How to Reduce Drooling in Infants and Toddlers
Posted by Heidi | Filed under Early Language Development
When my daughter Sophie was about 6-14 months old she drooled excessively. She went through bib after bib after bib. I knew that it was more than teething as so many people had suggested. As a Speech Pathologist I had learned that constant drooling may be an indicator of low muscle tone in the mouth. As a result I was determined to do everything I knew how to do to eliminate the drooling, knowing that low muscle tone can also affect speech intelligibility.
I planned to nurse her until she was one year old which made it easy for me to bypass the bottle completely. I weened her straight from nursing to a straw cup. Once Sophie started drinking from a straw cup and I was able to cut her straw down slowly (as I explained in my post on Pacifiers and Sippy Cups, her drooling decreased dramatically. She still drooled a little and so I decided to get her an electric toothbrush.
How the electric toothbrush and straw cup reduce drooling:
The Electric Toothbrush 2x a day can help wake up the mouth by increasing sensitivity. Increased sensitivity makes the child more aware of their drooling.
The straw cup strengthens the tongue so it is able to retract the drool to the back of the mouth to be swallowed.
The combination of the straw cup and the electric toothbrush was the solution for Sophie. I was thrilled to be able to dress her with out a bib, not to mention how happy I was about less laundry! If your child drools it may be worthwhile to give these exercises a try. Let me know if they work for you.
Heidi Hanks, M.S.CCC-SLP has been a practicing Speech-Language Pathologist since 2000. She graduated from Utah State University where she completed both her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees. She began her career in early intervention and eventually started her own private practice where she has worked primarily with pre-K through school age kids. She is the founder of Little Bee Speech, and is currently developing apps for speech and language. Heidi lives in Utah with her husband and 4 children.