Can I Give My Baby Chapstick? What You Should Know!

(Last Updated On: July 2, 2019)

We all know how much chapped lips can hurt, but as an adult, it’s easy to grab that chapstick and smear it on. Can you give that chapstick to your baby to alleviate their chapped lips though? Every decision is a difficult one when it comes to your baby, so let’s clear this one up.

Causes of Chapped Lips In Newborns or Older Babies

Cracked and chapped lips are cause by a few simple things. One of these things happens to be dry air. During the winter or in dry climates, the lack of moisture may give your baby chapped lips. Too much time out in the sun can do the same thing. You may especially notice dry lips if your baby has a cold or drools a lot.

baby dry chapped lips


Citric acid does sometimes dry up lips, although your baby can also be experiencing some sort of allergic reaction to a food too. Try to trace back their chapped lips to something they ate in this case with a food journal.

Is Dehydration the Problem?

One of the biggest things you should keep an eye out for in the case of newborns with chapped lips is dehydration. It’s not always easy to recognize, but you’ll notice dry mouth in general, no tears while crying, less than 6 wet diapers, a sunken soft spot on the head, sunken eyes, dry or wrinkled skin, deep breathing, and cool or blotchy hands and feet. If you’re seeing a lot of these issues, simply feeding your baby more may fix the problem, but go to the doctor too.

Fixing Chapped Lips

As an adult, chapped lips are nothing more than a simple annoyance. For a newborn, you’ll find yourself having more trouble during feeding since your baby will feel uncomfortable.

Can I Use Chapstick?

Unfortunately, the simple answer is no. When it comes down to it, chapstick has ingredients you don’t want to introduce to your newborn. Some have controversial ingredients, and lots are artificial. In the end, chapstick isn’t made with babies in mind.

More than likely, your little one will end up ingesting those ingredients by mistake since we can’t stop our babies from licking it off. Especially if the chapstick has a flavor, they’ll lick it off, causing their lips to be even drier!

However, there are lots of other more natural and healthier alternatives!

Dry Lip Alternatives/Home Remedies For Your Baby Instead

Now that you know that chapstick isn’t the greatest things for babies, you’re probably wondering what you can use.


Lanolin products are organic, and often used by breastfeeding moms to help moisturize sore and cracked nipples. They’re made to be safe for the baby too. Just dab a little on baby’s lips here and there throughout the day. Putting some on overnight will help protect them from drool overnight too. Any other natural or organic lips balms will work too, along with coconut oil.

Some Milk

Especially for breastfeeding moms, you might hear that you should leave some milk on your baby’s lips after a feeding. The milk has antibacterial properties that’ll help prevent any sort of infection. Don’t rub it all the way in, but leave the lips a little wet.


It might seem cruel to do nothing, but yes, you can just let the problem heal on its own. If the dry lips are not excruciating, they will clear up by themselves and you don’t need to do anything. Many parents wouldn’t recommend this however, since it is more difficult to feed their child. If there’s no improvement within a few days, go to the pediatrician to be sure.

Prevention Is Best

The best way to treat chapped lips is to stop your baby from ever getting them. It’ll save everyone in your family some stress if you never have to deal with chapped lips in the first place.


If you’re in a windy, dry, or cold climate, the best thing you can do is to try a humidifier. Lots of parents use them at night, and there are many types out there that work quietly without waking your child. This is also a great idea if your baby is sick and can’t breathe through their nose.

Going Outside

Whenever you leave the house with your baby, you can try covering their face if it’s cold out. Just use a scarf, or turn their carrier away from the wind. It only takes a little bit of cool air and some wind to give your baby those chapped lips.

Stay Hydrated

Be sure your baby is drinking enough on an everyday basis too. Dehydration may lead to chapped lips if you can’t find any other causes. That being said, your baby should be eating every few hours, for a total of 8-12 times a day.

Chronic Chapped Lips

If you’ve tried all these things, both treatments and prevention, and you see that your baby’s lips aren’t improving for four weeks or longer, there could be another health issues at hand. Vitamin deficiencies, as well as too many vitamins like vitamin A may cause a chronic condition.

Kawasaki disease is also a cause of chronic chapped lips, although it is rare and does occur more often in Japan. This will be pretty obvious, since you’ll notice problems like rashes, bloodshot eyes, swollen lips, hands, feet, and lymph nodes, along with a fever. If you do think this might be the cause, get help right away. Most children do recover though, especially if they’re treated quickly enough.


Adults don’t even think twice about using chapstick when it comes to dry lips, but as a new parent, you shouldn’t use it on your baby. Unfortunately, there are just too many possibly harmful ingredients in there that you don’t want your little one exposed to. Try any number of other remedies, and in the end if you see no improvement, go to your doctor. Read my post about overnight diapers.

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