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Encouraging 5 wk old to open mouth wider when latching

(11 Posts)
AngelDog Fri 16-Nov-12 19:35:19

DS2 is nearly 5 weeks. He had a tongue tie which was snipped on Weds & has helped reduce feeding discomfort. Today was less comfy again though. When he opens his mouth wide enough it's fine, but it can take several attempts to get him to do that.

I've had feeds observed by a BfC (pre-TT revision) whose conclusion was that his latch is okay as long as he opens wide enough at first. I can't easilyget any more advice IRL till the end of next week now.

Any tips?

ElphabaTheGreen Fri 16-Nov-12 20:45:07

My DS (also tongue tied) used to either gape only a little bit or he'd do this odd open-shut-open-shut thing like a little goldfish. I actually used to get a thumb in as quick as I could and prise his mouth open then get my boob in. I'd do all of this with the one hand, while holding him cross-cradle behind his head so I could clamp him on as soon as I'd got his gob open.

Sounds a bit unorthodox, perhaps, but he now gapes so wide and for so long - even before I've got my shirt up - that he looks like he's going to take in the whole of one of my G-cup boobs! grin

stottiecake Fri 16-Nov-12 21:31:18

you could also try saying 'open open open open ' as you are latching him on. This worked for us in the early days!

YorkshireRose12 Fri 16-Nov-12 22:09:23

I also had problems getting my TT baby (after the tie was cut) to open wide enough to get a deep enough latch. I held him in cross cradle and, with my other hand, put my first two fingers on the edge of my areola in the place where DS's chin would be when attached, my thumb on the edge of the areola directly opposite and squeezed my thumb and fingers to squash the boob, with the nipple forming a point at the end of it. I then latched DS on when his mouth was as wide open as it was going to get. This helped him get a deeper latch, and I think once he'd learnt he needed to get a good mouthful of boob for optimum feeding he started to open his mouth wider anyway. Plus him growing and his mouth getting bigger helped. Hang on in there - you will no doubt see a world of difference in a week or two!

AngelDog Fri 16-Nov-12 23:23:02

Thanks, all.

Yorkshire, I happened to stumble across a video of what you describe, so will have to give it a go.

Elphaba, he does that goldfish gape too, sometimes coupled with licking my nipple/areola but not actually trying to latch. hmm I'd assume it's because he's not that interested but he'll do it even when ravenous. confused

TheNameisNOTZiggy Sat 17-Nov-12 22:31:01

We had same problem with a TT baby. We tried biological nurturing (laid back position) and feeding in a warm bath
I also took him to an osteopath used to treating new babies to release neck/jaw tension.
At almost 6 months it has all worked out.
Good luck, you can do it. If you need RL chat do try one of the bf helplines. NCT & LLL are both great.

TheNameisNOTZiggy Sat 17-Nov-12 22:32:10

Ooh just remembered. Someone recommended to me feeding with him lying on the bed and and me dangling it in from above. Cannot remember if I tried it but might be worth a go.

AngelDog Mon 19-Nov-12 03:18:10

Interesting how many TT babies still needed help after revision.

Dangling it in from above is quite an image! grin

I was wondering about seeing an osteopath - think I'll follow that one up as DS's latch is much worse on the left breast than the right, which suggests there's more going on than his mouth opening.

I feel more cheerful about it now as for once he decided to stay asleep instead of cluster feeding this evening, so my nipples have had a bit of a break.

HelloBear Mon 19-Nov-12 09:39:35

Interesting to read, my DS also had tt snipped and after initial relief my rh side is all cracked again. Love the 'gold fish' description as that is exactly what he does, also with the licking, not so pleasant on cracked sore skin!

But what I have learnt is not to panic if it takes a while to get him on and most importantly do not hesitate to take off immediately if it's a bad latch. I used to think that as long as he was feeding it did not matter. BIG mistake, this only leads to tears! Get the latch right is my mantra now, it just takes time.

AngelDog Mon 19-Nov-12 22:20:26

That's the hard thing, isn't it? DS2 is an infrequent feeder so I will often get him to stay on even if he's squirming (ouch), or I get so fed up with him not opening his mouth properly I just shove him on any old how.

What I find really annoying is that he will open his mouth wide enough while I'm doing 'nose to nipple' but the goldfish gape means it's at least partly closed again by the time I can actually pop it into his mouth. hmm

I tried biological nurturing last night and it was agony! Prior to revision it was not bad. The second time I tried it, all he did was lick the areola and crawl around my chest sucking on random bits of it. Perhaps he wasn't really interested.

mamacheeks Tue 20-Nov-12 12:04:44

So interesting! Having similar problems with DS2 here at 8 weeks after TT snipped at 4 weeks. I spoke to a lactation consultant who suggested an exercise for between feeds. Run your finger round baby's mouth in a circle a few times, then across the mouth in a line from top to bottom. This should encourage baby to open his mouth. Have to admit I haven't done it much as DS is usually either feeding or sleeping! I think on reflection it was worse at around 6 weeks and more recently I've changed to a 'he'll grow out of it' attitude. He was taking in a lot of wind with the poor latch, but that seems to have improved a little. I do find it's worse at night and I seem to find myself making big mouth faces and hoping he'll imitate me. Hope it improves!

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