Baby lip quivering refers to a condition in which the baby’s lips, primarily the lower lip, tremble rapidly. It would look like something a cartoon character would display when it’s cold. Sometimes, the trembling of the lips might be associated with other actions, such as crying.
A baby’s lips may quiver due to various reasons. It could be due to something as simple as feeling cold or a complex issue, such as an immature nervous system or low vitamin levels. While you need not panic every time your baby does something different, it is important to keep a watchful eye when an out-of-the-ordinary action or behavior becomes repetitive and interferes with the baby’s wellbeing.
In this post, we will tell you why a baby’s lips quiver, when you should be worried, and the treatment options.
Why Does A Baby’s Lips Quiver?
Here are some possible reasons for the quivering of lips in babies.
1. Immature nervous system
Babies are born with an immature nervous system, which might cause the lower lip to tremble. This is normal and generally subsides in two or three months. During the growing period, the brain sends electrical impulses throughout the body. When this becomes erratic or too quick, it can be too much for the baby’s immature nervous system to handle, causing the lips to quiver (1).
Sometimes, other parts of the body, such as the limbs, tremble and jerk. These could be behind the lip quivering when your baby is young. If the quivering persists after your baby is six months, consult your pediatrician.
2. Use of muscles
Sometimes, the baby’s lips also quiver when they use certain muscles for peeing or passing wind. During such instances, the baby’s lower lip and jaw shake uncontrollably for a few seconds. This is common in newborns, as their muscles are still fragile. If your little one’s lips quiver, check their diaper.
3. Change in the temperature
Another common reason why a baby’s lips quiver is the cold temperature. You might often notice your baby’s lips quivering, their teeth chattering, and their body shivering when you take them out in the cold or when you put them in the bathtub.
4. Medical reasons
In rare cases, baby lip quivering could result from a congenital disability or an underlying medical issue. Some pathological conditions associated with tremors include hypoglycemia, intracranial hemorrhage, and hyperthyroid state (2). Studiesindicate that tremors and quivering of lips could also indicate hypocalcemia, this could be due to an underlying kidney problem or genetic cause for the low level.
Such medical conditions are generally accompanied by other symptoms, such as sleep disturbances, poor feedings, irritability, twitching episodes, and generalized seizures (3).
If you notice prolonged quivering of lips in your baby and have ruled out nonmedical reasons, it is best to consult your pediatrician.
Diagnosis Of Lip Quivering In Babies
Your child’s doctor would do a physical examination to understand the reason behind the lip quivering. They may also ask questions about the baby’s medical history and if you had any complications during pregnancy or delivery.
The doctor might also recommend tests such as brain imaging (CT Scan or MRI), EEG, and X-rays to understand the brain’s functioning. Blood tests may also be conducted to understand if there are any deficiencies.
Treatments For Baby Lip Quiver
If the quivering of lips is due to an immature nervous system or weak muscles, it usually improves on its own in two to three months.
But, if your doctor has diagnosed any other medical issues, they might recommend the following treatments.
- For hypocalcemia, the treatment options depend on the extent of calcium deficiency. If the calcium levels are less than 6mg/dL in preterm infants and 7mg/dL in term infants, your doctor might prescribe calcium replacements (3).
- In the case of more serious neurological problems, the doctor might prescribe medications or physical therapy.
Tips For Easing Quivering Lips In Babies
You can follow these tips for easing your baby’s quivering lips in the case of nonmedical reasons.
- Cover your baby in warm clothes and make sure their bath water is at an optimum temperature.
- Hold your baby close and gently tap on their lips when they quiver.
- Keep track of the time and situations when your baby’s lips quiver.
- Avoid exposing them to cold climates for long hours.
- Breastfeed them exclusively for the first six months.
- Eas nutritious food so that your breast milk contains all the nutrients required for your baby to grow and thrive.
From the time you brought your baby into this world, you have been observing their every move and every cry. It is common for first-time parents to get tensed at the slightest awkward movement of their baby. So, do not panic if your baby’s lips occasionally quiver; observe to find out if it is normal and due to nonmedical reasons.
If your baby’s lips quiver for more than three months and you notice additional symptoms, it is best to consult your doctor and give your little one the proper treatment.
2. Mônica Ayres de Araújo Scattolin et al.; Chin tremor in full-term neonate after hypoxia; Sao Paulo Medical Journal (2012).
3. Dogus Vuralli; Clinical Approach to Hypocalcemia in Newborn Period and Infancy: Who Should Be Treated?; International Journal of Pediatrics (2019).