If you are worried about your baby sweating constantly, it may help to know that this is a normal process, which may last until he is about four years old. Sweating on the head, especially during sleep, is very common in children. Sweating in the palms and soles is also common during stressful situations or in enclosed environments, such as shoes or coat pockets. Underarm sweating is usually caused by hot environments and anxiety. If you may notice that your baby becomes sweaty sometimes, just relax and change his clothes if necessary.
Why Do Babies Sweat?
1. Immature Nervous System
The nervous system controls body temperature, and like other parts of the baby’s body, it may not have fully matured yet for newborns. Thus, newborn babies are not able to regulate their body temperature like adults. Besides this, some babies naturally sweat more than others, just like adults.
2. Baby Sweating Deep Sleep
Newborn babies may sweat profusely at the deepest part of their sleep cycle at night, causing them to be extremely wet. A newborn baby sleeps for 16-18 hours daily, which is often broken up into short periods of three to four hours. During these periods, babies experience cycles of drowsiness, REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, light sleep, deep sleep, and very deep sleep. During very deep sleep, profuse sweating can occur (even in adults) to a point where they may wake up drenched in sweat. Since babies spend a lot of time in deep sleep, they are more likely to sweat at night compared to older children and adults.
How to Prevent Your Baby from Sweating
1. Avoid Overheating
If your home is too warm, excessive sweating can occur. Keep your home temperature comfortable enough for a lightly clothed adult. Experts recommend a room temperature between 68 to 72° F.
Caution: Overheating is linked to SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome), since it may cause the baby to fall into a deeper stage of sleep that makes it difficult for him to wake up.
2. Avoid Overdressing
You should keep your baby comfortably warm at night, without bundling him up too much. Using too many layers or even a single layer of warm clothing will make the baby sweat when the skin cannot breathe. It is advisable to dress your baby in clothing that is comfortable for sleeping without covers. In warm weather, dress her in comfortable lightweight pajamas or undershirts; in cold weather, use a sleep sack to keep her cozy and safe. However, you should be careful with thick blankets, quilts, or comforters, which can impair the baby’s breathing.
Mom’s Experience on baby sweating:
”My son sweats even when I feel chilly. I don’t let him sleep in clothes that are too warm – just a T-shirt or light pajamas and a diaper is all that he wears to sleep.”
“My baby sleeps in his onesie and a diaper. When he wakes up and cries, I use a lukewarm cloth to wipe off his sweat and pat him dry.”
To learn about what to do if your baby sweats a lot, watch the video below:
When Should Baby Sweating Be Concerned?
Excessive sweating in some children may be a sign of something more serious.
1. Heart Problem
If your child sweats excessively during ordinary activities like feedings, consult your pediatrician about it. It might be a sign of a congenital heart problem, especially if his skin color seems dusky during crying or feeding, and if he does not seem to gain weight. Babies with heart disease sweat constantly because their hearts have to work hard to pump blood efficiently.
If your baby sweats profusely even when the room is cool, he may have a condition called hyperhidrosis, which means he is sweating beyond what his body needs to maintain normal body temperature. People who have sweaty hands and feet usually have this condition. It can be treated as the baby gets older by practicing sweat management techniques, like using an antiperspirant. In adults, more aggressive treatments such as removal of sweat glands through surgery may be done.
3. Other Underlying Conditions
Excessive sweating may also be due to a disorder in the nervous system, breathing problems, overactive thyroid gland, or genetic disorder. Although these conditions are not common, if you are concerned, it’s always good to consult your baby’s doctor. Source: newkidscenter.com