Friday, October 21, 2011

Feeding Therapy Revisited

Can someone please explain to me how I can try every sippy cup, straw, and other beverage dispensing device on the market; I beg, plead, coax, bribe, cheer, high-five and model during meal time; I research like crazy, seek the help of professionals, and the advice of experienced parents only to have this child still utilizing her feeding tube three times a day because she refuses to drink?  And yet earlier this week I left an empty baby bottle unattended in the playroom and walk in to find this...
Josie's occupational therapist works on her feeding skills once a week.  Every few months we check in at the local pediatric therapy clinic and showcase her feeding skills which is exactly what we did yesterday morning.  Just like last time, Josie decided meals were best consumed barefoot and she promptly discarded the adorable boots she was wearing.
The advice we received was pretty basic (praise appropriate mealtime behavior, continue to reintroduce previously rejected foods, "blenderize" (is that a word?) table foods...) but one new idea surprised me: give her a bottle.

What?!  She's 18 months old!  Are you serious?!

Apparently there is a new school of thought that the sucking skills that start out as instinctive, when lost through g tube dependence, are imperative to rebuild both for eating and speech purposes.  The therapists pitched it as a way to get extra liquid into Josie throughout the day, further lessening our reliance on the g tube.

So I say to myself, 'Self, I'd give her Pediasure through a beer bong if it got her off the g tube' (just probably wouldn't be appropriate to take to preschool) and when I got home, I made two bottles: one for Merryn and another for Josie.
Josie mostly just chewed on the nipple.  I even tried cradling her and feeding her like I feed Merryn.  That lasted about 5 seconds. 
These feeding therapists and their crazy ideas!  But we roll with it in our continuous efforts to get that Mic-Key button removed once and for all.  She'll get there eventually! 

On another note, I find it critical to point out that my girls sported coordinating outfits and looked ridiculously cute (in my humble opinion)...
Until she's conquered "nice hands," Josie will be photographed in the foreground of the picture, where the temptation to show me where Merryn's "eye!" is by gouging it with her finger is significantly lessened.

THIS looks cute initially, but it has bad idea written all over it:
P.S. I do put footwear on my kiddos but Josie promptly removes it - for both of them.  She thinks she's doing Merryn a favor by yanking off her socks.

I'm rambling now.  The End!


  1. My best friend is currently in the process of trying to get her 10 month old to eat and off the G-tube, so I love hearing about Josie's progress.

    Your girls are BEAUTIFUL!

  2. This is a LONG shot here but my son, Elijah, was fed through an NG tube for the first 6 months of his life. We used a Habberman feeder which allowed me to squirt the milk into his mouth without him doing any of the work. As we progressed and he started catching on he would suck the nipple a few times and then stop and I was able to squirt some more milk in to remind him of the goodness that was his reward for sucking. We probably used it for about 3 months before he finally got a hang of it and we were able to switch him to a normal bottle. Again, this was when he was an infant and drinking about 2-4 oz (and I think that is as much fluid as it can hold) but it may be worth a try. It was recommended to me by another mom, not a therapist. It worked for us and Eli has been tube free for nearly a year an a half. Good luck!

  3. If it makes any difference, V only drinks from the cheapest of cheap sippy cups. They are the ones that are disposable and they tend to leak but she loves them. Also, I bought what was said to be the closest to the breast in bottles, very expensive, and she never took a bottle. I went through a small fortune trying to find her a bottle that she liked and finally gave up and only nursed, which was fine. Kid's know what they like. :)

  4. :o)...Biggie figured out strawed cups by stumbling upon the multitudes that Pudge would drop in the playroom. Love the pink and zebra combo...rockstars, the both of them.

  5. I love their coordinating outfits. They are both too cute.

  6. Addy barely takes anything in orally and even at 5 I'd be thrilled if she took a bottle! She never wears anything on her feet at home. Dead of winter the child is sockless, annoying but that's how she rolls!

  7. Your girls are so cute, love their coordinating outfits. Love the piggy tails, too :)

  8. Kaetlyn, too, is a big fan of the shoe and sock removal. Then, she promptly picks up her foot and tries to 'lay' the sock or shoe on her no avail. I think it's funny that Josie does that too! Love the pics of both girls!

  9. 1. love the coordinating outfits.
    2. totally understand the eye poking thing.
    3. hate the g-tube. HATE IT!!
    4. Wish Alexander would drink too. He will eat - but not drink.

    we kept adding rice to "blenderized" food to help him eat. Does she have a nissen? We just got this totally amazing backpack for Alexander's Joey - super light and small. It makes taking him places for overnight a total awesomely easy thing.

    5. we've also tried the "cut out cup" I hate all things drinking. JUST DRINK ALREADY! AARRGGHH!! ok. whew. glad it is not just me. but she is so cute.

    6. oh - and if you haven't already - you should look into some button buddies for around her g-tube site. it makes the site so clean. Contact me about any of this stuff.

    Kristen @