Did you notice that your baby’s head is usually hot and sweaty, yet her body temperature is normal, and no fever is present?
But, rest assured. There is no need to go rushing to a paediatrician. This is quite normal in youg babies and nothing to be concerned about.
As a matter of fact, babies cannot regulate their body temperature as effectively as adults.
They need time for their thermoregulation system to fully develop. And it takes around 24 months.
Furthermore, the head is the main organ regulating body temperature. Meaning – it acts as a radiator giving off excess heat if your baby is becoming too hot.
Since it is a relatively large organ compared to the rest of the body – it can release a large amount of heat. And hence its temperature may be different to the other body parts of your baby.
So, allow me to explain the 8 possible reasons why your baby’s head may be hot and sweaty without having a fever.
Why Is My Baby’s Head Always So Hot and Sweaty Without Having A Fever?
The baby’s head temperature is typically slightly higher than their body. So, it is perfectly normal that the baby’s head feels hot or even sweaty. However, there are a few factors that can elevate baby’s head temperature. These include; teething, inadequate clothing to the room temperature, crying hard, high activity, deep sleep, body contact and breastfeeding.
Teething is blamed for many of the symptoms and discomforts babies experience.
However, it is actually quite possible that teething can cause the baby’s head to feel hot.
This is because teething causes gum inflammation, which can elevate the temperature slightly, but not as much as a fever.
Furthermore, teething babies may have difficulty sleeping, feel more irritated and distressed. And that can also contribute to the perception of a warmer head.
2. Too Much Clothing
Overdressing your baby is probably the most common of all reasons why babies heads tend to be hot and sweaty.
Parents tend to bundle their babies in extra layers – just to keep them warm and keep their chilly hands cosy.
Too many layers, however, will make your child sweaty and uncomfortable. So, to cope with the excess heat, your baby uses her head to cool down.
So, remember not to overdress your little tot!
The general rule is to dress your baby in one more layer than you are wearing.
It’s also worth adding that loose cotton clothing or another breathable fabric should be used for optimum comfort and safety. No synthetics or polyesters. Grrrr.
How To DRESS BABY For SUMMER + WINTER + SLEEP
3. Environmental Temperature
How you dress your baby is closely related to the temperature outside.
It goes without saying that you should always dress your baby adequately to the season and weather conditions.
If you expose your baby to direct sunlight (hopefully not) it is certain that her head temperature will rise.
Or when you step out of an air-conditioned place into the sun – her head can quickly get hot.
Overheating can be extremely dangerous for your baby, and can result in SIDS. So, please bear that in mind when out and about with your baby on a hot and sunny day!
Also, try to keep your baby cool and away from direct sunlight or harsh weather.
4. Crying Hard
You have probably experienced this far too many times as excessive crying is not uncommon in young babies.
So, yeah extreme crying is hard work and require a lot of effort from your little one.
As a result, her body temperature rises, her face turns red and flushed, and she becomes hot and sweaty.
Once your little tot gets finally settled, all these symptoms should get resolved.
Generally, you shouldn’t worry about a baby’s head getting warm due to crying. But perhaps it is worth checking the excessive crying with your doctor. It may indicate some health issue so better not to ignore it.
5. Physical Activity
It is a common knowledge that any form of physical activity increases blood circulation and can raise body temperature.
The same goes for babies. As they become older, they get more active and excited to explore their surroundings. Hence their heads might be warm to touch during physical activities and moving around.
Once your baby is calm and relaxed, the head temperature should cool down naturally.
6. Deep Sleep
As your little bundle spends most of her time sleeping, you may have noticed her head hot and sweaty during sleep.
This can happen most likely when they sleep for at least a few hours straight. During these long stretches of sleep, your baby will enter different phases of sleep, including deep sleep. And this is when some babies can get hot and sweat excessively.
Again, this is normal and nothing to be concerned about.
7. Active Sweat Glands
If your baby gets hot during sleep, you may have noticed that she can also get sweaty.
You may also have observed that the bedsheets are wet at the top of the bed where their head is. That’s because the only sweat glands found in young babies are located at the back of their necks and near their heads. Hence their sweaty heads.
** As a side note, this also explains why your baby body never sweats, except for the head.
8. During Breastfeeding
Breastfeeding requires holding your baby close to your body, sometimes for 1 hour stretch (depending on how quickly your baby feeds). This means that your baby is directly in contact with your body, which provides an additional source of heat.
This increases the baby’s temperature and may cause a hot and sweaty head while feeding.
Moreover, breastfeeding entails intense suckling and jaw movement, which require hard work from your baby. Due to this hard work alone, your baby’s head may become warmer.
Furthermore, any other form of physical contact with your baby can cause her head to be warm.
For example, during skin-to-skin or cuddling or holding your baby, the heat exchange between two bodies may increase her and your temperature as well.
When Should I See A Doctor?
The reasons your baby may have a warm head I described above are generally harmless.
In most cases, all you need to do is adjust your baby’s clothing to the environment she is in. Basically, remove a layer or two and take your baby somewhere cool.
However, if this does not resolve the issue and you have further concerns, you should consult your GP or paediatrician. Specifically, in the following cases;
- Your baby is younger than 3 months,
- The head is continuously hot despite your attempts to bring down the temperature,
- The baby seems distressed and restless,
- Your baby has reduced appetite and signs of dehydration, such as few wet and dirty nappies,
- She sleep poorly,
- Experiences vomiting and diarrhoea.
Final Few Lines
So, I hope this information puts your mind at ease next time you feel your little one’s head hot and sweaty without having a fever.
Babies do have a hard time regulating their body temperature.
So, they use their head to cool down by releasing excess heat and sweat.
However, you should see your paediatrician if you notice any additional symptoms I mentioned in the last point. Otherwise, there is no need to worry.
Last but not least, remember that overheating your baby can have fatal consequences. Therefore, make sure your baby is comfortable, neither too hot nor too cold.
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