Why Do Babies Drool? Facts About Baby Saliva

baby laying on back drooling

Why Do Babies Drool?

Have you ever wondered why babies drool?

If your baby tends to drool a lot, don’t be alarmed! Babies have a tendency to drool a lot during their early weeks of development.

Did you know some people actually consider drooling to be adorable? This happens most often when parents are feeding their babies and he/she suddenly laughs unexpectedly.

Even when your baby is staring into space, they tend to drool. So for all the moms (and dads) that are freaking out, don’t freak out just yet. This is perfectly normal.

All it really means is that the muscles around your baby’s mouth are not fully developed yet.

But before we can get into the details of drooling, we have to understand what drooling is. The definition of drooling is, “unintentional saliva flowing down the outside of your mouth.”

Like adults, babies have six glands located at the bottom of their mouth. Glands that produce saliva are commonly known as salivary glands.

In the event of overactive salivary glands, a person can experience drooling.

1. Is my baby drooling too much?

It is normal for babies to drool during the first two years of their life. Babies don’t develop muscles around the mouth until around 18 to 24-months-old.

Remember, your baby may drool more when teething.

Like us adults, it’s also very normal for your baby to drool while sleeping.

Individuals with medical conditions such as cerebral palsy commonly experience excessive drooling.

2. Why is my baby drooling?

As previously stated, drooling can be a symptom of a medical issue or it could be just a result of taking certain medications.

Difficulty swallowing, excessive saliva production, and weak muscle control can lead to drooling.

Three common causes of drooling are:

  • Age
  • Diet
  • Neurological Disorders

3. How can I treat drooling?

Drooling isn’t usually treated. Doctors won’t take any actions for treatment on children under the age of 4-years-old.

The only time treatment should be recommended is if the drooling becomes severe. Drooling is considered severe when it interferes with your baby’s daily activities and/or well-being.

If your baby tends to drool excessively, carry an abundance of handkerchiefs if you decide to travel with your drooling baby.

4. What are the effects of drooling?

While not common, excessive drooling may cause a rash around the mouth.  Excessive moisture around your baby’s mouth may cause the rash to occur.

In order for you to keep the drool from getting in contact with your baby’s skin, you must constantly wipe the drool off with a soft gentle cloth. Ensure you’re very gentle while doing this.

Since babies tend to drool a lot during sleep, you can apply some moisture barrier ointment around the mouth before bed.

Your baby’s pediatrician can also help guide you when deciding which creams and ointments are best for your baby’s skin.

5. Why do babies make saliva?

Although drooling sometimes comes with negative connotations, it also happens to be beneficial to your baby.

Saliva fulfills several important functions to your baby:

For one, it softens and moistens the solid foods that your baby eats. In addition to keeping your baby’s food moist, it also keeps their mouth moist as well.

Saliva washes away food residues and protects your baby’s teeth. Saliva also contains a digestive enzyme called ptyalin.

While saliva protects against tooth decay, it also neutralizes stomach acid and aids digestion.

Drooling isn’t sounding as bad now, is it? Be mindful that excessive drooling can also be a sign of your baby’s teeth growing.

Conclusion

Overall, drooling isn’t a bad thing.

It has some benefits that your baby needs when it comes to food and digestion. Yes, it can be a pain, but drooling is part of your baby’s natural development.

Not to mention, it can be totally adorable! Don’t feel discouraged if you notice that your baby is drooling excessively. You should only be concerned if your baby is suddenly drooling and having trouble breathing. If this happens, immediately call 911 or your local emergency number.

Other than that, everything is typically fine. Also, never beat yourself up for worrying so much about your baby’s health.

It’s important that you take precautions. But, it’s also important knowing when to stop worrying as well. We hope this article helped shed some light on why babies drool.

If you feel your baby is drooling excessively, please consult with a pediatrician.

Remember: drooling can be managed.