My Toddler has a tongue tie

Tongue tie: noun. 

1. A Malformation which restricts the movement of the tongue and causes a speech impediment.
Super Busy Mum
In the middle of December 2015, Annabelle, who was one month shy of turning three finally got her 2yr assessment from her Health Visitor. I’ll be honest, I never thought she was going to get one but when I got the appointment {I’ll just mention that I also chased them up about her appointment several times throughout the year in case anyone wonders} I was both relieved and nervous.

I was nervous, because, if my history of Health visitors was anything to go by, I was going to be visited by a sanctimonious battleaxe with an opinion bigger than the Grand Canyon. You know the kind. They know everything, you know nothing and clearly their textbook knowledge of parenthood outweighs your hands on experience.

Now before the appointment, I was very aware that Annabelles lack of speech would be a key point of her check up and I was already prepared for the defensive approach. I was ready to respond with “But I’ve done speech therapy DVDs with her, flash cards, reading, and more” etc. You know the typical response we’ll fire out when we feel like our parental abilities are being threatened? That’s the one. 

But I was pleasantly surprised. The health visitor that came was super nice, she was really taken with Annabelle and as soon as she asked me if I had any concerns or questions regarding my toddler, I mentioned her speech.
She could see Annabelle was trying to talk, mainly because she was the focus of Annabelles attention, being shown this teddy, her cars, her shoes, the half-eaten pancake she was in the midst of devouring.
So as amused as the Health Visitor was, she could see my toddler was trying to talk but just…could not get it quite right, so she asked her to do one simple thing. Stick out her tongue. And within that split-second of seeing Annabelles tongue, she said “she has a severe tongue tie and pointed out the cleft on the tip of my daughters tongue.

So of course, as soon as she said “Severe tongue tie”, I was like…“Isn’t that sort of thing usually picked up from birth?”, “Would this be the reason I had issues breastfeeding?”; I was so full of questions but at the same time knew this lovely Health visitor could only answer so much. She was amazing actually answering the questions I fired at her.

So with 9mths to go before Annabelle starts her pre-school year, the Health visitor has referred her to the paediatrician at our local ENT clinic as an urgent case. She doesn’t even know if they’ll actually snip the tie at this point {apparently they’re not keen on snipping them anymore}, so we’ll just have to see what happens once we get her ENT appointment – whenever it comes through! But the clock is ticking….so I hope it’s soon!

I’ll keep you posted!

Has any of your children experienced a tongue-tie? Was it caught early on? 

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20 Comments

  1. 11/01/2016 / 8:23 AM

    We had been warned before our J-Boy was born of the dangers of tongue tie, and posterior tongue tie in particular, when the tie is further back from the tip but still inhibits tongue movement. Friends who had a kid a year older than J had eventually been told about the problem and that it explained why their daughter wasn’t latching on at the breast properly.

    Sure as eggs, when J was born he seemed to latch on OK but then frustratedly roll off a few moments later. We asked everyone in a uniform that came to the room to check for tongue tie, but we were told he was fine and that he was latching on OK and that breastfeeding was difficult. J ended up returning to hospital about a week after he was born as he was dehydrated, underweight and jaundiced because he was starving. He’d been screaming, tearing out my chest hair because he was so hungry, but we were told that’s just what happens. Out came the formula and he slept like he was in a narcotic coma the whole night; we had to blow on his feet to wake him up to take more milk.

    Eventually, ten weeks into his little life, posterior tongue tie was confirmed and he had the snip. It was too late for the breastfeeding – we gave up a few days later – and he seems happy to poke his tongue out some distance. But he still hasn’t quite got the hang of some consonants and I wonder if the tongue tie might be a factor.

    I hope everything works out well for your daughter speech-wise and I’m glad that you met such a helpful health professional.
    Scruffy Dad recently posted…Hanging out with Nana: dinosaurs and dementiaMy Profile

    • 17/01/2016 / 8:47 AM

      I am so pleased that your little guy eventually had his tie snipped and thanks so much for the luck for my girl.
      Super Busy Mum recently posted…My Sunday Photo #3My Profile

  2. 11/01/2016 / 9:50 AM

    When the health visitor came for G’s two year check I told her I had concerns about her speech. G refused to cooperate and wouldn’t speak at all, nor poke out her tongue.

    The health visitor said that she would leave it a few months, just in case her speech started to improve.

    It has improved a little but I still have concerns, so the health visitor is coming next week to assess her again, and to check for tongue tie. Hopefully G will cooperate this time!

  3. Pamela | Life With Munchers
    11/01/2016 / 1:29 PM

    Oh bless her little heart! I hope it’s a quick fix for her and she bounces back to herself in no time xx

  4. Sarah Jay
    11/01/2016 / 2:00 PM

    Martin Curran on the Lisburn road snips tongue ties, if you want to get it done privately. I have a few friends who have been to him (with much younger babies though) and it gets sorted ASAP.

  5. 13/01/2016 / 7:36 AM

    So pleased that your Health Visitor pointed it out. Imagine if it had continued without you being aware.

  6. Oh bless her she’s so sweet, always smiling! Sounds like you’ve got a great Health Visitor there, knows whats she about. Shame it took so bloomin long for you to get the appointment though. Could have been acknowledge and moved forward months ago! #MMWBH
    Sarah Admissions of a Working Mother recently posted…Mothering The Shit Out Of LifeMy Profile

    • 17/01/2016 / 9:39 AM

      She is always smiling! I do love that about her. We were very lucky with the HV too. Fingers crossed it gets sorted soon. xx
      Super Busy Mum recently posted…Snapshot Saturday Week#3My Profile

  7. 13/01/2016 / 10:37 AM

    My youngest daughter had a tongue and lip tie which was missed at birth and by several doctors, consultants and health care professionals, despite feeding difficulties. Eventually, when we discovered it ourselves, we were told that because I was not breast feeding that the NHS wouldn’t touch it (especially the lip tie which they refuse to touch!) and we went private. They lasered her tongue and lip and I will never forget, they brought her back to us, four months old, and she stuck her tongue out for the very first time and I cried myself stupid!!! It is SO common, its crazy that they aren’t checked for routinely at birth. I’m glad that your HV was on the ball, I hope that whatever happens, it works out well for you both! #MMWBH
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    • 17/01/2016 / 9:43 AM

      Gosh, a lip tie sounds a bit scary. How something like that can be missed severeal times over truly astounds me. What a gorgeous moment when she stuck out her tongue! I have these thoughts if and when Annabelle gets her tongue tie snipped that’ll be it, it’ll be like a translation switch will have been switched and she’ll be having fully blown conversations with us. x
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  8. Silly Mummy
    13/01/2016 / 10:28 PM

    My new nephew has just been diagnosed with one actually. He’s only 9 weeks old & has been referred to ENT, presumably to have it snipped. He has no issues with feeding, but my sister is concerned about future speech problems as she knows a child with that issue. I know they seem to be reluctant round my way to snip them now, but it sounds like they are still quite willing where my sister is, so obviously just depends! Glad you got a simple explanation for Annabelle’s speech delay, but such a shame they never picked that up earlier – as you say, it should have been checked & you would think they would have considered it with breastfeeding problems too! Better late than never though – I hope it all gets sorted out for her! #MMWBH
    Silly Mummy recently posted…We’re All Mad HereMy Profile

    • 17/01/2016 / 9:45 AM

      I do hope the little guy has his snipped soon. They are reluctant here too. Anoyingly they say the tongue tie is no longer snipped on the NHS, yet it quite clearly states on their website that it is. Don’t you just love conflicting information. Thank you!
      Super Busy Mum recently posted…Snapshot Saturday Week#3My Profile

  9. 14/01/2016 / 12:48 AM

    The poor thing! I hope it’s an easy fix and a speedy recovery for Annabelle. She’s such a sweet heart! Hang in there, Debs.

  10. 14/01/2016 / 2:49 AM

    Hi there – my four year old son was diagnosed with a tongue tie which was diagnosed when he was just a few days old. I was having trouble feeding him so the paediatrician checked it out and sure enough he had a minor tongue tie. Our paediatrician suggested that we take him back to the hospital where he was born and have the tie snipped. The procedure was very quick and he recovered well. Good luck to you and your daughter! #MMWBH

    • 14/01/2016 / 9:08 AM

      That’s great that they picked it up and dealt with it quickly. Thanks for the luck! #MMWBH

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