It’s very common for babies to drool until they are around 12 to 15 months old. They may still drool while feeding or teething until 24 months, but drooling will be minimal at that point. Keep in mind that all babies are different, but they typically stop drooling between 18 and 24 months.
Note that all babies are different. Your baby might start drooling before or after the average age, and your baby might stop drooling outside of the average too.
Some babies drool heavily, while others barely drool at all. This is not a sign that something is wrong with your baby. All babies are on a different schedule and develop at different rates.
If you’re concerned about your baby’s development, talk to your baby’s pediatrician.
When Do Babies Start Drooling?
You might first notice baby drool around your baby’s mouth when they start teething, which typically begins when they are 4 to 12 months old.
Your baby might start teething earlier than that as well. Drooling is a sign that your baby’s salivary glands are hard at work.
Why Do Babies Drool?
Drooling is a normal part of a baby’s development. Often, drooling is associated with teething. When your baby is teething, you might notice increased drooling.
Working on that Coordinated Reflex
Additionally, babies might drool because they have a limited ability to swallow. Babies don’t have the necessary muscles and coordination needed for swallowing.
When their bodies produce saliva, it has nowhere to go because babies are still learning to swallow properly.
When the front teeth come in, babies may stop drooling too, but the lack of front teeth may cause drooling before then.
Exploring the Environment Around Them
Babies often have their mouths open because they use their mouths to explore the world around them.
You will probably find your little one putting their hands, toys, and more in their mouth.
How to Deal with Excessive Drooling
If your child is drooling a lot, you should know that drooling is a healthy behavior. Now, it may not be enjoyable for you as a parent, especially after multiple outfits and bib changes throughout the day.
You might constantly find wet spots on your clothing from your baby’s drool. You might even wonder if your baby is drooling too much.
Bibs and Burp Cloths
If your child often has excess drool on their mouth and chin, it can be helpful to keep a blanket or burp cloth handy.
Then you can wipe your child’s mouth frequently to prevent the drool from soaking their shirt and bib. You can’t completely stop drool from being produced.
Bring Extra Shirts and Bibs
Know that there’s no way to stop drooling until children outgrow this stage. The best thing you can do is keep your baby’s chin and mouth dry and change their clothes and bibs as needed. It may be inconvenient, but it’s temporary.
Other Reasons Why Babies Drool
If your child is drooling when they are past the teething stage, they may be drooling for another reason. There are several reasons that your child may drool. If your child is drooling, consider these possibilities:
Your child may be congested. When your child has a stuffy nose, they have to keep their mouth open to breathe easier.
Low Muscle Tone to the Mouth Area
Your child may have low muscle tone in the mouth area. This may lead to children keeping their mouths open, which contributes to drooling.
Your child may need to strengthen their oral muscles to improve their muscle control. Oral motor exercises can help.
I would first speak with your pediatrician if this is a concern.
Then, possibly look into meeting with an occupational or speech therapist to help with your child’s muscle tone.
Use of a Pacifier
Your child may be drooling more from using their pacifier. When babies use pacifiers, they are experiencing oral stimulation, which creates an increase in saliva production, according to Day 2 Day Parenting.
When your child is not sucking on a pacifier, they may drool more because they are used to having a pacifier in their mouth.
You may find other reasons that your baby is frequently drooling. If you are concerned about any of these issues, be sure to talk to your baby’s pediatrician. In most cases, drooling is nothing to be concerned about.
Is Drooling a Problem?
Drooling itself is not a problem, but it can cause drool rash.
Rashes Caused by Drooling
Drool rash occurs when excessive saliva irritates your baby’s skin. Your baby’s skin may be red and irritated. To prevent this, you should keep your baby’s skin dry and clean.
You can ask your baby’s pediatrician for recommendations too. There may be a cream that you can apply to heal your baby’s drool rash.
Teething Toys for Symptom Relief
Using teething toys can help with this too. If your baby is drooling because they are teething, a teething ring can help to relieve some of the teething symptoms.
Always Go With Your Gut: Talk With Your Pediatrician for Extra Concerns
Drooling can also be a sign that something is wrong. If your baby is drooling excessively, they may have an issue with their tonsils or adenoids.
You can talk to your child’s pediatrician about this if you are concerned or notice other concerning signs.
Is Drooling a Sign That My Baby is Ready for Solid Foods?
Note that babies do still drool once they’re old enough to eat solid foods. They may drool less, though, because they are learning how to swallow.
The recommendation is for babies to start eating solid foods around six months of age. Your baby’s drooling habits aren’t enough evidence that your baby is or isn’t ready for solid foods.
Be sure to look for other signs along with their drooling habits. Some babies may start salivating more around the time they begin solids.
This happens because their digestive systems will need more enzymes to break down the solid foods you will soon feed them.
Is Drooling a Sign of Autism?
Children and babies with developmental disorders may drool more than neurotypical children. This may be caused by low muscle tone and difficulty swallowing, according to Autism Speaks.
Drooling alone isn’t a sign that your child has autism.
If you notice multiple signs of autism or other developmental delays, you should talk to your child’s pediatrician and see if they should see a specialist.
Drooling is Completely Normal
All children drool, so that’s why drooling isn’t enough evidence to prove your child has a developmental disorder.
Drooling alone isn’t something that should cause concern.