Becoming a mother is a beautiful feeling, but it comes with the responsibility of a newborn dependent on you for everything. And if you have had a baby recently, I can understand your concerns regarding his health and well-being.
The slightest change you observe in the child makes you think about the causes and repercussions if not handled in time. While a baby foaming at mouth during sleep is common among young children, it can take a new mother by surprise.
Let’s tell you when to be worried and when not if you see foam or bubbles in your baby’s mouth while sleeping.
Drooling in Children
Parents can usually observe saliva around their children’s mouths in the form of a frothy substance or spit in the corners of the mouth. It is common around 3 to 6 months as the salivary glands develop in newborns around this time.
Don’t be surprised if you see the foam on the chin as well – babies don’t really care that much, after all! Though what causes the saliva to come out of the baby’s mouth?
What Causes Baby Foaming at Mouth During Sleeping?
While you might think you have lost all the amniotic fluid during delivery, babies have some in their stomachs. They expel the last of the amniotic fluid from their stomach a few days after birth. So, it is nothing to worry about.
Infants show various signs and symptoms during their developmental phases, including teething. They develop oral-motor function around 6 months, and you might see bubbles around your baby’s mouth while sleeping.
If you wonder “what?” while reading this, we get you! But let us explain.
When your baby sleeps on their back, the saliva moves to the back of their mouth. On the other hand, when they lie on their stomach, the foam-like saliva comes out of their mouth.
Babies do not have digestive systems as developed as adults and may experience reflux on taking milk or food. The undigested milk comes to the mouth, which the babies either throw up or have around their lips.
The best way is to avoid overfeeding your baby, burping them, and laying them down on a gentle angle to prevent reflux. You may also consult your doctor to suggest something for reflux in young children.
Babies spit more after vaccination which is usually normal. It occurs as a reaction to vaccination, and the healthcare worker may inform you about the required precautions for a particular vaccine.
When Should You Worry About Baby Foaming at the Mouth?
As mentioned, drooling is common in children between three to six months and sometimes in newborns. However, if your younger-than-two-month-old baby is drooling a lot, getting them evaluated in time is suggested.
Some conditions might require vigilance if you see a baby foaming at the mouth during sleep. They include the following:
Infants with a cold try to breathe with their mouths and drool more than usual; this condition does not last long and improves as your baby recovers from the cold.
If your baby has more foam around their mouth than usual, take their temperature. The foam may appear due to febrile seizures which are quite common in children during fever. If your child is between six months to five years old, febrile seizures may cause foaming.
Excessive drooling can also indicate swallowing issues relating to the esophagus that pushes the saliva out of the mouth.
If you have seen foam around your baby’s mouth when sleeping, more frequently after introducing a new food, it probably did not suit them well. Give the food to them for a few days and stop if the excessive drooling continues.
Besides swallowing issues, various other gastrointestinal disorders can cause foaming in the mouth. If your baby is crying and has difficulty breathing, it could be due to choking or a GI problem.
Usually, the foam around the baby’s mouth is colorless or white. But if you see yellow, green, red, purple, or black foam, it could be a sign of an infection or another underlying disease. Consult your doctor immediately.
When your child is on medication, be vigilant; a medicine overdose can also cause drooling in children. Avoid the next dose if you have accidentally given a higher dose or twice.
Babies can suffer from oxygen depreciation in closed environments, such as car travel. In case you see your baby turn slightly blue and make an effort while breathing, with saliva around the lips, it’s time to ask for help.
Enlargement of Adenoids and Tonsillar Glands
Sometimes foam around the mouth with snoring while the child sleeps may indicate tonsillitis and the enlargement of adenoid glands. Turning the baby to the side can help improve breathing until the doctor suggests a suitable treatment.
Preventing Foaming at Mouth in Babies
Following these few precautions can help you avoid excessive drooling in children:
- Lay your baby at an angle to avoid reflux
- Always burp your baby after feeding them
- Avoid overfeeding the baby
- Check for intolerance when you introduce a new food
- Lay them on their back
- Be vigilant with medicine dosing
- Take the baby out of the car at least every hour when on a road trip
The Bottom Line
Baby foaming at mouth during sleep can be due to various harmless reasons like expelling the last of the amniotic fluid, lying on the stomach, over-feeding, or reflux. However, some other causes of foam around the baby’s mouth include infections, common colds, swallowing issues, febrile seizures, oxygen depreciation, tonsillitis, and medicine overdose. Burp your baby every time you feed them and check for intolerance when introducing a new food. Also, be careful to not double-dose the child to prevent complications.
Why is my baby foaming at the mouth and not breathing?
If your baby is foaming at the mouth and not breathing, it could be due to low oxygen levels. When the child does not get enough oxygen, they try to breathe with their mouth and produce more saliva that comes out of their mouth.
Why does my 2-week-old baby spit bubbles while sleeping?
It is quite normal for newborn babies to spit bubbles while sleeping as they might be expelling the last of the amniotic fluid out of their stomach. However, if excessive drooling continues for long, consult your doctor to rule out medical issues.
Is drooling good for the baby?
Babies usually drool when overfed or lying on their stomachs as the saliva comes out instead of going to the back of the mouth. While drooling is not exactly good for babies, saliva keeps your baby’s mouth moist, protects their teeth, and helps them digest food.
How to avoid rashes around the baby’s mouth?
Sometimes children get rashes around their mouths due to excessive drooling. It is not harmful to the baby, but it’s important to keep a check, specially when you’re a first time parent. You can prevent it by applying a little Vaseline around their lips to prevent dryness.
When do babies stop drooling?
The human mouth produces saliva throughout their lives, but you do not see it around the mouths of adults like children. Majorly because adults have more control over their muscles compared to babies. Most children stop drooling at the age of three years, and you won’t see foam around their mouths like when they were younger.
Born in Belarus, 1985, a pedagogue and family psychologist, mother. Taking part in procedures of social adaptation of the foster children in new families. Since 2015 is a chief editor of the motherhow.com project, selecting the best and up-to-date material for those, who are planning, expecting, and already having babies.