Are you drowning in your baby’s drool? Odds are the answer is an omg-yes! Why? Because he lacks developed mouth-muscle control, so when your baby begins teething, he’s going to begin to drool non-stop. The good news is you can help him acquire this skill faster and of course we’ve got a few tips for you to help your baby exercise his oral muscles now. That way he can gain a little bit of control over this very slobbery, two-year ordeal AND stay dry (or at least somewhat drier than he would otherwise).
PPB Drooling Survival 101:
1. Use a waterproof-lined bib all the time.
You will find that you must permanently adorn a bib to your baby to catch the never-ending droolfest and waterproof-lined bibs are your very best option for this. Just try to remember to take it off for the occasional picture, otherwise you’ll never record all the cute outfits your baby was actually ever wearing underneath. And here’s a cute option for going out: coordinate his outfit with a very hip bandana bib.
Caution: remember to always take off any bib when your baby sleeps to prevent strangulation.
2. Reduce his pacifier time.
Pacifiers promote sucking but not really swallowing. So you don’t want to do away with his pacifier-use altogether– just use it when it’s absolutely necessary to calm him down or to help him fall asleep.
3. Use a children’s electric toothbrush.
This is a popular technique to engage children with oral sensations, in the hope that they will learn to swallow their spit sooner.
Tip: start slowly by touching it to the child’s lips and cheeks when it’s turned off; then move to the tongue, gums and teeth; then turn it on, etc…
4. Move from a sippy cup to a straw cup as fast as you can.
Each step to a different cup further promotes different muscles used in the mouth. Most children who use straws often solve their drooling issue when this skill is mastered, so the sooner you get to it, the better.
Tip: normally, we say to wait until your baby’s first birthday to switch to a sippy cup, but even if you do it earlier for the sake of helping control the drool… put those bottles AWAY, make the switch “cold turkey,” and don’t go back– it should only take a weekend to get your baby used to the idea that his bottle days are over.
If your gut tells you that there may be a speech issue, you should contact a speech therapist to perform an assessment — after all, it’s always better to check and be wrong, than to let something go undiagnosed. But also know that it’s very normal for your baby to drool a LOT during his first year (and second year too!), so try not to worry about it too much. And of course, there’s always a silver lining, right? Here’s this one’s: your baby’s drool coats toys and other objects with disease-preventing proteins. Yay.