Baby Sweating While Sleeping

image001There is no sight as heartwarming and peaceful as that of a child sleeping. But a baby’s sleep isn’t always as peaceful as it looks on the outside. There are times when a baby groans, moans, sweats, kicks and whimpers even when in deep sleep. All this can be very disconcerting especially to new parents. One concern of parents is baby sweating while sleeping. What could be causing this condition? Are there other sleeping habits of babies that you should be aware of?

What Causes Baby Sweating While Sleeping?

There are babies that sweat profusely more so, when they are in the deepest part of their sleep cycle at night and in the end, they are soaking wet. Since babies spend most of their sleeping time in the deepest stage of sleep, there is a high likelihood they will sweat at night more than older children and adults.

Is It Normal?

Sweat is common but when it is in excess, it could be an indication that there is something wrong with the baby. This excessive sweating could be a sign of sleep apnea, various infections and/or a congenital heart disease.

How Should I Deal with It?

  • Watch out for room temperature. Overheating has also been known to be a cause of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). Therefore, the room a baby sleeps in should not be hot and instead, have a temperature of about 60-70 degrees Fahrenheit. Your baby should also be dressed in clothes you would be comfortable to sleep in with no covers. Do not give in to the urge to bundle the baby up and also keep the comforters, quilts and blankets outside the crib.
  • Hydrate and exercise lightly before bed. If you are unable to find valid medical causes for your child’s night sweats, make a few adjustments in the room he/she sleeps in. Give your baby lots of water to replenish water lost through sweating (electrolyte drink is needed in case of dehydration). Do not allow your baby to overexert itself before bed as it might increase body heat.
  • Dress properly. Dress your child in a light sleeping gown and use blankets only. If the night sweats your child experiences are due to medical reasons, consult your doctor for appropriate treatment and medication.

How Do I Know If It Is Caused by Health Conditions?

Remember this rule of thumb, if you are feeling hot chances are your baby is also feeling hot too. If you are in a cool house and you notice that your baby is sweating even when wearing light clothes, consult your pediatrician. When the sweating is caused by a medical problem, it is accompanied by other symptoms like fast breathing, poor weight gain and trouble feeding.

Sweating while feeding can also be a symptom of congestive heart failure. The infant may get tired when feeding resulting in poor weight gain, frequent cough and a fast respiratory rate. So, if you have a baby that has any heart problem, you should see other symptoms other than sweating.

Watch this video to learn more about baby sweating while sleeping:

Other Baby Sleep Habits That You May Be Concerned

1. Snoring and Snorting

Is It Normal? If your baby snorts and snores occasionally while sleeping and in a steady rhythmic sound, there is nothing to worry about. Many babies are known to snore when their noses are stuffy. If the baby has a cold, you could use a humidifier or vaporizer to make breathing easier for him/her. When visiting the pediatrician for check-ups, do not forget to mention the snoring even if you think it is normal.

When Should I Be Worried? Persistent snoring can at times be a sign of an internal problem. If the snoring is intermittent i.e. with pauses, then followed by gasps, there may be some blockage in the airways by for example adenoids or tonsils. Such a snore is called obstructive sleep apnea and it is a chronic disease. Your doctor might refer you to a sleep specialist or an ENT doctor.

There are some babies who snore when they have allergies. For such babies, using prescribed medication, an air purifier and ensuring their room is pet-free could be useful.

2. Rocking

Is It Normal? Many, if not all babies are soothed to sleep by rhythmic rocking like that of a rocking chair. There are however, some babies that move back-and-forth while sitting up or when crawling on all fours. Body rocking begins at the age of 6 months and is at times accompanied by head rolling or banging. When babies rock in a rhythmic motion it is not necessarily a sign of emotional or behavioral problems.

How Should I Deal with It? When you notice that your baby is rocking, you need to take a slow approach. Reason being, your baby might persist on rocking when she/he realizes that you are trying to stop the movement. If your baby rocks at night in a vigorous and loud manner, try to move the crib away from any wall. Also, regularly tighten the bolts and screws used to assemble the crib because the rocking motion might loosen them.

3. Head Banging

Is It Normal? Just as it is with rocking, head banging is not an unusual behavior that babies use to comfort themselves. Strangely enough, babies bang their heads to distract themselves from pain especially if the baby has an ear infection or is teething.

This behavior often begins later after the baby’s first year and increases when the baby is one and a half to two years old. The head banging could however last for months or years but most children outgrow it at the age of 3.

How Should I Deal with It? When your baby starts to bang his/her head, regularly tighten the bolts and screws of her/his crib. Also, do not give in to the temptation of putting blankets, bumpers or pillows in the baby’s crib to make the blows softer. Remember to mention it to your pediatrician.

4. Teeth Grinding

Over 50% of all babies grind their teeth and this can occur at any age. It is however common in babies who get their first tooth (about 6 months old). The possible reasons for teeth grinding include pain from teething or earache, breathing problems caused by allergies and a stuffy nose and new teeth sensation.While the teeth grinding sound may wrack your nerves, the grinding will not hurt the baby’s teeth. Click here to learn more about baby teeth grinding.