Averi is really starting to get the hang of eating solids. We can now present the bananas in the middle of her mouth as well. When giving her a bottle, she will usually give a few good sucks before deciding that she doesn’t like the liquid coming out and promptly blowing milk raspberries.
Since bottle feeding is the bigger concern at this point, it was our soul focus today. Francis did bring the Haberman Feeder, but apparently it needs a special ring that wasn’t ordered so we can’t use it. Grrrrr.
I had a syringe with me, so we tried filling it up with milk and squirting small amounts into the side of Averi’s mouth allowing her to swallow it without getting too much. This worked a little better than the bottle. I asked Francis if there is ever going to be a time when we realize that bottle feeding isn’t going to happen and move on to cup feeding. She said that right now the problem isn’t how the milk is getting into her mouth (bottle or cup) it’s that she doesn’t know what to do with it when it gets there (swallow). So I guess we will keep working on liquids.
Francis is also trying to find a solution for Averi’s biting. Apparently she bites while trying to suck and inadvertently bites down on her tongue. This is good news in that she has a really strong bite but bad news because she associates the pain of biting with sucking.
I asked if she might be ready for finger foods so we got some out to try. We broke puffs in half and put them into her cheek so she couldn’t spit them out. She chewed on them a little but mostly just let them dissolve. She did turn her tongue towards the food, which I’m told is a good thing.
Francis also got out some graham crackers to see if Averi liked being able to chew on something. She did pretty well since she’s such a good biter and it wasn’t until I got home that it dawned on me that I’m not allowed to eat graham crackers because they have soy in them and that Averi definitely shouldn’t be eating them. Opps! At least she didn’t eat too much.
The last thing that Francis suggested was that we try switching over to at least one bolus feed a day, where a whole feed is given over a shorter amount of time and then there is a break before the next feed. Averi currently has two 4 hour breaks during the day and we feed her at the end of each one. Having a bolus feed, however, would teach her to recognize hunger because it would allow her stomach to stretch and shrink and her blood sugar to rise and fall. We’ll see what GI says.