As a parent, you want to do everything you can to keep your baby happy and healthy. So when you see something strange like baby lip quivers, it’s natural to worry. What does it mean? Is something wrong?
Don’t fret! In this blog post, we’ll explain what causes a baby’s bottom lip to quiver and whether or not it’s cause for concern. By the end, you’ll be able to rest assured that your little one is perfectly normal – even if their trembling or quivering bottom lip makes them look anything but!
What is baby lip quivering?
Baby bottom lip quivering is exactly what it sounds like – a trembling or quivering of the lower lip. It’s almost like how a cartoon character looks when they’re cold! The lip trembling may happen alongside other actions or sometimes on its own. Your baby may also cry after the quiver and other times they may not.
It’s a completely normal phenomenon that often occurs in babies, and there’s usually no cause for alarm. In fact, you’ve probably seen your baby’s bottom lip quiver many times already and didn’t even realize it!
The good news is that a quivering bottom lip is usually nothing to worry about. However, if you notice your baby’s lip trembling or quivering more frequently or for longer periods of time, it’s always best to consult with a doctor just to be on the safe side.
The video below shows an example of a baby’s quivering 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 demonstrates the type of action that 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 the baby is crying or screaming
- At the same time as trembling limbs or body
- It is happening with no other symptoms
6 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 a baby or newborn’s trembling lips and jaws is an underdeveloped 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 these bottom lip quivers 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 lip quivering and jerking movements to be worrying then arrange to discuss this with your GP.
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 it’s winter.
If a bit of the chills is what’s caused the lower lip quivering then it will go away quite easily if you add some extra layers or a blanket.
3. They’re having a wee
Some of our readers have reported that bottom 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 are struggling to get it out. 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 bottom lip quivering, try and wind them to see if that works.
5. They’re showing emotion
A baby’s lip quivering can also be a sign of many different emotions. It is often the first sign of happiness or excitement – when a baby sees something they are interested in, their lip may start to quiver.
Fear is another emotion that may cause a baby’s lip to quiver. If a baby is scared, their lip may start to quiver as a way to show that they are feeling fear. There are many other emotions that may cause a baby’s lip to quiver, such as sadness, anger, or even just being tired. If you see your baby’s lip quivering, take a few moments to understand what they may be feeling, so you can react accordingly.
6. 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 for your baby’s lip quivering or 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. Also, the likelihood is that it will have been picked up while you were in hospital, or by a subsequent midwife or health visitor.
A defect which affects blood sugar or the nervous system would be the cause of the lip quiver, and your baby will be suffering from jitters and tremors often and chronically. If this is the case, you should seek medical attention immediately.
When to be concerned about lip quivering
In general, if your baby’s bottom lip quivering is sporadic and not constant, then there’s no need to be concerned. However, you should keep an eye on your baby to ensure that the lip quivering does not become constant, as this could be a sign of a more serious issue. If you are concerned about your baby’s bottom lip quivering, speak to your GP or health visitor for advice.
1. If the lip quivering is accompanied by other symptoms. If your baby’s bottom lip quiver is accompanied by other worrying symptoms, such as a high fever, difficulty breathing, or vomiting, or other parts of the body also trembling, then you should seek medical attention immediately.
2. If the lip quivering is constant. If your baby’s bottom lip quiver is constant, or if it happens very frequently, then you should speak to your GP or health visitor. This could be a sign of a more serious issue, such as a birth defect or a neurological condition.
If you are at all concerned about your baby’s bottom lip quivering, then you should speak to your GP or health visitor for advice. They will be able to offer you reassurance and guidance on what to do next.
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.
Tips to Ease Baby Lip Quivering
Keep in mind that your baby is still very little and is growing and developing so quickly. If the lip quivers are due to an immature nervous system or underdeveloped muscles, than you should see the quivers ease over a few months.
In the meantime, there are a few things you can do to ease your baby’s discomfort if their bottom lip is quivering:
- Try burping them more frequently. If your baby is struggling with wind, then try burping them more often to help them release the trapped air.
- Hold them close. If your baby is feeling scared or anxious, then hold them close to you and offer them reassurance. This will help to ease their anxiety and make them feel more secure.
- Rock them gently. If your baby is feeling restless or agitated, then try rocking them gently in your arms. This will help to soothe and calm them down.
- Give them a pacifier. If your baby is finding it difficult to self-soothe, then give them a pacifier to suck on. This will help to calm and comfort them.
- Make sure they are warm. If your baby is feeling cold, then make sure to wrap them up in a blanket or put them in a sleepsuit. This will help to keep them warm and comfortable and prevent lip quivers from being cold.
- Make sure they are well-rested. If your baby is tired, then make sure to put them down for regular naps and to give them plenty of opportunity to sleep at night. This will help to improve their mood and will stop their lip from quivering.
- Take them to see a doctor. If you are concerned about your baby’s bottom lip quivering, then take them to see a doctor. This will rule out any underlying medical causes and will give you peace of mind.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will my baby’s bottom lip quivering go away?
In most cases, yes. If your baby’s bottom lip quiver is due to an immature nervous system or underdeveloped muscles, then you should see them grow out of it in a few months.
Is bottom lip quivering normal in babies?
Yes, it is normal for babies to have the occasional lip quiver. However, if the lip quivering is constant or accompanied by other symptoms, then you should speak to your GP or health visitor.
How do you know when your baby is cold?
You can usually tell if your baby is cold by their body language and behaviour. If they are shivering (including lip quivering), have their arms and legs close to their body, or are crying, then they may be feeling cold. Another way to check is to feel their tummy – if it feels cool to the touch, then they may be cold.
Why Does My Baby Quiver His Bottom Lip While Crying?
Your baby is experiencing an ancient reflex that occurs because their nervous system isn’t developed enough. Crying or feeding can send rapid nerve impulses through the body, but these are too much for an infant’s tiny brain and nervous system to handle, resulting in a trembling in the bottom lip.
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.