Why Your Baby Rubbing Face? (And What Can You Do)

Your baby might be rubbing their face and it could sometimes be alarming to you as a parent since you probably don’t know if it’s safe for them. What exactly is going on? Is there anything I can do to help?

Worry not – here’s a guide we put together to help you figure out why your baby is rubbing their face and what you can do to help them out.

Why is my baby rubbing their face?

Take note where your baby is rubbing so you can guess at what might be going on:

If your baby is rubbing their eyes:

1. They might be feeling sleepy. Babies tend to rub their eyes when they feel tired because of their eyelids feeling strained after a long day.

2. They might have dry eyes. Anyone can have dry eyes if they’re exposed to dry air, such as running the A/C unit for too long. Rubbing can bring back tears to coat the eyes so that they become hydrated again.

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3. Your baby might be exploring their eyesight. You might not notice it, but if you rub your eyes for a bit, you start to see some weird light patterns, which is why babies might like it and find it amusing.

4. Their eyes could have been irritated. For instance, something got into their eyes, such as dust and the like. Or, they could have some form of eye infection or allergies. If this happens, you should consult your pediatrician to know what’s going on.

If your baby is rubbing their ears:

1. They might just be curious about their ears. Since ears are very soft, your baby might be exploring how their ears feel and work.

2. They could have an ear infection. However, for this to take place, they should have fussiness and have about 101 degrees F for their temperature, but it’s still best to ask your pediatrician about it.

If your baby is rubbing their mouth:

  • They could be teething. Babies who are under the teething stage may find their teeth and mouth itchy. You can just remedy this by giving them teething toys, or your pediatrician can give them something cold to bite on.

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If your baby is rubbing their nose:

  • There might be something wrong with their nose. Either it’s itchy or they could have a stuffy nose or even allergies. If you’re unsure, you can go ask your pediatrician about it.

If your baby is rubbing their whole face onto you:

  • This just simply means they want your affection. Snuggling their face onto you is a way they want to express that they want to be loved. This is mostly true for newborn babies and also sometimes for older babies. It can be a normal reaction since they don’t know how to say or express their feelings for you as their parent.

What to do when your baby starts rubbing their face

Most babies just rub their faces as a form of exploration. However, if you believe that it’s repetitive and sometimes a bit dangerous, here are some things you can do:

1. Add more humidity in the room. This can help combat dry eyes and rubbing.

2. Give them teething toys. This can help soothe their sore mouth or gums.

3. Talk to your pediatrician. They can give you advice on any baby allergy.

4. Observe your baby. Take note on which part of your baby’s face is often being rubbed so that your pediatrician can make a diagnosis.


To wrap it up, your baby might be rubbing their entire face – eyes, ears, nose, and mouth – due to certain reasons. However, if they aren’t doing it for an oddly repetitive amount of time, it most probably means that they’re just curious about themselves. However, it’s still best to consult your pediatrician if they are rubbing their face excessively.

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