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Sweating is something that we normally encounter every day, but when it comes to our babies, nothing is too little to be concerned about. As a parent, you can’t help but feel worried and curious about why your baby is sweating a lot, especially when it involves your baby’s head.
Do you want to know more about baby head sweating? Here’s some useful information for you to ponder.
Is it normal if my baby’s head is sweating?
Just like any other baby sweaty head is a normal part of their physiologic development. According to experts, babies are just starting to figure out how to adapt to the temperature in their environment, so they will normally release the excess heat out of their bodies through sweat.
The temperature of a baby’s head is usually higher than the rest of his body, so it is quite reasonable why sweating is initiated in that area first.
Additionally, the active sweat glands are believed to be concentrated near a baby’s head. This is the reason why parents often notice that sweating is often localized on the baby’s head or the adjacent areas like the nape of the neck.
However, even if sweating normally happens, there are times that sweating can be too much to be left without interventions. Knowing more about the common reasons behind a baby’s excessive sweating can help you figure out what to do and when to seek help from a medical professional.
What are the causes of excessive head sweating in babies?
Sometimes, head sweating can be more than your baby’s usual perspiration. However, it isn’t a reason to immediately panic.
Usually, excessive head sweating is an indication that your baby’s body temperature goes beyond the normal and they can’t do anything but to release the heat through sweat. This typically happens in response to:
- Environmental temperature
In some rare cases, excessive sweating can be triggered by an underlying condition that needs medical evaluation. If your baby keeps sweating for no apparent reason, it is best to seek advice from your pediatrician so that your baby’s condition can be properly evaluated and treated.
Is it normal for a baby to sweat while sleeping?
Sweating while asleep might be typical for babies under common circumstances. Here are some of the most common reasons why babies experience night sweating:
The room temperature is too high.
You might have heard that babies love the warmth because it mimics the soothing environment inside the womb. However, babies are too sensitive when it comes to temperature changes. Thus, it’s important to achieve the most ideal room temperature for babies. An indoor thermometer is recommended for use in your baby’s nursery, to ensure the temperature does end up too warm, or too cold.
Your baby is unnecessarily dressed with too thick or too many layers of clothing.
Parents are often guilty of this one. You might think that your baby needs a lot of layers of clothing or drapes to make him feel comfortable. However, make sure that you only dress your baby to what is appropriate for that time.
Your baby stays in the same position for a long time.
If your baby is too young to turn his head or turn to his side while sleeping, it is more likely for his head to sweat at night.
Your baby is covered by a blanket or drape while the environment is hot.
Just like adults, babies need to cover up or loosen up depending on the current climate. If you’re fond of draping your baby even when the summer peaks, then it’s highly possible that your baby will sweat due to the accumulation of heat.
So if your baby seems to be unusually sweating during sleep, try to check these conditions first. Most of the time, alleviating the probable cause would relieve the sweating. Here are some tips on how to do it:
- Adjust your room temperature between 68 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit (20 to 22 degrees Celsius) to make the environment cooler and more ideal for your baby’s sleeping time.
- Make sure that your baby wears light and breathable clothes, especially when the weather is hot.
- Avoid too much layering of clothes. As a basic rule, experts advise that babies should be dressed one layer more than what we would usually wear.
- Remove unnecessary blankets or comforters from your baby’s bed.
- Turn your baby’s head or alter his position from time to time during sleep.
These measures will more likely relieve the problem for a baby sweating in sleep. However, if the condition seems not to improve, it is highly possible that head sweating is caused by another condition.
Is it normal if my baby’s head sweats while nursing?
Sweating while breastfeeding typically happens in response to the circumstances that are present while your baby is nursing. Oftentimes, sweating is triggered by the following:
Since nursing involves a lot of skin-to-skin contact, it would also mean an additional supply of body heat. This is the reason why you and your baby might sweat while breastfeeding.
Nursing involves coordinated suckling and jaw movements. It involves the use of energy that can tune-up heat, which in turn, would trigger sweating. Sweating may also be evident if your baby fusses or cries before or during nursing.
Sometimes, it’s the mom who is the reason behind sweating. If you’re fond of a single breastfeeding position, like the cradle hold, your baby’s head may end up sweating.
Similarly, hot weather and dressing your baby with too many layers can cause sweating while nursing.
Alleviating the triggers will most likely relieve the sweating. Here are some tips on how to minimize sweating while breastfeeding:
- Use several positions while breastfeeding.
- Nurse from both breasts as a way to relieve the heat from a single spot on your baby’s head.
- Breastfeed in a well-ventilated area of the house.
- Avoid unnecessary blankets or drapes while breastfeeding.
- Dress your baby comfortably.
Doing these measures will often reduce or eliminate sweating while breastfeeding. If your baby still excessively sweats after doing these interventions, it is best to seek help from a medical professional to detect the root cause of the problem.
What are some health issues behind my baby’s head sweating while sleeping and feeding?
Some medical conditions that can trigger excessive head sweating on babies are the following:
This condition may cause profuse sweating day and night, regardless of the environmental temperature. Sweating typically involves some areas of the body like the head, palms, and soles of the feet, but it may also affect other areas of the body. Infants typically outgrow this condition as they advance through age.
Viral infections like colds or other bacterial infections can cause fever. A baby’s body may sweat in response to the sudden spike in the temperature.
Congenital heart disease
With this condition, the baby sweats all the time as a way of compensating to the heart’s need to pump more blood for the body. It is very rare and affects only around one percent of newly born babies. Since babies having this condition struggles to eat, it is common for them to sweat when they began eating or nursing. This symptom is usually accompanied by the bluish discoloration in the skin and shortness of breath.
In sleep apnea, the baby takes brief pauses in breathing while sleeping. This usually lasts for at least 20 seconds. If your baby’s night time sweating is accompanied by grunting, snoring, gasping for breath, and opened mouth while sleeping, sleep apnea can be suspected. Though infants usually outgrow this condition, it is still best to mention it to your pediatrician for advice.
Babies with hyperthyroidism have active metabolic processes that trigger excessive head sweating. This condition needs prompt medical treatment.
Head sweating in babies are a normal part of their development. It is most likely relieved by home measures to minimize the build-up of heat in their bodies. However, excessive head sweating can also be a symptom of an infection or some rare medical conditions. This is why it is still important to seek advice from a medical professional if you think that your baby’s head sweating seems to be out of the typical boundaries.
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This article is for informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice. Always consult with a doctor or licensed medical professional before making any medical decisions.