Why My Newborn Baby Lips Are Turning Black ?

Is your baby’s precious pout taking on a surprising hue? If your baby’s lips turn black, it can be concerning for parents.

This article will explore the reasons behind lip discoloration in infants, including chapped lips, breastfeeding-related changes, and potential health concerns such as cyanosis.

Find out why your baby’s lips may change color and learn what steps to take to ensure their well-being.

This is an essential read for any parent who wants to understand more about their newborn’s health and development.

Why Do Baby Lips Turn Black?

In some cases, your baby’s lips may turn black due to harmless reasons such as staining from foods or medications, or simply because of a darker skin pigment that occurs naturally.

However, if your baby’s lips are turning black without any apparent reason, it could indicate an underlying medical condition.

Always consult a pediatrician for professional medical advice if you are concerned.

Are Black Lips Normal For Babies?

Black lips in a newborn can be alarming, but in some cases, it may be normal. A baby’s lips may naturally be darker if they have a darker skin tone.

However, if your baby seems to become less responsive or their lips turn blue or purple, this could be a sign of cyanosis, a potentially serious issue known as a lack of oxygen.

Is Chapped Lips a Reason for Dark Lips?

Chapped lips or dry or cracked lips are common in babies and can cause the lips to turn black. If your baby’s lips are dry or cracked, it’s likely they have chapped lips.

Chapped lips in babies can occur due to various reasons, such as exposure to wind, taking baby outside into colder temperatures, or may be sucking too hard while breastfeeding.

What Does it Mean When Baby’s Lips Turn Blue After Feeding?

If your baby has blue lips after feeding, it could be a sign of cyanosis, a condition where the skin and lips turn blue due to a lack of oxygen.

It’s especially concerning if the blue tint remains long after the last feeding. Make sure to consult your pediatrician if you observe blue or purple lips in your baby.

What Other Lips Colors Can Manifest in Babies and Why They Need Attention ?

Babies’ lips can change to various colors due to different reasons, some of which may need immediate attention even if they may not be bothering the baby.

Here’s a list of some of these colors and their potential causes:

Blue or Purple Lips: Known as cyanosis, this change in color can be a sign that your baby isn’t getting enough oxygen.

Cyanosis can be caused by several conditions, such as congenital heart disease, lung problems, or a severe respiratory infection. This requires immediate medical attention.

White or Pale Lips: Lips that turn white or pale may indicate anemia, a condition in which the body lacks enough healthy red blood cells to carry adequate oxygen to the body’s tissues.

It could also be a sign of low blood sugar. Both these situations warrant immediate medical advice.

Bright Red Lips: Bright red and swollen baby’s lips could be a sign of a fever or viral infection and may be painful.

They can also be due to chapped lips, which can occur when exposed to cold, dry air, or excessive drooling. If red lips persist, consult with your pediatrician.

Yellow Lips: Yellowing of the lips could be a symptom of jaundice, a condition commonly seen in newborn babies that causes a yellow tint to the skin and the whites of the eyes due to high bilirubin levels.

While mild jaundice is common and often resolves on its own, more severe cases need medical treatment.

Black Lips: As discussed earlier, black lips can result from various reasons such as chapped lips, hyperpigmentation, or medical conditions. Persistent black lips should be evaluated by a pediatrician.

Please note, any change in your baby’s lip color that persists or is accompanied by other symptoms such as lethargy, trouble feeding, or breathing issues should be evaluated by a healthcare professional immediately.

Could the Inner Lips of My Baby Turn Black?

Yes, the inner lips of your baby could turn black due to various reasons. For example, certain medications or a mild trauma to the mouth (such as accidentally biting the inner lips) can cause a change in color.

Also, it’s worth noting that just like the outer lips, the inner lips may also get chapped.

How to Distinguish Normal Lip Color Changes From Cyanosis

Recognizing cyanosis can be challenging, especially in newborn babies with darker skin. Typically, cyanosis causes the skin and lips to turn blue or purplish, often present at birth or occurring soon after.

It’s crucial to seek immediate medical attention if you suspect cyanosis, as it could be a sign of an underlying congenital heart disease or other serious medical conditions.

When to Seek a Pediatrician’s Advice

Always consult a pediatrician if you notice your baby’s lips turning black or if they seem unwell. Don’t wait for other symptoms to appear.

A physician can provide guidance and rule out any underlying causes that could pose a health risk to your baby.

How to Manage Chapped Lips in Babies

Chapped or dry lips in babies are often the result of exposure to harsh weather conditions, but they can also be caused by breastfeeding or other factors and can be painful for your baby.

If your baby gets chapped lips or the lips dry too much, use a gentle, hypoallergenic lip balm to help to moisturize your baby’s lips.

Avoid letting milk residue sit on your baby’s lips after every feed by gently cleaning your baby’s lips with a soft cloth.

Preventing Lip Discoloration: Best Practices

Here are some best ways to stop or prevent lip discoloration in babies:

1. Regularly Clean Baby’s Lips: Wipe your baby’s lips after every feeding to remove any milk residue that may cause discoloration or chapping. You can use a soft, damp cloth to wipe and gently clean the lips.

2. Keep the Lips Moisturized: Dry or chapped lips can become darkened or discolored. To prevent this, apply a baby-safe lip balm or an emollient like petroleum jelly to your baby’s lips to keep them moisturized.

3. Protect from Cold and Sun: Extreme weather conditions can lead to chapped and discolored lips. Protect your baby’s lips in cold weather using a lip balm, and in hot weather, consider using a lip balm with sunscreen or keeping them in the shade.

4. Encourage Hydration: Make sure your baby is well-hydrated, particularly if you are in a dry environment. This can help to prevent dry and chapped lips.

5. Avoid Harmful Chemicals: Some skin and lip care products contain harmful chemicals that can cause discoloration. Always choose products that are free from harsh chemicals and are designed for sensitive baby skin.

6. Monitor for Allergic Reactions: If your baby has recently introduced a new food or product and you notice a change in lip color, they may be having an allergic reaction. It’s essential to speak to a pediatrician about any potential allergies.

7. Regular Medical Check-ups: Regular pediatrician visits are crucial for early detection of any medical condition that could be causing lip discoloration.

Always mention any concerns you have about your baby’s lip color to the doctor.

Remember, these are general tips, and they may not apply to every situation or every child. Always consult with a healthcare provider for advice tailored to your baby’s specific needs.

Key Takeaways:

  • Baby lips can turn black due to various reasons like chapped lips, certain medical conditions, or natural pigmentation.
  • Black or blue lips could indicate a lack of oxygen in the body, known as cyanosis, especially if they turn blue or purple.
  • Baby’s lips may also turn black due to chapped lips as a reaction to cold weather, wind, or excessive sucking during breastfeeding.
  • Always consult with a pediatrician if you notice any discoloration in your baby’s lips.
  • Chapped lips in babies can be managed by regular moisturizing and cleaning after feeds.
  • To prevent lip discoloration, ensure your baby is well hydrated, and their lips are protected from harsh weather conditions.

Remember, this article is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, and you should always consult with a physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding your baby’s health.

Always err on the side of caution and seek medical advice if you’re unsure about something you have read on this website.



Why are my baby’s lips turning black?

Several factors could cause your baby’s lips to turn black. These include natural pigmentation, chapped lips, certain medications, and medical conditions like cyanosis.

However, if your baby’s lips are turning black without any clear reason, it’s crucial to consult with a pediatrician.

Is it normal for a baby’s lips to change color?

It can be normal for a baby’s lips to change color temporarily due to cold exposure or after feeding. But if the color change is persistent or is accompanied by other symptoms such as your baby seeming less responsive, you should consult a pediatrician as it could indicate a serious medical condition like cyanosis.

How can I prevent my baby’s lips from turning black?

Keeping the babys lips moisturized and protecting them from harsh weather can help prevent discoloration.

Also, wipe your baby’s lips after feeding to avoid milk residue sitting on the lips, which can cause discoloration and chapping. If the discoloration persists despite these measures, consult a pediatrician.

Can breastfeeding cause a baby’s lips to turn black?

While breastfeeding doesn’t directly cause a baby’s lips to turn black, a baby may develop chapped lips from sucking too hard or from milk residue sitting on the lips after feeding, which can lead to discoloration. Regularly cleaning and moisturizing the lips can help prevent this.

What should I do if my baby’s lips turn blue?

If your baby’s lips turn blue, particularly if the blue or purple tint persists after feeding, it may be a sign of cyanosis, a condition that indicates a lack of oxygen. This is a potentially serious medical issue and requires immediate attention from a pediatrician.

Further References:

  1. Baby Health and Wellness: Skin Discoloration – A comprehensive guide provided by the American Academy of Pediatrics that covers a range of skin conditions in children.
  2. Chapped Lips in Babies – This article from What To Expect offers great insights into why babies get chapped lips and how you can treat them.
  3. Cyanosis in the Newborn – This in-depth article from the National Center for Biotechnology Information gives detailed information on cyanosis, a condition that causes a blueish discoloration.
  4. Congenital Heart Disease – The American Heart Association provides comprehensive information about congenital heart diseases, which can potentially cause lip discoloration.
  5. Newborn Appearance – This Stanford Children’s Health article offers valuable information about the common physical features of newborn babies, including skin and lip color.


This post is written and edited by Sandy who is a clinical pharmacist with over 20 years of experience specializing in pre-natal and post-natal care.