The baby’s head sweats during sleep and feeding: reasons

There may be damp spots on the pillow where the newborn baby sleeps after the night. Their reason is the increased work of the baby’s sweat glands. Parents may be alarmed that the baby has head sweats during sleep. Sometimes sweat appears on the back of the baby’s head and temples 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.

The most common reasons

Don’t panic when you notice sweat spots on your baby’s pillow. Perhaps this is not a sign of the disease, but the reasons lie in external factors, most of which are easy to eliminate. The main ones are listed below:

  • Clothing made from synthetic or low-quality materials. It does not allow air to pass through well, so the child’s body sweats while he moves and plays. Increased secretion is fraught with allergic reactions, prickly heat. It is worth choosing clothes 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 gratuitous crying, whims, yawning. It can increase sweating and cause temperature control problems in babies.
  • Mistakes in baby skin care. Extremes are dangerous – rare or frequent bathing, refusal of cosmetics, or the use of several lotions and creams at once.
  • Down pillows and woolen 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. Overprotective 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 – he fidgets, is capricious, his face turns red, and his arms and legs become hot. Parents should monitor the appropriate 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. Even breastfeeding can be a burden for a baby – he puts more effort than when drinking milk from a bottle.
  • Pills. Some medications can cause profuse sweating. In these cases, the sweat smells slightly of medication. Do not ignore dosages and age restrictions – even improperly taken vitamins increase the secretion.
  • Excess weight. Obese children have more sweat than normal-weight babies. Any physical activity is more difficult for them, and secretion can get lost.
  • Heredity. If relatives have problems with profuse sweating, they can be passed on to their children.
  • Changes in the hormonal background. After 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 infant, head sweats are mainly due to the fact that the secretion has not yet been regulated, and this is quite normal. If the disease is not the cause, then sweat should not have a strong unpleasant odor. When it appears, you need to consult a doctor.

Elimination of external causes and prevention of sweating

Some factors are easy to eliminate. To prevent profuse sweating, it is enough to observe the following measures:

  • Monitor the temperature and humidity level in the child’s room. The best temperature is about 20-22 degrees, and the humidity is no more than 70%. If the air is very hot and dry, the baby may become hot and sweaty.
  • Choose natural bedding and clothing. It is desirable that there are no bright patterns on the fabric. Mom should also wear cotton or linen when she is feeding her baby.
  • It is recommended to change the bedding as it gets dirty. Laundry and baby clothes should be washed separately from those of adults, choosing a suitable washing powder. Look for hypoallergenic options that are safe for delicate baby skin. The linen should be ironed well – heat treatment kills parasites that enter the fabric and are dangerous for the baby’s health.
  • Do not entangle the baby. Warmer doesn’t always mean better. Don’t wear a hat when the room is warm enough. The child will only get worse from overheating.
  • Monitor 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 worthwhile to introduce complementary foods later and consult a doctor who will help prescribe the correct diet. Excess weight is the cause of many diseases, including diabetes mellitus, so you cannot feed a child.
  • See a doctor regularly. The pediatrician monitors the state of health, tells you what tests need to be done, and recognizes possible diseases. If a disease is the cause of profuse sweating, there is a chance to cure it in the early stages. When the secretion has increased due to factors that are not dangerous for 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, the doctor will also tell you to do this . 

When to see a doctor urgently

In some cases, increased sweating is a “wake-up call” for parents. A child may have a head sweat due to diseases:

  • Infections that a baby gets in the womb or during childbirth. Their pathogens are bacteria, parasites and viruses. Head sweating, especially around the forehead and back of the head, is a possible sign of chlamydia, mycoplasmosis, congenital toxoplasmosis and other infections. 
  • Acquired infectious diseases. These include the common cold, the symptoms of which are cough, runny nose, fever. The baby’s appetite disappears, he becomes lethargic, naughty, his body does not digest food well. At the same time, the child often sweats, damp spots remain on the pillow.
  • Diseases of the endocrine glands (thyroid, pancreas). At night, the baby produces cold sweat, sleep is weak, alarming.
  • Problems in the work of 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 discharge of cold sweat during meals and at night. Hands, feet and head sweat most of all.
  • Malfunctions of the central nervous system. The infant is irritable, easily agitated, 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 becomes covered with a sticky cold sweat, from which an unpleasant odor emanates. Increased anxiety, lethargy, apathy, lack of appetite are a good reason to be tested for diagnosis and timely treatment.

Why vitamin D deficiency is dangerous

Another reason for increased 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 disrupted, there are failures in the formation of the skeletal system. In order to prevent the development of the disease, it is worth monitoring the baby and, at the first alarming symptoms, consult a doctor.

The fact that the body may not have enough vitamin D is indicated by the following signs:

  • anxiety during sleep – the baby is constantly crying, tossing and turning;
  • panic from sharp, loud sounds, general increased irritability;
  • sour smell in urine;
  • sweating of palms, feet, head while eating and sleeping, sweat is usually cold.

The initial stage of rickets can also be traced. It is characterized by:

  • frequent sleep disturbances;
  • decreased appetite;
  • the appearance of bald patches in the occipital region;
  • increased sweating.

If you do not notice the alarming symptoms 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 skills, malfunctions in the work of internal organs.

Treatment and prevention

To prevent sweating, parents need to walk with their baby more often – preferably every day, and also take care of proper nutrition. Doctors can prescribe vitamins if there is a risk of a lack of them 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.

Expectant parents should get rid of bad habits – smoking and drinking alcohol.

If you suspect a lack of vitamin D and rickets, your doctor usually advises you to donate blood for biochemical analysis. With a lack of vitamin, the phosphorus content decreases, and the phosphatase content increases. An accurate diagnosis can only be made by a specialist. You should not choose the medicine yourself when you find the first signs of rickets.

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 up the baby in the heat, etc.), but you should not prescribe pills or any procedures on your own. Treatment after testing is selected by a doctor. It is better to play it safe and go to an appointment than to miss the development of dangerous pathologies in the baby. In the initial stages, many diseases are curable, and timely counseling can save the life and health of the baby.

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