Baby Sucking On Bottom Lip: What Does it Mean?

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When you notice your baby sucking on bottom lip, you probably get curious about the reason behind this behavior. Moreover, this sucking behavior should only be a phase in your baby’s development. But, there might come a time that adverse effects may arise from this behavior. Let’s find out in this article.

When are babies predisposed to lip sucking behavior?

Most babies go through the phase of lip sucking behavior. Moreover, it is quite normal as your baby discovers more about his or her body. Also, lip sucking behavior is the initial communication of your baby to you. Lip sucking is normal for babies. This behavior usually starts at 2 months old when your baby has formed his or her body map in the brain.

Why is Baby Sucking On Bottom Lip?

When your baby sucks on his or her bottom lip, there might be various reasons behind it. However, it is usually totally normal and it should be manageable. Besides, babies usually outgrow the behavior at around 6 months of age and it seldom leads to Dermatophagia in childhood.

Lip sucking behavior is normal for babies since babies are too young to be diagnosed with any form of Dermatophagia, so they can be ruled out. Here are some of the reasons why your baby is sucking on his or her lip:

  • Soothing to babies
  • Form of communication
  • Sensory developmental milestone
  • Enhance neurological activity
  • Sign of hunger
  • Curiosity about your food
  • Indication of teething
  • Nervousness

Adverse effects of lip sucking behavior

Lip sucking behavior is usually harmless in infants. However, as your baby grows and teeth begin to emerge, your baby may eventually have blisters or minor lip injuries due to consistent lip sucking. Therefore, minor injuries might be noticed, but it may go away on its own once your baby outgrows the lip sucking behavior at about 6 months of age.

Dermatophagia is a condition that makes a person obsessed about biting himself or herself. However, in babies, it is a developmental phase instead of a disorder. If babies do not grow out of lip sucking behavior beyond 7 months old, then it might lead to Dermatophagia, so the behavior may have to be addressed by a physician by then.

How to ease the adverse effects of lip sucking behavior?

Usually, the effects of lip sucking behavior are relatively mild and may not need medication or ointments. However, if you notice that your baby is experiencing too much discomfort because of a lip blister or sore due to the behavior, you may apply ice for a few minutes in the affected area to reduce the pain or swelling.

How to prevent babies from sucking their lip?

You don’t really have to prevent your baby from sucking his or her lip, because it is just a developmental phase and not a serious condition. However, if you would like to limit the lip sucking behavior of your baby, you may use a pacifier, so your baby has something to suck, instead of his or her lip.

Once you know the reason why your baby is sucking his or her lip, you may minimize the lip sucking behavior if you immediately address the reason why your baby is sucking his or her lip. Moreover, if it is due to hunger, you may set a feeding schedule for your baby. Besides, if you have twins or multiples, having a schedule may really help you raise your twin babies efficiently.

If your baby is sucking his or her lip due to hunger or food curiosity, you may address this by feeding your baby or letting your baby try the food that you are eating, if it is safe for your baby. As your baby grows, he or she becomes more curious about food and some non-food items that he or she would attempt to put almost anything in his or her mouth.

Once your baby is teething, you may prevent your baby from sucking his or her lip by providing cold teething rings to soothe the gums while the tooth is preparing to erupt. 3 to 5 days before the eruption of the tooth, your baby may feel huge discomfort or even pain, so it may trigger lip sucking behavior, but it may then cause the lips to get injured if your baby sucks his or her lip too much.

Do not ever get mad at your baby for persistently sucking his or her lip. It is normal for babies 2-6 months old. However, if your baby continues to suck on his or her lip beyond that age, you may use diversions such as baby food or pacifier to prevent your baby from lip sucking. Remember that at this stage, your baby is still too young to understand when you get mad at them, so it is unnecessary and it may startle your baby.

When should you get concerned about your baby’s lip sucking behavior?

Once your baby reaches about a year old and the lip sucking behavior only intensifies, it might be a sign that you need to get in touch with a pediatrician to help you address the problem or potential Dermatophagia in childhood. Moreover, if your baby continues to suck his or her lip very hard and his or her teeth milk teeth have completely emerged, it may lead to injury. Besides, regularly having lip injuries may predispose your baby to infection.

Conclusion

Once you notice that your baby is sucking on bottom lip, do not get concerned if your baby is 2-6 months of age. It is a normal phase that most babies go through without a problem. Moreover, it is your baby’s first way of communicating with you while he or she is still unable to speak.

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