No one likes having dry, chapped lips. Not only are they unsightly but also uncomfortable and annoying. But, for most adults, especially ladies, it’s really not a big problem –we simply reach into the purse, get some lip balm or Vaseline, and we are sorted!
But, what are we to do when our little one has chapped lips? Should you worry? Can we use lip balm? Is it safe, or is there a better alternative? No doubt, these are some of the questions that every new mom or parent has to think about. After all, babies are super sensitive, and you have to be careful about every single thing they use.
This is the question we will be answering and also what you can do to prevent chapped lips from happening in the future. Interested? Read on.
What causes chapped lips?
Dry, splitting and sore lips are a common problem that affects kids from time to time.
One of the most common causes of dry lips is dehydration. If your baby has not been feeding well or they are exposed to the sun for long, they can become dehydrated, resulting in chapped lips. It can also happen if the child is breathing through the mouth, especially when they have a cold so that air is constantly passing over the lips and drying them out.
The second reason is dry weather. During winter or under hot summer weather, lack of moisture in the air and the wind causes lips to dry out and start to crack.
Lastly, babies are always drooling and liking their lips-like when they are teething. Even toddlers and adults can get into a habit of licking their lips, causing them to dry out and become chapped.
If your baby has chapped lips, you don’t need to worry as it is a common problem. You need to treat them as fast as possible since chapped lips can become cracked and painful and will be uncomfortable when feeding or sleeping. The cracked skin can also become infected.
What if your baby has chronic chapped lips?
Chapped lips that don’t improve with home remedies or that last for prolonged durations might point to an underlying health issue.
It can result from deficiencies or overconsumption of certain vitamins. The best thing is to seek medical help to have the doctor assess your child.
What can you use to treat chapped lips?
It’s not recommended to use chapstick on babies under the age of two years. This is because adult lip balms usually have many additives that are not safe for babies.
The other reason is that lip balms are flavored and may encourage kids to keep licking their lips leading to even more dryness and ingesting more of the product.
One of the most common advice breastfeeding moms are given is to try leaving some milk on the surface of the baby’s lips after feeding (not rubbing it in). The milk is hydrating and has antibacterial properties that prevent infection and heal the cracked skin.
The second effective and safe method is using lanolin cream. This is the cream every breastfeeding mom uses to treat sore cracked nipples, so it’s safe for your tot.
You could also use other remedies like coconut oil or an organic lip balm- but you still have to check with your child’s pediatrician first.
Again, if you don’t see an improvement or your baby’s lips seem to get worse, seek medical attention.
How can I prevent chapped lips?
As the famous saying goes, prevention is better than cure. We have already seen how chapped lips happen, so here are some things you can try to prevent or lessen the severity.
Ensure your child is well hydrated-babies need a feed every 2 to 3 hours, whether breastfeeding or formula feeding. For bigger toddlers, ensure they are drinking enough water or fresh juices to prevent dehydration.
Limit exposure to hot sun, cold or winds-one way you can keep your baby’s lips from being dried by the weather is by keeping their face covered when going outside. A scarf or a light blanket will do. You could also keep them facing away from the wind.
Regulate your home temperature– you can use a humidifier to keep the air from being too dry. This also helps your child breathe better if they are having a cold and have a congested nose.
While chapstick is not good for the baby, using the strategies we have shared above, problems with your baby’s chapped lips will be a thing of the past.