Sunday, November 29, 2009

Need some feeding advice

I am beyond frustrated in the area of Randy's feeding. Let me preface my complaining (I mean concerns) with the fact that he is getting a decent amount of calories and he is growing and gaining weight. Right now he is 31 inches long and weighs 22 lbs. This puts him in the 1oth percentile for length, but still not on the chart for weight (he's getting awfully close though). Randy needs about 1,000 calories per day. He usually hits this mark through a little planning on my part. He gets two bowls of baby oatmeal that I calorie pack with his formula and prunes; this is 300 calories. He drinks 10-15 ounces of formula per day which is 300-400 calories. He eats one container of YoSoy yogurt which is 100 calories. That only leaves about 200-300 calories left which he gets in the form of baby food, crackers, dry cheerios, chicken nugget, or a sample of some pureed table food I may be able to coerce him into eating.

So what's the problem? Well my son is 20 month (OK, 17 months adjusted) and all of those foods look like they belong to a 9-10 month old. His veggies and fruit are 100% baby food. Chicken nuggets are the only meat he will eat (and MAYBE popcorn shrimp). They have to be certain chicken nuggets too; the outside must be crispy. Fortunately he gets some protein through his formula and he looooves the YoSoy yogurt. He could do a commercial. Once I left it in his bag at my mom's when I left him there and he was digging in his bag and found it. My mom said that he picked it up and held it out and started kicking his feet in excitement.

But I digress..... Another thing that bothers me is that his eating is regressing instead of progressing. In early July he had a list of foods that he would eat such as: hot dogs, sausage, green beans, baked beans, black beans, baked fish, avocado, mashed (with a fork) regular and sweet potato, and steamed carrots. Today he will not touch any of those foods.

He is in feeding therapy. He started in April and had it weekly until June. Then he moved to every two weeks, then as needed (about once a month). I noticed that he was slowly dropping foods. It started around the time he started daycare and began that dreaded cold/virus thing that took up residence. His OT attributed it to him being sick and said to just continue to offer foods and use his NUK brush. He started resisting the NUK brush and dropping foods. In late September/early October the OT began seeing him weekly again. She said that he was retracting his tongue again and his oral skills had declined. BTW, did you know that the ability to eat has nothing to do with the number of teeth you have? Randy has almost a full set and does not eat well.

But I digress again.... He has missed three weeks of feeding therapy since his surgery. He goes back to daycare this week and will resume his therapies (he has gained some other skill since being out of therapy but I will save that for another post). I am going to beg her to give me some more techniques. What I am doing is obviously not working. And the worst part is that he seems so depressed when I am feeding him (unless it's yogurt). He puts his thumb in his mouth (he does not suck his thumb), he leans his head to the side, his eyes gets glassy, and he cries. I am usually the only one who gets this behavior because if he is at the sitters or my mom's or with a friend, I try to give them food he loves. I feel like they should not have to deal with that and I don't want to make him more difficult to babysit than he already is. My hubby and daughter usually pick something easy too when they feed him. I am usually the one trying to get him to eat mashed table foods or a thicker puree.

I am at a loss. I need suggestions beyond "he'll eat when he gets hungry". Any ideas?


  1. I know what you mean when they start regressing! Marley was starting to actually DO things...but we've had to cancel all of his therapies for about a month now because of surgery, the holiday, and a death in the family! His muscles are tighter than ever and he won't even let me try to put him in his stander! As soon as I get it out he screams and clings to my clothes! If I do manage to get him in it, he cries until I take him out...and then he's mad for the rest of the day!

    We have PT and Speech tomorrow (Thurs), so I'm hoping they can help!! I wish his OT could see him weekly too...but she's fully booked! :(

    Don't get too down! Just keep trying! They keep telling me that as long as I stimulate Marley's mouth that's really the most important part...but he's not ALLOWED to take ANYTHING by mouth, so it's probably a different story with him!

  2. Oh, and...Marley's not really gaining much weight either! But he's on tube feeds, so you'd think that he'd be fine with the nutrition (i.e. getting all the stuff you need to grow) part!! But, no! I think they need to figure out a way to get him all the stuff other kids his age get....but, anyways...

    With Randy, as long as he grows at least some, I wouldn't get uber concerned! It's when they stop growing that's bad! Marley isn't even on the charts for ANYTHING...not even 1%!! But he's still growing (slowly but surely)!

  3. Thanks for the encouragement Emily. Have you thought about a blended diet for Marley? I've heard great things about it. Google it and tell me what you think.

  4. I've never heard of a blended diet before...I googled it, and what I saw didn't sound like it would work for Marley! (They called it Blenderized Diet...same thing, right?) I think his doctors want to be able to know what exactly he's getting, especially since he's not growing like they want him to! Do you know anyone who does that diet?

  5. I do think that micro preemies often have trouble with eating--I've read it everywhere. My Charlie gains weight v-e-r-y slowly but it's not really about intake--he intakes a LOT. He just moves around a lot too. Have you considered adding some carbs? or avocado? Those are full of calories and pretty squishy.