Baby sweating is a body process like any other. Just like adults sweat after an exercise, babies sweat too. In this article we’ll give you detailed information on baby sweating but first let’s see the most common reasons for why babies sweat excessively.
During breastfeeding, your skins touch and this could make the baby warm. As a result, the body heat of the baby is increased. The baby’s body, therefore, starts to sweat as a way of cooling, to regulate its temperature.
The whole activity of the baby gripping your nipple tightly with his tiny mouth is quite an exercise. His muscles are moving in the light exercise of jaw movement. This will make your baby sweat, just like we do when we are exercising.
In instances of baby excessive sweating it is difficult to determine when the situation requires medical attention and when the sweating can be controlled using basic techniques at home.
When do babies start sweating?
Do you think your three-day-old infant should not be sweating yet? Well, before birth, babies are surrounded by a liquid environment and mom regulates their body temperatures. Therefore, they don’t sweat. But once they are born, they start sweating on the forehead.
When do babies sweat glands develop?
‘Parents’ magazine research says that babies are born with sweat glands that begin to develop right after birth. It goes ahead to explain that babies’ sweat is odorless. Sweat odor is produced by apocrine glands, which remain inactive until the baby reaches puberty.
Report by ‘’The Global Post’’ states that babies sweat through odorless eccrine glands. These glands turn into apocrine glands as the baby grows up, and sweat with odor is produced.
Baby’s sweaty head
In their first days, you will notice that they only sweat on the foreheads despite being born with sweat glands covering their entire bodies. As such, the only functional sweat glands in a baby’s body are located on the head. The nervous system of the baby’s body has not yet taken control of the rest.
It is important to understand that the surface area of the baby’s skin on its head, to that of its body, is bigger compared to an adult’s. It is, therefore, normal for them to sweat more on the head than on other parts of their body. The sweating will be more with increase in temperature.
When do babies sweat?
Babies sweat during activity and also while inactive. Your baby will sweat while:
Could excessive sweating during breastfeeding be indicating a health concern?
Pulmonary atresia is a sort of a heart disease. One of its symptoms is excessive sweating. There is lack of enough oxygen in the baby’s body that is caused by blockage of blood from the right ventricle, from entering the lungs. Your baby will, therefore, strain when breathing as he breastfeeds, and this increases sweating.
Your baby could also be suffering from hyperthyroidism. This is a condition whereby the baby’s thyroid glands are over-active. It occurs due to the secretion of excess thyroid hormone in the baby’s body.
Does your baby’s sweating need attention? How will you know?
There will be more than one indicator that will make you know whether the excessive sweating is normal or needs a pediatrician’s attention.
- Your baby will experience breathing difficulties. His breathing may be rapid, slow or in gasps.
- The baby may appear to have general body fatigue and may drift to sleep every time during feeding.
- At other times, your baby will refuse to feed completely.
Address these symptoms immediately, the situation might be more serious than you may think.
How can you reduce baby sweating during nursing?
There are many ways of reducing baby sweating. You cannot, however, stop the sweating completely. Remember sweating is the only way through which your baby’s body is cooling itself.
- Your baby’s body temperatures will rise during feeding, so, don’t overdress him. The warmth will be enough to encourage him to feed more, in a relaxed manner.
- Keep your baby’s head bare during breastfeeding, it will assist in keeping his body cool. Dress your baby appropriately, in accordance with the season.
- Wear clothes that will not ignite the baby to sweat profusely. Remember, you are in tight contact with the baby. Light cotton clothes are the most appropriate outfits for you as a mom during breastfeeding.
- Moderate the room temperatures and ensure you breastfeed your baby in a well-ventilated room. Experts recommend a room temperature between 680-720 F.
- When nursing your baby in public, cover his head with cotton nursing cloth, this reduces the sweating.
- Does your baby show any signs of being uncomfortable while breastfeeding? Blow air lightly over his head.
- This will reduce sweating.
Baby sweating while sleeping and feeding is also very common. Babies sweats a lot while napping and feeding. This should not be a cause of alarm, unless it’s excessive. Some of the reasons why your baby sweats while napping include:
Your baby is sleeping a lot!
This is actually how it should be. When your baby is not spending much of her time sleeping, then you have a reason to worry. Babies sleep deeply most of the time. This state of inactivity makes them sweat a lot.
Babies’ most active sweat glands are located on their heads
These active glands cause a lot of sweating especially at night. Remember, your baby does not change his head position while napping as when he is awake, this increases sweating.
How conducive is the room your baby is sleeping in? Is it well ventilated? Is it too cold or too warm? Your baby will sweat a lot in a poorly ventilated room, or in a very hot room. If the room is too cold, especially in winter, don’t make the room a furnace. Regulate the warmth to ensure that your baby sleeps soundly without sweating too much.
Health condition alert?
Excessive sweating during sleep could mean “call the doctor now!” it could be an indication of a body malfunction.
- Premature babies are at a high risk of contracting sleep apnea. This is brought about by excessive sweating at night accompanied by wheezing and bluish skin color.
- Drenched sweat during the night could be an indication of congenital heart disease.
- According to Donna Alessandro, M.D., a sweaty head, hands, and feet could also be warning you to watch out for hyperhidrosis. Your baby will sweat profusely despite the room being cool. This is a condition that you can manage in the house using antiperspirants.
- The Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is also something to watch out for. The main cause of this condition is overheating of the body temperatures of the infant. The baby sweats behind the ears and at the back of the neck.
- Accelerated sweating occurs when the baby is sleeping soundly and has serious difficulties to wake up, and may not wake up at all.
Baby Sweating but cold
We know you expect baby sweating to be accompanied by heat due to a hot day or a fever. However, baby sweating can occur without a rise in body temperature. Cold sweats indicate that your baby’s sweat glands are stimulated abnormally despite lack of excess warmth.
Abnormal activation of the sympathetic nervous system is activated abnormally. The nerve fibers stretching to the sweat glands trigger its activity, causing the gland to produce and secrete more sweat.
Baby excessive sweating
Baby’s excessive sweating is caused by the eccrine glands. It works to regulate the body temperature. As indicated earlier, babies will sweat more on the head than on the rest of the body.
Baby sweaty head teething
Among the many symptoms of baby teething, sweating is one of them. The sweating will be accompanied by a fever, researchers call it The Invisible Fever, because doctors don’t have credible evidence that it is actually observable.
Baby sweating while crying
A crying baby is one of the most frustrating part of parenting, especially for first time parents. However, you should remember that crying is the only way through which your baby can communicate. If your baby cries for too long, she may sweat profusely.
What would make your baby cry?
We believe that both external and internal factors affecting your baby’s surroundings will determine her comfort. These factors include:
#1 The environment
Your baby will sense an unconducive environment. She may dislike a noisy place, she will scream at parties and give you a really hard time. When there are guests in the house, she will experience discomfort from being passed from one person to the other.
Loud music and drama in the house will make your baby cry and sweat a lot in the process.
Know the environment that will ease your baby’s distress until she is a bit grown.
How does your baby behave when hungry? Does she just appear restless, or some crying is also involved? Of course, a hungry baby is in distress. Your baby will cry a lot when she feels it’s time to breastfeed.
The more you delay to nurse her, the louder the screams get. These loud screams use more energy and will make your baby sweat profusely.
If you can’t attend to your baby right away, have a backup plan in place, like a feeding bottle.
#3 Attention seeking
To you, this may not appear as reason enough to make your baby cry. However, apart from being fed on time and having a soothing surrounding environment, your baby also needs to feel your presence. She will cry when she needs to be held, cuddled and soothed, for no reason at all.
Babies feel lonely and bored too! Have time for your baby, hold her, and talk to her. Give her your undivided attention. Trust me, babies listen, at one time or the other, your baby will also talk to you!
#4 Wetness – soiled diaper/nappy
How often do you check her nappy? If your baby soaks her nappy quickly, then be on guard! Your baby is your boss. When wet, she will cry, and if you delay, you will find her soaked in sweat too.
#5 Sleepy baby
Your baby will find every reason to cry at any time. Even when she is sleepy! She can’t coo herself to sleep. She will cry and fuss. Sweating will be part of the fiesta too!
Hold your baby and rock her to sleep. A soothing lullaby will be of great help in wooing your baby to sleep.
Ensure that your baby sleeps in a comfortable well-ventilated room to reduce sweating.
#6 Baby bath
Did you know that if you don’t bathe your baby regularly she will be in great discomfort? How do you feel, yourself, after two days without taking a shower? It’s irritable and very uncomfortable, right? This is the same way your baby feels.
The discomfort will make her cry and sweat a lot in the process. A warm baby bath will relax your baby. Doctors say that bathing with your baby will increase your bonding. Try It!
It will be very difficult for you to tell when your baby is in pain. Doctors themselves have been unable to tell whether an infant is in pain. Fever may be one of them, but continued crying could also be an indication of pain.
Pain is caused by tight clothing, nappy pin or a tight diaper. A fever is a good lead to identify general body discomfort.
In case the crying is not stopping, even when all the other conditions are favorable, consult your doctor right away.
Baby sweating should be nothing to worry about. We have broken it down for you and now you have answers to all your baby sweating questions. Is it normal for babies to sweat a lot? Don’t panic when the sweating can’t be controlled, your doctor will sort you out.
We hope this article has been of assistance to you.
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