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    Should You Stop a Baby From Biting Their Lips? Is It Dermatophagia?

    Updated 03 February 2022 |
    Published 21 May 2019
    Fact Checked
    Reviewed by Marina Savchenko, MD, Pediatric Neurologist, Medical Consultant at Flo
    Flo Fact-Checking Standards

    Every piece of content at Flo Health adheres to the highest editorial standards for language, style, and medical accuracy. To learn what we do to deliver the best health and lifestyle insights to you, check out our content review principles.

    From the moment you bring a newborn home, you start to wonder what their behavior means. Many babies bite their lips or knuckles at some point, and you might wonder why. Will it cause future problems? Will it affect how they breastfeed?

    Read this article to learn more about how to stop your baby from biting their lips and whether this behavior is typical.

    Why do babies bite their lips?

    If you have a baby at home, you've probably seen them biting or chewing on their lips at some point. It's normal to wonder what this behavior means. Is your baby hungry? Are they anxious or worried? Will biting their lips cause future problems?

    The good news is that in most cases, your baby biting their lips is completely normal. Here are some of the reasons why your baby might be biting their lips:

    They're self-soothing.

    As babies develop, they learn different techniques to soothe themselves. This is done instinctively; no one teaches them these things. These behaviors have been passed down for centuries, and most children exhibit some form of self-soothing at some point.

    It's very easy for babies to reach their thumb and suck on it when they're in the womb. Yes, babies start sucking their thumbs even before they're born! But once they're born, their hands become harder to reach. Many babies bite or suck on their lower lips as a replacement when they want to self-soothe.

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