16 answers

My Almost 3 Year Old Still Drools...

Hi moms... I have a almost three year old who still drools quite a bit and he is not teething. It wouldn't bother me so much except now that the weather has turned so cold and dry he has some pretty bad eczema under his mouth which looks painful. He had a speech eval earlier this year and the therapist commented about his drooling and suggested we go to an ENT and now his pediatrician has suggested we go see and ENT. I am going to make the appointment, but was wondering if anyone else has experienced this and what was done about it. Any suggestions of what I could do would be appreciated. I have been working with him as far as telling him when he is drooling to help him be aware of it (a suggestion from the speech therapist) as he has been drooling since he was three monthes old. Thank you.

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My brother was a big drooler. My mother was referred to an ENT and was told that he just had large tonsils. There was no medical need to ever remove his tonsils only because he drooled a bit more than normal. Growing up we all just made him aware when he was drooling and he grew to control it most of the times. From time to time as he got older, when he would talk fast he may have drooled a little but caught it right away. He's a grown man now and I can't remember the last time I saw him drool. I'd say he finally out grew it!

My friends little boy has the same problem, and she was told to have him drink out of straws to help strengthen his mouth muscles. It seems to be working, he's gotten a lot better at controling his drool, and it's only been about 2 months since they started this. Hope that can help!

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A mom I babysat for had the same concern for her daughter. She had her daughter evaluated by a team on experpts (occupational, speech, developmental, and physical therapies) through Easter Seals.
After the evaluation, the speech therapist noted her child's drooling. Suggestions she gave were to help strength the child's mouth and facial muscles. The child's muscles were weak because she was almost 3 and was still using a bottle (this could also be caused by prolonged pacifier use). Some of the suggestions were to have her child blow bubbles, or blow a whistle, and using a straw instead of a bottle or spout sippy cup.

If your child is still using a bottle or pacifier, you may want to wean him off of it (or stop cold turkey) in order to help with his facial muscles' development. You may also want to switch from sippy cups with spouts to sippy cups with straws. (This will also help with speech development, as I have learned with my own son).

Good luck with everything. I hope these suggestions will help!

My brother was a big drooler. My mother was referred to an ENT and was told that he just had large tonsils. There was no medical need to ever remove his tonsils only because he drooled a bit more than normal. Growing up we all just made him aware when he was drooling and he grew to control it most of the times. From time to time as he got older, when he would talk fast he may have drooled a little but caught it right away. He's a grown man now and I can't remember the last time I saw him drool. I'd say he finally out grew it!

I babysat an almost 5 year old who drooled. I just talked to him about it and he did stop. I sort of think no one had done that before. I recommend that you follow your doctor's suggestion.

my now 5.5 yr old did the same thing, he did eventually stop- although occasionallly it still leaks out :)

My oldest drooled for a long time. We have a speech therapist in the family who gave her a bunch of exercises to do that would strengthen her mouth and lip muscles. She had excellent speech, but would often walk around with her mouth hanging open. The exercises did the trick after a couple of months. She hasn't drooled since and she's almost 5 now. Good luck.

Hi G.,

My son, who turned 3 in October still drooled a lot too. He also walks on his tip-toes most of the time. His speech therapist suggested it was a sensory issue. When I took him in for his 3 yr check-up, the dr. asked me if he snored (he doesn't) and checked to see if his tonsils were normal size and they are. He tended to think my son wasn't aware that he was doing it so, I started reminding him by tapping my chin whenever he would do it. This helped a little, but then he started preschool through our school district because he no longer qualified for the speech therapist to come to our house once he turned 3. There he receives both speech and occupational therapy in a preschool setting twice a week, and he has made so much progress in just two months. He hardly ever drools now, and he is speaking in sentences all the time! We're still working on the toe-walking, but I'm confident he will become aware of that too in time. One step at a time, right? So, we are thrilled with our decision to send him. We almost decided against it because we felt our son was too young for preschool and didn't think he needed special ed just for two little nuances that we figured he might grow out of, but then we realized that it couldn't hurt. I couldn't be happier with the program and am so glad I decided to let him him go.

When my daughter was one, we had a similar problem. She had an open mouth posture most of the time and that included drooling. We had her evaluated with a speech therapist because she wasn't talking. IT turned out she needed speech therapy to correct a low muscle tone in her cheeks, tongue and mouth in general.. Now she is 4 1/2 and doing great.

My son was the same way. At 2 1/2 we took him for a speech evaluation. He had a hard time closing his mouth all of the way. He needed to be taught to keep his mouth closed. He had a hard time with a lot of the exercises the speech therapist tried because he has some sensory issues. It took us about 4 months and then he didn't drool anymore. I think because my son had the sensory issues he didn't even realize he was drooling. We had to continuously remind him that his chin was wet and to wipe it. I was always worried about him drooling on the toys or other kids at school. Good luck it will get better.

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