Getting baby to open his mouth wide?
I'm pretty new to this forum, so I hope I'm doing it right.
Anyway, I'd really appreciate your advice. After some weeks of pain and difficulty, my 8.5 week old LO finally had his 80% tie snipped on Thursday evening. He was a very sad baby for a few hours afterwards and my main concern was comforting him and letting him get food in any which way. Over the weekend his tongue's started to heal and there are no signs he's in any pain or trauma, so I'd really like to start improving his feeding since it's getting, if anything, even more painful for me.
Although he can now move his tongue pretty well and we're doing the exercises the IBCLC recommended, when it comes to latching on his mouth goes small and he ends up not taking in enough breast, and clampingon with his gums (ie his tongue doesn't come forward). Then he just squeezes the milk out by biting with his gums - as you can imagine this is pretty ouchy.
Obviously he's had nearly 9 weeks of a dodgy latch, but can you help me with any suggestions about how to get him used to using his mouth differently?
Thank you in advance
Re: Getting baby to open his mouth wide?
My son got clipped at a little over 5 weeks and I had the same problem as you with him not opening wide enough and clamping on with his gums. What are the exercises you have been doing. I will tell you what we did:
First, right before letting my baby latch on I would stick my (clean) finger in his mouth with the nail toward his tongue, all the way back to his soft palate. Then I would press the tip of my finger down toward his tongue and move the finger out of his mouth trying to force his tongue out. He HATED this but after giving me some sucks where I didn't feel his bottom gum clamped onto my finger I saw the point.
I also would spend a lot of time (in his good moods) sticking my tongue out at him. He started to mimic me and that way found his new mobility.
Lastly, after he was latched on my mother or my husband would put their index finger on his chin with their nail facing my breast. Then they would roll it down, forcing his chin down and mouth open. He resisted HORRIBLY so they had to be really forceful (they held the back of his head so he couldn't push back). They would hold his jaw open wide like that until he stopped resisting. The change in his suck was noticeable for me immediately (my mom was especially good at it). He often would clamp back up and they would have to repeat the procedure several times in one session. But as the days went on he stopped resisting as much and they didn't have to do it so many times.
Eventually he just starting latching on with a small mouth then he would suck the nipple in and open wider after being latched. This made for a funny slurping sound, which he still does, and is hilarious! My right nipple was healed completely after 3 days but it took my left side a good week and a half to two weeks to really get better. Hope that helped!!