Feeding a Baby with a Cleft Palate

Babies born with Cleft Lip and Palate need to learn how to feed successfully in order to thrive and grow like all other babies.

  • Difficulty feeding with a regular nipple or breastfeeding.
  • Unable to create enough pressure in their mouths to suck from a nipple.
  • These babies benefit from using specialized nipples and bottles.   

The goals of the CFC Feeding Team are: 

  1. Adequate weight gain to grow and develop 
  2. Ensure safe and effective feeding
    a. Feedings should last less than 30 minutes, so babies are not burning more calories than they are taking in. 
    b. Babies should be able to feed comfortably. 

It is important that the babies continue to gain weight, so our plastic surgeons can safely repair the cleft lip and palate.   

Our Cleft and Craniofacial Center Feeding Team includes: 

  • Cleft speech-language pathologist 
  • Cleft Pediatrician 
  • Cleft pediatric nurses