Baby Sucking Bottom Lip: What It Means and How to Help

Babies are always doing something odd, and as parents, we are always trying to figure out what they are doing and why. One common behavior we may notice is our baby sucking on their bottom lip. At first, it may seem cute and harmless, but if it becomes excessive and occurs over a long time, it can become harmful.

As concerned parents, we want to find a solution to help our baby stop sucking their bottom lip. However, before we can do that, we need to understand why it’s happening. The root cause of this behavior mostly depends on our baby’s age and stage of development, and there are some common reasons for baby lip sucking that we should be aware of.


Babies have an innate ability to self-soothe, and one of the ways they do this is by biting their lower lip. This behavior is similar to thumb-sucking, which some babies do while still in the womb. When babies are born, their hands are harder to reach, so they opt for their bottom lip, which they can reach more easily.

Newborns tend to self-soothe when they are tired, sleepy, or left alone by a parent or caregiver. In such cases, lip-sucking acts much like a pacifier. However, it’s worth noting that some babies may self-soothe without the parent or caregiver noticing, as they only do it in their sleep or when alone.

If you notice an unexplained rash or a red ring around your baby’s lips, it may be a sign that they are self-soothing. In general, self-soothing is a natural and healthy behavior that helps babies feel comforted and secure.


Teething is a natural process that usually starts when babies are around six months old. During this time, babies may experience discomfort and pain as their baby teeth start to grow through their gums. The lower front incisors are usually the first to emerge, which is why babies tend to suck on their bottom lip to ease the discomfort on their lower gums.

Parents may try to soothe their babies by carrying them around or rocking them, but these efforts may only provide minimal relief since they are not directly addressing the discomfort in the baby’s lower gum. To help ease the discomfort, parents can provide teething toys or cold compresses for their babies to gnaw on. Chamomile tea may also help since it has natural anti-inflammatory properties.


When babies are hungry, they may not always cry to signal their hunger. Some babies may suck on their bottom lip, similar to how they suck on a nipple, especially when it’s almost time for their next feeding. This behavior may become more frequent during growth spurts, which usually occur between 4 and 6 months.

At around 4 months, some babies may start showing interest in solid foods, as evidenced by their curiosity about the food smells around them. However, it’s important to speak to a pediatrician before introducing solid foods, especially if the baby is not yet 6 months old.

If a baby is chewing on their lip, it may also be a sign of hunger or fatigue. In such cases, offering food may help alleviate the discomfort.

Sensory Development Milestone

At around 2 months old, babies start to develop their sensory perception of their body parts, which is the first step towards achieving other developmental milestones. According to a study by the University of Washington Institute for Learning and Brain Sciences (I-LABS), touching the lips of an infant leads to more neurological activity than touching any other body part. This finding may explain why babies tend to bite or suck on their bottom lip, as it is a part of their body that they are becoming more aware of during normal development.

Stress or Overstimulation

Babies may become stressed or upset when they are in a new or unfamiliar environment or when they are carried by too many people in a short period. This can cause them to suck or bite their lip as a way to self-soothe. It’s important to recognize these behaviors and try to reduce stressors for the baby.


Babies may suck on their bottom lip as a way of practicing using their mouth. This is a normal habit and helps prepare them for eating.

Signs of Baby Sucking Lower Lip

When it comes to baby sucking on their lower lip, there are some signs that you can look out for. These signs may not always be obvious, especially if your baby does it while you’re not around. Here are some signs to look out for:

Bruise around Lip

If your baby is sucking on their bottom lip hard, you may notice a bruise on or around their lower lip. This will start out as a red mark and over time it will turn purple. If you notice an unexplainable bruise on or around your baby’s lower lip, it could be a sign that they are sucking on their lip.

Chapped Lip

Another sign that your baby may be sucking on their lower lip is if they have a chapped area surrounding their lip. The skin may be cracked and appear lumpy and dark pink or red. If you notice this, it could be a sign that your baby is sucking on their lower lip.

It’s important to pay attention to these signs as lip sucking in babies can lead to speech issues if the behavior continues beyond their first birthday. If you notice any of these signs, it’s important to try and break the habit.

How to Soothe Lip Irritation

Infant-Safe Lip Balm

When your baby’s lips are chapped or irritated, applying an infant-safe lip balm can provide quick relief. It’s important to choose a lip balm that is safe for babies, as they tend to put everything in their mouths. If you’re not sure which lip balm to choose, consult with a pediatrician for a reliable recommendation. Applying lip balm regularly can help prevent future lip irritation.

Natural Oils

Natural oils, such as coconut oil, can also be effective in soothing lip irritation. The oil helps to keep saliva from touching the affected skin, allowing it to heal more quickly. However, it’s important to note that some babies may be allergic to coconut oil. Before using coconut oil, talk to your doctor or take an allergy test to ensure it’s safe for your baby. You can also try using other natural oils or ointments that are safe for infants.

Does Your Baby Have Dermatophagia?

We understand that you may be concerned if your baby is constantly sucking on their fingers or lips. However, we want to assure you that infants are too young to be diagnosed with dermatophagia. This psychological disorder is characterized by compulsive biting of the skin, specifically the fingers and hands, which can leave the skin damaged and bloody. Rest easy knowing that your baby’s finger and lip sucking is a normal behavior for their age.

Can Sucking Its Bottom Lip Affect Your Baby?

We know that babies use different techniques to self-soothe, and biting their lower lip is one of them. While this behavior may not cause any serious issues for your baby if it goes on only for a couple of months, it may have negative effects on their development if it continues for over a year.

Dental Concerns

Continuously sucking the lower lip can result in an overbite where the upper lip and teeth overlap the lower teeth beyond normal. This can eventually cause difficulty in chewing and, in severe cases, the misalignment will cause the lower teeth to come in contact with the upper gum line resulting in possible gum damage.

Speech Issues

Speech problems may develop if your baby continues with this behavior beyond one year old. When they start talking, it may be difficult for them to pronounce words correctly because their lip is in the way. This may require intense speech therapy.

It’s important to note that this behavior is usually temporary and most babies will outgrow it on their own. However, if you have concerns about the consequences of your baby sucking their bottom lip, it’s always a good idea to consult with your pediatrician or a dental professional.

How to Stop Baby From Biting Lower Lip

Biting their lower lip is a common self-soothing technique that many babies use. However, if they suck incessantly and develop lesions, it may be a cause for concern. Here are some ideas to help stop your baby from biting their lower lip.

Feed Baby on Time

If your baby cues their hunger by sucking their lip, make an effort to feed them in time so that they don’t have to alert you first. This will help prevent them from resorting to biting their lower lip due to hunger. If they are going through a growth spurt, be prepared in advance for their more regular feeding.


Pacifiers are a great way to soothe your baby and satisfy their suck reflex without involving their lips. They provide comfort to babies, help them control their emotions, and make them feel relaxed and secure. Pacifiers remind newborns of how it felt in the womb, making them a great alternative to biting their lower lip.

Teething Remedies

If your baby is biting their lower lip due to teething, try giving them a cold washcloth or teething toy to bite on. These can be kept in the refrigerator, not the freezer. If your baby is over 6 months old, giving them some icy cold water can also help. However, stay away from teething gels and silicone necklaces, as the FDA deems most of them unsafe.

Entertainment as a Distraction

Some babies bite their lower lip out of boredom. In this case, offering alternative entertainment like playtime with their favorite toys or cartoons on TV with lots of dancing and singing can help distract them from biting their lower lip.

Other Mouth Movements in Baby’s View

Babies between 6 and 8 months tend to imitate an adult’s facial expressions. Trying an expression with your lips like blowing them a kiss or a whistling expression can help distract your baby from biting their lower lip. If you do this often, they will copy you, and it may become a fun game for them.

Remember, most babies outgrow this behavior within a few months. However, if your baby continues to bite their lower lip and develops lesions, it may be a cause for concern. Try these ideas to help stop your baby from biting their lower lip.

Bottom Line

Babies sucking on their bottom lip is a common behavior that is usually harmless. However, it’s important to monitor the behavior and look out for any serious symptoms. If it goes on for too long, it may result in an overbite, which can damage oral tissues and be hard to correct.

To help your baby stop this habit, consider using a pacifier, teething remedies, or entertainment. If your little one is still sucking their bottom lip past 8 months, it’s best to visit the pediatrician.

Remember that babies use different techniques to self-soothe, and biting their lower lip is one of them. While it might seem concerning, it’s a natural behavior. If you’re worried, try not to stress too much as most babies outgrow this habit quickly.

In summary, bottom lip sucking is a normal behavior that doesn’t require immediate concern. However, if it persists for too long, it’s best to seek professional advice.

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