Got a Sweaty Baby? Here's What May Be Going On, According to Doctors
Is your infant sweating up a storm? Babies often sweat in their sleep or even while awake. While we might take a cool drink of water or shed a layer when we're feeling too hot, babies aren't able to do this, and since they can't talk yet, it's hard for them to tell us what they need.
If your baby sweats excessively, they are most likely dressed too warmly, but there could also be an underlying medical issue. POPSUGAR reached out to experts to find out more about why babies sometimes sweat a lot and how to know if you should be worried.
Why Does My Baby Sweat So Much?
"The most common reason for a baby sweating is being overwrapped or wearing too many layers of clothing," Pierrette Mimi Poinsett, MD, a medical consultant at Mom Loves Best, told POPSUGAR. However, in rare cases, excessive sweating in babies can be a sign of congenital heart disease or hyperhidrosis. A baby with congenital heart disease may sweat during increased activity, such as feeding, Dr. Poinsett explained. "This is due to increased work of breathing and more demand on the heart and lungs," she said.
However, it's important to look at where your baby is sweating from, as that could give you clues as to why they're so sweaty. "[Sweating of the palms] appears to be a good measure of the emotional state of the baby such as pain, anxiety, fear, or concentration," said Kim Langdon, MD, an Ohio-based ob-gyn. "If your baby is sweating over other parts of the body, they are most likely overheated and probably need less clothing or removal of a blanket, or a lighter blanket." It's best to talk to your doctor if you have any concerns.
How Can I Reduce My Baby's Sweating?
Dr. Poinsett explained that removing a layer or two of clothing will usually solve the issue of excessive sweating in babies. When dressing your baby, she suggested adding only one extra layer of clothing compared to an adult in the same environment. "If you are wearing a layer of clothing, your baby needs two layers of clothing," she said.
You'll also want to make sure the temperature of the room is appropriate, Dr. Langdon added. If your baby continues to sweat despite reducing the layers of clothing and diet changes, Dr. Poinsett advised consulting your pediatrician to rule out another possible medical issue.