Baby sweat – just another baby bodily liquid that we, as parents, should examine closely, contemplate on, and freak out about. As if vomit, pee, snot, and poop are not enough.
If you are among those parents with a sweaty baby, then you know what it looks (and feels) to pick up your baby who has woken up soaking wet with sweat. Hint: it looks disturbing and scary but, in most cases, this is perfectly normal.
Here are 4 simple reasons your baby is sweating (A LOT) while sleeping:
1. Babies spend much more time in deep sleep
As shocked as you may be by this statement (given the fact that your baby is capable of waking you up at least 19 times per night without looking as if he is even making an effort to do it), babies do spend much more time in their deepest sleep phase than older children and adults. While they are in this stage of deep sleep, they don’t move as much as us and, as a result, they sweat. A lot.
2. Babies’ sweat glands are situated primarily on their heads
I know this sounds amazing, but it’s a fact! Babies, unlike adults, cannot boast about having as much sweat glands in their armpits (not that this is something we should boast about either). Instead, their (super) active sweat glands are located on their heads, causing excessive sweating, especially at night when they don’t change their head position as much as they do when they are awake.
3. It is too hot in the room
I don’t know what the fuss is about preventing your baby from getting a cold. I mean, nobody wants to deal with a baby who has a runny nose and everything but what’s with the blanket on top of baby when it’s scorching hot outside?? I hate to break it to you but if you’re hot, your baby is probably having a hard time to cool down as well. A pinch of common sense is a good idea – just keep the room temperature comfortable to you and your baby will thank you with longer stretches of sleep. I promise.
4. The baby is having a health condition
Baby night sweats are very common and there’s usually really nothing to worry about. However, you should be on the look for other symptoms accompanying your sweaty baby as they may be an indication of a health condition that may need medical treatment, namely:
- Sleep apnea – usually affecting premature babies, sleep apnea is a common cause of night sweats. It is accompanied by breathing pauses of up to 20 seconds, bluish skin color, and wheezing.
- Congenital heart disease – if your baby is drenched in sweat at night as well as during mealtimes and playtimes, you might consider ruling out a congenital heart disease.
- Hyperhidrosis – please don’t panic, it’s just the name of the condition that sounds scary. This health condition is accompanied by a sweaty head, as well as sweaty hands and feet. Hyperhidrosis is not really anything serious and you can easily deal with it with basic sweat management. Yes, there is such a term; you can Google it if you don’t believe me.
- SIDS – one of the most common reasons for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is overheating. This is a situation in which the baby falls into a very deep sleep which makes it very difficult for him to wake up.