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Why can't my baby latch?

(12 Posts)
ThatsWotSheSaid Mon 01-Dec-14 13:46:43

My DS was ebf but wasn't gaining weight. He dropped from the 50th centile to the first. After seeing lots of health care professionals I started bottle feeding (expressed and formula) at 3 months because no one knew why he wasn't gaining and couldn't latch properly. He put on a lot of weight straight away. But he still can't latch even on a bottle. He brakes the seal constantly, splutters, coughs and splerts milk everywhere. I have tried evey type of bottle.

His breathing is also very snorty and he snores like a drunk man when he first drops off. He has been seen by lots of doctors for his breathing because its often laboured and fast but we haven't got anywhere yet.
He also throws up all the time especially now he's bottle fed, presumably from swallowing air.

He has been referred for tongue tie and the specialist said he had a tiny, tiny tie but cut it anyway just to see if it made a difference. It didn't.
Does anyone have an idea why he doesn't seem to be able to latch? Could it be related to his breathing?
Has anybody else experienced anything like this?


CatsCantFlyFast Mon 01-Dec-14 13:50:33

Have you seen a qualified lactation consultant?

CatsCantFlyFast Mon 01-Dec-14 13:58:16

I'm wondering if somebody qualified has checked for either a lip tie or a posterior tongue tie (which can't be diagnosed by just looking in the mouth)

ThatsWotSheSaid Mon 01-Dec-14 14:08:58

According to the tongue tie specialist he had a tiny tie which she didn't think would affect his feeding. She cut it anyway just incase. She said he does not have a lip tie or any palate issues.

CatsCantFlyFast Mon 01-Dec-14 14:21:04

Thought about getting a second opinion?
Hopefully somebody who can be of help will be along soon
Bumpety bump

Heypesto Mon 01-Dec-14 14:27:24

No advice I'm afraid, but watching with interest as I could have written your post a while ago! We just soldiered on as best we could; DS is now 4 but I wish I could know what the problem was as it was just so awful at the time, without anyone seeming to believe that there was a problem. DS now a healthy, clever, cheeky chap but still snores like a sailor! Really hope someone comes along who can help you.

KBwan Mon 01-Dec-14 14:36:46

Hi Thatswotshesaid, I'm no expert, but did study as a Speech Therapist, so know a bit about the anatomy needed for feeding.
From your description it sounds as if there may be some kind of difficulty with him breathing through his nose - essential to allow him to maintain a latch to anything - bottle or breast. If he's struggling to breathe through his nose then he needs his mouth to breathe, and therefore cannot successfully make a seal for a sustained period.
In slightly older children, snoring and laboured breathing etc are often associated with enlarged adenoids and / or tonsils - has this been ruled out by the doctors you've seen relating to his breathing?
Has anyone managed to get a really good look in his mouth and up his nose to check that there isn't excess skin blocking the passage between his nose and his mouth?
When babies develop in the womb there is a flap of skin across the back of the throat, which separates before birth - but sometimes this isn't always completely separated. But this is very rare!

That's the sort of route I'd be going down - have you been referred to a paediatrician, or is it GP's you've seen so far.

This must all be incredibly stressful for you and him, and you have my sympathies! It may well be one of those things that as he grows, it sorts itself out - I really hope it does!

tiktok Mon 01-Dec-14 16:52:35

I agree with taking this further - paediatric ENT specialist, perhaps.

It sounds like infant stridor (google it) which is a symptom, not a diagnosis, but which babies may grow out of as their airways marture.

juniorcakeoff Mon 01-Dec-14 17:08:45

Could be floppy larynx/ laryngomalacia. When you BF was he better in rugby ball hold? Try feeding upright stomach to stomach. Often goes hand in hand with gastric reflux. No cure but time for floppy larynx but they grow out of it. Stridor is the sound they make when they breathe. Reflux symptoms can be relieved - ask for paed referral, feed little but often.

ThatsWotSheSaid Mon 01-Dec-14 17:49:34

Thank you! as usual mumsnets is a plethora of great info.

I have googled laryngomalacia and it fits his symptoms apart from his breathing is more of a snort than a wheeze. The strider videos on youtube don't sound exactly like him but it may be that he is not a bad as the babies on there.

I'm seeing his gp again tomorrow for a different reflux med so I will ask for an ent referal. I currently feed little and often mainly because he really struggles to drink at any speed. He usually takes an hour to finish a bottle and if he takes more than a couple of ounces in one go they come back up again.

Apart from the feeding/breathing issues he's a happy lovely little chap. I just worry there is something more I could be doing to help that I've missed.

FATEdestiny Mon 01-Dec-14 18:04:40

My nephew was born with undiagnosed clef palate, right at the back. It was hard to spot and small but meant that there was a hole in roof of mouth which made breastfeeding and normal bottle feeding impossible (he couldn't produce a vacuum in his mouth to suck). He was also very nasal in the sounds he made.

ThatsWotSheSaid Mon 01-Dec-14 19:44:37

Thanks fate. A few people have had a really good look at his palate but I'll mention to the ENT if I get referred to double check because I know they can be tricky to spot.

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