Why do babies drool?

Body Inside & Out   |   Age: 2 months 3 weeks


Why do babies drool?

Somewhere around the time your baby was 2 to 4 months old, you may have noticed her start to drool. If not, you still may have noticed some of the other kids in her peer group did, even if your baby didn’t.

Neither of those is a problem.

Babies who drool do so because their salivary glands have started producing the enzymes that will help them process solid food, in anticipation of weaning. Around this time, they also start to learn to chew, which can stimulate saliva production even more. Later, when your baby is teething, she may drool even more

This doesn’t mean that babies who aren’t drooling aren’t producing the same increased rate of saliva, it’s just that they’re swallowing it. Basically, babies who drool are still figuring out how to do something new with their mouths.


Teething is what many parents first think of when their babies begin to drool, but most babies who drool start drooling months before they start teething. However, drooling may increase after teething starts, especially if your baby begins chewing on things to relieve teething pain, since the chewing motion stimulates saliva production.

Health Concerns

If your child starts to drool a lot more than usual suddenly, is unable to swallow her own saliva and starts to choke, or has trouble swallowing liquids, contact your healthcare provider immediately. The main concern if you think your baby’s drooling is excessive is that she may be having developmental problems with swallowing. If that is the problem, though, you will most likely have also noticed her having trouble swallowing while eating. Other health problems that might cause drooling include nausea, mouth sores, sore throat, or infections. If you have any doubts, don’t hesitate to ask your baby's pediatrician.

The main consequences of your baby's drool are dryness and rashes on her face and chest. To treat this rash associated with drooling, rinse your baby's face, pat dry, and spread a thin layer of petroleum jelly over it to provide a barrier between drool and skin.

Drool may not be your favorite of your baby’s habits, but it is normal and fairly harmless, and it’s something she will grow out of all on her own.


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