Is Your Baby Sucking The Bottom Lip? Why They Do It & What To Do

Babies do lots of strange things that are difficult for adults to understand. They do these things are they are still trying to understand the environment, comprehend things going around.

Additionally, their brain and sensory organs are maturing at a fast pace, which may also cause strange reactions. It is not easy to learn so many things at the same time and even handle the nuisances caused by the fast-growing body.

Remember that even adults do some strange things when focusing too much or thinking. Adults may rub their eyes, put their hand below the chin, cross their arms, and so on.

Thus, in most cases, these strange acts are not a reason for concern. However, one may need to worry if that continues to happen for too long.

Reasons for sucking bottom lip

If a baby keeps sucking the bottom lip for too long, and too often, that may cause reddening of the lower lip.

Some babies may initially start sucking lip due to some reason, but later it may become a habit. Thus, for parents, it is necessary to understand why a child is sucking bottom lip.

Teething causes irritation in the oral cavity. Babies get their lower teeth before the upper teeth. During teething, their gums get bit inflamed, causing irritation.

Babies try to counter this irritation by sucking their bottom lips. By applying the pressure on the lower lip, they can ease the pain caused by teething.

Therefore, look for the signs of teething. One may see that gums are little white as teeth try to cut through gums.

During this period, a child may do many other things like putting things in the mouth, chewing everything, drooling. Teething may also cause irritability, poor sleep quality, and a child may cry more often.

During this period, mothers/parents can help a child by providing additional comfort, paying more attention. If the lower lip is dry or chapped, one may apply the cream. Just keep a watch and understand that it is just a temporary phase.

Another common reason for sucking bottom lips is self-soothing. There are times when babies feel irritated, hungry, sleepy, and so on. Parents cannot pick them up all the time.

Babies have their ways of self-soothing, and one such common way is sucking bottom lip. They may particularly do this in the evening and even at night when they are sleeping.

Suppose the baby is sucking bottom lip while sleeping or during the night, there is little that the parents can do to prevent it. And perhaps, in most cases, there is nothing to do in such cases.

If the lower lip is chapped or bruised, than the baby will stop sucking the lower lip. Lower lip sucking is limited to babies, and as children grow, they stop doing it.

The feeling of hunger is another reason for biting or sucking the lower lip. Infants cannot speak or express themselves. Thus, they start sucking their thumb, biting things, or sucking lower lip. In many cases, it may be just a signal that the baby is hungry.

In many cases, babies will suck bottom lip at specific times of the day, when feeling hungry. It means that there is nothing to worry about. It is just a baby’s way of self-expression, way of asking to be fed. Once the baby grows up and can speak, the baby will stop it.

Sometimes, babies just suck their lip after they have been fed. They do this to enjoy the bits of food left on their bottom lip. In such cases, they won’t do it for a much longer time.

Every living being is prone to stress, though causes may differ. And reactions to stress vary according to age. For babies, causes of stress may be hunger, overstimulation, too many activities happening around, noise, sub-optimal temperature, not enough attention from parents, and so on.

Thus, sucking the bottom lip is just a way to counter that stress. Other signs could be excessive crying, changes in body movements, and sleep pattern.

One may try to help the baby by giving a massage, holding in hands, removing environmental factors like noise. One may learn other ways of helping reduce stress in a child.

Sucking bottom lip is also part of normal development. It means practicing to move the lower and upper jaw, chewing, learning to control various parts of the face.

Thus, to an extent, it is normal and just practice. Once mastered, the child will stop doing it. Sensory development also causes certain kinds of movements in the child as the baby learns to feel things.

A possible negative consequence of sucking bottom lip

In most cases, there is no need to worry, as there is nothing abnormal when the baby is sucking bottom lip. It is just a temporary thing. However, if it continues for too long or becomes a habit, it may cause minor issues.

As the teeth grow, continuously sucking the bottom lip may result in an overbite, meaning that upper teeth may protrude too much, and lower teeth might be slightly bent inside.

Another issue may be regarding poor speech development. The child may not be able to pronounce certain words correctly and may need speech therapy.

To conclude, sucking the bottom lip is not something unusual, rather a normal part of development. However, if a child continues to suck the bottom lip too much, even after 12 months of age, then one may need to consult a specialist.

Spread the love