Tuesday, February 10, 2009

To clip or not to clip? That is the question.

Tori was born with a very tight frenulum. It extends to the end of her little tongue, giving it a heart-shape. It is hereditary, and it's entirely my fault. I was also born "tongue-tied". Mine was clipped when I was very young (I don't even remember it).

Apparently they don't clip them now like they used to. They like to wait and see if it poses a problem (ie. with eating or speech etc.). Children often "break" them during the first couple of years by falling or running into things.

I had a harder than usual time getting Tori latched on when she was born, but she is now a champ at eating (as you can tell by the rolls on her arms!). So, why clip it now?

My fear is that as she reaches toddlerhood and preschool age, she might have delays in her speech because of it. Do I want to wait and see if she has problems and then have it clipped? I am afraid that then it would be traumatizing. I would rather she didn't remember it. I would also rather clip it now before it causes trouble. I would hate for her to be behind on her speech development because ot it.

I should add that Nick was also born tongue-tied, although his did not extend to the end of his tongue like Tori's. However, I had an EXTREMELY hard time nursing him in the first month. I almost went to bottle-feeding, because it was just too difficult and painful. I stuck with it though and eventually he was able to nurse, although never quite as well as his siblings.

When he was a couple of weeks old, I took him in to have his frenulum cut, because he was losing weight since he couldn't eat properly. The doctor couldn't do it though. His was very thick and it would have required surgery. I couldn't put him through that, so we didn't do anything about it. He is speaking a lot now and I am trying to keep my eye out for any possible speech problems. It's so hard to tell at this age (almost 3).

Tori's frenulum is not thick like his was, so hers could probably just be clipped with scissors (which is how mine was done.)

So, today we are headed to the doctor to see what can be done. I am not looking forward to it. Who wants to see their baby hurt? Not me :(

Am I making the right decision?


Sharon said...

I never had the frenulum to deal with...but I did have a daughter who stuttered for a time...and my son couldn't say his 'rrr's' -- both of which gave me concern. Over some time, and parent coaching of slowing one down, and emphasizing the 'rrr's' with the other, they both speak normally.

All that to say, I share your mom's heart...and will be praying for wisdom for you all... Blessings on your week,

Christina said...

Funny your worrying about this today; we just had Morgan evaluated by the speech pathologist at the elementary school. She has had tubes in her ears since she was 18 months. At that point the ENT surgeon said she had had only 50% of her hearing. She hears fine now but hasn't been pronouncing some sounds. I decided to call 'just to see' and the lady said it was a good thing to do since kids that can't pronounce, can't recognize sounds and have a harder time associating letters for reading.
Long comment, short, clipping may be hard for you to do but may help her in the long run, not only with speech but also with reading.

SmallWorld at Home said...

Both of my boys were tongue tied, and the peds said, "We don't clip anymore." But when we took Duncan to the dentist the first couple of times, the hygienist commented that he was tongue-tied and were we aware of that? Um, yes. Anyway, we never did anything about it. I don't know what happens but they seem to grow out of it. Maybe it stretches?? Obviously I have no idea. My boys did both have trouble with their ls and rs until maybe ages 7. Come to think about it, Duncan might still have trouble with his Rs--or it might be habit. I'll have to listen to him.

Anyway, whatever you do, it'll be fine!