Take a bottle, any freakin bottle!!!
If you have a bottle collection that looks like mine or a baby that refused bottles, this is a sentiment you probably know all too well.
We waited until about 4 weeks to introduce a bottle. When my husband tried the first bottle J choked a bit and spit it out. I gave it a try and J clumsily accepted the bottle. I gave my husband a few tips and for several weeks he enjoyed feeding a bottle here and there. Grandma, Mima, and Aunts all took their turns giving an ounce here or an ounce there. He dribbled a little with it and wasn’t always sure but he drank from it.
Then shortly after 2 months, J refused the bottle. We tried everything. Our bottle collection grew, and grew, and grew. I tried. Others tried. I left for several hours to work a Pampered Chef show and hoped he would finally take it. He didn’t. My husband ended up tediously dropper feeding him. We tried every trick in the book and every suggestion Google turned up to no avail.
Everyone told us he was a boy with strong opinions. They said he just knows what he wants. Nothing but the best!! But it was so frustrating. He took a sippy cup…kind of. But nothing really seemed to work or satisfy him. We finally gave up trying.
Then we learned he had a class 4 lip tie (the most significant) and a class 2 tongue tie (second most significant).
I had heard of lip and tongue tie and knew many babies who had it revised as newborns. I was under the impression that it caused significant nursing issues – pain, poor latch, inadequate weight gain, low supply, bouts of mastitis, etc. But the more we learned, the more we realized the mild signs J exhibited all along.
It possibly explained everything. It was likely the cause of our mastitis and pain during the early weeks of nursing. It is why he has a very shallow latch and why he doesn’t flange his upper lip well. It explained his occasional nursing blisters, and why the blisters were worse when he was taking the bottle. It explained why he always spit out a pacifier, even though he seemed to want it and would be soothed by it if we held it in place for him. It also could possibly explain why he started refusing bottles.
After careful consideration of his current symptoms and the issues he would likely face as an adult, we had the lip tie revised by Dr. Pasquantonio when J was 5 months old. After the revision we let it heal completely before introducing bottles. Then with a little hope and lots of prayer, we reintroduced the bottle. I was hopeful that maybe it would make a difference but also well aware that he was older and “set in his ways.” I left him with Mike for an evening. It took some time, a few different bottles, and a lot of patience but he clumsily took it (Adiri bottles won!). And the second time, he readily took the bottle.
We are glad we had the revision done and not just because he’s taking a bottle. We are working on improving his latch and occasionally he even flanges his lip! There are also many long term benefits of having it revised. His dental health, speech and over all health will all benefit from our decision. But for now, we are just very happy that he is once again taking a bottle.
For more information on lip and tongue ties, symptoms, and reasons to consider revision please peruse Dr. Kotlow’s extensive resources here.