First off don’t panic! If your baby has sweaty feet please do not be alarmed. Every child is different just like adults are. There are a wide variety of reason why some babies have sweaty feet or are overly sweaty in general. Most of the time there is a very simple answer.
Your baby has sweaty feet? Answers here!
The first thing you should do is ask yourself a few questions about your baby and its environment. Please keep these answers in mind as you read through the rest of the article.
- When did you first notice that your baby had sweaty feet? Was it day one or at 3 weeks old?
- Is your baby sweaty in other places or all over his or her body?
- Do you have any other health concerns like weight gain or pale coloring of the skin?
Why your baby has sweaty feet
There are numerous reasons that your baby has sweaty feet. Let’s explore what the causes may be.
Moms and dads are often over protective of their new baby. Nobody wants their child to be cold, right? Most experts and doctors recommend that you keep the room temperature between 68 and 72 degrees fahrenheit. Higher temperatures may cause your child’s feet or other parts of his or her body to sweat. Higher room temperatures above 72 degrees have shown to be a possible contributor to SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).
“Because overheating may raise a baby’s risk of SIDS, dress your infant in light, comfortable clothes for sleeping, and keep the room temperature at a level that’s comfortable for an adult.”
Over dressing or bundling
This relates to the first issue just in a different way. Often well meaning parents overdress their baby. If you are in very cold weather then a sleep sack may be the best option. This will keep your baby warm while allowing for some air circulation. If you are in a warm area then a simple onesie should do. Allowing air to circulate over his or her feet will help prevent baby’s feet from sweating excessively.
As you know babies sleep a lot, especially when they are newborns. If the sweating of the feet only occurs during deep sleep then you have no real concern at all. This is not uncommon and will go away with age most likely.
Genetics and sweaty feet
As science moves forward we have found out that genetics plays a larger role in health issues and how our bodies work. If you or your significant other have sweaty feet or generally sweat more than normal you may have passed this onto your baby.
Immature nervous system
If your baby has sweaty feet it may be because they are a baby! Newborns and infants have an immature nervous system that can contribute or cause your baby to have sweaty feet.
This is a fancy name for a common problem and will be covered in detail in the next section of this article.
If your baby is sweating all over rather than just having sweaty feet, is not gaining weight and has a pale appearance this may be a sign of a more serious health condition. Please see your pediatrician for further advice.
Hyperhidrosis in babies and children
Hyperhidrosis is a non life threatening medical condition that is defined as follows:
“This is a medical condition that causes excessive sweating. The word “hyperhidrosis” means too much (hyper) sweating (hidrosis). “
Source: American Academy of Dermatology
Hyperhidrosis is not uncommon and can be treated in several different ways.
Types of Hyperhidrosis and things to avoid
There are two types of hyperhidrosis, generalized and localized. The difference being is that generalized hyperhidrosis affects all or most of the body and localized hyperhidrosis only affects one part of the body like the feet. If your baby has sweaty feet it is very possible that he or she has localized hyperhidrosis.
In most cases the sweating is not enough to really cause much of a problem. In very few cases is the sweating so severe that it causes actual problems for the baby or infant.
If you suspect that your baby has Hyperhidrosis then you should avoid:
- Alcohol if breastfeeding
- Caffeine in any form including chocolate
- Spicy food and/or spices in general
Over the counter (OTC) treatments for babies with sweaty feet
There are many over the counter products that can help stop your baby from having sweaty feet but you MUST consult with your pediatrician first before trying anything!
- Antiperspirant – When most people think of antiperspirant they assume that you can only apply it to the underarm area. This is not true and many people with sweaty feet use it on their feet to prevent sweat.
- Sweat Blockers – There are several sweat blockers available on the market. These are usually zinc and/or aluminum chloride coated wipes that are applied topically to the skin about once a week. These wipes are like antiperspirant on steroids.
- Proper Socks – Most babies wear cotton socks and this is the worst possible material to wear for babies with sweaty feet. Cotton holds sweat and moisture rather than allowing it to evaporate. Polyester socks are a good option as it will wick away moisture from your babies feet. The best option though is lightweight Merino wool socks. Merino wool is soft, has excellent wicking ability to pull the sweat away from babies feet and and also contains antibacterial microbes.
If you talk to your pediatrician and he allows you to use any of the above products and you still have no success in controlling the excess sweating on your child’s feet then you may need to turn to a specialist for medical treatment.
Medical treatments for babies with Hyperhidrosis
Some babies, infants and children have a severe form of Hyperhidrosis that can only be cured or helped with medical intervention.
There are prescriptions available that control excess sweating of any part of the body including the feet.
This is a procedure that is done within a doctors office that is very simple and painless. Babies feet will be placed in water while a very low current of electricity is passed through the water. This treatment can be very effective and also done inside your home. While this may sound scary it is painless and very safe.
Botox is often a last resort and only used in extreme cases of hyperhidrosis and not recommended for babies with sweaty feet.
Very few babies and children have a sever form of Hyperhidrosis and most babies with sweaty feet will either grow out of the problem or can treat themselves with a OTC or prescription antiperspirant. We suggest that you start with the simplest solutions such as checking the room temperature, not over dressing or bundling and talking to your pediatrician about using an antiperspirant on your babies sweaty feet.