What Is The Major Cause Of Newborn Chapped Lips?

Because of the fragility and high susceptibility nature of a newborn’s skin, they are always prone to various environmental effects. And since their skin is normally drier than the skins of adults, any slight change in conditions aggravates the drying up of the skin.

It is this skin drying up that is manifested in the appearance of chapped lips in newborns. The same condition occurs in adults as a result of dehydration and dry weather. Chapped lips are annoying, to say the least. This means that your newborn won’t feel great having chapped lips too.

Newborn chapped lips appear as sore, scaly, and dry lips. When it appears, most parents are worried sick on what could be troubling the precious one. At times, it affects the newborn’s feeding and sleeping patterns.

The good thing is that it can be resolved. In today’s post, I will discuss with you some of the ways you can use to deal with this chapped condition before it develops into something else altogether.

What Is “Newborn Chapped Lips” And What Causes It?

Chapped lips are the appearance of skin peels on the lips of a newborn. The lips look dry and they seem to crack. An uncomfortable and painful sensation may accompany this condition, more so when the newborn is hungry and has to be fed.

There are a number of reasons that cause this occurrence in newborns. Some of these are behavioral, while others are due to external factors. Let me give you an overview of what these could be.

1. Lip Licking And Sucking

Babies, especially newborns, have a habit of licking their lips a lot. In the process, saliva is deposited onto the lips. Consequently, the saliva quickly evaporates, leaving the lips drier than they were before. When done continuously, chapped lips develop in the process.

2. Dehydration

The lack of water makes any type of skin dry, whether a newborn’s or that of an adult. Exposing these lips to increased wind speeds leads to elevated rates of moisture loss. The lips then start to chap due to the lost moisture.

Signs Of Dehydration In A Newborn

  • Dry lips and tongue
  • Tearless cries
  • Soft sunken spot on the forehead
  • Sunken eyes
  • Dry, wrinkled skin
  • Rapid breathing
  • Blotchy and cool feet or hands

3. Mouth Breathing

Breathing through the mouth releases moist air through the lips. It is a common occurrence in a newborn with a flu or a cold. The stuffed nose makes it hard to breathe normally hence this occurrence. Air flow through the lips makes them dry up, hence the chapping after a while.

4. Allergies

There is also a possibility of allergic reactions causing chapped lips in a newborn. Their sensitive skins suffer allergies from various items such as cosmetic products or what they wear. If these get into contact with their lips, then chapping might occur.

5. Lack Of Certain Nutrients

Although not so common, some babies are born while lacking certain essential nutrients such as vitamins. In these cases, either chapping or drying of the lips lead to the eventual chapping. In more extreme cases, these deficiencies are accompanied by unstable immune systems which render newborns more susceptible to skin problems.

6. Extreme Weather

Too much heat can lead to constant sweating, thereby resulting in loss of moisture from the body. The end result is dehydration, which as we have established, causing chapping of lips. Dry winter ends up in the same outcome as dehydration, just as exposure to wind.

Newborn Chapped Lips Remedy

Fortunately, chapped newborn lips can be easily prevented and remedied. The most diligent thing to do is to be observant and diligent as you take care of your newborn. Otherwise, if chapped lips start to appear, then these remedies should come in handy.

1. Humidifier To The Rescue

Dehydration in hot weather or on a dry day in winter is some of the lead causes of chapping of newborn lips. That is why humidifiers are great for countering these effects. They work by adding moisture into the dry air that the baby is in.

Especially in the dry months of the year, a well-functioning humidifier would be a great investment. There are different types of humidifiers that you can invest in. Evaporative and cool mist being the most common types. Choose one that appeals to you most.

2. Apply Breast Milk on the Chapped Lips

The beauty of being a mom is that sometimes the remedies you need are simply within you. Breast milk has been proven to be one of the best home remedies for newborn chapped lips. What is more, you probably have it in plenty and is very easy to apply.

The moment you spot the cracks on the lips, you need to apply this natural remedy. Breast milk acts as a natural moisturizer which keeps the skin moist and hydrated. After a while, the healing properties of breast milk rids the lips of any dry cracks.

 To apply the breast milk, use your two hands to spread the milk gently onto the lips. This application makes the area moist. Additionally, the area will be protected from infection by certain bacteria.

3. Get Rid Of The Pacifier

Some health professionals believe that excessive use of a pacifier causes the chapping of lips. I know this is the kind of thing you wouldn’t want to hear since a pacifier is one of the live savers that you have got. You may have noticed a reoccurrence of chapped lips with persistent use of the paci.

Constantly sucking on the pacifier introduces saliva onto the lips, which on evaporation leaves behind dry lips. For a start, try to cut down on how long your newborn has the pacifier on. Do not get rid of the paci at once, but prepare for a gradual reduction on the usage. At the same time, watch out for any improvement on the condition of the chapped lips.

4. Use Nipple Cream

Bearing in mind that at some point you will have to breastfeed your newborn, using nipple cream is a great preventive measure for chapped lips. The cream works by moisturizing the lips of the baby when being breastfed.

For these uses, it advisable to use natural products just in case the baby is allergic to certain products. You can also talk to a pediatrician about the best and safe product to use, and whether the same can be applied to the lips.

A good alternative could be coconut oil. It contains lauric acid which is also present in breast milk. This active ingredient is safe for newborns and can be applied on the lips, just as you would do with the milk.

5. Apply Lanolin Petroleum Jelly

This jelly is usable as a treatment option for chapped lips in newborns. It is safe for use by a baby even if he/she licks their lips. Gently dab the jelly on your fingers and then smoother over the baby’s lips.

A better effect would be produced when the baby is going to sleep. When they remain inactive, the jelly stimulates the lips to heal. Another product you can use is Vaseline since it works in the same way.


“Newborn chapped lips” is a condition that should not worry you too much. Apart from minor discomforts when sleeping and feeding, your baby should be alright. If it develops in your little one, you can get rid of the chaps by using simple, natural home remedies that I hope have been helpful to you in one way or another.

Kristi Cathey

Hi everyone! My name is Kristi Cathey and I’m glad you found your way to my blog. I am a mother of 3 beautiful angels. This blog was created in order to share my personal experiences in baby care and general health care for pregnant women. If you'd like to get in touch with me, please contact me by sending me an email via kristicathey.intelligentmother@gmail.com. Welcome to Intelligentmother.com

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