40 answers

Frenulum Cutting / Baby Is Tongue Tied!

Any comments / suggestions / questions out there regarding having a baby's frenulum clipped?
How can I tell if baby is really 'tongue tied'?
If we do not get the procedure done, what are the future consequences?
Will speech really be impacted?
For those who have had it done, do you notice a huge difference in how far baby can stick out their tongue?

Thank you!

1 mom found this helpful

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thank you for all your advice! I came to the realization that it would not be a terribly invasive procedure,but still had anxiety about doing it. We had a second opinion about the procedure and was told that baby's frenulum was short, but she was still able to extend her tongue past her gumline. We were given the option to have it clipped, if only to help her latch for breastfeeding. We had it done soon after at 5 weeks. It was a short procedure, and baby did bleed substantially. (not the one or two drops, I had heard about!) I was pretty traumatized, but the bleeding soon stopped and baby was encouraged to breastfeed immediately. She took to it and we have yet to see how much better her latch will be. Nonetheless, I am glad it's over and will still struggle through until breastfeeding becomes easier and more natural for us both!

Featured Answers

My girlfriend's 18 month old was tongue tied, she had a lactation consultant come to the house and told her. They took her to the doc and he left it up to them to decide, they did it, maybe at about 1 1/2 months but for her it didn't change her sucking habits & she couldn't breastfeed. So if you do it, I would say the sooner the better.

My son is 8 and had his frenulum snipped when he was a baby, the did not snip it enough and he is having trouble with tongue placement for speech. We are in the process of deciding if we can teach him the movement and if his tongue will reach or if we need to have it snipped more.

Gosh, a few months ago someone wrote in with this question and, from the responses, I couldn't believe how many people knew about this, had kids who had this, or had had it themselves who all offered all sorts of wonderful advice. I hope you get the same response!

My baby daughter was tongue tied and had difficulty eating too. At six weeks, I think it was, we had her tongue tie cut. The tongue bled for a few seconds, she cried for a few seconds, (I cried a little longer), then it was over. It has never been an issue ever again. I am glad we did it (and I'm not into doing anything that isn't absolutely necessary). She is nine now and thriving in every way.

Good luck. Looking back, this is one of the easiest "problems" we have ever had to deal with concerning the kids, and one that was the most easily rectified. I just wish all the other headaches/heartaches that crop up as a parent were this easily resolved!

More Answers

Both my husband and I were born tongue-tied. His was cut as an infant when family noticed his speech was different and mine never was as my parents had no idea. I was fortunate in that it never affected my speech. When our son was born, my husband had the wisdom to have the nurse check my son's frenulum right away and sure enough he was tongue-tied. We had it cut the next day at the hospital along with the circumcision. I'm glad we did it and I think it made nursing much easier for him too. His latching on wasn't so great and the suction wasn't as strong as I expected, but boy could I tell the difference afterward. I agree with the other moms to have it done sooner rather than later. It will work out fine.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi there, I know this can be scary. My daughter was tongue tied and at 3 weeks I had her frenulum cut. It really isn't a big deal in hindsight and when it happened, she cried (balled) but with a little tylenol was fine. My daughter is now 4.5 and doesn't stop talking!! Everything at 3 weeks is a big deal because you are getting use to everything but trust me, your child will be okay too. Hang in there mom!

1 mom found this helpful

I am tongue tied - severely, it turns out, but no one ever mentioned anything or noticed until my own mother, a dental hygenist in her youth, noticed one day when I was about 8 or 9. I was always a champion breastfeeder, and "got it" right from the get go, so the extreme extend of my "tongue tie" never effected me, even from the moment I was born. She talked to my dentist about it: the only reason there might be to clip a tongue tied child is in infancy if it causes latch issues when breast feeding. Other worries with a tongue tied infant are possible speech issues in the future, but those are rare, even in severe cases such as mine. I can only stick the tip of my tongue out of my mouth, but have never had a moment of speech issues or impediments: in fact, I was reading by the time I was 3, so my language skills were always very accelerated! Speech has so much more to do with the brain than it does with anatomy.
I am a Stanford trained speech pathologist now (funny I should go into that field!) and I would suggest not clipping her tongue unless you are sure it is that that is causing her latch issues, and not just the learning curve that goes along with breastfeeding. There are lots of babies AND mothers that don't just "take" to breastfeeding right away - it can take a few months for everyone, mom and baby included, and a visit from a lactation specialist for both parties involved to really get the hang of breastfeeding. If you are set on clipping it, do it in her infancy (ie now) so that it does not cause speech issues for her after she learns to talk (if you clip the tongue of someone who already speaks with the way their frenulum is naturally, they have to learn all over again how to speak with a clipped tongue and will often experience speech impediments because of the clipping). When the brain has already learned to talk, the brain has already learned how to "deal" with a "tongue tie", and she will most definitely have to see a speech pathologist in order to re-teach her to speak with a freed up tongue. I always loved showing other kid's my tongue - they always thought it was cool, and I was never teased about it if thats what your issue is with it.

I will even go so far to say, since we are speaking to each other without children around, it has caused no issues in my adult sexual life either. The fact that it doesn't easily stick OUT has nothing to do with the function of it. I will leave it at that...LOL (that is a question I got from friends once we were in HS.... "How do you french kiss....?" Trust me it isn't an issue.

1 mom found this helpful

Check out my profile to see my dental experience. I really suggest a consult with a pediatric (children) dentist to see if he is tongue tied and to what severity. Don't take a pediatrician's word, go to someone who is trained in dentistry and you will get the best, most up to date info. I personally would have the surgery, it isn't hard or very painful, and heals quickly.

1 mom found this helpful

I realize this is a bit different than what you are considering, but I'd thought I'd let you know how great the laser procedure went for us. We just had our daughter's upper lip frenulum cut back with a laser at the dentist because it was interfeering with her two front teeth on top. She has a large gap between them & the procedure is suppose to insure that her adult teeth will grow in together without the gap. It was such a simple procedure done very quickly (15 min.) in the dentists office because the the dentist (who is a close friend) said that the fiberous tissue wasn't strong/thick enough to warrant an oral surgeon. They applied a local gel anthestetic & then gave her a shot to further numb the area, did the procedure & was done. No blood. No tears & we've just been giving her some liquid tylenol for a couple of days. It's already almost healed up now a couple of days later.
I think the laser technology is great. We are very happy with how it went for our daughter. I hope this information helps somehow. Good luck to you.

1 mom found this helpful

We had our son's frenulum clipped at 5 weeks after experiencing some challenges with breastfeeding. (He is now 7.5 months old). Whether or not to clip was a tough decision to make. I agonized for about a month before finally having it done. My husband and I read up on different people's experiences (posted online), read the American Academy of Pediatrics articles on frenotomy (or frenulectomy, depending on which article you read), and just sat with it for a long time. We had decided before our son's birth not to have any invasive procedures done to him during the birth or afterwards (no pain medications during his birth, no circumcision, etc)...I say that only to emphasize how hard a decision this was for us. We saw five different lactation consultants and two different ENTs to get LOTS of professional opinions before having the procedure done. But after being told by the second ENT specialist that the tongue tie may affect his speech in the future, we decided to have it done. My son practically slept through the procedure, and I have noticed more dexterity with his tongue since then. Long story short, my only advice is to make sure the ENT specialist is good with kids. It seems like a totally obvious point, but the first ENT we went to was not, and I would not have been comfortable having him clip my son's frenulum. The ENT at Children's in Oakland was wonderful and I totally trusted him. His name is Robert Wesman, and you can check out his website online. http://www.robertwesman.com
The only other thing that I'd say is that I'm really glad I had it done at 5 weeks, rather than waiting months and months... it would be even harder for me to do it now that he is more aware.
Good luck with your decision.

1 mom found this helpful

Dear B L,
Congratulations on your beautiful 3 week old baby!
Get it clipped. Don't wait. It's not the same thing as "should I circumsize or shouldn't I?"
People get their baby's ears pierced and depending on the extent of the "tie", it could be just about as simple a procedure.
I actually had a friend when I was a little girl who was tongue tied. I remember her vividly. She didn't have a lot of friends because she talked funny. I didn't care. I thought she was unique and great. Now as an adult, I can look back and realize that what she sounded like was a deaf child trying to talk. She could not move her tongue enough to form words. She would open her mouth and show me why she couldn't speak right and I will never forget the first time she showed me. I said, "Why can't your mom just take some scissors and cut that thing?" She finally had it done the summer before we went to 5th grade. I don't know why her parents waited that long. Her whole life of talking funny and being taken out of class for special speach therapy. To this day, she is the only person I ever knew with that condition, but when I was pregnant with each of my kids all those years later, I said to myself, "If that happens, I'm not waiting."
This topic has come up before and I know there are varying degrees....some people say just leave it alone and your kid can learn to deal. But why?
Look in the mirror and say the wordS "THE". "LIPSTICK". "PURPLE". Think about what your tongue is doing while you say it and then pretend your tongue can't cooperate. The tongue effects chewing and swallowing and everything else.
Absolutely everything is a personal decision. There are no right or wrong answers when it comes to your own baby. Only you can get the opinions of medical professionals and decide what is best. I personally think that taking care of these things the younger, the better.

Very best of wishes!

1 mom found this helpful

Both of my boys were tongue tied. My older son was pretty bad so we had his cut. He could not stick his tongue out of his mouth at all. He couldn't suck on a pacifier and it was affecting his nursing. I was told it could affect their speech and didn't want to wait that long before we took care of it. We had it cut around 3 months. It made a huge difference. My younger son's isn't as bad. So I opted to wait to see if it affect his speech.

The precedure is quick. They numb it first with that liquid stuff. There was more bleeding then I expected, but it heals really fast. He was able to nurse right after they were done.

If your daughter is having problems latching on, I would get it cut as soon as possible.

1 mom found this helpful

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