We can all agree that babies appear so adorable when they stick their tongue out. Everyone loves to see them do that. Everyone loves to watch a baby’s fantastic package of all sorts of tricks and surprises. Such as; moving some of their body organs, sounds they make, and the facial expressions they wear in different situations. However, it would get you as the parent why is your baby’s tongue always outside. May it be when he or she is hungry, when sleeping when playing, and when he or she has just done eating. This article will take you through the reasons as to why your baby would always hang his tongue outside.
A sign of hunger or satisfaction
At their tender age, babies cannot express themselves by word of mouth. However, they always have a way to communicate with the people around them. Therefore it is upon the parents or any other person around them to observe and interpret the baby’s language. It is not in all cases; a baby will start crying for the parents to realize he is hungry. Also, a baby may throw his hands in the mouth to show he is hungry. In other cases, babies start by hanging their tongues outside to tell the parents the time to eat has come.
So when you see your baby hung his tongue outside, worry not, he might be just hungry. Also, babies hung their tongues outside as a sign of being full. For you to differentiate whether the baby is insinuating hunger or satisfaction, observe the accompanying reactions. If he is implying satisfaction, he will also try pulling away, spitting out food or milk, and turning his head away, among many others.
When he is playing
Just after birth, babies have zero knowledge about anything in his new life outside the womb. However, after some time, the baby starts to learn from the little he can see in the surrounding. A few weeks after birth, research has confirmed babies can read and mimic adults’ facial expressions. Therefore, when you see your baby stick his tongue outside, he might have seen someone hung tongue outside. The baby will hang his tongue outside as a way of engaging in a play with the parent or the babysitter. By trying to mimic him or her.
When not ready for solid food
During the first months of the baby’s life, they obtain their full nutrition from infant formula or breast milk. Typically, pediatricians advise parents to begin feeding their babies with solid food at the age of 6 months. Although your baby hitting six months of age is not a guarantee, his oral co-ordination is ready for solid foodstuff. He might stick his tongue outside to avoid chocking on solid food. As an individual, the baby may not like the texture and the taste of the new sort of food he is being introduced to. If the baby declines to take solid food, you should take a break for a while and try introducing solid food later. Similarly, you should see a pediatrician.
If the baby breathes through his mouth
Typically, a baby breathes through the nose. But some situations force the baby to breathe through the mouth. If the baby has large tonsils or adenoids or even common cold will have to breathe through the mouth since the conditions cause nasal congestion. Alongside the circumstances, the baby might be making some strange sounds when breathing. The baby will have to stick the tongue out to give way for in and out the movement of air. You should, therefore, consult the doctor as soon as possible.
If the baby has a large tongue or a small mouth
Some babies are born with unusual enlargement of the tongue. The expansion is caused by a high amount of tissue in the tongue. It means the baby has a condition known as Macroglossia. Macroglossia may occur in your baby due to abnormal blood vessels, genetics, or muscle development in the tongue. With such a huge tongue, the baby will have to hang it outside since it does not fit in the mouth.
Also, the baby might be born with small chins and jaws to accommodate the tongue. So, the tongue hangs out. The condition is known as Micrognathia. In most cases, as the child grows, the condition disappears (at the age of 5-7 months). Another cause of Micrognathia is cleft palate. In Micrognathia, the size of the tongue is normal, but the chins and jaws are small to all the tongue to fit in the mouth.
If the baby has poor muscle tone
A tongue is a muscle. Therefore, the tongue’s movements are under the control of other muscles in the mouth. When a baby is born with less muscle tone, the tongue becomes one of the loose muscles. You will, therefore, find the baby is unable to stop his tongue from hanging outside. Numerous conditions may reduce the muscle tone in a baby. They include;
- Cerebral palsy
- DiGeorge syndrome
- Down syndrome
Mass in the mouth
Sometimes, babies might have a growth or a swollen gland that forces the tongue to hang outside. In most of the cases, it is a result of an infection in the salivary gland that causes a salivary gland cyst. Also, in rare cases, it might be some sort of oral cancer. If your baby exceeds hanging out the tongue, drools excessively, or can feel a bump, you should seek medical attention.
At times babies experience gas pains, which makes them hung their tongues. Also, when the digestion process is taking place in the baby’s body, they might stick out their tongues.
Orofacialmyofunctional Disorder (OMD)
The disorder involves other disorders that relate to the oral cavity and the face. Sticking the tongue is the most common type of OMD. The tongue abnormally sticks out in a baby with this disorder.