As a parent, you might sometimes get curious about the behavior and habits of your baby. You might even wonder, “Why do babies stick their tongue out?” Moreover, if you have twins or multiples, this behavior might not be exhibited by all of them, which might leave you more puzzled. Let’s find out about this behavior in this article.
Why do Babies Stick Their Tongue Out?
For a variety of reasons, babies may thrust their tongues out. Furthermore, if your baby is still unable to speak, tongue sticking may be a way for him or her to connect with you. As a parent, you must be able to read your baby’s body language in order to discern what they require or want during the period when they are unable to communicate. The following are some of the reasons why your infant might stick his tongue out:
1. Baby Reflex
As your baby develops, he or she may learn more about his or her body. Moreover, during this time, your baby might be exploring their mouths and discovering the sensations that they are experiencing in their mouths. This is the time when babies form their reflexes. Also, you might notice babies sucking their bottom lip during this stage that they are discovering a lot of things about themselves and their mouths.
2. Babies Playing with Their Tongue
Babies can be really playful at times. Moreover, once they’ve established their reflexes and have learned about their mouths and their sensations, babies may then begin to play with their tongues. Besides, you might even notice that this is the time that babies become orally fixated about and want to put almost everything they touch inside their mouths to experience the sensation.
3. Baby has Formed a Habit of Sticking the Tongue out
As babies, this is the time that they begin to form habits. Usually, these habits are the ones that feel really good for babies. In this case, some babies begin to form a habit of sticking their tongues out.
This habit is not dangerous for your baby, but it might not be liked by most parents since it is not viewed as good manners as a baby is growing up. During this time, the parent might begin to correct the habit.
4. Baby Might be Hungry or Full
As new parents, you might get confused about your baby’s feeding schedule. Moreover, the feeding routine may vary depending on your baby’s age and diet. If your baby is still unable to speak, then sticking his or her tongue out might be a way for your baby to communicate with you when he or she is hungry or already full during feeding.
5. Baby has Macroglossia: Larger Than Average Tongue
Macroglossia is a rare condition that enlarges the tongue out of the normal proportions of the mouth which makes the tongue stick out of the mouth. Moreover, this condition is often genetic, so babies affected with macroglossia might often have the condition from birth. However, in rare instances, the condition may also be acquired. Here are the symptoms of macroglossia:
- Excessive drooling
- Speech impairment
- Feeding difficulty
- Airway obstruction
- Abnormal jaw and teeth growth
- Mouth ulceration
- Tongue necrosis
6. Baby has Micrognathia: Smaller-than-Average Tongue
Micrognathia is a condition of a baby that is born with undersized jaws. Moreover, micrognathia is a variant of a craniofacial condition called mandibular hypoplasia. If a baby’s mouth is undersized and the tongue is of normal size, the tongue may protrude from a baby’s mouth.
Micrognathia is often caused by a genetic problem. Therefore, babies are often born with this condition. Moreover, it might be very difficult for affected babies to keep their tongues inside their mouths. Here are the common signs of this condition:
- Sleep apnea
- Difficulty in feeding
- Boisterous breathing
- Inability to sleep
- Poor physical development
7. The Baby Might Have Poor Muscle Strength
If a baby has poor muscle strength, the tongue might get affected since the tongue is also a muscle. Moreover, this might be the reason that a baby’s tongue might stick out very often. If you suspect that your baby has poor muscle strength, you might want to get your baby checked by a pediatrician.
8. Babies Might be Breathing Through Their Mouth
If a baby is breathing through his or her mouth, then the tongue may stick out when doing so. Moreover, babies are supposed to breathe through their noses, so if your baby is breathing through his or her mouth there might be an underlying problem. If your baby is breathing through his or her mouth very often, it might mean that his or her nose is clogged or blocked.
9. The Baby is Feeling Gassy
Your baby might be feeling gassy and still unable to talk, so in an attempt to communicate with you about how they feel, babies may stick their tongue out. If babies are gassy, they feel discomfort and pain. They might stick their tongue out to let you know that they are feeling gassy and might need to be burped.
10. The Baby Might Have an Oral Infection
Oral infection is common in babies since they are susceptible to various infections especially if they put various things in their mouths. Moreover, oral infections may be painful and may cause babies to cry after eating and stick their tongue out in an attempt to keep their tongues away from the painful infection.
Why do babies stick their tongue out? Babies may stick out their tongues for a variety of reasons, including self-discovery or an attempt to communicate with you about their feelings.
Furthermore, if you feel your baby has an underlying medical condition that is causing him or her to stick his or her tongue so often, you should have your baby examined by a pediatrician to rule out any additional health issues that could influence your baby’s well-being in the future.