Baby Sucking Bottom Lip (What It Means & Should You Stop It?)

Babies do the cutest yet weirdest things – sleep in odd positions, laugh then cry all of a sudden, and poop while you’re bathing them.

Then there’s a baby sucking their bottom lip.

It looks cute, you take a picture then you see it happening frequently. 

And as a new parent, you start to get concerned.

Why Do Babies Bite and Suck Their Bottom Lips?

You’re probably wondering if this is normal baby behavior or if your baby is the only one doing it. 

You might be thinking if they’re just signaling that they’re hungry or if this is something to be more concerned about.

The good news is, for most babies, biting and sucking their lips is totally normal.

Here are the possible reasons why your baby is biting his or her lips:


Babies develop soothing techniques instinctively. 

Most suck on their thumb, even inside the womb!

Sucking is a natural reflex for a baby and provides them a sense of contentment and security.

Once they’re born, sucking on their thumb or hand becomes harder, so babies bite or suck their bottom lip instead.

You might also notice other self-soothing behaviors from your baby such as:

  • Rubbing their face or body against a blanket
  • Pulling on or twirling hair
  • Gently banging their body parts against the crib
  • Lifting and thumping legs

It can be worrying to see this behavior, especially if you’re a new parent.

But for the most part, they’re perfectly normal and it’s just your baby’s way of calming themselves. 

And most will outgrow these habits with time.


Teething can be uncomfortable and for the most part, painful for your babies.

Their gums get swollen, sore, and even itchy. 

And babies try to relieve that discomfort by biting on objects, like teethers, chilled fruits, and their hands.

If your baby can’t bite on these, they will bite and suck on their lips instead.

Wants to eat

If your baby sees you eating, they might bite, suck and smack their lips, to show that they’re interested in what you’re eating. They might want to try it!

If you’re already doing baby-led weaning, and they’re not allergic to the food you’re eating, let them try it.

Does Your Baby Have Dermatophagia?

There’s a disorder where a person will compulsively bite their skin, particularly their fingers and hands.

This is called dermatophagia and people who are prone to it also tend to bite the inside of their mouth, their nails, and knuckles.

This is considered to be a form of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and is usually done out of stress and anxiety.

The person with this condition tends to have uncontrollable, recurring thoughts and behavior.

It’s a fairly new concept in mental health research and doctors can only make a diagnosis by talking to the patient.

A baby is too young to be diagnosed with it, so you don’t need to worry so much about this.

Can I Stop My Baby from Sucking His/Her Lips?

Yes, you can stop your baby but there’s really no urgent need to do so.

Unless you notice physical symptoms such as lesions or blisters or even a bruise on your lips, then it’s time for some intervention!

But in general, you don’t need to do anything and you have nothing to worry about.

It’s perfectly normal for your baby to bite and suck on their lips and most will eventually outgrow it.

When to Worry About Baby Sucking Their Lips

If it becomes a habit that continues every day, for more than a year or so, then that might be the time to look into it.

Sucking continuously on their lower lip for a long period can lead to:

  • Chapped lips

The skin surrounding the lower lip can crack and might look dark pink or red.

Use a baby-safe lip balm or coconut oil for such minor lip irritation.

Just take note that your baby might be allergic to either so it’s best to talk to your pediatrician about it first.

  • Dental issues

Kids who suck their thumbs or fingers beyond the age of 5 can develop malocclusion.

A malocclusion is any irregular contact of your child’s upper jaw teeth with the lower one.

This can include underbites, crossbites, and overbites.

Related Article: Preparing Your Child For The Dentist To Avoid Tears and Tantrums

  • Speech problems

Finger-sucking, using pacifiers, and bottle feeding for too long can affect your child’s speech development.

They might have more difficulty producing certain sounds, pronouncing words, and such and can likely develop speech impediments.

Baby Sucking Bottom Lip: How To Stop It

If it’s been going on every day for more than a year, then maybe it’s time to do some intervening.

You can help your baby avoid the lip-sucking and biting habit by doing the following:

  • Feed them on time

Give your baby food as soon as you notice them sucking their lips. 

Or better yet, be more observant about their feeding timings and habits and give them their food even before they get hungry or show signs of hunger.

  • Teething remedies

If you noticed that lip sucking is more likely caused by teething, try to give your baby some natural teething remedies first, like chilled fruits, cold washcloths, etc.

  • Give them a pacifier

Let them suck without sucking on their lips with a pacifier!

Just take note that you eventually need to wean them from it but if you don’t want to give your baby a pacifier, then try the next thing.

  • Offer lots of distraction

Try going outside and playing with them.

Or if you have a Pikler triangle or other climbing toys, let them have a go at it!

Read to your kid, let them play with some open-ended toys, do sensory play, etc.

FAQ on Baby Biting and Sucking Lip

Why is my 4-month-old baby biting his lower lip?

A 4-month-old baby who’s biting their lower lip might be doing so for some reason. They might be teething, they might be hungry, or they might be feeling stressed out and are therefore biting and sucking their lower lip to self-soothe.

Takeaway on Baby Sucking Bottom Lip

Your baby sucking on their bottom lip is not really a big deal.

It’s normal and it’s a behavior that most kids will outgrow with time.

But if it continues every day, for 2 years or so, then it might be time to talk to your pediatrician and have it checked out.

If you like this article, you might like my guide on Baby HATES Snoo (12 Ways To Get Them Used to the SNOO)