Monday, August 10, 2009

And so it begins.

Today, we started solids. There is not much that I like less than the mind-numbing task of shoveling food into an infant's mouth. I tend to delay the onset as long as possible. Couple that with fact that I can never seem to remember which order to do it in. Food and then bottle or the other way around? Anyway, I've been procrastinating on starting this. At first, I was waiting until he seemed ready, but he's been exhibiting an interest in feeding and the trunk/neck stability for awhile now. So, today I got Eon all settled in the high chair for the first time. I adjusted the straps, realized it needs a serious cleaning as older brother Zak just moved to a booster seat, and found the baby spoon. I decided to feed him oatmeal as that's what we thicken his formula with. After the first few bites, I realized that we are in for the long haul. He made no attempt to close his mouth, move his tongue, or swallow. It all came dribbling out. Ugh. I thought I had low expectations, but that was about as unsuccessful as you can get.

BUT, the next time, I remembered to push down on his tongue with the spoon and he closed his lips around the spoon. Then he started to smack his tongue and taste the cereal. A few more bites and he seemed to enjoy it. He still got way more on himself than he swallowed, but it really went pretty well for a first attempt.

(I am quite aware that the OT will invariably find fault with just about all of it next time she comes, but I choose to bask in the glow of success while I still can.:)

I'd like to try some new foods in the coming weeks. Is there anything in particular that we should wait to introduce? I can't seem to remember if there is a particular order or if little ones with Ds are more prone to food allergies.


  1. hmm I know you're only supposed to introduce one food at a time so if he does have an allergic reaction you'll know what it was from. Usually they say start with rice cereal and then move on to other cereals. I guess if he did okay with the oatmeal, then what the heck? Next is fruit and veggies, then cheeses and meats. I know you should be careful about eggs and peanuts too early d/t the possibility of allergies. Yo prob. already know this but never feed a baby honey less than one year old.

  2. Good luck! I found spoon feeding Anna to be one of the most frustrating things for the first couple of months. Then, finally, something clicked, and she 'got it'. We have been pretty smooth sailing with regards to eating since then. She still doesn't wield a spoon/fork on her own, but is a champion finger-feeder and will anything that I spoon into her mouth. Right now we are working on taking bites of things, as opposed to putting the whole thing into her mouth (like toast, etc.)
    Anyway - Stephanie (previous comment) pretty much summed up what you need to know. Other than taking it slower and allowing her to set the pace in regards to when to introduce table food, we gave Anna pretty much what we gave all the children.
    Oh - one more thing...oral stimulation before eating helped A LOT!

  3. Sounds like you are off to a good start. Pushing down on the tongue with the spoon definitely helps and the fact that he's making attempts to close his mouth around the spoon instead of you scraping the food off the spoon with his upper gum/ teeth. After cereal, I introduced vegetables first. I started with carrots. But then again, what do I know since I'm still having a hard time getting Matthew to transition to solid food. Sigh. My biggest challenge. Got any tips for me?
    Oh yes, oral stimulation before meals is good. I have a shortlist on my post
    Good luck with feeding!

  4. Tara - have I told you lately how proud I am of you?? You are such a good mom....and Eon couldn't be in better hands. May God continue to give you strength and wisdom in your journey... Love you :)

  5. There is a blog by a speech therapist that has lots of feeding tips for babies with DS. Her name is Sara Rosenfeld Johnson. I don't have the name of the blog handy right this minute but I think you could find it. She's the owner of talk tools and she talks about the types of spoons to use and the way to place the food in the baby's mouth to avoid tongue protrusion and to help the muscles for speech. She also recommends straw sippy cups or open cups rather than the traditional sippy cup when you are ready to transition away from the bottle. Hope this helps!

  6. see: Disability Solutions, volume 3/3

  7. Thank you all so much! Rickismom, that article is wonderful! Eon continues to do great with feeding and has yet to meet a veggie that he doesn't like. Oh, and OT thinks he's doing great, too! :)