Sunday, June 29, 2008

Feeding...a process to say the least

My helper feeding Reid.

As long as Reid is being fed, he could care less who it is doing it!

Ahhh....feeding the cleft baby, never an easy task. We struggled from day one with Reid, and that was only with liquids. We have added a whole new dimention with solids. As you see, I have my own little "Mommy's helper" who wants to be in on ALL the activities with Reid. Ellie is a great help.....just sometimes, it's nice to avoid the mess. I try to tell myself, though, that I would have LOVED to have helped with the feeding of a little one when I was young, so I let her help out a lot.

Anyway....some tips that I found to work well. We skipped stage 1 foods entirely. We went straight to 2's. They are a bit thicker and seemed to get down a bit easier. I found anything with asorbic acid was HORRIBLE coming out the nose. Most fruits, except bananas, have this acid in them (vitamin C). Reid would have fruits coming out his nose, and the session was over because he hurt so badly. I swear, Texas probably heard him crying from Ohio. I also found that when Reid's lip repair was complete.....we had VERY little food coming out the nose. Yes....totally true. We rarely have food come out during a feeding anymore, except when it gets caught in limbo between nose and palate....then watch out....the sneeze of all sneezes blasts sweet taters all over creation! But that is the only time we have a mess out the nose anymore. I think because he is older (8 months in a few days) and his palate has come together a lot in the last 2 months. His gap has closed considerably as he has grown.

Anything liquid, like juice or water, is hard. That seems to come out the nose pretty quickly....but formula gets to the right place. We never have issues with formula coming back out the nose, even with feeding with the open palate. Probably because he is tilted back in such a manner that gravity helps. Feeding liquids in a high chair isn't pretty for Reid! It's everywhere! So, my advice on solids....go slowly....take your time....if a feeding is done after 2 bites, that's ok....we started at 6.5 months and really took our time....I don't have super high expectations for each solid feeding...whatever happens, happens. The thicker, the better for getting it down. I also have thickened some fruits and more watery veggies with cereal. Sounds gross to put rice cereal in carrots...but it did help him get those down when he was younger. He does well now. His tongue is stronger and he really works it back now. Amazing what a couple of months can do. The bottom line is...they will do what they can. They know when it hurts and how to tell you. I tried to have an open mind and allow Reid to call the shots. So good. He's definitely thriving. 21 plus pounds at 8 months....yeah....he is doing just fine!

1 comment:

Jeanne said...

Have you tried the baby foods with DHA? Gerber has a few baby food mixtures with DHA. These were thicker and a lot easier to feed. I also used to mix in cereal with some of the runnier foods, like carrots. Don't worry, it gets better! Sippy cups are also hard. I have never used the valve because it's too hard for them to create the suction. They just have to learn to keep the cup in the kitchen so it doesn't end up spilled all over the livingroom floor. So, I hope this helps. It's definitely a challenge.