On the pillow where the newborn baby sleeps, wet spots may remain after the night. Their reason is the increased work of the baby’s sweat glands. Parents may be alarmed by the fact that the baby’s head sweats during sleep. Sometimes sweat appears on the back of the head and temples of the child and during breastfeeding. This is not uncommon, and it can be both harmless and dangerous. Consider the main factors for increasing secretion, their prevention and those cases when it is worth contacting a doctor as soon as possible.
Most Common Causes
Do not immediately panic, noticing sweat stains on the baby’s pillow. Perhaps this is not a sign of illness, but the causes lie in external factors, most of which are easy to eliminate. The main ones are listed below:
- Clothes made of synthetic or low-quality materials. It does not breathe well, so the child’s body sweats while he moves and plays. Increased secretion is fraught with allergic reactions, the occurrence of prickly heat. It is worth choosing clothes more carefully, paying attention to natural materials – linen, cotton with a small amount of elastane, so that things stretch and do not tear quickly.
- Fatigue. Its signs are causeless crying, whims, yawning. It can increase sweating and cause problems with the regulation of the temperature of the baby.
- Mistakes in baby skin care. Extremes are dangerous – rare or frequent bathing, the rejection of cosmetics, or the use of several lotions and creams at once.
- Down pillows and wool blankets. These are not the best materials for a baby’s bedroom, especially in the warm season – they give a “greenhouse effect”. The baby gets hot, he sweats.
- Overheating. Hyper-caring parents try to wrap up the child “so that it doesn’t slip through,” even if the temperature in the room has exceeded twenty degrees. Because of this, the sweat glands are activated and secrete a lot of secretions. A clear sign that the baby is hot is that he fidgets, is naughty, his face is reddened, and his hands and feet become hot. Parents should monitor the correspondence of temperature and clothing – due to overheating, the risk of death increases.
- Physical exercise. Increased activity provokes an increase in the work of the sweat glands. For a baby, even breastfeeding can become a burden – he makes more efforts than when he drinks milk from a bottle.
- Tablets. Some medications can cause profuse sweating. In these cases, the sweat smells a little like medicine. Do not ignore dosages and age restrictions – even incorrectly taken vitamins increase secretion.
- Excess weight. In overweight children, sweating is more abundant than in babies with normal weight. Any physical activity is more difficult for them, and secretion can go astray.
- Heredity. If relatives have had problems with excessive sweating, they can be passed on to their children.
- Changes in the hormonal background. After the birth, the baby for some time is not adapted to new, aggressive conditions for him. The body needs time to get used to, to establish the work of all systems, including thermoregulation.
In a healthy baby, head sweat is mainly due to the fact that the secretion has not yet been regulated, and this is quite normal. If the disease was not the cause, then the sweat should not have a sharp unpleasant odor. When it appears, you need to contact the doctor.
Elimination of external causes and prevention of sweating
Some factors are easy to eliminate. To prevent excessive sweating, it is enough to follow these measures:
- Monitor the temperature and humidity levels in the child’s room. The best temperature is about 20-22 degrees, and humidity is not more than 70%. If the air is very hot and dry, the baby may become hot and sweaty.
- Choose natural bedding and clothes. It is desirable that there are no bright patterns on the fabric. Mom should also wear cotton or linen clothes when she is about to breastfeed her baby.
- Bedding is recommended to be changed as it gets dirty. Wash linen and children’s clothes separately from adults’ clothes, choosing the right washing powder. Pay attention to hypoallergenic options that are safe for delicate baby skin. Linen should be ironed well – heat treatment kills parasites that enter the fabric and are dangerous to the health of the baby.
- Do not overwrap the baby. Warmer doesn’t always mean better. No need to wear a hat when the room is warm enough. The child will only get worse from overheating.
- Follow nutrition. If the baby was born and weighed more than four kilograms, there is a possibility of a rapid increase in body weight in the future. In such situations, it is worth introducing complementary foods later and consulting a doctor who will help prescribe the right diet. Excess weight is the cause of many diseases, including diabetes, so you can not feed a child.
- See your doctor regularly. The pediatrician monitors the state of health, suggests what tests should be done, and recognizes possible diseases. If the cause of profuse sweating is a disease, there is a chance to cure it in the early stages. When secretion has increased due to factors that are not dangerous to the life and health of the baby, you can normalize it by adding decoctions of oak bark , chamomile or string to the bath. With what frequency and dosage to do this, the doctor will also tell you.
When to see a doctor urgently
Increased sweating in some cases is a “wake-up call” for parents. A child may sweat his head due to diseases:
- Infections that a baby acquires in the womb or during childbirth. Their pathogens are bacteria, parasites and viruses. Sweating of the head, especially in the area of the forehead and the back of the head, is a possible sign of chlamydia, mycoplasmosis, congenital toxoplasmosis and other infections.
- Acquired infectious diseases. These include a cold, the symptoms of which are cough, runny nose, fever. The baby loses his appetite, he becomes lethargic, naughty, his body does not digest food well. In this case, the child often sweats, wet spots remain on the pillow.
- Diseases of the endocrine glands (thyroid, pancreas). At night, the baby produces a cold sweat, sleep is not sound, disturbing.
- Problems in the liver, kidneys.
- Heart diseases. Their signs are easy to recognize – passivity, anxiety of the baby, pallor and blue in the area of the lips and nose, profuse cold sweat during meals and at night. The hands, feet and head sweat the most.
- Malfunctions in the work of the central nervous system. The infant is irritable, easily aroused and cries frequently. Head sweats a lot at night.
A doctor’s consultation is necessary if, even in a calm state, the child’s head is covered with sticky cold sweat, from which an unpleasant odor emanates. Increased anxiety, lethargy, apathy, lack of appetite are a good reason to take tests for diagnosis and timely treatment.
Why is vitamin D deficiency dangerous?
Another reason for excessive sweating is a lack of vitamin D in the body. Because of this, some children develop rickets. The exchange of calcium and phosphorus in the body is disturbed, failures occur in the formation of the skeletal system. In order to prevent the development of the disease, it is worth monitoring the baby and consulting a doctor at the first alarming symptoms.
The following signs indicate that the body may lack vitamin D:
- restlessness during sleep – the baby is constantly crying, tossing and turning;
- panic from sharp, loud sounds, general irritability;
- sour smell in urine;
- sweating of the palms, feet, head during eating and sleeping, the sweat is usually cold.
The initial stage of rickets can also be tracked. It is characterized by:
- frequent sleep disturbances;
- loss of appetite;
- the appearance of bald patches in the occipital region;
- increased sweating.
If alarming symptoms are not noticed in time, irreversible changes will occur in the child’s body – improper bone formation, curvature of the spine and legs, flat feet and others. There is a danger of a delay in the development of psychomotor, malfunctions in the work of internal organs.
Treatment and prevention
To prevent sweating, parents need to walk with the baby more often – preferably every day, and also take care of proper nutrition. Doctors can prescribe vitamins if there is a risk of their lack in the body.
Even during pregnancy, the expectant mother should eat well, go out more often, protect herself from stress, and engage in feasible physical activity.
Future parents should get rid of bad habits – smoking and drinking alcohol.
If you suspect a lack of vitamin D and rickets, the doctor usually advises to donate blood for biochemical analysis. With a lack of vitamin phosphorus content decreases, and phosphatase increases. An accurate diagnosis can only be made by a specialist. You should not choose a medicine on your own when the first signs of rickets are found.
We do not recommend self-medication in cases where the child shows symptoms of other diseases listed above. It is in the power of parents to eliminate common external causes of sweating (choose natural clothes, do not wrap the baby in the heat, etc.), but you should not prescribe pills or any procedures on your own. Treatment after the test is selected by the doctor. It is better to play it safe and go to an appointment than to miss the development of dangerous pathologies in a baby. In the initial stages, many diseases are curable, and timely consultation can save the life and health of the baby.