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Old 07-02-2013, 03:14 PM   #1
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Suck training for the disinterested baby - so discouraged

How do I do suck training for a 6-month-old who only does one of the following when something is in his mouth:
- talks
- bites (repeatedly, and I have the teeth marks to show it)
- licks
- spits it out
- basically does everything EXCEPT suck on it. Doesn't matter if it's a finger, a paci, an empty syringe, whatever.

I saw the IBCLC again today (I first saw her the day of DS's lip tie and tongue tie revision), just prior to my baby's 6-month appointment (where he's gained a whopping 1 lb 3 oz since two months ago and is now 13 lb 3 oz on their scale), and she watched me latch him and saw how he tries to push back, and said that he needs to get his tongue stronger so he has a better deep latch. He has a suck-suck-suck-suck-suck pattern and rarely swallows unless I'm in the middle of a letdown. She wants me to get him to do a sucking exercise several times a a day for a couple of minutes each time, and if he's not interested at the time I try, to just try again in a few minutes, but with the way he is, I don't think he'll ever be interested and I'll be trying again "in a few minutes" all day long. If I press down on his tongue to try to trigger him to suck that way, he'll just bite me or act like I'm gagging him (even though my finger's nowhere near the back of his throat). She also wants me to get him to mimic me sticking my tongue out, so I tried that, and he only does that a little bit, but it's off to the side a bit and she said he needs to stick it out in the center. If I tickle his bottom lip with my finger, he'll sometimes stick his tongue out, and then if I tickle the tip of his tongue, he'll sometimes stick it out a little farther, but again, that's just sticking it out, and he still needs to strengthen it by sucking, too. But he won't.

I feel like such a helpless, hopeless failure with breastfeeding, like I've been doing it wrong for almost five cumulative years. I keep going back to the "suck-suck-swallow" pattern that they're supposed to have, and I'm trying to remember if my other babies did that, but I don't think they did. All my babies were skinny. It's like they knew how to get enough to survive (mostly due to my OALD), but not to get fat and happy and milk-drunk and fall asleep nursing and sigh from utter contentment.

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Last edited by Harmony96; 07-02-2013 at 05:40 PM.
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Old 07-10-2013, 11:48 AM   #2
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Re: Suck training for the disinterested baby - so discouraged

I don't really know what to say, but I couldn't read and not comment.

I think if I were having that much trouble I would seek out physical therapy to asses for sensory issues or oral issue, again, I don't really know much about it.

And don't beat yourself up!
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Old 07-10-2013, 12:16 PM   #3
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Re: Suck training for the disinterested baby - so discouraged

I don't know anything about suck training, but wanted to offer a and keep your post bumped so you can get the help you need.
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Old 07-10-2013, 12:17 PM   #4
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Re: Suck training for the disinterested baby - so discouraged

We're doing pretty much the same as we were when I started this thread (which I managed to kill even before it got started, hah). I have a call in to someone who does myofascial release and am waiting to hear back from her and make an appointment (I called on Friday morning and still haven't heard back from her via phone, but I did send an email prior to that, outlining our issues, and she encouraged me to... call. lol). I emailed my number on Saturday as well just in case the message didn't go through on the phone, and they replied to that saying that she'll call me at her first opportunity, so for now, I'm just waiting.
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Old 07-10-2013, 12:24 PM   #5
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Re: Suck training for the disinterested baby - so discouraged

If it makes you feel any better ALL of my babies have been skinny but following their own growth curve. They usually fall off their curve around 4 months then once wee start solid food it is all down hill like I have been starving them for the last 6 months. They all have nursed until well over a year except one. Hang in there and I second the OT/PT rec. They can really help with suck training remember this is not just about breastfeeding. It is about speech, chewing, spitting, and good oral motor development!
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Old 07-10-2013, 03:31 PM   #6
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Re: Suck training for the disinterested baby - so discouraged

I have no experience in this area but just wanted to send hugs and positive thoughts. Not sure if it will work for you but I had one LO that bit so badly she drew blood and left bruises. For awhile I just started pumping for her and used sippy cup (she would not do a bottle--no way). Not sure if you could cup feed like some mama's do since it sounds like he may not drink out of a sippy for you either.
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Old 07-10-2013, 08:26 PM   #7
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Re: Suck training for the disinterested baby - so discouraged

I would also suggest getting your LO in to see a speech language pathologist or an occupational therapist with regards to suck training. They are the professionals who can help with that. SLPs typically do oral-motor and feeding therapy but an OT might be able to do it if an SLP isn't available. Ask you IBCLC if she knows of anyone whom she'd recommend, you'd want someone breastfeeding friendly of course.

Have you tried a supplemental nursing system? Ask you IBCLC about it and if she'd think it would help...or at least if it wouldn't hurt?? I don't know you LOs entire history so I don't feel comfortable advising you to use it or not. But the IBCLC who knows the whole case history should be able to advise.

Keep searching for answers and help Momma. (((HUGS))) to you!!!
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Old 07-16-2013, 09:02 PM   #8
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Re: Suck training for the disinterested baby - so discouraged

His appointment was tonight. I nursed him right afterwards, then we had an hour and a half car ride home, then time for bed, but I can't tell much of a difference yet. Maybe tomorrow when he's awake and chilling out and I can see what he does with that. She wants to see him again.
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Old 07-16-2013, 09:34 PM   #9
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Hugs. Mine will stick out tongue if i do & wh3en laughing some. My toddler dropped weight when solids entered & mommy dried up with switching to almond milk.
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Old 08-07-2013, 01:33 PM   #10
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Re: Suck training for the disinterested baby - so discouraged

My original follow-up email to the myofascial release lady (that I sent the day after our appointment) went unanswered because they never got it, so I sent it again and she replied last night, but I'm torn on whether to try to go back or not (if I even had any money for it, which I won't for at least two months, maybe, depending on when DH can get a different position). She said in her email that she told me in person how to hold him while nursing to try to help improve his condition. I remember nursing him in the lobby afterwards, and I remember her coming out briefly to talk to me, but I don't remember her showing me that at ALL. Then she also said in the email that she showed me at the appointment how much looser his jaw was after the treatment, and I remember her showing me that, but I remember not seeing any difference or what she was talking about or knowing what to look for or what questions to ask. She said in her email that she's always happy to answer questions, demonstrate and help parents learn techniques to help. But during the visit, I didn't get that impression at all. To the contrary, I felt ignored. All he did was cry, hard, during the whole visit (and she said "all babies do that" and that it's just frustrating for them but not painful), and it was getting time for him to eat, and I said several times that I wanted to nurse him, and she didn't say ANYTHING AT ALL when I said that. I'm almost in tears now thinking about it. DH was with me for part of the appointment and noticed that as well, and wasn't happy about it. It was hard to convince him even to have the first appointment (which someone else paid for because she believes so much in that therapy and how it helped her baby girl), so if I go back, it's going to be even harder to convince him.

She (and the mama who referred me to her, and another mama who's used her for her baby) said that Josiah is very tight and will need multiple treatments, but I don't know that it will help him. If it will, I'll find a way to do it, but I don't want to put him through another hour of screaming for "no results." (And it also doesn't help DH's thoughts since we got Josiah's tongue tie and lip tie revised, which was also supposed to "cure" him and did next to nothing.)

Benjamin had eczema bad as a baby, and although Josiah's situation is slightly different, I remember that I "lost" so much of B's babyhood while I tried to fix his eczema. I can already see that happening with Josiah (time passing too fast), and I am almost to the point where I just want to stop thinking about all therapies and treatments and just enjoy the baby that I have, and stop trying to find things that are wrong with him.
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