Is Sweating a Sign of Teething?

Babies may exhibit different signs of teething, but sweating isn’t one of them.

Read Also: Why Does Your Baby Sweat While Breastfeeding?

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Dr. Srikanta J T, MBBS, Diploma in Child Health (DCH), Diplomate of National Board(DNB), Fellowship in Pediatric Pulmonology and Sleep Medicine(NUH, Singapore), Training in Interventional Pulmonology
Consultant - Paediatric Interventional Pulmonology, Allergy and Sleep Medicine, ASTER CMI Hospital
10 years of experience

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