Drooling Babies- What is Normal? When to Worry?
Among all the baby habits, drooling is one of the most practical baby activities. As parents, you often come across the saliva-wet clothes and toys of your baby. While drooling and baby saliva bubbles may seem cute, but at some point, constant drooling can worry you as well. Ever wondered- why do babies drool so much? Or, why is my 2-month-old drooling so much? But before that, let’s know the reason behind baby drooling.
Why do babies drool?
Apart from playing a pivotal role in digestion, saliva has even more functions in a baby’s body. So for your baby, some kind of drooling is necessary for various body metabolisms such as:
- When a baby teethes, the saliva production in his mouth increases, and the baby drools.
- In response to any motor nerve requirement, a baby drools while trying to balance himself.
- Baby drooling can be triggered by many food items.
- Babies, who keep their mouth open for long, do not understand the requirement of swallowing their saliva and drool heavily.
- Ill-functioning of the head and trunk nerves and lip muscles make swallowing difficult and trigger baby drooling.
- Drooling can also be the side effect of certain medicines.
Now that you know the probable reasons for drooling babies, you can easily find out why your baby is drooling.
Drooling and Stages of Development of Your Baby
1. Baby drooling at 1 month or 2 months
Newborn drooling is not very common when the baby lies face-up in a supine or reclining posture.
2. Baby drooling at 3 months
Though even now, baby drooling is still not very common. But, slight drooling is observed when the baby is made to support-sit or is in the prone posture.
3. Baby drooling at 4 months or 6 months
At this age, your baby will not drool while sitting or lying. But you can observe some drooling when the baby is trying to grasp some object, playing with his hands, or trying to eat something. Also, during these months, babies begin teething, which will again increase drooling among them.
4. Baby drooling at 9 months
Drooling is hardly observed when the baby rolls and crawls. But teething can still trigger drooling, even now.
5. Baby drooling at 15 months or 18 months
Generally, the babies stop drooling at this age. However, some drooling can still happen while he is involved in some motor tasks or is teething.
Beyond these drooling patterns, some babies drool atypically, requiring some intervention. But how do you recognize excessive drooling?
What is Excessive Drooling in Babies?
After 2 years, if drooling happens frequently, you must take your little one to the doctor. Excessive drooling occurs when the mouth and tongue are imperfectly coordinated, resulting in over-production of saliva in the mouth, with a lesser tendency of swallowing.
You can recognize excessive drooling if the baby's cheeks, neck, and chest are continuously wet with saliva, blankets, and sheets. In some cases, even skin redness is seen in the excessively wet areas. Such skin irritations are called drooling rashes.
When to see the doctor?
If your toddler continues to drool even after two, you must consult a pediatrician, as excessive drooling can affect your baby's everyday activities.
The doctor will examine the probable drooling causes and curate the most suitable medication and therapy to stop your little one from drooling. The common reasons for your drooling baby that the doctor will diagnose are:
- A stuffy and blocked nose of the baby can cause excessive drooling.
- If your baby finds it difficult to close the lips and naturally move the tongue, drooling may occur.
- Swallowing inability or a lack of natural swallowing reflex will trigger excessive drooling.
- A lack of firmness in the jaws of your baby will cause drooling.
How to stop drooling in babies?
Based on the diagnosis of why your baby drools, the doctor will suggest either some medicines or therapies for curing baby drooling. These therapies and practices include:
- You should help your child in practicing a closed-lip stance.
- Helping your baby in exercising to improve the natural swallowing reflex and his ability to swallow correctly.
- Making the baby exercise and tighten his facial muscles and strengthening his jaws.
- To minimize acidic food from the baby’s meals.
- To enhance good oral-sensory awareness so that he can better understand the difference between wet and dry mouth and face.
- Oral motor therapy will remarkably increase your baby's jaws' firmness and strengthen the mouth muscles, cheeks, and lips. Also, it will improve the baby's ability to swallow.
What if drooling still continues?
If your child has crossed the age of four and still drools, then there can be some significant complications. Beware if your child drools after 4-years of age. At this stage, mild medications and therapies might not work efficiently, and a higher-level treatment is required.
Drooling is essential for the healthy development of your baby. The therapies and medications suggested by the pediatrician are enough for combatting baby drooling after 2-years. But if drooling persists after the age of four, go for a higher treatment without any delay.