Drooling is common in babies, particularly when they’re teething. It is usually nothing to worry about, however excess saliva can sometimes irritate a baby’s sensitive skin and lead to a drool rash. The rash isn’t contagious and can occur in otherwise healthy babies. It can affect a baby’s mouth, cheeks, chin, and the surrounding areas, and its appearance is red, itchy, bumpy patches on the skin that may be moist or dry.
Besides teething, babies may also naturally drool when they have a limited ability to swallow, have a tendency to keep their mouth open, or lack front teeth. Drooling often stops once they become toddlers.
How to prevent and treat a baby’s drool rash
A drool rash can cause discomfort for some babies, but there are a few simple remedies to prevent and treat it.
It can be difficult to prevent the rash when a baby is constantly drooling, but following these simple tips will help:
- Gently wipe excess saliva from your baby’s face with a clean, soft, and dry wash cloth .
- Clean the area around your baby’s mouth after milk or solid feeds by gently patting their face with a damp cloth (rather than baby wipes, and do not use soap on the wet cloths).
- Put an absorbent dribble bib or bandana on your baby to prevent the saliva from getting on their neck or chest. Change it regularly.
- Change your baby’s clothes when they become damp.
The best way to prevent and treat drool rash is to keep the skin as dry as possible, and following a few simple measures to help manage it, including:
- Always keep soft, clean, and dry wash cloths handy to dry your baby’s face as soon as any drool appears.
- Apply a baby protective facial cream to the affected area to protect it against dryness and irritation. Ensure that the cream is soap-free and contains ingredients that soothe a baby’s delicate skin. Reapply regularly to maintain a barrier.
- Avoid using irritating substances on or around your baby, such as harsh cleaning and laundry detergents, soaps, and scented wipes and lotions. Instead, replace them with gentle and natural products.
- If teething seems to be the cause of the drool, offer your baby a cold teething toy from the fridge to chew on.
- Keep your baby’s bottle teats and dummies clean and sterilised to make sure they’re not the cause of the rash. You might even like to try natural rubber teats and dummies, as natural rubber provides no breeding ground for germs. Also look for dummies with vent holes which help to protect against rashes.