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Your newborn’s features are all so perfect and delicate — including their rosy, little lips. But it’s not unusual for your baby to develop newborn chapped lips. While this typically resolves on its own, you’ll want to know what to do to keep your baby comfortable in the meantime.

In this article, we’ll discuss what causes newborn chapped lips and what you can do to naturally and gently treat and prevent dry lips. But first, let’s go over the signs of chapped lips in newborns.

Signs Of Newborn Chapped Lips

You’ve probably suffered from a case of chapped lips at some point in your life. When newborn chapped lips strike, it’s very similar.

Your baby’s lips may be cracked, red, and dry, and if you touch them, you might be able to feel the dry cracks. And, as with adult chapped lips, cracked lips can even bleed.

Let’s take a look at what can cause chapped lips on your little one.

Causes Of Newborn Chapped Lips

Chapped lips are typically caused by a lack of hydration on the inside or a lack of moisture on the outside. And that goes for both adults and babies.

To help you get to the bottom of what might be causing your newborn’s chapped lips, here are several common culprits.

Cold, Dry Air 

newborn chapped lips

The cold, dry air that strikes in the wintertime can be drying to your baby’s skin and lips, resulting in chapped lips. But it’s not just winter that can cause problems. Hot, dry climates can also be drying.

Friction From Nursing

In general, friction is drying. And since your baby does a lot of sucking to stay well-fed, the friction from nursing, using a pacifier a lot, or taking a bottle can contribute to chapped lips.

There’s also the possibility that your baby may develop a small blister on their lip caused by the friction of breastfeeding. These harmless blisters will usually disappear on their own, and you don’t need to worry.

But if your baby’s lip blister doesn’t seem to go away or keeps coming back, you’ll want to talk with your pediatrician or lactation consultant. It could be that your baby isn’t latching on properly or has a tongue or lip tie.

Sun Exposure

Just like hot, dry weather can dry out your skin and lips, lots of sun exposure can do the same.

However, sun exposure shouldn’t even be a concern for newborns. Until your baby is six months old, the safest option is to keep them out of direct sunlight entirely. The delicate, vulnerable skin of a newborn isn’t ready for the strong rays of the sun.

If something happens and your little one does spend time in the sun, keep in mind that this sun exposure could result in chapped lips.

Once your baby is over six months old and you start venturing out for sunny adventures, remember to apply a safe, effective baby sunscreen, like our NEA (National Eczema Association) Certified SPF 50 Mineral Sunscreen Lotion.

This fragrance-free mineral sunscreen uses zinc oxide to ward off the rays of the sun and is made with 93% naturally derived ingredients, including coconut oil, macadamia oil, and vitamin E.

Approved by the Skin Cancer Foundation, our sunscreen is easy on sensitive skin and safe enough for the littlest ones in your family yet effective enough for adults, providing water-resistant protection for up to 80 minutes.

Drooling And Lip-Licking

Drool causing newborn chapped lips

Lip-licking, and drooling can also lead to newborn chapped lips because the saliva evaporates from their lips, drying them out in the process.

Mouth Breathing

Newborns breathe through their noses unless there is some reason they can’t, like a cold. In fact, if your infant is breathing through their mouth when they don’t have a stuffy nose, you should consult your pediatrician.

That said, if your baby is breathing through their mouth, it can result in dry, chapped lips.

Other Health Conditions

If you don’t see an improvement in your newborn’s chapped lips after a little TLC, ask your pediatrician if it could be caused by a health condition or nutritional deficiency. This is unlikely, but if your parental instinct tells you something is up, it’s worth calling the doctor.

You’ll also want to pay a visit to the pediatrician if your baby is showing symptoms of illness, isn’t comfortable nursing, or has signs of dehydration.

Knowing some of the potential causes of your newborn’s chapped lips, let’s get straight to what you can do to treat them and help prevent it from happening again.

Treating And Preventing Chapped Lips In Newborns

Dab Breast Milk On Chapped Lips

Mom dabbing breastmilk on newborn chapped lips

Your breast milk is loaded with everything your baby needs to stay nourished. In addition to all of the nutrients that it contains, it also has antibacterial properties. This means that your breast milk can help heal your baby’s chapped lips.

All you have to do is dab a bit of milk onto your little one’s lips to provide natural protection and moisture. And it’s easy since you’ve always got breast milk on hand!

We also recommend dabbing a bit of healing breast milk onto your own breasts in the case of cracked nipples. Or opt for our Nursing Comfort Balm to help protect your nipples and ease discomfort.

Run A Humidifier

Since chapped lips can result from dry air, try running a humidifier in your home or in your baby’s nursery. This will pump much-needed moisture into the air and help hydrate your baby’s lips and skin from the outside in.

Note: If there’s any chance that your little one or your pet could access the humidifier and tip it over, be sure to use a cool-mist setting.

Apply Nourishing Stick With Cold Cream

When you see your newborn’s chapped lips, you might be tempted to apply a bit of lip balm to them. However, with such a little baby, you must be very careful about what you apply to their lips since they could easily ingest whatever it is.

So, don’t whip out your adult lip balm to use on your baby. Instead, apply a product designed specifically for little ones, like our Nourishing Stick with Cold Cream.

This travel-friendly moisturizer provides heavy-duty protection to relieve your baby’s dry lips and cheeks.

Baby holding Nourishing Stick with Cold Cream to prevent newborn chapped lips

Composed of 96% plant-based ingredients, our hypoallergenic formula contains natural Cold Cream, lipid-replenishing ceramides, softening and soothing shea butter, and avocado perseose, a patented natural ingredient to help protect your baby's delicate skin.

And, like all Mustela products, it’s free of parabens, phthalates, and phenoxyethanol.

Wrap Up Before Going Outside

When you head outside during the cold winter months, be sure to wrap your little one up! Protect them from the cold air by covering their delicate skin with a coat, scarf, hat, and the like.

Just make sure their little nose is free to breathe easily! You can also cover their stroller with a light blanket to provide even more protection from the elements.

A great way to specifically protect their lips before venturing outside is to apply the Nourishing Stick that we just mentioned. This rich moisturizer glides on gently and forms a protective barrier against environmental factors, like cold air and wind.

Feed Your Baby Regularly

As important as it is to protect and moisturize your baby’s lips from the outside, it’s also essential that your baby is well-nourished and hydrated on the inside.

Since your baby’s only source of nourishment for the first few months is either breastmilk or formula, keep up regular feedings! If your little one is producing fewer wet diapers than usual or you have any other concerns that your baby may be dehydrated, call your pediatrician.

Gentle, Natural Care For Your Newborn’s Chapped Lips

Dad kissing baby's cheek

As we have seen in this article, there are several potential causes of newborn chapped lips. The good news is that it’s no emergency, and your baby’s dry lips will typically heal with time.

Provide gentle, natural care for their chapped lips through the tips we mentioned in this article: dabbing breast milk on their tiny lips, running a humidifier, applying our Nourishing Stick with Cold Cream, protecting them from the elements, and feeding your baby regularly.

If you have any particular concerns, consult your little one’s pediatrician. Otherwise, with the right TLC, your baby’s tiny lips will be back to their rosy, soft selves before you know it!