We’ve been talking about starting a video series that includes our different therapy sessions in hopes of helping someone else. Therapies should be easier to access than they are but we have been blessed by the amazing Ds community who is always willing to share what they are doing.
This video felt like a good place to start. Proper feeding is vital for oral development. If the latch is poor or weak then it can cause speech issue down the road. If fluid is constantly being drained into the ears, then hearing problems arise, which also lead to speech issues.
We always make sure Eli is in a mostly upright position, with his ears above his mouth. Most often he is sitting in our laps so we can have good eye contact and visit while he eats. 🙂
His lips are puckered out to form an “O” around the nipple of the bottle. It is important to make sure the lips don’t curl under or catch on the nipple.
As he has grown, we added an extra element not shown in the video- we place his hands on the bottle. When he pulls them off, we put them right back. This will eventually lead him into naturally holding his own bottle.
Other tips- finishing a bottle in a timely manner is an important factor to monitor. Ideally your child should take about 15 minutes to finish a bottle. (If your child has health or heart issues this is especially important because too much effort in eating with cause fatigue and weight loss).
Eli was on the newborn flow for a long time because he was choking on anything faster than that. As he grew, his time to finish a bottle never changed- 30 minutes.
He wasn’t struggling to get food, he was gaining weight and he has a pretty strong suck…so we upgraded to the 3 month flow (chokes on anything faster than that). He still takes more than 15 minutes but not much more. Our pediatrician’s nurse suggested adding in oatmeal cereal to thicken the milk and enable us to upgrade to a faster flow, but I don’t want to introduce other foods until 6 months. Period.
(For more on why holding off on food for your infant is important, go here: Delaying Solids)
Our pediatrician said that as long as Eli is gaining weight and not becoming completely worn out after eating then he is fine. He just takes a bit longer to finish that’s all. So talk with your child’s doctor just to be on the safe side.
Bottles: for more on bottles you can read my post: Bottles Review (Dr. Brown worked best for our family, plus their glass bottles reduce Eli’s exposure to plastic) and check out The Speech Mama for her awesome tips!
So it’s official! Our first video! 🙂 I hope they will help others along their journey! Thanks for reading!