Tongue sticking out!

This is a silly topic but has me kind of worried. Is it normal for a baby to stick their tongue out about 80% of the time? She kind of curls it upwards to the side and its really pointy. Really really cute! But.....

She does have feeding issues, i've discussed them in previous discussions, feel free to read :)

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Oh i forgot to add that she had a couple grade 1 and one grade 4 bleeds that all resolved. Just wondering if maybe that might have something to do with it all...

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Alex did the same thing. I told his therapist about it and she said that he is just exploring. This is how they learn to use their tongue to help eat and make lot's of noise.

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Hey -- it's the OT preemie mom again. Again with the oral apraxia (see my reply to your post about Frustration with Specialist), she may not have the coordination to tuck her tongue in her mouth behind her lips. Frequently with oral motor issues, the muscles of the mouth are weak and you will see the baby have their tongue hang out, they may drool a lot, they will look as if they are a "mouth breather". In contrast, sometimes they can have high muscle tone in their mouth and have what is called "tongue thrust" all the time, which looks like what you are describing -- they thrust their tongues forward as if to point them and they are usually more hard versus being soft like fresh bubble gum. That just signals coordination issues again with her. Think of how we use our tongues for eating in preparing the bolus of food for swallowing. Try doing that with your tongue resting as hers does. Pretty difficult, isn't it? This could be a major reason why she has difficulty with nippling a bottle, and why she takes so long to prepare her food to swallow. Mention this to the OT, and this can also be an "in" with getting a SLP evaluation because a tongue thrust will cause speech delays. GOOD INSTINCT AGAIN, MOM!

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Wow, hey thanks for all the information and the websites. I will definetely talk to my pediatritian and see if we can find another OT and a speech specialist.
I will also look up more on the oral apraxia and oral sensory issues, it definetely sounds like her.
She does gag often, well at least the first minute or so, when the nipple or the spoon touches her tongue.
When she has the nipple in her mouth, she will move it around in her mouth with her tongue and absolutely refuse to leave it on her tongue. She has been doing this from the start and as much as i mentioned it to the OT, she seemed to think the tongue was fine.
FINALLY someone with answers and guidance! Thank you again for all this information, i have hope again!

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My son started sticking out his tongue when he was around 1 year adjusted. He's never had any problems eating or drinking - just one day he started sticking it out. He's always had some oral sensitivities - his body seems to regulate himself through his mouth. Any time he becomes frustrated, he always soothes himself through his mouth whether it be by thumb or by sticking a toy in it. I grew so concerned that I asked my Early On therapist to have us evaluated by a speech therapist. So a speech therapist came out to our house and looked at how he sticks his tongue out and also the shape of his tongue. She then told us it was not a concern - a huge relief! So I would suggest possibly having a speech therapist out to look at how she is eating and the shape of the tongue. Hope this helps!

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I thought I'd add to your post a funny thing my baby sister used to do years ago when feeding formula. She is now 15 years old, but we still tease her about the way she would stick her tongue out at the same time as sucking on a bottle of milk. Her tongue would kind of be out on the side of her mouth and she didn't seem to find it difficult to swallow her feeds.Talk about a multi-tasking baby!

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My son also had this issue, we were also told by his therapist that it's related to to muscles around the mouth not being strong enough. She recommended that we not use sippy cups and switch to straw cups. At 20 months old (actual), I started him around 7 months adj. He is still using a straw cup and I believe it has helped big time, especially with his speech. I tried the Take and Toss straw cups at first, put a little water in and squeezed lightly to get him to put his mouth around the straw, took me doing this a couple of times and he got it.

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My son also had Grade 4 & a Grade 2 Bleed.

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calvin98,

Very interesting information. Do a lot of preemies end up with "tongue thrust"? Just wondering. I was a 33-weeker (over three decades ago) and had "tongue thrust." Your comment prompted a bit of a flash back to when I was 5 or 6 years old. Went to speech therapy for a couple months to work with a fellow who had me do exercises to train the tongue to rest at the top of the mouth, like it is supposed to.

Our son's OT mentioned that a lot of preemies have weak jaws. When our son came home, it took him a really long time to suck down a bottle. Turned out that he was using a "non-nutritive" suck pattern, so we had to provide some support when feeding.

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My son started doing the same thing about a week ago. He sticks it out and curls it. We saw the doctor yesterday for sometime different, but I brought it up and he said its nothing to worry about. He has just found a new toy!

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