When you bring your baby home, especially if it’s your first born, then you’ll probably be analysing everything they do and over thinking even the smallest of things. My youngest often quivered his bottom lip whenever he cried as if he was cold and it made me worry so much. So, in today’s article we’re going to look at why a baby’s bottom lip might quiver and tremble and what you can do help stop it or put your mind at ease.
We are real mums here at Best For Mums so if you’ve landed on this page then it’s probably happened or happening to your baby and you want to know if it’s normal or not. Well, we’ve done some research and looked at our team’s babies and baby health experiences to come with this short but concise baby lip quivering guide.
What is baby lip quivering?
When a baby quivers their lips (almost always the bottom lip) it causes it to shake or tremble quickly – almost like how a cartoon character would when they’re cold. The trembling may happen alongside other actions or sometimes on its own. They may also cry after the quiver and other times they may not.
Here’s a video showing an example of a baby quivering his or her bottom lip. Clearly, this baby is not in distress and perhaps the reason for this is just a bit of a chill. However, this video will help you understand if what your baby is experiencing is the same as we’re discussing here.
The quivering action is almost always the same from baby to baby but the cause and potential treatment will often be different.
How and when is your baby’s lips shaking?
An important distinction to make is how and when your baby’s lips are quivering. In our experience we’ve seen it happen in a couple of different scenarios:
- When then baby is crying screaming
- At the same time as trembling limbs or body
- It is happening with no other symptoms
5 Reasons why your baby’s lips are quivering
These are the potential causes of your baby’s lips trembling from most likely to least likely.
1. Immature nervous system
The most likely cause of trembling lips and jaws is an under developed nervous system and is a completely normal occurrence in a baby. This is especially true if you have a newborn baby or a very young baby as it’s at this stage they’re doing most of their growing. If this is the cause then there may be other parts such as limbs trembling and jerking from time to time.
While the baby is growing, the electric signals from the brain through the body can be sent erratically and can overwhelm an immature nervous system which can result in lip quivering, jerking and what can only be described as ‘random’ movements of the body.
This is a common and completely normal thing to see in a baby and absolutely no cause for concern, especially if you have a very young baby. As time goes by and their nervous system develops more this will happen less often until it stops completely. An immature nervous system should not cause your baby to tremor for long stretches instead it will happen sporadically throughout the day.
If you have an older baby who is over 6 months old and you’re finding the quivering and jerking movements to be worrying then arrange to discuss this with your GP.
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2. They’re chilly
It may seem obvious and perhaps a little trivial but your baby’s lips might be quivering and teeth chattering (if they have any!) because they’re a little bit cold! Get them out of the cold as quickly as you can and warm them up! This could easily happen when you’re trying to change the baby when it’s cold in the house or its winter.
If a bit of the chills is what’s caused the quivering then it will go away quite easily.
3. They’re having a wee
Some of our readers have reported that lip quivering is a sign that they’re relieving themselves and the movement is just a sign of the relief they’re feeling. Have you ever had a wee that felt so good you started to feel a bit of a shiver all over? Well, some people claim that your baby may be showing their pleasure by trembling their jaw. A dead easy way to debunk this is to check their nappy straight after, although that could be a bit tedious.
Either way, if this is the cause it is not a concern at all and it shouldn’t be something that happens all that often.
4. They’ve got wind
Your baby could be twitching their lip because they have wind and struggling to get it out themselves. The twitching is probably a response to your baby trying to use muscles that just aren’t strong enough to try and wind themselves. If you see your baby’s lip twitching try and wind them to see if that works.
5. Birth defects
This has been left as the last point as a reason because it is so rare and uncommon for birth defects to be the reason your baby’s lips are trembling. In general, if your baby has a birth defect which has caused lip quivering then this will almost certainly not be the only symptom of it and the likelihood is that it will have been picked up while you’re in hospital, by a subsequent midwife or by your health visitor.
A defect which affects blood sugar or the nervous system would be the cause of the lip quiver. If this is the case then your baby will be suffering from jitters and tremors often and chronically. If this is the case you should seek medical attention immediately.
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When to be concerned about lip quivering
Lip quivering should be a concern if it happens very often and erratically and paired with other parts of the body also trembling or shaking. A sign that medical attention is needed is when the quivering is more like a tremble or a tremor as opposed to light shaking.
However, it’s important to make sure to not panic when the quivering isn’t erratic, isn’t distressing the baby and isn’t accompanied by any other symptoms.
We’d like to once again point out how common and normal most incidents of quivering lips are and how likely every mother will see it with a baby, especially a newborn. However, when a quiver becomes a tremble or a tremor that’s when it should be taken seriously and medical attention should be sought.