Some parents wonder why babies drool so much. The truth is that they do it because they have not yet developed enough swallowing skills. Only in a few cases can it be associated with a health problem.Many mothers wonder why babies drool so much. The truth is, there is nothing to worry about. This starts to happen around two months of age and is completely normal. Bibs were not invented for nothing.
At times, it can cause some concern when your little one gets saliva on his hands, shoulders, sheets, and almost everything around him. It is common to see him with saliva falling from his mouth and even making bubbles with it.
There’s no reason to rave about why babies drool so much. There are entirely natural causes that explain this event. The important thing is to keep them well protected with a bib, especially in cold weather.
Drooling in Babies
Shortly after birth, babies don’t drool as much. This is because, initially, your body does not produce more saliva. But, with the passage of time, that production increases and, more or less towards ten weeks of life, the little ones are already drooling at all hours.
The point is that, to prevent saliva from leaking out of their mouth, they need good control over their lips and tongue; however, in the first months of life they do not. Many wonders, then, “why do babies drool so much and, on the other hand, does not milk come out of their mouth when they feed?“.
The reason is very simple: to feed, babies use the muscles of the mouth making a sucking movement, and this movement is followed by swallowing, automatically. Instead, the saliva is produced in their mouth without them noticing and stays there until it overflows.
Why do babies drool so much?
Babies produce more saliva than adults and expel it from their mouths because they have not learned to swallow. An adult swallow’s saliva every four to six minutes when awake and every seven to eight minutes when asleep. The baby does it much less frequently and therefore drools more.
There are other reasons why babies drool. One of them is teething, as this study published in the Medical Journal of the General Hospital of Mexico points out. From the third month of life, gum movements begin to promote the appearance of the first teeth. This causes irritation and discomfort, so saliva, in this case, acts as a lubricant.
Also, saliva contains enzymes that prevent infection during the teething process. This is why babies drool more every time a tooth comes out. In the same way, when little ones start to take complementary food, the taste buds secrete more saliva.
In this case, the saliva serves the function of helping to break down and mix the food, since the baby still cannot chew. Thus, saliva helps the formation of the food bolus, which must then reach the stomach.
How long do babies drool so much?
As is often the case, there is no single answer to the question of how long will the baby drool. It all depends on each case. However, the usual thing is that by 12 months you have already developed greater control over drooling and you see saliva in your mouth less frequently.
Another important time for drooling reduction is 18 months. That’s the age at which teething typically ends, leading to little ones producing much less saliva.
However, it must be repeated: this does not necessarily apply to all cases, since it is normal for the baby to drool up to 2 years or even a little more.
When to worry?
Rarely, the reasons why babies drool have to do with health problems, as evidenced by this research published in Pediatrics & Child Health. If your little one begins to eat poorly and is drooling, even without putting his hands in his mouth, something may not be quite right.
This could be a sign that your throat is sore or you have mouth sores, which is why you feel pain when you swallow your own saliva. In those cases, it is good to look inside your oral cavity to see if there is anything abnormal. If the difficulty in eating persists and there is a lot of drooling, it is best to take him to the pediatrician.
If the baby continues to drool after 3 years, it may be a sign that he has a problem with swallowing. Also, it can be a symptom of a psychological difficulty that is hindering their development. These cases must be put in the hands of a health professional or your pediatrician.