Baby Sweating While Sleeping- Causes & How To Deal With It

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

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What is Night Sweat?

When babies sweat excessively at night while they are asleep, it is called night sweat. The causes for the same are varied and must not be neglected.

Is Baby Sweating In Sleep Normal?

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

What Are The Reasons Your Baby Sweats While Sleeping?

Some of the reasons that are responsible for night sweating in babies are:

  • 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
  • Unlike adults, the babies’ sweat glands are located close to their heads. This causes them to sweat excessively at night, especially because at night they do not change their head positions 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
  • High room temperature can also make the baby sweat excessively at night.
  • 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 infants 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.

  • Children suffering from congenital heart disease may sweat abnormally at night while sleeping. Such disorders develop while they are still in the womb. These infants tend to sweat excessively even while eating and playing.
  • 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 worked, which 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.
  • 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.
  • It has been observed that sometimes, despite the 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. But this is not a serious condition and can be cured. The treatment may involve a surgical procedure, or may even be cured non-surgically by applying ointments or administering oral medication. Do 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.

  • First of all, ensure that the room temperature is always cool (between 20-22 degrees centigrade). So, please remove the unnecessary blankets and coveralls from the crib to ensure that your baby has a comfortable and sound sleep.
  • 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.
  • Remember to dress your baby in breathable and light clothes. This will keep the baby’s body temperature under control and bring down the 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.
  • Also, look out for other signs or symptoms in your baby like head banging, rocking, teeth grinding, snoring and snorting. If you notice these symptoms in your baby along with night sweating, 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. But if the habit persists even after the baby is 3 or 4 years old, it may indicate a developmental problem and 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 is 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 if this occurs

Conclusion

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 the doctor in case of any doubts.