Does my Baby Have a Tongue Tie?

Welcoming a baby into your family is an incredible experience filled with joy and wonder. However, it also brings a new set of responsibilities that can often feel overwhelming, especially for first-time parents. One of the challenges you might face is dealing with potential health concerns, such as tongue ties. This condition, while common, can cause worry and uncertainty. This comprehensive guide aims to provide you with a deeper understanding of what a tongue tie is, how to identify it in your baby, and the available treatment options, so that you can navigate this journey with confidence.

What is a Tongue Tie?

A tongue tie, medically known as ankyloglossia, is a condition that some babies are born with. This condition restricts the tongue's range of motion due to the strip of skin (lingual frenulum) connecting the baby's tongue to the bottom of their mouth being shorter or tighter than usual. It's a physical anomaly that can interfere with the baby’s ability to breastfeed properly. In some cases, if left untreated, it might also affect the baby's speech as they grow older, making it difficult for them to articulate certain sounds or words.

How to Identify a Tongue Tie?

Identifying a tongue tie in your baby might not be straightforward, especially because it's not something that can be determined solely based on appearance. However, there are certain signs and symptoms that you can look out for. Some of these include difficulty in latching during breastfeeding, the baby not gaining weight as expected due to inadequate milk intake, or the baby making clicking sounds while feeding due to a poor latch.

In addition to these feeding difficulties, you might also notice a visible aspect of tongue tie, which is your baby having a heart-shaped or pointed tongue when they try to stick it out. However, remember that these symptoms can also be associated with other conditions, so it's crucial to consult with a healthcare provider for a proper diagnosis if you observe any of these signs.

Treatment Options for Tongue Tie

If your baby is diagnosed with a tongue tie, rest assured that treatment options are available. The most common one is a simple procedure called a frenotomy. In this procedure, a doctor or a trained professional will cut the small piece of skin under the tongue to free up movement. This procedure is typically quick, often taking just a few minutes, and may cause minimal discomfort to the baby.

However, in some severe cases of tongue tie where the frenulum is thicker or posterior, a more extensive surgical procedure known as a frenuloplasty might be required. This procedure involves cutting and repositioning the frenulum, and may sometimes require general anaesthesia and stitches. It's important to discuss these options with your healthcare provider to determine the best approach for your baby.


Being a parent naturally comes with a level of concern about your baby's health. While a tongue tie can pose challenges, it's important to remember that it's a common condition and one that can be effectively managed with the right help and support. Always maintain an open line of communication with your healthcare provider, trust your parental instincts, and remember to take care of yourself too. After all, you want what's best for your little one, and that includes a healthy and calm parent.