A tongue restriction may not be a tongue-tie

Feeding difficulties can have many different reasons and it can take a team of specialists to help unravel their complex nature. One area worth exploring is how muscles and joints can impact a baby’s ability to get in to a good position to feed.

Many of the muscles attaching to the tongue attach to other bony parts and tension in these muscles may impact how the tongue moves. If the tongue isn’t moving well then this can lead to feeding difficulties.

Tightness in neck muscles may lead to your baby having difficulty tilting their head back fully. This may prevent the jaw opening wide and stop the mandible and tongue coming forward as far as they might. This may result in a shallow and sometimes painful or inefficient latch.

Conditions such as torticollis – where one muscle is shortened leading to a preference to look one way – can cause difficulty feeding on one side. This may lead to painful or a shallow latch on one breast or the need to hold in cradle hold-one side and under-arm on the other.

If you’re struggling with feeding, look for a breastfeeding professional who will look at the whole picture of you and your baby.  

A quick snip isn’t always the answer.

Helping Your Baby To Crawl

Babies often start crawling between 6-9 months but some little ones adopt a different approach! We see babies with all sorts of crazy patterns from using their ‘breaststroke’ legs to scoot them along, shuffling with one leg curled under and even getting airborne and leaping on one hip. Little ones are amazing at finding inventive ways to move themselves around. The most common question we get asked by far is…

Is this normal?

Whilst these movement patterns can be very cute, this can prevent them gaining some key skills which they would gain in the classic ‘quadruped’ position of crawling. But there’s no need to stress about this and forcing your baby to change their chosen mode of transportation is a fruitless task.

What can I do about it?

Introducing some fun things to do at home can help expose your little one to the movement patterns they may miss through crawling.

Here are some of our best ‘quadruped play’ suggestions:

Obstacle Course

Chuck some blankets and pillows on the floor and even lie down on the floor yourself and create an obstacle course. Trying to climb up and over the obstacles is a great way for your baby to start to bring their weight forward on to the arms and adopt the quadruped crawling position.

Climbing Up the Stairs

Its’s almost impossible to not creep up the stairs without adopting the crawling position.

Crossing the midline

To move to the quadruped position, babies need to have good rotation through their thorax (trunk).  By encouraging your baby to move their hands across the midline will help get this moving. With your baby sitting, pop a toy to one side of them and encourage them to rotate their trunk round to pick it up. You could sit the other side of them and they can hand it back to you so they rotate both ways.

When you might want to seek a bit more help…

There are times when a bit more help might be needed.

If your baby has difficulty moving their arms or legs or if they appear to be weak, floppy or stiff

If they appear to be using one side of their body more than the other. This might be a preference to look one way or using one arm or leg more than the other

If your baby always falls to one side or backwards when they lose their balance.

When your baby stands, is he/she unable to bring one or both feet flat on the floor or is their foot position very different on both feet

If your child shows significant delay in other areas of their development, eg play and language, fine motor skills or if they are having problems with their vision or hearing

To sum up…don’t stress about it

Babies are amazing and when they find a way that works, they take it. You are going to be hard-pressed to change it. So long as there is no underlying developmental concerns or specific diagnoses don’t waste your time obsessing over this and the guilt is not worth it!

Focus on ‘quadruped play’ at home and if you need a little more help, you know where we are!

Video Health

With the COVID-19 outbreak many people are unable to leave the house to seek relief for their pain. We are here to help. By harnessing the technology we aim to bring the knowledge, expertise and care of your osteopath to you in your home.

Is my injury / pain suitable for online consultation?

The majority of musculoskeletal injuries are suitable for online osteopathy consultation, but if we determine that your injury or situation is not at all suitable for an online consultation by an osteopath, we will let you know.

 

How can you diagnose me without touching me?

All osteopathy appointments start with a ‘subjective assessment’, in which we ask you a well-structured series of questions designed to discover what we need to know about your injury (without touching you). By the end of the subjective assessment, we already have a clear idea of your probable diagnosis. We may then perform some tests to confirm this diagnosis. We may then ask  further questions or ask you to perform certain movements and will then assess your feedback regarding these. This process should clarify diagnosis. If we are unsure of your diagnosis, we will not hesitate to refer you.

 

How can you treat me without touching me?

We are at a time where being with other people could make you unwell, yet you are in pain. Osteopaths are equipped with an array of tools to help you so we will call on all our other skills to help you heal.  Educating you about your condition, identifying contributing factors from your lifestyle, as well as instigating a structured and tailored exercise program, are some of the most important thing osteopaths can do to help you until we can once again get ‘hands on’.

 

How do I know I’m doing the exercises right?

The wonders of modern technology open up a whole world of possibility. You could attach a photo or video of yourself doing the exercise/s, or even organise for us to check them via your webcam in real time! All the exercise descriptions are very clear and illustrated by photo or video, so often this makes things very clear.