Saturday, November 29, 2008

Feeding Fun

When we try to put the nipple in his mouth he usually arches his back and pushes the nipple away. For some reason, since the surgery, he doesn't want the nipple in his mouth. We have consulted with an occupational therapist about this and she suggested we try different nipples, that maybe the Haberman was too long and causing a gag relex. Gag reflex? He doesn't even let it touch his tongue let alone get in the back of his throat. We went along with the whole game and bought a few different nipples. Besides the fact that we couldn't manipulate them to get the liquid out of the bottle, he still didn't want the nipple near his mouth. It has nothing to do with his gag reflex but we gave it our best effort and now we wait and see what she comes up with next.
In the mean time we try and have fun with his feeding. We have to squeeze the liquid into his mouth and hope he doesn't get distracted and suddenly turn his head, which results in an ear full of milk. Daddy likes to try and see how far away he can get the bottle and still make the stream into his mouth.

We are hoping to figure this all out soon. One of the worries is that the lack of sucking (no real suction but the action) will create greater speech issues. Most people don't realize how important cheek, tongue, throat and lip muscles are in forming speech. So we go back to the drawing board and in the mean time have a little fun with target practice along the way.


  1. How about just transitioning him to a sippy cup??? He still has to use some of those muscles with one of those no-drip ones. Just a thought.

  2. Have you consulted with an SLP who specializes in oral motor issues? Down here in Orlando there is a really great one. Her name is Debra Beckman, maybe you can contact her for some suggestions or a referral to someone near you that she has trained. Good luck, Joy. Sweet babies like your little one just remind me of how much good SLP's are needed who specialize in feeding and swallowing. I'm *so* looking forward to finishing my degree!

  3. Oh, and I forgot to mention. I'm sure you know this already, but lots and lots of kids who have had extensive surgeries and have had feeding tubes, suctioning, appliances, etc have major oral aversions like this. Problematic, yes, but somewhat normal too. Hang in there!