Why is my baby sweating while sleeping? Why is s/he only sweating from the head? These doubts are common for new parents. Many parents immediately rush their babies to the doctor fearing that their baby might have fallen sick. However, there probably is nothing to worry about, as long as it isn’t excessive. Babies tend to sweat when they sleep or during feeding sessions simply because they feel too hot and need to release their body heat.
The following are the main reasons babies sweat and how to deal with this.
Initially, sweat glands are fully formed and functional only in the head. It later starts to become functional in the other parts of the body. The number of sweat glands in our adult bodies remains the same - only a few more sweat glands are formed over the years. The sweat glands then get distributed across the body.
If your baby sweats, it is indicative of proper functioning and brain activity. Babies with an abnormal brain don’t have normal heat-sensing neurones in their hypothalamus (a part of the brain) and don’t sweat. This is why doctors check if newborns sweat.
A newborn’s heart rate is normally around 130 beats per minute, whereas a normal adult’s heart rate is around 70 to 90. A baby’s activeness, including breath rate, is also quite high compared to adults.
This is one of the main reasons why babies seem to sweat a lot. You can help your baby by washing their head 2-3 times a week with some warm water and a sponge. Make sure to quickly wipe their head dry after their bath. Also, make sure the house is dust-free to prevent any allergies or illnesses, as these can add to the problem and cause further discomfort.
As parents, we feel the need to make sure our babies are warm and snug when put to bed. Some even wrap up their child’s head, but this can irritate your baby. Instead, cover them up with just a single blanket every night, leaving their head free.
Also, make sure their rooms are properly ventilated and airy. Your baby requires good air circulation and ventilation in order to sleep peacefully.
A newborn baby’s head has active sweat glands. If your baby's head is breaking a sweat, it may just mean that s/he is feeling too hot. You can try trimming his/her hair every month or so during summers. This way, you can even notice how much they are sweating.
If your child’s head feels hot, it is not necessarily indicative of fever. To check if s/he does have a fever, touch his/her cheeks or neck. If s/he is sweating all the time, you should take him/her to a doctor.
If your baby sweats a lot, even when it is not too hot, and your baby is either overweight or underweight, it is possible that your baby has a heart problem. Other symptoms are that your baby’s skin appears pale and dull. In this case, you should immediately take him/her to a doctor.