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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
DS is 8 months and seems unlikely to be able to sit unsupported or in a straight-backed chair any time soon. (He is hypotonic.) He LOVES solid food and is eagerly eyeing everything we eat. His weight is low and his nursing is not great (we supplement with formula and donor milk, but are getting low on donor milk), so if he could eat more, that would be great. However, is it safe for him to eat any finger foods, or does he have to be able to sit well unsupported? He does not have any problem with chunky purees. How is this handled in children for whom sitting is very delayed?<br><br>
Also, any suggestions for sitting solutions for the future? For instance, I would like to be able to take him to a restaurant and have him eat, but don't know how to manage this as a standard restaurant high chair would never work. I currently feed him in a Bumbo seat or seated in my lap. He is able to sit up well with the Bumbo support.
 

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I would just sit him in my lap at a restaurant.<br><br>
If he sits fine with the Bumbo or your lap, I don't understand why he couldn't eat there.
 

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They use items like the Bumbo to help with sitting while feeding. I think it's great he's doing so well with foods, despite his delays. Chunky purees are fine. I would just be even more cautious about sitting with him while he is eating. Does he go to therapy? Therapists are usually great at helping babies find ways to eat!
 

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My DS has some hypotonia affecting his trunk (stomach muscles). He also had some oral motor issues and hypotonia in his mouth, which causes some difficulty in his eating. Just wanted to let you know that it's possible for hypotonia to affect the mouth as well. Of course, your DS may not have problems in his mouth at all or in the same way as my DS.<br><br>
My situation doesn't exactly correlate to yours because my DS also had severe eating aversion and texture sensitivity. At 8 months he was nowhere near eating solid food, breastfed at that point. Just trying to get him to touch food was a big hurdle. So I can't say at that age if finger foods is a good idea or not for your DS. However, if you do decide to try it just give extra close attention to him at all times while he's got food near him. You should also consider the texture of the finger food. Perhaps something that will breakdown easily when taken into the mouth, rather than something that has to be manipulated a bit once it gets in there.
 

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Well, we got some funny looks for sure, but we've strapped DD to a regular chair using either the Moby or sometimes just a standard ring sling.<br><br>
Of course, it depends on the chair, but if you get lucky and get one with rungs or rails you can go around a rung, or just around the back -- from the back of the chair (going aoround a rung or even just the chair legs) it went up under her butt, up through her crotch, criss-crossed over her truck, maybe tied once and then either under her arms or over her shoulders and then back around to the chair to be tied. I can't describe it properly but you could fiddle with it and see for yourself what works best.<br><br>
And like I said, we got some strange looks but we also had a lot of people come over and talk to us, laughing about our tied-up baby (and how well it worked).<br><br>
We actually did this just the other day with the kid we were babysitting (1 year old)because we didn't have an extra high chair for him. I took a long scarf and secured him to the chair. He could sit up just fine though, so I just pulled it tightly over his lap and down to the back of the chair where I tied it -- sorta like a seatbelt.<br><br>
Hope that helps. If nothing else, maybe it made you laugh. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/eat.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Eat">:
 

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I wanted to add that some of the soft carriers you find in stores (like Snuggli or Graco or something like that) have all these extra straps and stuff that allow you to strap the child (while in the carrier) to a chair -- that's actually where I got the idea, but I didn't have one of those fancy complicated strappy things so I just used the moby.
 

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My son has CP, and is hypotonic, too. He started eating food at 9 months, which was when he started to sit. If a child can't support their trunk, then their esophagus won't be straight, and they will have difficulty feeding. I also agree about low mouth tone. DS is 3.5 now, and still has a bit of tongue thrust. How is your son's suck?
 

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When Sophia was younger and couldn't sit in restaurant highchairs, we got <a href="http://www.target.com/Chicco-Hook-On-Highchair-Red/dp/B000A7V1EM/sr=1-2/qid=1223927020/ref=sr_1_2/602-4569951-4415819?ie=UTF8&rh=k%3Achicco_portable_highchair&page=1" target="_blank">this portable one</a> that was nice and deep and narrow and therefore kept her relatively upright.<br><br>
However, I agree with the others that if he can't sit up well yet that you will have to watch him like a hawk with solids. Sophie is also hypotonic and was nowhere near ready for solids, even chunky purees, at 8 mos. And she sat at around 9 mos., if I remember correctly. Many babies seem interested in food at an early age but that doesn't mean they necessarily know what to do with it. How is his oral tone? Does he still tongue thrust? Can he maneuver food around well in his mouth with his tongue, i.e. front to back, side to side? Can he chew in a circular, grinding motion? How is his swallowing? Those are all things to consider when determining if a child is ready for solids and finger foods. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
Guin<br><br>
Guin
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for the replies! It's actually a little mystifying--he had and has a poor suck, but he has done fantastically with purees, including chunky ones. He LOVES food, truly. No tongue thrust after the first time we tried and he never chokes. I don't know about chewing motions yet, though. I'll have to watch him.<br><br>
Some of his suck issues may be due to his high palate and late-corrected tongue tie, so maybe it's not so much about tone in the mouth.<br><br>
His tone is probably lowest in his trunk, though, so that's a concern. I'm hoping he will be sitting by 10 months, maybe. He can sit with a lap weight.<br><br>
I think if I strapped him to a chair <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> he would just slide/slump down. No?<br><br>
I have been considering one of those hook-on chairs, though, and am glad to have a positive review.
 

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No slumping, IMO. He needs to be as straight as possible, so he can get the food down as straight as possible. Bumbos can be great for that.
 

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We are trying to get something called a Seat2Go from Sammons ******* for taking to resturants, etc. It will offer more support than a bumbo. Juju doesn't sit straight enough in a bumbo for eating solids. Juju's no where near being ready for finger foods though. He eats purees and takes alot of purees through a feeding bottle.
 

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I would have a therapist look at him eating and get suggestions. I have been told it takes 26 muscles or something crazy like that to chew and swallow! It is actually a rather complicated process. We struggled with similar issues. Hang in there and it is such a good sign that he is interested in eating and it sounds like he is doing well with eating so far!
 

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Why dosen't he have a special chair?<br>
We've had <a href="http://www.beyondplay.com/LARGE/K871.JPG" target="_blank">Tumble Forms Feeder Chair</a> and <a href="http://www.rehabmart.com/product/21820.htm" target="_blank">Panda Futura</a> Indoor/Outdoor, High/Low Seating system.<br>
The Panda we decided with our therapist, bc you can have so much extras to get it just right for your kid, like butterfly chest harness and a "thingy" that goes in between your legs to prevent him sliding down, etc. All the support your kid needs in just the right places. And you choose what chasis you want aswell.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>loraxc</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/12378542"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Thanks for the replies! It's actually a little mystifying--he had and has a poor suck, but he has done fantastically with purees, including chunky ones. He LOVES food, truly. No tongue thrust after the first time we tried and he never chokes. I don't know about chewing motions yet, though. I'll have to watch him.<br><br>
Some of his suck issues may be due to his high palate and late-corrected tongue tie, so maybe it's not so much about tone in the mouth.<br><br>
His tone is probably lowest in his trunk, though, so that's a concern. I'm hoping he will be sitting by 10 months, maybe. He can sit with a lap weight.<br><br>
I think if I strapped him to a chair <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> he would just slide/slump down. No?<br><br>
I have been considering one of those hook-on chairs, though, and am glad to have a positive review.</div>
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My ds (hypotonic) didn't sit until 12mos and even then he didn't sit straight up. I sometimes used a chair that I borrowed from EI and fed him in that. OR when he was a bit older I was able to use the highchair and just strap him in really well and if needed stuff things next to him, like towels so that he would be straight up. Does that makes sense? He started eating pretty much straight table food at 9mos and did fine. His low town was/is mostly in his trunk
 

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Libby didn't sit until about 16 months. We used a tumbleform that we had on loan from Early Intervention at restaurants and when visiting friends and family. At home, we used an old fashioned style wooden high chair and turned it into a "homemade" corner chair using plywood and foam padding. It was great to have her upright and at eye level with the family during meal time.
 
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