If any of you follow me on FB then you will have likely seen one of my frantic posts about feeding issues.
When we began solids at 5.5 months, Eli was an eager eater. He liked everything except frozen cold stuff and avocado. When we moved on to more textured items he fought back, but in general did very well. He only has two teeth and low tone, so he has to work extra hard but he gets the job done.
Now over the last two months, feeding has slowly become an issue. It has gotten to where it takes 45 minutes to shovel food in, we sing, dance, trade off, play movies…anything to get him to take one bite.
Most of the advice I got was that he would not starve and eventually he would eat when he was ready. Which was great advice. But didn’t work for my kid. He won’t eat, I promise. Not even his favorite foods.
We were down to him eating strictly veggies sticks and drinking pediasure.
I spoke with ECI and they sent a feeding specialist to watch Eli this morning. Eli performed quite well, refusing all food. We tried some of her suggestions and talked about Eli’s development. After an hour, we decided it was down to this: scrap everything and start over. No gluten, no dairy, no snacks, offer solids before liquids, reduce the amount of liquids he’s taking in/change his eating schedule, go back to more pureed foods but don’t loose texture or chunks if he tolerates it, let him play in the food, if he doesn’t eat try again later, praise/positive experience, try playing videos/apps to encourage eating (we will wean these away, but right now it’s *anything* to get him to eat) and finally get in with a GI doctor to have his reflux examined. (He’s 15 months and still spits up daily…I know I wouldn’t want to eat if I was throwing up all the time…).
She wants a Ph probe test, an upper GI, a velopharyngeal closure exam, and a gastric emptying test. And when I looked all those up I was like woah!
It seems like a lot, and I’m wondering if it’s the route we should go, or if we should try some of her techniques before doing all these invasive tests.
The feeding therapist feels like because this has been such a sudden and drastic change that it might be a gastro issue that has turned into a behavioral issue.
What we did notice is that he won’t eat for anyone else but Barry and I, and tends to eat better when we are in an unfamiliar location (like out to dinner, or even in the car).
It did feel good to be validated in what we had already tried and our stress over the whole situation. I totally own that fact that I have removed all pleasure from the eating experience- mostly because the goal of nurturing Eli hasn’t been being reached, so I zeroed in on one task- eating only. I’m a meanie like that.
After our session, Eli ate all his breakfast, ate all his lunch and had all his dinner. No snacks and offered less liquids. He only spit up once today and in general was in a good mood.
We also added 2 cc’s of apple cider vinegar to his milk- it’s supposed to reduce acid?? I don’t know. I’m not sure if I see a correlation with using it or not, but it was worth a try.
Maybe I’m just a stressed out, over sensitive ball of hormones and crazy right now, but it felt personal. It felt personal to not be able to feed Eli and give him the basics of what he needed. The goods news is that we are trying to do something about it and so far it’s been a better experience already.
I never thought we would face feeding issues with Eli, but just when you think you know your kiddo, they throw you a curve ball. lol
Thanks to all my friends and family for your advice and support. I’m sure we aren’t done yet, but I’ve taken a chill-pill so we will see! 😉