“Why is the baby drooling so much?”. You may ask yourself that question by the time your little one is three or four months old.
Some new mums are a little shocked by how many times a day they have to wipe the drool away from their munchkins' mouth, but everything happens for a reason. In fact, you have to know that baby drooling is a sign of your son or daughter reaching a developmental milestone, even if it doesn't look that way.
Are you interested in getting to know more details about this issue? Then, don't pass up the chance to read the upcoming lines.
What causes baby drooling?
Why do babies drool? We the human beings are such fascinating creatures. Our bodies are complex systems, designed to adapt to changes from conception up to the moment we pass away. Every alteration has a purpose and, yes, that includes your baby drooling more than usual. There are many reasons to explain such an increase in his drooling:
- Preparation to digest solid foods: drool has a kind of enzyme that promotes the introduction and proper digestion of solids into babies' bodies. Experts recommend giving them their first solid foods between the 4th and the 6th month of life, and that's not a coincidence.
- Weak swallowing reflex: another explanation has to do with the way of swallowing. When babies are breastfed or formula-fed, they use the muscles in their faces to suckle and then swallow automatically, while saliva is produced in their mouths and accumulates there, unnoticed, until it overflows.
- The teething effect: though babies don't usually cut their first teeth until they are six to eight months of age, these start sticking out several weeks before. Babies do feel the growing bulges in their mouths, and that's why they touch them with their tongues and fingers, which can stimulate the production of more saliva. Another justification for baby drooling!
Baby drooling: What to do
As we've already said, excessive drooling at this age is both normal and necessary, but it needs to be taken care of. If you don't pay attention, your little one may end up suffering from irritation to his skin, gas (from swallowing that much drool) and butt rash (when teething starts, babies' pH becomes more acidic and that also affects their urine, which can burn their skin when it remains in their nappies for a while). Plus, drooling can spill over the little one's chest, wetting his clothes and exposing him to a cold.
So, what can you do to avoid such problems? Why don't you try:
- Putting a plastic-lined bib on your baby and taking it off just before putting him to sleep. That way, you'll keep your child from getting wet and, also, it will be easier for you to clean the bib. If you want to take care of the irritation near his mouth, it's better to let it dry rather than applying any lotion.
- Wiping away the baby drool properly, covering the neck as well. If that area remains humid, it can favour fungus growing on the skin.
- Rubbing his little belly, so that he can pass some gas and feel more relieved.
- Changing nappies as soon as possible. If his butt is burnt, ask the paediatrician for the right ointment.
You should worry if your baby's drool is so excessive that he gags or you are concerned about him choking on it. If those symptoms are accompanied by a fever, you should take your child to the doctor.
Most times, baby drooling is completely normal and, actually, it would be really weird if your child didn't go through this stage. However, you need to keep an eye on the drooling in order to reduce his discomfort.