Oral aversion issues? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 9 Old 10-16-2008, 01:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My DS is 16 months old and still not much into food. We started offering around 6 months using the Baby Led Weaning style (offering larger pieces of food and letting him play with and self-feed). He never really liked it and would always throw the food on the floor immediately, rarely even tasting it.

At his 15 month visit our doc said he is falling off his weightcurve and wants me to work on getting him to eat. We also have a weight check coming up.

For the last month I have been very gently continuing to offer food and he is showing more interest. He'll taste stuff. He now will bite on stuff and occasionally bite a piece off and move it around his mouth and chew it. But he is still pretty much only ingesting a few crumbs a day. And a little yogurt I spoon feed him (he'll do the "all done" sign after a few spoonfuls).

I am wondering if he might have an oral aversion issue. He did have a lot of early problems with BFing.

BUT I am also worried about seeing an OT for it because he is so sensitive about his mouth. I am afraid if we make it more of an issue he'll get worse about it.

Those who have seen OTs for this sort of thing, what do they have you do to improve eating and oral motor skills. Is it gentle? Is it invasive? Has anyone noticed a worsening of aversions?

I really want to let him go at his own pace and trust him to develop eating skills as he is ready. BUT my doc is getting all pushy about his weight (she doesn't use the BF charts which irks me - he is doing better on the BF chart than the CDC one but I am not sure she will accept that). She gave me a list of food to feed him to get his weight up. Mostly protein and fatty stuff and to hold off on carby stuff. But seriously, if he'll pick up and bite on a piece of bread or banana isn't that progress? He has rejected every food she suggested (avocado, fish, etc . . .)

I am confused and tired and a little stressed about it. PLUS, I think he is doing fine. He is walking/running, signing, full of energy and oddly, he weighs more than the two biggest food eaters in his playgroup.

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#2 of 9 Old 10-16-2008, 01:40 PM
 
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I have no advice, I just want to say my 18 month old has never wanted to eat. Every once and while, she will taste something, but that is it. The weird thing is that she loves watching us eat, and wants to sit in our lap or her booster seat, play with her own food and fork and spoon, but she will not take in any food or drink anything but water

I am solely breastfeeding her and after much debate and hesitation, I finally figured it was best for her to go to a feeding clinic. Her health is great, and she hasn't gained or lost weight. She is hitting every milestone and then some for her age, but she does have food allergies which she reacts to through my breastmilk, so I need some ideas on getting her a healthy diet when she does eat since she can't have diary, soy or egg.

We are starting slowly, meeting with an OT a few times, and then going to feeding clinic after that. While she is still in 81 percentile for weight (she used to be 98 percentile) I have heard from many OT (I have asked your same question on many boards because I too am so stressed about it) that it will get worse as they get older

I have no idea what will happen, and I have no idea how it will work because she refuses to eat anything - but I can let you know after the 29th, that is my first appointment. And I feel your pain, it is so stressful and worrisome!

The only difference I can see is that my daughter never had any issues with breastfeeding, oh my, sometimes I think I'll be doing that until college!

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#3 of 9 Old 10-16-2008, 01:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks, Lilymosnter, I would love to hear how your appt goes. We have his first weight check on Oct 30th. I had read on another thread that oral issues can get worse which is why I am getting a little stressed.

My DS IS small (10th percentile on BF chart and 3rd on the CDC chart) but then my entire family is small so I do not know what is genetic and what is a real issue. He does not look underfed. He's got wrist rolls and chubby thighs.

Oh it is so confusing!

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#4 of 9 Old 10-16-2008, 02:50 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beingmommy View Post

My DS IS small (10th percentile on BF chart and 3rd on the CDC chart) but then my entire family is small so I do not know what is genetic and what is a real issue. He does not look underfed. He's got wrist rolls and chubby thighs.

Oh it is so confusing!
Does the doctor NOT notice the rolls?

Have you brought pictures of your family in to the doctor?

Does he care? If not, new doctor time!

I'm fairly anti "well baby checks" and we don't vax so there is just no need for normal visits. Other than two ER visits DS hasn't seen his naturopath (his primary care provider) since his 1 year checkup. All that to explain why I think it's not confusing at all. Your doc isn't paying attention, and needs to be educated or fired. IMO.


"At his 15 month visit our doc said he is falling off his weightcurve and wants me to work on getting him to eat. We also have a weight check coming up."

What about GROWTH? Why the focus on weight? Is baby growing? Is baby learning? Is baby changing how he moves? Is he walking better and better? have you had to buy new clothes to account for height differences, or b/c baby is wearing out the knees in pants from crawling?

Weight is just ONE part of growth. Sounds like this ped is ignoring everything else just b/c baby isn't fitting in to the form they have to fill out. And they aren't even using the right form. So it's all moot anyway, b/c doc is comparing him to kids that are NOT his peers.

New doc.
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#5 of 9 Old 10-16-2008, 03:37 PM
 
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Originally Posted by milkybean View Post
Does the doctor NOT notice the rolls?

Have you brought pictures of your family in to the doctor?

Does he care? If not, new doctor time!

I'm fairly anti "well baby checks" and we don't vax so there is just no need for normal visits.
I want to add that we don't do normal doc visits either, we only went to the doc because she has food allergies and we need to check her out since she had blood in her poop on a regular basis. We have not really been up to date on her vax and haven't been to the doctor since she was 12 months, at that time she was in the 98 percentile, now she is in the 81 percentile and has not really grown in height. I will add she is the same height I was at that age, and 5 pounds heavier than I was, and I was eating food at 8 weeks old (1970) but I waited 12 months for my child to eat something, and she hasn't, at all. And I don't want her to be 3 years old and still not eating.

I would not be so quick to find a new doctor, yes they should not push formula weight charts or be quick to judge based solely on weight, but believe me, I waited and hoped and prayed my child would just start eating one day, and she is almost 19 months and has not eaten anything at all, and won't drink anything beside water, and she hardly does that either.

I was not concerned when my child didn't eat at 12 months, got a little concerned after 14 months, and now at 18 months, she needs to eat solid food for many reasons - one being that I am on a restricted diet for breastfeeding because she has so many food allergies, I can't even think about having another baby until I can eat fairly normal again.

I am big supporter of baby led weaning and breastfeeding, I think babies should eat when they are ready to eat, and I don't mind if she was a "light" eater and breastfeed, too, but refusing all food is not good and indicates there is something wrong, whether allergies or reflux or oral aversion and they really should be checked out because it may get worse.

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#6 of 9 Old 10-16-2008, 05:41 PM
 
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I don't have answers about your OT question, though I agree it's probably time to think about seeing one IF you suspect (as you seem to) that he may have oral aversion issues.

But in the short-term, if you do want to boost his weight, will he drink things? Can you make him shake-type drinks full of protein or protein powder, good fats, etc? Those yogurt drinks (smoothies) are super-nutritious, too, but might be easier for him to manage than eating yogurt from a spoon. Even my own awful eater ds loves them.

Out of curiosity, was he deep-suctioned at birth? I wonder whether a cranio-sacral therapist might be able to help too.

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#7 of 9 Old 10-16-2008, 06:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by milkybean View Post
What about GROWTH? Why the focus on weight? Is baby growing? Is baby learning? Is baby changing how he moves? Is he walking better and better? have you had to buy new clothes to account for height differences, or b/c baby is wearing out the knees in pants from crawling?

Weight is just ONE part of growth. Sounds like this ped is ignoring everything else just b/c baby isn't fitting in to the form they have to fill out. And they aren't even using the right form. So it's all moot anyway, b/c doc is comparing him to kids that are NOT his peers.

New doc.
I did consider getting a new doc it's just we really like our doc. She's a naturopath and has been on board with all our decisions so far (super delayed vaxing and such). She also is usually laid back about stuff. But for some reason she is all about the growth chart. I also think she just doesn't have the latest BFing info. I am planning on bringing the BF chart to the weight check visit and talking to her about it. She made a comment before that the CDC chart and the BF chart are the same after 1 year because most babies are eating only food. UM, NOT! I can show her that the percentiles on the CDC chart and the BF chart don't begin to line up until about age three.

My DS did grow an inch between his 12 month and 15 month. I also mentioned to my doc that my parents are tiny people but she kept saying that it wouldn't matter if my DS was just consistantly small. Her problem is that he keeps dropping down in percentiles (on the CDC chart, not so much on the BF chart because it has a gentler curve). I think she also has in her head that he is behind in development because she is also asking me if he is doing such and such and he usually isn't. But I do not see any real lags myself. So he didn't play peekaboo at 9 months. He does it now and loves it. She asked at the 15 month visit if he was saying words yet. No he's not. Some babies his age are and some are not. I don't think that is necessarily a lag, is it? He walks great, even runs. He is signing up a storm and problem solves with his toys all the time. Maybe I need to talk to her more about this too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by XanaduMama View Post
I don't have answers about your OT question, though I agree it's probably time to think about seeing one IF you suspect (as you seem to) that he may have oral aversion issues.

But in the short-term, if you do want to boost his weight, will he drink things? Can you make him shake-type drinks full of protein or protein powder, good fats, etc? Those yogurt drinks (smoothies) are super-nutritious, too, but might be easier for him to manage than eating yogurt from a spoon. Even my own awful eater ds loves them.

Out of curiosity, was he deep-suctioned at birth? I wonder whether a cranio-sacral therapist might be able to help too.
I guess I just want to know what is involved in the OT visits and exercises. I just have this feeling they could make it worse, like put too much focus on his mouth. He might drink a smoothie. Our doc suggested that actually but my feeling is, why make him a smoothie when he's got breastmilk and also, how is giving him another liquid going to help him learn to eat solid food. Not disagreeing with your idea, these are just the things that went through my head.

He was not deep suctioned but his birth was very fast and he did actually have some cranio sacral for his BFing issues (tongue tie, breast aversion then nipple shield for several months). He currently sees an osteopath too.

I guess I just don't know what should be considered a problem and what is just a baby on a slower path. I took him out this morning and he noshed on a little bread while we were out, even self fed a little. But again, he's only really eating crumbs of it. He tends to try stuff more when we are out and about.

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#8 of 9 Old 10-17-2008, 11:23 AM
 
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My only comment is bases on what a friend has been saying on another list. She followed up on her instinct that her son has oral processing issues because of similar issues with food. The key thing that made her feel good about having him evaluated is that these sorts of oral issues with food can also effect speech development.

I'm sorry I don't know what the OT visit was like.
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#9 of 9 Old 10-17-2008, 12:09 PM
 
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Maybe post over in the Special Needs forum? Those mamas have probably BTDT with OT and will be able to describe the experience.

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