Why Babies Rub Their Nose

Babies often rub their noses with one hand or both hands especially when they are tired, sleepy, or bored. When a person is tired he feels the need to sleep;

similarly, when a baby gets bored, his/her body lets them know about it by various gestures such as rubbing its nose.

This gesture tells that baby wants some sort of attention from you like cuddling or playing with it.

Rubbing the nose also helps in clearing the mucus accumulated on the nasal passage which makes breathing difficult for your child.

Why Babies Rub Their Nose
Why Babies Rub Their Nose

A baby rubs its nose for the following reasons:

When a child is tired, he/she feels the urge to sleep. Rubbing his/her nose or eyes might be a sign of being sleepy. A baby may also rub its eyes because it wants a little attention from you. Sometimes babies feel stuffy in their noses and rubbing helps in clearing mucus which makes breathing easy for them.

This natural process of your child’s body clears cold and flu from his/her system giving relief from blocked nasal passages and stuffed up noses.

It doesn’t mean that your baby has caught a cold just because he rubbed its nose several times throughout day or night, there can be other reasons too behind this gesture like having itchiness in his little nose.

And It is natural for babies to have an active immune system and rubbing the nose may be a symptom of that.

It is very normal for your baby to rub his/her nose or press it against your palm over and over again, especially when tired or bored. Do not take this gesture seriously otherwise it can cause you to stress unnecessarily.

If your child repeated the same thing again and again, try doing something which keeps him occupied.

so he wouldn’t get bored easily like playing with blocks or singing songs, etc., but if these are not working then consult a doctor in case the baby’s health deteriorates.

If possible always keep some soothing music turned on continuous in the background which would help in calming down your baby-making him fall asleep easily without having to do too much effort.

You must be thinking why babies rub their noses all the time; it’s because babies don’t know any other way to show that they want something or they are sleepy or feel uncomfortable somehow.

So, whenever your baby rubs his/her nose, don’t get excited and watch what he means by this gesture first before reacting to him.

If you find any similar unique gestures on part of your baby consult a doctor immediately about behavior problems in children.

“I need some attention.” Rubbing the nose is a common gesture among babies, mostly when they become tired or bored.

This helps them relax and eventually fall asleep easily without having too much work done for them like cuddling etc., which would otherwise be needed of you to do.

“I am sleepy.” Even though it’s not dangerous, but babies often rub their noses when they feel like sleeping. It is very important to provide them with enough sleep; otherwise, all their activities would get affected which directly affects the mental and physical growth of your little one. If possible always try keeping some soothing music on when you are around your baby for his/her betterment.


Why does my baby rub his/her nose?

As mentioned above, the primary reason behind this gesture is that babies want some sort of attention from you like cuddling or playing with them. They do not know any other way to show it; so they repeat this gesture several times looking for your response.

Some other reasons why a baby rubs its nose can be a sign of being sleepy, feeling stuffy in the nose, or having itchiness there.

How long should I have to watch my baby when it rubs his/her nose?

If you feel that your baby needs something from you, reply to him/her by holding him/her close and cuddling.

But if you feel that your baby is okay and he/she does not need anything from you, ignore him completely and do not make any reaction or sound to show your attention which would keep his attention to himself;

this would convey the message loud and clear that you are not interested in him/her which might cause frustration for your little one.

How should I react to this behavior?

No matter what you do, the baby is going to follow his/her own instinct and start rubbing its nose.

So, don’t give it too much of your attention and just carry on with whatever you were doing before he/she started rubbing his/her nose. You can even ignore him entirely in case he/she hasn’t stopped rubbing his/her nose for a long time.

Read Also: why babies sleep with their arms up?

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