Baby Making Clicking Sounds While Feeding?
Apr 23rd 2023
Baby Making Clicking Sounds While Feeding?
As moms, we pay attention to every little detail of our babies. Every facial expression, every movement, and every sound. And, whether your baby is breastfed or bottle-fed, you may have started to notice that they make a little clicking sound while they’re feeding. This clicking can be a sign that your baby has weak tongue strength, and it may be causing feeding difficulties. Wondering what to do about it? We are here to help! Keep reading to learn more about clicking sounds while feeding, baby tongue strength, and how to strengthen your baby’s tongue with an oral development teether.
Understanding Baby Tongue Strength
Newborns have three very important jobs right from birth: To eat, to sleep, and to poop! With such a new body and new systems that have never been used, it can be difficult for them to achieve all of these tasks. Babies can run into many difficulties when it comes to feeding, the main culprit being that brand-new tongue of theirs.
One of these issues can be tongue tie. Tongue-tie (ankyloglossia) is where the strip of skin connecting the baby's tongue to the bottom of the mouth is shorter than usual. Some babies who have tongue-tie do not seem to be bothered by it. In others, it can restrict the tongue's movement, making it harder to breastfeed. Tongue tie is sometimes diagnosed during a baby's newborn physical examination, but it's not always easy to spot. It may not be obvious until your baby has problems feeding. (source: NHS uk)
Another issue can be related to your baby’s tongue strength. As mentioned, their tongues are brand new! They’re still figuring out how to use it, and this can cause feeding issues. If your baby is making clicking sounds during feeding, whether at the breast or on the bottle, this indicates that your baby is breaking their seal or suction with the nipple.
Signs Baby Has Weak Tongue Strength
Weak tongue strength is also known as oral motor hypotonia, which means there is a reduced muscle tone of oral musculature. In infants, this feature may be associated with difficulties in breastfeeding and may affect the latch, jaw motions, tongue placement, lip seal, suck/swallow/breathe pattern, and overall feeding behavior. (source: NCBI National Library of Medicine) Sometimes, this can be difficult to overcome. However, most of the time, with some practice, babies can overcome it.
Signs that your baby might have weak tongue strength include:
- Difficulty latching to the breast or bottle and staying attached for a full feed
- Feeding for a long time, then taking a break, and feeding again
- Seems to be hungry a lot
- Not gaining weight as they should
- Clicking while feeding
- Sore or cracked nipples for Mom
- Low milk supply for Mom
- Recurring mastitis for Mom
- Dribbling milk while feeding
Ways to Strengthen Baby’s Tongue
If you suspect that your baby has weak tongue strength, don’t stress! There are many ways to start strengthening your baby’s tongue so that they don’t run into other issues down the road. Talk to your pediatrician about the best route to take for your baby.
Some of the ways you can strengthen your baby’s tongue right at home include:
- Make sure you’re clean and comfortable. First off, wash your hands and make sure you and your baby are in a comfortable spot. Have your baby lay down on your lap or a soft surface.
- Open their mouth. Gently stroke your baby’s lips with your finger, tap their lips, or smile at your baby to get them to open their mouth. Don’t force your baby to open their mouth; we want them to be happy and comfortable!
- Stick out their tongue. Touch the tip of your baby’s tongue, and stick out your own tongue to encourage them to stick out theirs.
- Do some exercises. Tickle your baby’s tongue to get them to move it from side to side. Press lightly on your baby’s tongue to get them to start sucking. Gently pull away in an effort to get them to suck it back.
- Try an oral development teether. Think it's too soon to allow your baby to play with teethers? Think again! Oral development teethers can be used in place of your finger to strengthen baby’s oral muscles.
- Keep practicing. The more you exercise your baby’s tongue, the stronger it will get! Don’t forget to gently rub and tickle your baby’s squishy cheeks to get their face muscles working, too!
Oral Development Teethers
Whether your baby is teething like crazy or you’re just working on developing their oral motor skills, oral development teethers are a great way to strengthen baby’s face and tongue muscles!
Innobaby’s star teethers aren’t just great for teething pain; they’re considered “training teethers,” which means they’re great for a bunch of different reasons.
- They stimulate the muscles of the lips, tongue, and cheeks
- They improve oral motor skills
- They aid in nursing, eating solid foods, drinking from cups, and speech development.
- The light and easy-to-grip handle also improves hand-eye coordination.
- Giving two to baby will allow for bilateral movement and stimulation of both sides of the brain, as well!
Innobaby holds its teethers to the very highest standards (Conform to Toy Safety Standard ASTM F963 and EN71) and uses the highest quality TPE available because Innobaby wants the best for your baby, just like you! Other teethers may be too small or break apart easily, but you can trust ours!
Winner of The National Parenting Center's 2013 Seal of Approval and Named Best of April Box by Citrus Lane & Winner of Best in NY Baby Show 2013, these teethers are top-rack dishwasher safe, freezer safe, and totally free of BPA, phthalate, PVC, latex, and lead!
For more parenting tips, new mom must-haves, and safe family products, visit us at innobaby.com!