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Sleep Red Flags: When we need to investigate beyond sleep

If you follow my work on social media, you know that I talk about ruling out underlying sleep problems often. While most children do not have any medical issues related to sleep, I believe it’s important to rule out possible causes of poor sleep that need to be addressed before moving forward with any realistic sleep changes you wish to put in place. If you suspect something is not quite right, follow your maternal intuition, and make sure you record an audio or video to show your healthcare provider ASAP.

When babies are waking hourly for more than two weeks, that’s when I believe it is important to investigate the root cause instead of hyper-focusing on “fixing sleep”. The idea is not to pathologize normal infant sleep but to identify any possible aspects that require specialized support from a pediatric dentist, ENT, IBCLC, OT, Speech and Myofascial therapists, and/or Doctors that specialize in airways and tongue ties. Although tongue ties are a controversial topic, I experienced the pain and the anxiety of feeding a baby who was not gaining weight due to a Tongue and Lip tie.

As soon as he was born, the latch didn’t feel right for me as I had breastfed before, but I kept being brushed off by every single person (doctors, pediatricians, and IBCLCs). We left the hospital with a baby who was losing more weight than expected in a 24-hour period after birth, a diagnosis of jaundice, and a mom who was desperate to help her little one feed properly. The advice I got during the hospital stay was “Breastfeed often because it helps improve bilirubin levels!”

Two days after our discharge from the hospital, we saw an IBCLC who again said ties weren’t a big deal because he wasn’t making a loud “clicking sound and likely wouldn’t have speech issues”, which obviously made me feel unseen.

After sharing my concerns with my sister-in-law, who is a dentist herself, she recommended the Breathe Institute. I instantaneously felt a huge relief knowing I would see someone who understood what my gut feeling was telling me, and that was exactly what happened. Dr. Chelsea Pinto is our angel!

Now if you want to know more and don’t know where to start, you can visit the Breathe Institute website by clicking here OR taking a QUIZ from Little Bird Pediatric Dentist here

Ps. My role as a Sleep Specialist is to identify aspects that need further investigation, not to diagnose.

I identified some items above. What do I do next?

I highly recommend that you visit the Little Bird Pediatric Dentist Website and take their quiz. You can also find tons of information about airways, if that’s the case, on the Breathe Institute website and discuss your concerns with the pediatrician/health care practitioner.

I truly hope this helps before you jump on the “Sleep Fixing Train” and if you did not find anything that requires medical attention and you are ready for some sleep changes, check my offerings! It doesn’t have to be wait-it-out OR cry-it-out, there’s a lot we can do in between.

Big hugs,


June 29th, 2021


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