19 answers

How to Treat a Swollen/cut Lip for My 12 Month Old?

How should I treat a swollen, cut lip for my 12 month old? My 12 month old son recently started walking and is sometimes still a bit wobbly when he is getting tired. Sunday evening before bathtime, he fell, hit the corner of a chair, and bit his lip. It took about 15 minutes to stop the bleeding initially. My husband let him play with some plastic toys while I was getting his bath ready, and the bleeding started again. It took another 15 minutes to get it to stop. Partly because my husband and I were disagreeing on how to stop the bleeding. The book I have on childcare said to apply pressure, yet my husband didn't want to do that. Anyway, the bleeding stopped, but my son kept sucking on his lip and the bleeding would start again. This entire episode went on for about 45 minutes. I really don't do well with the sight of blood and the fact that it was my baby's blood made it worse! Finally we got the bleeding to stop, I gave him his bath, and let him have some formula and a story before bedtime. In the morning there was a little bit of blood in the corner of his mouth and his lip was sollen. It is still swollen. I haven't let my son play with any of his plastic toys today because I am afraid that he will make is lip start bleeding again. How long does it take for the swelling to go down? I smashed up most of his food, even though he usually eats a bit more textured food, because I don't want him to do a lot of chewing and bite his lip where it is swollen. How should I treat his swollen lip? How long should I wait for the swelling to go down before taking him to see a doctor? Thanks in advance for any replys.
D.

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

My son’s lip has finally healed, and I can see his cute smile again. I would like to say thank you to all the mothers who answered my request. I am truly touched by your caring suggestions. I printed them all out and consolidated the main points of your answers into one answer for future reference. Actually, my son fell a second time and bit his lip again the day after I received most of your replies, so they really helped me to stay calm. And thankfully, it was on the other side of his lip. I gave him ice wrapped in a washcloth when it happened, and let him suck on it for a while. I also put the transitioning to a sippy cup on hold and went back to his bottles for a couple of days. It made it easier to apply a cold compress while he took his bottle. I will try freezing some washcloths for the future. (That is a great idea for teething as well!) Right now, he doesn’t really seem to like the Popsicle idea. He has only tried something cold a couple times, so perhaps he just needs more practice. He had ice cream at his birthday and one Popsicle after the second fall. I will definitely try the Popsicle idea later. I will probably make my own Popsicles though since there is a risk of my son developing diabetes. Plus, I can sneak in a few nutrients as well. Thanks again for your wonderful replies. I’m so glad there is a place like mamasource!

Featured Answers

Popsicles and the cold teething rings. My 3 year old just needed stitches on his upper lip - his swelling was worse the next day and better each day after that. His was gone by the 4th day (maybe even late on the 3rd day).

1 mom found this helpful

It'll take a few days for the swelling to go down but it will. In the meantime if you can get him to sit still long enough you can put a cool wash cloth on it. Also you can wrap ice in a wash cloth and put it on his lip to help. The main thing is time though. There shouldn't be any reason to have to take him to the doctor unless after a period of 3-4 days the swelling hasn't let up any. It should go down after a few days though. I wouldn't worry too much. That's good to chop up his food a little smoother because it will lessen the chance of him biting his lip because he wont have to chew as much.
D.

I am 31 and have been married for almost 12 yrs. My husband and I have 3 boys ages 10,7, and 4.

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers

If you lay a washcloth out flat, you can then pick it up from the center. This makes a good point & a nice bunchy handle. Then wet the tip about half way down & freeze.
When mouth boo boo's happen (and teething!!) just pull out a washcloth & let them chew on it or hold it on their mouth.
The dry end won't be cold & the cold end will feel great.
Be sure to store them in the freezer in a baggie to keep them clean. :o)

1 mom found this helpful

A cold wash cloth always worked for my kids. It will help absorb the blood and chances are they'll suck on it and that in and of itself will stop the bleeding. I know it sounds counterintuitive to think that sucking will stop the bleeding, but a rag does wonders for a bleeding lip.

Trust me when I tell you that boys will be boys and they will have tons of falls and bust open their lips and knees and heads and little elbows...but you have to stay calm and not let them see that it effects you because then they'll freak out.

I don't know if you remember your clumsy days as a kid, but i do and I can tell you that when I fell, and even if I bled...it usually wasn't a big deal. Accidents will happen...and it is great to be able to teach your kids to roll with the punches.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi D.,

The best thing I have ever tried for busted lips is popsicles. Kids love them so they will keep the "ice" on the lip for the duration of the popsicle. The swelling should begin to go down and the coldness will help with any pain. You can give the little one as many popsicles as you wish and the healing will be pretty quick. I have many children I have cared for and this always does the trick! With the energetic little guy you have on your hands, you better stock up!

God bless,
M.

1 mom found this helpful

For the future remember that cold and a little pressure will stop the bleeding and keep the swelling down. A cold wash rag with a little ice in it works wonders!
What your son did is normal. Sort of like when you bite the inside of your mouth and it swells you tend to run your tongue over it a lot etc., because it feels different.
I empathize with your reaction! The first time something like that happens all of our emotions leap out at us!

1 mom found this helpful

I made all my son's food so once, when I had extra pureed peaches, I put them in to one of those popsicle molds. Whenever he falls and splits his lip (it has happened 4 times so far) we give him one. It helps stop the bleeding, cuts down on the swelling and keeps him happy :) You can also blend yogurt and fruit and then freeze them for a little more substance if you want!

1 mom found this helpful

Give him a popsicle for his swollen lip.

1 mom found this helpful

Popsicles and cold teething rings or toys.

1 mom found this helpful

I know exactly how you feel, I have a twelve month old that has recently started walking and she fell the other day and hit her mouth in our garage on the concrete floor! It was horrible (more for me than her) but we tried a flexible ice pack and she didn't really hold still for that, so we let her chew on a cold wash cloth. It did the trick. I would definitely say if you put something on it, do peroxide and NOT alcohol, as it would burn beyond belief! But, my mom who is a nurse was there and said she would be just fine with the cold rag. I think as moms seeing our first babies bleed, it is way harder on us than it is on them! She was playing again before I had even wiped my tears! Hope this helps!

B.

1 mom found this helpful

Popsicles and the cold teething rings. My 3 year old just needed stitches on his upper lip - his swelling was worse the next day and better each day after that. His was gone by the 4th day (maybe even late on the 3rd day).

1 mom found this helpful

I keep what's called a Booboo Buddy. It's an animal shaped ice pack. Apply to wound for a small amount of time & bleeding & swelling stop quickly.
Most of the time these things bother us more than they do the kids. The calmer you are, the calmer your child will be.

1 mom found this helpful

Gentle pressure and some ice should help with the bleeding. It is a normal reaction for him to suck on his lip. My daughter does the same thing when she cuts her lip. If it was bad enough to bleed for that long though, I would be a bit concerned that it may need stitches. But, that may not be the case if he was just messing with it and causing it to start bleeding again. My husband uses a small amount of either rubbing alcohol or peroxide (don't remember which at the moment) to clean it and then we just used a soft ice pack or cold washcloth to bring the swelling down/stop the bleeding. A rag can be nice because he can suck on that instead of his lip. Getting them to keep something on it can be challenging though, so be prepared for a bit of a battle and some tears. My daughter hates having the ice on her cuts, but it does help. One way to do it would be to try to put a cold cloth or flexible ice pack on him while he is nursing/taking a bottle. I've done that with my son when he fell off of the bed. He tolerated the ice much better when he was breastfeeding.

God bless,
A.

P.S. Be prepared for this kind of stuff to happen. Happens to all kids. Doesn't make it any easier, I know, but it happens to everyone.

1 mom found this helpful

hi, i'm not sure what to do for the swollen lip, but when my little man fell and busted his mouth at about 9 months the hospital said let him suck on a steeped tea bag to stop the bleeding. the swollen went away in a few days.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi, you won't believe how simple this one is, and your boy will love you. POPsicles kids love'm and the cold brings down the swelling. The ER in our hospital has used them for years. The mouth usually heals quicckly so he should be ok in just a couple of days. Good luck . D

1 mom found this helpful

It'll take a few days for the swelling to go down but it will. In the meantime if you can get him to sit still long enough you can put a cool wash cloth on it. Also you can wrap ice in a wash cloth and put it on his lip to help. The main thing is time though. There shouldn't be any reason to have to take him to the doctor unless after a period of 3-4 days the swelling hasn't let up any. It should go down after a few days though. I wouldn't worry too much. That's good to chop up his food a little smoother because it will lessen the chance of him biting his lip because he wont have to chew as much.
D.

I am 31 and have been married for almost 12 yrs. My husband and I have 3 boys ages 10,7, and 4.

1 mom found this helpful

hi there!! i just wanted to say you and your hubby are just like me and my hubby. we always disagree, and i'm the one always doing the reasearch. ahhh men! good luck w/ the baby's swollen lip, i wish i had some advise.

1 mom found this helpful

Popsicles are wonderful for busted lips. They taste good, and the cold helps to numb the hurt and cut down on the swelling. The swelling should go away in a couple of days. Lips bleed a lot when they are hurt, it always looks worse than it is, but if the cut won't stay closed, he may need a couple of stitches. My 16 mo. old recently busted her lip and she was completely better within a week.

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I would try a juice bar or something similar. It should help the swelling and the bleeding. Also don't panic. Head and mouth wounds bleed like crazy.

1 mom found this helpful

If you are very concerned then by all means call the doc. They may tell you the first aid procedure to treat it over the phone. You will find that most any injury above the neck will bleed something awful. They usually look much worse than they are. I would certainly give him some tylenol if he seems uncomfortable. Perhaps trying to let him suck on a popsicle would provide enough cold pressure to help with the swelling. I hope this helps you. Good luck! Shannon G.

1 mom found this helpful

I would give him a popsicle or something else cold to help bring the swelling down.

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