Why is your baby sucking on their lower lip?

Babies exhibit weird behaviors daily. They claw at their cheeks, wide eye their surroundings,  make funny faces, and put just about anything in their mouths. They’re trying to figure out life one step at a time, that’s all. It’s when they start doing things like sucking on their lower lip vigorously that gets parents worried. Sure, other behaviors like spitting up food and breaking out in a rash may occur, but those things are easy to deal with.

Sucking on the lower lip doesn’t really have an immediate, bulletproof solution. There are a number of reasons babies do this, all of which are not bad. Yes, if your baby continues to suck on their lower lip into toddler-life, they may need outside help to correct the issuebefore the lip turns inward. But generally speaking, after you find out the reasons your baby could be exhibiting this behavior, you’ll easily be able to decipher what you can do about it.

First, let’s see what’s going on in your babies’ head.

The why: baby sucking on lower lip

Because it’s self-soothing

When your baby was comfy cozy inside the womb, he or she couldn’t do all that much. Moving around and kicking your tummy was one way of entertaining themselves, another was sucking on their right or left thumb.

Now, when they exited the womb, they realized it was a bit harder to locate their thumb and put it in their mouth. As an alternative, they shifted over to sucking their lower lip. This action is not usually a bad thing, and most babies grow out of it.

Why is your baby exhibiting this behavior? Because they do it subconsciously to fall asleep or they aren’t in the presence of mom and dad. It relaxes and eases their mind. If you haven’t caught them suckng on their lower lip, don’t worry. You’ll be able to tell if a tiny rash starts to appear around the mouth.

Because they’re going through the dreadful teething process

Teething is very frustrating, and not just for you as a parent. Babies do not like the pain and irritation, and they honestly have no idea what’s happening to them.

That’s when they lean on sucking their lower lip. The action itself reduces the pain, taking pressure off the gums almost immediately. It’s their go-to, sort of immediate solution.

Again, the technique they choose to use won’t last forever. Just keep an eye on it while he or she is teething to omit long term side effects.

Because they’re eager for their next meal

Babies get hungry every few hours. Sometimes, they go through growth spurts and get hungry on the hour. This is completely normal.

Another thing that babies do that’s completely normal is suck on their lower lip when they’re hungry. The sucking motion is like an independant way to feed themselves, so to speak. When they follow through with this action, it feels like they’re sucking on a breast or bottle nipple. It tricks their mind into thinking they’re eating.

If you see that he or she is doing this close to feeding time – or even not close to feeding time – take a bottle or breastfeed your baby and see if they stop sucking on their lower lip after the feeding is done. If so, you’ve found your solution. And there’s no need to worry with this case, because they’ll grow out of it almost as soon as they start eating solid foods.

Conclusion

Figuring out why your baby is sucking on their lower lip is step one. Step two is implementing some sort of resolution.

Before you phone the doctor or start doing solution research, figure out if the problem your baby has is associated with being anxious, going through the teething process, or just wanting some food.

If your baby is anxious, a doctor’s appointment might be your best starting point. If your baby is teething, rest assured the lip sucking will likely go away in time. If your baby is hungry, grab a bottle or some soft food for him or her to chow down on.

Always remember, most baby sucking bottom lip scenarios are not serious. Do not worry yourself too much and always ask your baby’s pediatrician questions if you see a need for concern.

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