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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Baby is almost 14 months old. Long story short, back this summer/fall, his weight became a concern along with the fact that he wasn't taking much for solid foods. We tried high-fat offerings and thought we might be dealing with some sensory stuff. We eventually figured out there was an underlying health problem which has been treated (long story). Part of treating it was him spending 2 months with basically NOTHING by mouth. (feeding tube, IV, a brief stint of TPN in the hospital) Then the next six weeks all he was allowed was vanilla Elecare by cup, nursing, and sips of water. So 3.5 months total of no solids. He's now almost 14 months and JUST got back to being allowed solids in the last 2 days. He is interested. He will feed himself things. He does not eat very large amounts. But he is willing, able to swallow, does not gag much. (He did have a swallow study as one of the first tests, it was normal) He does not seem resistant to any textures in particular or anything like that. To ME, he seems no different than when I first started my other kids on solids, with the exception that he is nearly 14 months old and they were 6 months old. They all take to it slowly at first and have to learn to like things...then they start gradually taking more and more, and stop gagging, and pretty soon they can eat and enjoy *anything* We did talk to a feeding therapist when he had his swallow study. She's nice. She was interested in working with us whenever we got to the point of starting solids. Now we are here, and at this point, I don't really see a need? I feel that a learning curve is expected and natural, it's just happening at 14 months instead of 6 because when he was exposed the first time around, he didn't have an appetite due to his underlying colon problem, and then he had no exposure for months. At what point though then would you reconsider? (number of months/weeks with little to no progress? Age?)
 

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<p>I don't think it would hurt to have a consultation with a feeding therapist. We had a similar issue with dd2 (minus the iv and hospital stint, long story) and at 20 months she still has a hard time with solids. I wish we'd gone ealier- I think we've been seeing the therapist for about 6 weeks now and she's gained a pound. She is not chewing well and not managing the food in her mouth properly still. She also rarely bites food pieces from a whole (like a bite of cookie).</p>
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<p>How is your baby's weight? Does his eating motion look normal? We still struggle with appetite, but it sounds like your LO is interested in food.</p>
 

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We dealt with feeding issues without feeding therapy, but DS had no major health issues, was exclusively nursing, and continued to gain weight on a normal curve. If any one of those elements wasn't true, I'd have at least consulted someone. It sounds like your DS has had enough problems already that it might benefit him to stay in contact with the feeding therapist. I'd probably make an appointment a couple of weeks out & see how your DS does over those couple of weeks. By then you'll have info to share with the feeding specialist & have a better grasp on whether or not he might benefit from more therapy -- and you won't have to wait several MORE weeks to get on their schedule if things don't seem to be going well.<br><br>
FWIW, DS didn't eat more than one tiny bite of food a day until 14mos, and didn't eat normally until he turned 2. He did nurse at least 20 times a day throughout his second year though. He stayed on his growth curve & was always on-target or ahead with milestones, so his limited diet didn't have an impact on his health or development, though he was much happier once he was eating well (not sure if that was a cause or a result!)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
<p>We're day 4 I think this is?  He is on a feeding tube 15 hours a day.  Tonight, for the first time, when I hooked him up before bed, he seemed PO'ed to be 'attached' and actually picked up the end of the tube and tried to figure out how to unplug it! </p>
<p>My observations:  He does appear to be taking bites of cookies.  (as opposed to simply sucking on it till it falls apart?)  He likes smooth-textured things, but not puree-to-almost-liquid texture foods, even though he enjoys drinking.  He ate a scoop of ice cream at a birthday party today.  (where's that bag smilie when I need it?!)  But he spit out the cake.  He does not seem to really like things that require him to chew</p>
<p>...but he does like the things my other kids did when they started solids, and they did eventually learn to chew.  ;)  (they didn't start out eating rice and meat either)   Back on day 1, he ate probably 2-3 TBSP of a banana-avocado chocolate pudding I made for all of them--thanks Mothering, summer 10!  He ate mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie last night.  He ate some of a smooth-textured dish his dad made--it's an Indian thing, it's either a type of rice or rice flour?  he calls it 'soji'  I have never actually watched him make it.   It's roughly the same texture as the mashed potatoes.  And he does pick up and put other foods in his mouth--like tonight, some white rice, last night sweet potato fries--but I notice most of that appears to get spit back out.  He *might* be eating a little of it, hard to tell.  I'm not really tracking how much he eats, I should probably start.  He just doesn't seem all that different than my other babies when they started.  And our therapist seems like she would be easy enough to get into if needed--before the whole hospital stay incident, we were scheduled with her and we got in within a week.  He was actually admitted the day we were supposed to see her, so she paid us a visit in the room instead, but then he was taken off all feedings and stayed that way pretty much till this week.</p>
 

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<p>Personally, I think having a consultation with a feeding therapist seems to have no "down side" and could potentially be very helpul.  Going for feeding therapy doesn't need to imply that your DS is somehow having more trouble than he "should" considering the issues you've all been dealing with... I see it as a way to help him move through those stages/steps that were delayed and missed. </p>
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<p>As a comparison, my Dnephew was speech delayed, with no words by 18 months at all.  A hearing test found that he had some significant loss, and after tubes his hearing was normal... but even though there was a "good reason" that he was "behind", starting speech therapy seemed to move him though the stages of "catch up" more quickly and with less frustration on his part.  My sister was sort of conflicted about whether or not to seek the evaluation, and then thought that if he'd been in a leg cast for 3 months, she wouldn't hesitate to get some sort of PT once the cast came off to help him build up the strength he'd lost in that leg... she wouldn't decide to wait to see if that leg caught up on its own.</p>
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<p>Good luck! glad you have the medical stuff dealt with-- must have been a lot to deal with!</p>
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
<p>Well, we are *mostly* done.  There's still the issue of his original birth defect, the imperforate anus, and the colostomy, which must be repaired and taken down, in 2 separate surgeries a few months apart.  We shall see what happens when we take down this colostomy, as it is much larger and working.....his new anus will be much smaller and require more 'work' from the colon to make things exit.  We don't know why this happened with him, it's not 'typical.'  I tried to find info and did not find it online.</p>
 

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<p>If your insurance covers it, it wouldn't hurt to try at least one session. DD has no official diagnosis except for slow weight gain, but taking her to an OT for feeding therapy really helped a lot. The OT said she had delayed chewing skills and that we needed to work on adding in a wider variety of foods. She ate so much better for the OT! And I got some tips that helped and it just helped me organize my thoughts and make a list of good foods to offer. If you have to pay for it yourself, it still might be worth it to try just one session to give you peace of mind that you have tried everything.</p>
 
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