Ollie drinks from an open cup

So, last Monday we took Oliver to Nancy Willard, a Speech Language Pathologist. That sounds odd, I know. But that is who the Doctors send you to when your infant has feeding problems.

I went in to the appointment with a pessimistic attitude and came out with new hope. Nancy told us that it is very typical of Laryngomalacia / Reflux babies to refuse to eat because they are protecting their airways. Apparently, it’s too challenging to coordinate sucking, swallowing, and breathing through their compromised airway so they decide that breathing is the priority. Plus, with the reflux they experience pain. So, the whole feeding thing is just a horrible experience for them. She said we should try and remove one element. Obviously we can’t remove swallowing or breathing…so that leaves us with sucking. She gave me a specially made open cup and we fed him that way. He immediately loved it. He gulped it down.

So, now the plan is to cup feed in the day when he won’t nurse, and to nurse in the night when he’s willing because he’s just on auto-pilot. It seems to be working. He looks like he’s gaining weight and he went from pooping once every 7 to 10 days to pooping 3 times a day!

The only down side is that I have to pump a lot, sterilized things a lot, and change Ollie’s clothes a lot because he dribbles quite a bit during cup feedings. At first I was changing his clothes at every feeding. Then I fed him just in a diaper. Now, I just leave him in the dribbled outfit for a short while. He won’t die from it. As long as we are in our own home I don’t care.

Nancy also told us to avoid rice cereal (too constipating) and acidic fruits like applesauce, pears, peaches, berries…etc. She advised us to stick to bananas, sweet potatoes, avocados, and carrots. This week we’ve just done carrots and he’s really liked it. So, we have a new hope for Ollie that he will get bigger and grow out of all of his afflictions. Praise God for all the wonderful professional help we have found along the way!

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