Why Optimal Baby Oral Function Matters, with Michelle Emanuel

Does your baby sleep with an open mouth? Do they make noise when breathing? Are they copious droolers? Do they have lip blisters? Do they hate tummy time, or have a lot of reflux? These are signs that oral function may need to be evaluated, but why does optimal oral function matter? Michelle Emanuel has answers. Check it out.


To listen here, click the play button on the player above, or click the button below to listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or Google Play.
Listen on Apple PodcastsListen on Google Play MusicListen on Spotify


What we talked about:

  • Why does oral function matter?
  • Simple ways to keep neuro-feedback loops connected
  • The sounds of optimal breathing
  • Using big facial expressions
  • Easy to spot signs of oral dysfunction
  • The tongue and its responsibility in head control
  • The development of head control
  • Whole-body mechanics
  • Tongue ties, lip ties, and buccal ties
  • A team approach for optimal oral function
  • Cephalocaudal development (head to tail)
  • Are the toes clenched? Very spread? Uneven?
  • Where’s your baby at, and where are they going?
  • The unfurling of the body
  • The “superman” reflex
  • The value of tummy time
  • Setting up frequent and easy challenges
  • Preparing baby for a tethered oral tie (TOT) release
  • Who identifies the TOTs?
  • Recovering from a release
  • What to expect from a release
  • Paying attention to dysregulation
  • The guppy!
  • Therapeutic sucking
  • Connecting to your local resources


Mentioned links and other related articles*:


Related podcast:


Sign-up to for a FREE copy of my




About Michelle Emanuel

Courtesy of Michelle Emanuel

Michelle is a neonatal/pediatric occupational therapist, national board certified reflexologist, certified craniosacral therapist, certified infant massage instructor, and a registered yoga teacher specializing in the pre-crawling infant. For 17 years, she worked at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, in both inpatient/NICU and outpatient/development realms. During this time, Michelle developed the TummyTime!™ Method (TTM) to help parents and babies overcome challenges and love tummy time. She also educates, certifies, and mentors professionals to become certified in TTM. For the past few years, Michelle has been in full-time private practice, evaluating and treating babies with cranial nerve dysfunction (CND), tethered oral tissues (TOTs) and pre-crawling baby oral motor/developmental concerns. She also travels extensively teaching her curriculum, collaborates and co-teaches with other TOTs professionals, and is on the teaching staff of the Academy of Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy. Michelle lives in Cincinnati with her three children, a son in college and two daughters, both in high school.

Learn more at  tummytimemethod.com, and check you some videos on her YouTube channel, and her fabulous Instagram pages: @tummytimemethod and @tonguetiebabies



Title music:Vibe Aceby Kevin MacLeod, from the Free Music Archive / CC BY (edited for length).

Sponsorship music:Air Hockey Saloon” by Chris Zabriskie, from the Free Music Archive / CC BY (edited for length).

Get Your FREE Postpartum Plan!

Sign up to get access to my NEW Postpartum Prep. Plan to help you prepare for life with a newborn! You'll also get updates from me from time to time.

We won't send you spam. Unsubscribe at any time. Powered by ConvertKit

Recent Episodes

[Birth Stories] Why a Birth Team Was Key in Overcoming Her Fears

[Birth Stories] Why a Birth Team Was Key in Overcoming Her Fears

Kristina Colangelo visualized a flowing birth, but the reality caught her by surprise. Fortunately, her dad, mom, doula, and midwife supported her through a long labor due to a posterior baby, prolonged hyperemesis gravidarum, and the fear of tearing. She tells...

How to Know If Your Baby Is Getting Enough Milk

How to Know If Your Baby Is Getting Enough Milk

Adriana Lozada goes through simple ways to measure how much you’re producing, and shares useful facts that lead to successful breastfeeding. Were you concerned about your baby's intake? Share what helped you go with the flow with our community on Instagram...

What Actually Happens After Giving Birth, Physically and Emotionally

What Actually Happens After Giving Birth, Physically and Emotionally

OB-GYN Dr. Meedlen Charles walks us through the common changes you can expect– physically and mentally– during the postpartum period. She and Adriana Lozada break down which symptoms are red flags to discuss with your care provider. How have you cared for yourself in...

*May contain affiliate links. This means that -at no extra cost to you- I may get a small percentage of what you buy. That is one of the ways of helping me continue to do this podcast – Thank you!