Tongue Tie, Reflux or just Fussy?


I know every baby is different and each one has a distinct personality. However I did not count on our third little person being so fussy and hard to settle.

Maybe he is a person who just likes things to be ready when he is. Yes impatient and wants it all to happen NOW! He must think why the milk is not ready when I am!  Talk about bad service.

He is also a person that holds onto burps, farts and anything gassy or windy, so he has terrible belly pain. He makes such upset faces due to the horrible annoyance this can cause (I hate having a sore belly I cannot imagine how it would feel to baby that has no idea what the pain is.)

Upset and crying baby due to not being able to get the wind out of his belly. Also has to be upright due to having silent reflux.

Upset and crying baby due to not being able to get the wind out of his belly. Also has to be upright due to having silent reflux.

Our latest addition is also a person that likes to be upright to be settled and does not like to lie down until he is finally winded, and finally all the gases get out of his body that can be coaxed, well within the 4 hour period of trying.

Yes you get the picture it takes ages to even get him settled and not yelling and screaming in your ear. I do think I will go deaf soon or have limited hearing on one side. I pray that this does not happen.

My new little man has a very good set of lungs and he uses them very well.

Some of these issues could be due to the fact that I am expressing my breast milk and therefore he is being bottle fed. Alexander did not latch on well at all and did not seem to get enough milk. When he was on the boob he would then fall asleep but also before this he would struggle to get on and yell and scream. This in turn would stress me out and also him and due to him not looking like he got anything we have turned to the bottles with breast milk to make sure that he is getting what he needs.

While in the hospital one midwife suggested the baby had a tongue tie. I asked what this was and she said that it is a piece of skin that is holding the tongue in a different position and not allowing it to move so that the baby can feed well and successfully. I thought that would explain it. However another midwife and nurse looked at the baby and dismissed it all and therefore it was agreed that the baby did not have a tongue tie. I ended up forgetting all about the issue of the tongue tie and just thought that I was not getting the breast feeding thing and the baby was learning as well and also just a fuss pot.

After we left hospital the community nurse came to the house to check up on myself and the baby. A lovely lady came and made sure we were all okay. She checked the baby and then announced that he did have a tongue tie. Oh gosh does he have a tongue tie and it got overlooked?

The lovely community nurse said it was a posterior tongue tie and it might be worth it getting fixed to see if it improves feeding and settling the baby. I was also told that it could cause speech issues when the child gets older as the tongue does not sit in the normal or ideal spot to form words and therefore makes it hard to speak. So good idea to get fixed. It is not yet known if it will cause issues with speech due to the baby not speaking yet, but there is a high percentage that if not looked at could cause problems.

I sprang into action. I got a referral to a surgeon at Westmead Children’s Hospital and raced there for our appointment for the tongue tie to get fixed. To get to the hospital on time I had to put the twins in before school care and also be up super early. I drove all the way and fussed over the baby when he was screaming the waiting room down while we waited for our appointment.

It was our time with the doctor now. He had no idea why I was there and looked shocked that I had such a young baby to see him. At the time of the appointment he was 4 weeks old. He is now nearly 10 weeks as I am writing this. I explained that I have been told he has a posterior tongue tie and that it is best to get it looked at now while he was so young. I also listed all the other things that the baby was doing and therefore it was other signs of having a tongue tie.

The doctor then said put the baby on the bed so that he could have a look and see what the issue was with his tongue. He did a quick once over and then concluded that he did not have a tongue tie and all was good. He said that there is nothing to cut and no issue! I mentioned what the community nurse said again to just make sure that it was right.

The surgeon then said, “It is just him then, he is fussy!”

So I have an opinion of a surgeon that rules out the fact of the baby having a tongue tie. However when I went to the local community nurse for Alexander’s 6 week milestone check she then told me without doubt the baby has a tongue tie! Oh please I wish people would bloody well make up their minds. Does he have it or not!

As a mother it is very confusing and annoying to have such conflicting views. What do you do? Do you continue to see someone for a tongue tie that a surgeon says is not there? Or do you just let it be. We have followed it up with our local doctor and have decided to see how baby goes as he gets older. Did you get conflicting information about your kids when they were little? How did you handle this?

As the local doctor pointed out; a surgeon has ruled it out so others will most likely do the same. Due to the baby always wanting to be upright we have discovered he suffered from silent reflux and found help with some medicine (Losec for babies) to treat this.  I found that the medicine helped but first gave it to him during the day, however giving it at night time or just very late afternoon worked much better than during the day. There were some nights were I forgot to give it to him and he settled okay so we have decided to leave it, and think that it could be the fact he is getting older that things are settling even more. Although we have had some nights where the baby is just so over tired and out of sorts that he screams the place down.

I have found the following:

  • The baby likes to be wrapped.
  • Needs breaks during feeds and while having a break try burping and getting wind out of baby. You might get an angry face when you make the baby take breaks but it is well worth it.
  • If the baby does not drink all the bottle that is okay…. He/she is full and more might cause issues with upset belly and more wind.
  • Sit with your baby to calm them if they get the hiccups. Hiccups are the outcome of many of the upsets trying to deal with wind. Once hiccups are done and baby falls asleep again you can put him/her back to bed.
  • We have found that the baby likes noise and to be with people. We have put a digital radio in his room. It is on low volume and allows him to listen to Classic FM whenever he is resting. Not sure how this will influence him in the future but they do say that listening to classical music is good for brain development. We will find out when he is older, I’m sure.
  • Changing his environment when he is fussy. Take a walk out in the backyard, or just somewhere different is very helpful not just for the baby but also for you as well.
  • Make sure that the baby gets a bit of sunshine. Obviously not in the heat of the day and just a little time, say 10mins or less is good. It can help with sleep and also to it gives the baby some vitamin D.
  • If you have someone else in the house while you are looking after baby that is brilliant. If you have reached the end of your wits with baby then hand it over to the other person. Sometimes this helps as it is a distraction and the other person is not stressed or annoyed that the baby is not settling. The new person is calmer and can help settle baby.

Have you had a fussy or hard to settle baby? What are your tips and tricks to help the little person rest? (Or more like give you a break)


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