Drooling is a necessary part of the teething process. While it may be frustrating to continually be changing wet bibs and rinsing drool from toys, according to pediatrician Dr. Ken Haller, the drooling helps soothe the irritated gums during the painful teething process. The drooling should lessen on its own after the first few teeth emerge, but it may continue to some extent until all the teeth come in, which happens by age three. There's little you can do other than minimize the side effects of the drooling, but there are some things that may help strengthen your child's mouth and make him more aware of the drooling.
Blot the drool from your baby's chin with a soft cloth, don't rub. Since the drooling will be a frequent occurrence, the gentler you can be with the cloth the less likely your baby's skin will be irritated or rubbed raw.
Dab some petroleum jelly or pure lanolin on your baby's chin as a barrier to keep the drool from further irritating the skin, especially before bedtime when you won't be there to blot the drool for long periods of time.
Give your baby a cool chew to soothe his gums and temporarily halt the drooling, if he is over 6 months old. A cool chew can be a frozen bagel or a frozen fruit pop.
Have your child use a spill-proof straw cup rather than a sippy cup to help strengthen his tongue so he can swallow the drool more easily, according to speech-language pathologist Heidi Hanks.
Gently massage your child's gums and new teeth twice daily with an electric toothbrush to increase mouth sensitivity so he is more aware of the drooling and knows to swallow it, speech-language pathologist Heidi Hanks also suggests.
Items you will need
- Soft cloth
- Petroleum jelly or lanolin
- Frozen bagel
- Spill-proof straw cup
- Electric toothbrush
- BabyCentre: Teething -- How to Ease the Distress
- Mommy Speech Therapy: How to Reduce Drooling in Infants and Toddlers
- Mommy Speech Therapy: Do Pacifiers and Sippy Cups Cause Speech Delay?
- BabyZone: Your Top 10 Teething Questions Answered
- Ask Dr. Sears: How Much Does Teething Bother Baby?
- MedlinePlus: Drooling
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