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Don't know what to do with 16 month old - Page 2

post #21 of 99

FIrst, I'm sorry to hear you are having such a rough time w/ the little one.  I admire that you are doing it at all!  It's a very tough job.  Do you have anyone who can help you get rest during the day?

 

Second, have you heard of the book, The Out of Sync Child has Fun?  I haven't read it myself but have seen it recommended for kids w/ sensory issues.  Maybe there will be ideas in it for you.

 

Third, in the shower this morning, I was wondering if maybe getting him some or as much as possibly, sensory-kind of activities, may make him able to sleep better?  Like, give him a bath (if he's okay w/ water) & let him splash, pour, mix, etc. until he doesn't want any more or you can't add any more water to make it warm ;-).  Let him play in the kitchen sink.  Put out a big plastic cloth (like a shower curtain size) if you think he'll go to town & let him play w/ rice on a cookie tray.  Or shaving cream.  Get a big bin & put sand it in.  Get some plastic toys & let him bury them & find them.  Shovels.  Buckets.  sifters.  Etc.  Just stuff to let him senes things & play.  

 

Fourth, my ds1, who is 7.5, was recently eating us out of our budget.  Knowing what I do of digestive health, I thought maybe he needed digestive enzymes to help him actually digest what he was eating, not just keep eating.  If you think the little one will swallow pills, maybe try that?  If not, you could probably put it in his bottle but it will start to digest the food when it hits it so you can't put it on/in something he's not going to eat right away.  

 

Fifth, on eliminating foods - if he has issues w/ food (&it's pretty common, IMO, especially w/ children who have lots of issues that center in the gut, sensory being one of them), he may stop eating a ton once the foods he can't tolerate are elmininated.  There's a yahoo group called foodlab that is very helpful for parents of kids who can't tolerate the usual stuff.  THey're very pro-bf'ing but if you say he's a foster/adopted child, they'll be sympathetic, I believe.   Also, on the gut stuff, you may look into the GAPS protocol which is designed to heal the gut.  Many of the parents I've read about using it have used it for their ASD children.  Since sensory stuff often goes along w/ ASD conditions, I thought I'd mention it.  It is not easy, but I have seen it work.  There's a yahoo group called GAPShelp about it too.

 

Best wishes.  This little boy is very lucky to have you in his life.  I truly hope that you can figure out a way to work w/ him so that you both get what you need. hug2.gif

 

Sus

post #22 of 99
Thread Starter 

Wow, that's a lot of great advice.

 

I know I need to get him on a better "sensory diet" but I simply don't have time! By the time I get him home from his appointments, it's time for lunch and nap. I wake him from nap to go pick up the older kids from school, then come home and get dinner started/clean up whatever needs cleaning. I really wish this one had been our first child so I could arrange his schedule better. And all the sensory stuff seems to also be either messy stuff that needs cleanup or things that require monitoring or both. If I could leave him alone and know he wouldn't eat the raw beans or rice or shaving cream, that'd be fine. I'd clean up whatever needs cleaning. But I have to sit there with him and I feel like there's just no time for it. How do people with lots of kids do this???

 

What type of digestive enzymes? Is there a specific thing to look for?

 

I had him on probiotics and they didn't seem to help, so I took him off. He did fine for awhile, but then it started getting ugly again, so I just started him back on. And now he has horribly stinky poop and a BAD diaper rash. So I don't know if it's the probiotics or if they're doing their job and purging the bad stuff out of him. I don't know whether to keep him on them, or take him back off! Yesterday was his first full day on them, and by the end of the day his poop was awful. But he slept all night! 

 

And IDK if he slept all night b/c his belly feels better, b/c I fed him A TON so he wasn't hungry, or b/c he was tired from his OT appointment.... So many factors and I just can't seem to sort out what's causing what.

post #23 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by swd12422 View Post


 

And IDK if he slept all night b/c his belly feels better, b/c I fed him A TON so he wasn't hungry, or b/c he was tired from his OT appointment.... So many factors and I just can't seem to sort out what's causing what.

Maybe it was all 3 things? I know this is something else that takes time but it might be worth your while to keep a little journal of the things you did the day before he slept all night. Because that is quite a gift and it would be great if you could get it to happen even a little more regularly!

post #24 of 99
Thread Starter 

One thing that has changed most consistently is his sinus congestion. He still has a little, but he's no longer a faucet. Of course, we have no idea what was causing it! (How chronic can a cold be?) It could very well have been diet -- I took him off most gluten and dairy and he still has had a couple of nights when he was up, but has been sleeping through most.

 

I swear, this forum is magical. Not just b/c of the moms and their awesome advice, but b/c it seems like just when I am at the end of my rope with something and get desperate enough to post here, the issue resolves itself.

post #25 of 99

Oh that is soooooo wonderful to hear!!!! Keep us posted on how it goes. Sending you a big hug that something is moving forward!
 

post #26 of 99

Wow, that is great. I was equally amazed when i took my son of gluten ...

While youre there, check out GAPS as well. You may have already heard of it. Its all about gut healing, and the enormous impact gut flora good or bad can have on health both physical and psychological....

post #27 of 99
Thread Starter 

.... and now he hasn't slept all night in three nights. ARGH!

 

Does anyone know (maybe I should post in Nutrition?) how long the effects of him having gluten would last? Like if he has bread at dinner tonight, will it affect him TONIGHT or will it take a day or two? And will the effects last just til he's done digesting (so like a day) or do they last longer? He did have some pizza the other night, and I'm wondering if that's what did him in. He's also pretty congested, snoring a lot, etc. but I'm still hoping that's b/c of the diet. Except that he should be over that by now.... Unless dairy does it too? Anyone know if there's a lactose sensitivity if butter is a problem?

 

Yes, I've looked at GAPS and SCD, and I know I need to get started there, but I'm literally afraid. Afraid I won't be able to stick to it. Afraid it will work and I'll never be able to whip up homemade pizzas for the kids again! (I LOVE making pizza and bread and calzones and pretzels from scratch.... and I just got good at it, too. Yes, I'm selfish. Yes, I know I can make him gluten-free versions. But there is something terrifying to me about giving up wheat altogether. Maybe that's the "addiction" the foodies talk about?)

post #28 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by swd12422 View Post

.... and now he hasn't slept all night in three nights. ARGH!

 

Does anyone know (maybe I should post in Nutrition?) how long the effects of him having gluten would last? Like if he has bread at dinner tonight, will it affect him TONIGHT or will it take a day or two? And will the effects last just til he's done digesting (so like a day) or do they last longer? He did have some pizza the other night, and I'm wondering if that's what did him in. He's also pretty congested, snoring a lot, etc. but I'm still hoping that's b/c of the diet. Except that he should be over that by now.... Unless dairy does it too? Anyone know if there's a lactose sensitivity if butter is a problem?

 

Yes, I've looked at GAPS and SCD, and I know I need to get started there, but I'm literally afraid. Afraid I won't be able to stick to it. Afraid it will work and I'll never be able to whip up homemade pizzas for the kids again! (I LOVE making pizza and bread and calzones and pretzels from scratch.... and I just got good at it, too. Yes, I'm selfish. Yes, I know I can make him gluten-free versions. But there is something terrifying to me about giving up wheat altogether. Maybe that's the "addiction" the foodies talk about?)

I know, i felt kind of depressed when i went and replaced everything wheat in our house with some substitute, most of which was rice (then found out it had arsenic, and had to explore other  grains and look at buying rice from Thialand and India only...) I tried to keep everything the same just using substiutes which meant learning about different  grains. Now, it means learning how to make chicken stock, im not used to that but i love soup and so do my kids. Im doing all of this very slowly, one thing at a time. We havent started gaps yet but im building up to it. It doesnt have to be a sudden change. 

 

As for gluten, i find my son reacts to gluten intake within a couple  of  hours.... i also learned that dairy is easier to digest once off gluten.... it depends on the person

post #29 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by swd12422 View Post

.... and now he hasn't slept all night in three nights. ARGH!

 

Does anyone know (maybe I should post in Nutrition?) how long the effects of him having gluten would last? Like if he has bread at dinner tonight, will it affect him TONIGHT or will it take a day or two? And will the effects last just til he's done digesting (so like a day) or do they last longer? He did have some pizza the other night, and I'm wondering if that's what did him in. He's also pretty congested, snoring a lot, etc. but I'm still hoping that's b/c of the diet. Except that he should be over that by now.... Unless dairy does it too? Anyone know if there's a lactose sensitivity if butter is a problem?

 

Yes, I've looked at GAPS and SCD, and I know I need to get started there, but I'm literally afraid. Afraid I won't be able to stick to it. Afraid it will work and I'll never be able to whip up homemade pizzas for the kids again! (I LOVE making pizza and bread and calzones and pretzels from scratch.... and I just got good at it, too. Yes, I'm selfish. Yes, I know I can make him gluten-free versions. But there is something terrifying to me about giving up wheat altogether. Maybe that's the "addiction" the foodies talk about?)

 

My DD has Celiac disease and a gluten sensitivity, so we are well versed in this area!  With our DD we see the effects start within 24 hours of exposure and last 4-5 days.  She will be up multiple times a night, sometimes for 1-2 hours at a time.  As a 1-year-old it meant screaming for those hours she was awake.  Now it's just complaining that she can't go back to sleep (and therefore neither can we!). 

 

I know how you feel about baking from scratch.  Before my DD got diagnosed I was grinding all my own fresh wheat flour to make all kinds of goodies.  Finally, a few years later, I feel like I do just as much baking and making of delicious homemade treats as I did before.  You'll get there. 

 

Here's an amazing pizza crust recipe.

post #30 of 99

I think the terrifying thing is changing lifelong habits. I mean, changing something that you had always believed was good, and now its bad...it is frightening, and saddening. Its a bit like being swept out at sea all of the sudden and trying to find your feet again... I feel fortunate in that i dont seem to have a gluten problem, but cooking gluten free for the family means i  am basically going gluten free anyway

post #31 of 99

" The therapists are telling me he has to have a schedule so he can learn the different feelings of hungry and full, and he can't do that if he's always eating and always has food in his belly."

 

Wait... Therapists or Doctors? I would clear this plan with his physician.

post #32 of 99
Thread Starter 

OMG, I'm in tears. Grateful for so many helpful, sympathetic mamas on here and SO EXHAUSTED. He was up again last night. I am so torn between letting him stay in the crib and work it out (since he'll be up for two hours either way) and taking him with me so he's not alone. I know that will help us bond and attach (except for the part when I lose it and get frustrated with him moving all around... that can't be good for bonding...), and yet that nagging mainstream voice in the back of my head is telling me I'm just setting myself up for more sleep issues since he'll want me to get him every time he wakes even if it's only for a moment to turn over. Doctors, social workers, and therapists are all on board with leaving him in the crib. They all say "You have to train him." They all say, "Look how bonded he is to you already" (after only a few months). I say, I don't know if he's bonded to me or if he's just following the food source. He's ALWAYS asking for food. That's his comfort.

 

I am starting from scratch today. No more giving in to little bits of wheat here and there, I have to know if that is what is going to work for him. So I'll wait out the next few days (since I gave him a muffin last night) and then hope for the best.

 

mtiger: His physician is on board with the feeding schedule too. And with leaving him in the crib alone. The therapists (OT and speech) are the ones who recommended it.

 

And THANK YOU for the pizza crust recipe! The ingredients terrify me. Mostly b/c I know how expensive they're going to be, and I pray I don't screw it up. I think that's contributing to the anxiety... Either we give up things like pizza and cookies and bread (which would make me look FABULOUS) or we experiment with alternative ways of making them. I like experimenting, but the expense is stressful. Neither option is appealing. But I'm going to try. And I'm going to try to remember that not only is he not alone, but there are others who suffer way more than he is. I just feel so bad for him, and I feel unprepared to help him.

post #33 of 99

It's not that hard, take it step by step and you'll get there eventually :) Keep trying!

I'm an adult and can't sleep well if I eat gluten. It must be much worse for a very young child.

 

Did you feed pizza because it was quick and easy?

Then keep some sweet potatoes in the house, then you can just poke them with a fork and microwave. Quick and easy.

 

Buy acorn squash and cut it in quarters, remove the seeds, wrap in plastic and keep in the fridge. When he's hungry you can microwave one quarter. Put 3 tablespoons of butter, a tablespoon of water, and a big pinch of salt in the hole. When cooked through pour the melted butter in a bowl, discard the skin, and mash the squash in the bowl with the butter.

 

Buy cans of Brisling sardines in olive oil and open one up when he's hungry. Very nutritious, lots of calories, good for his brain, and no gluten. Quick and easy too, takes 2 seconds to open a can.

 

What percentage of fat milk do you use? 2%? Whole?

Would you consider giving him heavy cream instead of milk? Or maybe half whole milk, half heavy cream? The fat will keep his tummy happy. He will get a lot of calories which is very important since he's in a restricted feeding schedule.

 

You're making gluten free more complicated than it needs to be, eating gluten free is easy, don't just eat gluten.You don't need Fancy McFancy Pants gluten alternatives like gluten-free pizza crust or cookies.. Just. Don't. Eat. Gluten.That's all there is to it. He's a baby. He doesn't need cookies. He doesn't need pizza. He doesn't need bread.

 

What he needs is a lot of calories and nutrients from his food.

 

What are his favorite gluten-free foods? If you can tell me maybe I can give some ideas on how to go from there to make sure he's getting enough nutrition so he can sleep well.

 

If you have chicken stock/broth you can use it to cook his vegetables and his meat. It's really nutritious and good to improve digestion, specially since he has sensitivity to gluten. Kill two birds with one stone. More nutrition, and better digestion.

post #34 of 99

I skimmed.  Sorry.

 

That was the age my kids started getting growing pains.  They would cry, fuss, whine, and fidget all night.  When I upped their magnesium and calcium and gave them Tylenol as needed it helped a lot.

 

If this isn't applicable, I'm sorry.

post #35 of 99

Here is a link to an excellent podcast with a feeding doctor about food issues in adopted kids: 

 

http://www.creatingafamily.org/radioplayer.html?file_name=Food-Issues-Adoptive-Children.mp3&year=2013%20&day=March%206:&title=Food%20Issues%20with%20Adopted%20Children

 

Also, for exercise, we used to keep a small plastic slide and an exercise trampoline in the living room so the little ones could get some exercise even if they couldn't go outside.

 

I hope things are going better for you now.  It sounds so hard.  I am glad he has someone who cares so much looking out for him.

post #36 of 99
Thread Starter 

GROWING PAINS! Could be... He's definitely growing.

 

Eloise, thank you for your reply I never thought about sardines b/c I have never eaten them myself. I'm going to try that for snacks! I cannot get this kid to eat a veggie to save his life. He cannot have dairy either, so using butter or cream to make things yummy and fill him up is out. I do use coconut oil and olive oil. Squash and sweet potatoes and frozen peas are about the only veggies I can get in him reliably, and even then, the squash and peas are questionable. He has to be really hungry. The other issue is that we have two other kids in the house and they like pizza and mac-n-cheese and spaghetti and so does DH. If I were a single mom of just him, I'd happily just eat a sweet potato and a salad and call it a meal and be nice and thin. But with a family of 5 and kids who need their comfort foods and a DH who is coming around but isn't totally on board with whole foods, it's hard. And baby wants to eat what we have, not what I give him. So if I'm making pizza for everyone (and I do it from scratch once a week), he wants it. I can't convince him that peas are better than pizza.

 

So for lunch, when it's just the two of us, he does okay, but he's still picky about his veggies. I've tried seasoning them, not seasoning, them, oil/no oil and I can't find a reliable recipe for him. One day he'll eat them, the next he won't.

 

Since he cannot have dairy, he is on rice milk, which I only recently realized is much lower in fat than whole cow's milk. Yikes. I had tried him on coconut milk awhile ago, but I may have try it again once I get his digestive tract stable again. I still have not figured out what is causing his horrible rash that comes and goes but it definitely coincides with tummy issues and I think the GF/CF diet is helping (until my dad sneaks him pretzels or we eat out and I have no idea what was in his food....)

post #37 of 99

Just make sure to get those Bristling sardines (skinny sardines) instead of the fat sardines, the big sardines taste so bad... (IM-not-so-humble-O)

 

Maybe you could try cooking sweet potato in coconut milk (no water). I would go as far as scooping out the milk that rises to the top of the can coconut can (if you don't shake it), and discarding the coconut water. Or you could just drink the water yourself, it's tasty :)

 

In my experience children don't eat vegetables because they're tasteless. Even most adults don't like vegetables! Why? They aren't cooked with fat!

Every single child I feed vegetables to eats them and asks for seconds. The difference is that I always use a lot of fat. So for two or three sliced "baby carrots" (for a baby or toddler) I would cook them with 2 or 3 big tablespoons of coconut oil and use salt generously. It doesn't get greasy, it gets a really nice texture.

Or 1/4 cup of peas cooked with 2 or 3 big tablespoons of chicken fat, with salt and a pinch of chili paste or paprika. Then I mash them with a fork. 

And this is separate than the fat I use for meat, for a baby you can shred the meat and warm it up for him with another 2-3 tablespoons of fat.

 

To make sure the vegetables aren't greasy, stir-fry the vegetables at high heat. Don't do this with vegetable oils because it's not good to overheat them. (coconut oil is OK)

 

 

 

As for pizza/spaghetti/etc, sorry but those are just excuses! You're a family; it's a team effort whether you want to or not. Would you say the same even if your baby was diagnosed with Celiac disease? You wouldn't.

Maybe try reserving those foods for the weekends (so your family doesn't feel left out) and on Fridays make sure to cook leftovers that your boy can eat on the weekend?

 

Or if you make pizza, give him just the toppings, and spaghetti, just the sauce. Yeah, he'll cry, but he'll get the message, and it's what you've got to do since wheat makes him sleep poorly. I would rather hear him cry and fuss at dinner than at night!

 

Can you use a vegetable peeler to make strings of butternut squash, then you could use these strings as spaghetti noodles and top it with spaghetti sauce for him.

 

We had the same problem in our house, we struggled so much at first, but after only a few months, no one wanted to eat those foods anymore even if I offered to cook them :)

People adjust more quickly than you think. It will be a good excuse to broaden their tastebuds, that's for sure :)

 

 

 

Maybe for a milk alternative you can make almond milk (I don't recommend it for children, but atleast it has a lot more fat than rice milk).  Make sure to soak the almonds overnight and discard the water (and rinse the almonds), then make the milk with fresh water. If you don't do this, it will be difficult to digest.

 

A better alternative to milk (since he can't have it) would be making chicken or beef stock, it has a lot of nutrients (specially calcium). It's so nice and warm :)

I make it once per week so we always have it in the fridge throughout the week.

If he won't drink it, you can use it in soups, to cook his vegetables and meat, use it where you would normally use water. This way you can sneak lots of nutrients into him.

post #38 of 99
Others have given many ideas and it sounds like you are pursing many avenues to decide what will help him the most. So I won't offer specific ideas to try. I just want to share two things.

1. It sounds like you are in the "living hell" stage of mothering a fost-adopt child who came to you seriously affected. My almost-5-year-old came to us when he was almost 3. The first year was a living hell. The way you describe things in your house right now sound a lot like I felt two years ago. The specifics were different, but I was also trying everything, trying to care for three other kids also, and still everything sucked. Mothering him is still no picnic, but I can look back and see we were in an extremely rough period that improved as he began to develop some rudimentary communication skills, a teeny bit of trust in us (though attachment is still a huge problem) and as he began to eat somewhat more normally. Of course I kept seeking out all kinds of help for him and still do. I hope that you, too, will look back someday and remember this period as that really tough time that is better in the future.

2. Both of my sons were seriously affected by drugs and/or alcohol in utero. Learning more about these effects have helped my husband and me understand that they have absolute firestorms going on in their brains. It might sound harsh, but it is accurate to say that a child affected by prenatal drug/alcohol use is brain damaged. That has helped me adjust my way of thinking. My sons act out in ways that are irrational, inconsistent and, frankly, pretty crappy. When I think of little children acting in these ways, it might make me extremely frustrated. But when I frame it for myself that brain-damaged children are exhibiting these behaviors, it gives me a little more patience with them ... and perhaps more important, with myself.

I'm sorry this is so rough. I can tell that you are passionate about helping him. You are doing it hour by hour, day by day, digging him out of the past that brought him into your family. You're doing it even when it seems like you are going nowhere or even sliding backward. As you continue to seek out causesand treatments for behaviors, I wish you well from a mom who has been there and still is.
post #39 of 99

Wise words!!

 

Happy sugaring!
 

post #40 of 99
Thread Starter 

I think I've nailed down that there is definitely some correlation to his sleeping and eating. First he stops sleeping, then the rash appears, and then the horrid poo starts. The rash gets worse, everyone is miserable, and then things start to clear up and he sleeps again. I guess I just have to be extra careful when we eat out and continue to try to figure out if it's wheat/dairy only or something else (apples seem to be a potential culprit).

 

I got him sardines and he didn't like them. :( But I'm mashing coconut oil into everything now -- I don't know why I didn't think of doing that more. DS loves plain veggies and I hate that, b/c he's so skinny. But STBAS is a chunk and he's the one getting all the extra fat. Ironic.

 

Also, an update on pizza -- I got some gluten-free all-purpose flour and will try that (and the recipe above, but I have to get to WF for the ingredients), but in the meantime made him a cheeseless pizza with a Chebe pizza crust mix. It was gummy and looked gross, but he seems to like it and didn't notice the lack of cheese. Yay!

 

IncompetentHW, I love your screen name. It speaks to me. And thanks for the reminders. We expect that b/c kids are so adaptable and settle in to new situations so quickly that they're completely healed and fine when they're not. I have a lot of work to do! Thank you for the perspective. Some days I feel like I'm totally failing these kids, even though they are far better off than where they started. And then when I read up on SPD, the only thing that is a given is that what works for one day/week/year may not work the next. GREAT. So I have this feeling of dread that no matter what, I know I can count on continuing to problem-solve the SAME problem over and over and over b/c there's going to be a different solution next time and the next and the next.... I guess I should just be happy when he does sleep and hope I'm not ruining his sleep pattern by picking him up at night when he doesn't.

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