Baby Keep Rubbing Face: The Truth Behind

Babies are unpredictable and adorable creatures. One moment, they are calm and cute; the next second they are fidgeting and hollering like no tomorrow. Still, it might perplex you why your babies keep on rubbing his face.

It turns out that there are some reasons. You cannot diagnose anything (unless you are a doctor) but this strange action can be a warning sign. Take heed and learn!


Why do Babies Scratch their Face

baby rubbing face

1. Allergies

Do you have a new brand of baby soap? Or do you perhaps use your family’s soap bar to bathe your little one since he is running out of shampoo?

Anything that touches your baby’s skin is a suspect behind the sudden influx of allergy.

It might not be the soap, but perhaps it is due to the food? If you have a baby food journal, better for you! This will be helpful in tracking your child’s food allergies. Check if you had introduced a new type of food to your child’s usual diet. 

Children rub their faces due to the itch brought about by allergy.

Then other symptoms are:

  • He/she might feel feverish.
  • Skin rashes on the face or chest or scalp can also be a positive sign of allergy.

Common allergens include peanut, dairy milk, wheat, legumes, and seafood. It may also be due to the onslaught of eczema.

If this is the case with your little pumpkin, better take him immediately to his pediatrician.

2. Teething

Your baby’s face-rubbing behavior might be due to teething. During this time, your baby’s gum line feels a bit painful and uncomfortable. To soothe himself during his first baby teeth ordeal, your child will continue to rub his face all day long.

To check if your baby is teething:

Feel his gums with your pinky finger. The first set of teeth won’t erupt overnight. It might even take weeks before you get to see your baby’s new teeth.

3. Temperature

Your baby might be rubbing his face for the reason that he/she is uncomfortable. It is a self-soothing sign to calm himself while distracting from the pain and discomfort.

Perhaps the room is too hot or too cold?

This is true especially for changing of seasons. If you are unsure about the reason behind your baby’s face rubbing, better seek your doctor’s advice.

​Tips On How To Prevent The Habit Of Baby Rubbing Face

baby's crying

1. Swaddle

Prevent your child from scratching his tender skin on his face by wrapping him in a swaddle. Your baby’s habit of rubbing his face can make him lose precious sleep. An infant swaddle can help to calm him down and put him to a comfortable sleep.

2. Baby mitten

If the weather is too warm for the swaddle, tie some mittens instead on your baby’s hand. Pointed nail edges can scratch your kid’s skin raw, so you need to protect this skin.

But remember:

The mitten must be secured enough on baby’s hand. It must not dislodge due to baby’s rubbing movements. It must also be snug but comfortable enough, while maintaining blood circulation at the wrist level.

3. Keep baby’s room cool

Invest in a good air conditioner and room thermometer for your nursery. Warm temperature invites sweat which can attract lots of germs and dirt into the skin.

There are lots of good thermometers that you can buy for just a few dollars.

Once you have it, place it at a location near your baby. Input also the normal room temperature range that your child prefers. The cool temperature keeps baby calm, preventing face rubbing episodes.

4. Moisturize

If your baby has eczema or his face became irritated due to incessant face rubbing, then you can ask your doctor for advice.


Use soap-free wash.

There are lots of non-soap cleansers available nowadays.

Before bedtime, moisturize your child’s skin. Upon recommendation by your pediatrician, a hydrocortisone cream can also help relieve itchiness and inflammation.

5. Check your bedding

Your little one might have no allergies or any abnormal skin condition but he still keeps on scratching his face? Try to change his crib’s cover.

Air out his crib mattress under the sun to kill off pesky microorganisms. Be consistent in keeping the bed clean and tidy.

To prevent dust mites from lurking, change your pillow case, cover and linens weekly as well.


Do not simply take for granted simple signs your child makes. He is not yet capable of speaking, so his actions speak greater volume.

A baby rubbing face can be due to lots of factors such as the ones I listed above.

You can follow one or all of the tips above, but if this is recurring or haven’t resolved in a week, get an expert's advice.

Sarah Morgan

Chief editor of and striving mom-extraordinaire.Let me share and inspire you with my daily struggles to live a healthier and more fulfilling life.

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