Thursday, March 10, 2011

A Beautiful MESS!

Feeding time at our house is an ordeal to say the least.  It's not a simple put them in high chairs, feed them, wipe them down, and clean up.  Oh no - it is an all-out undertaking.  You have to prepare.  Here's the list of items you will need to feed 2 former micro-preemies with feeding issues:

2 high chairs
a beach towel
a box of wipes (I need to buy stock in wipes.)
a wet rag
a dry towel
a jar of baby food
rice cereal to mix in with the baby food so it's not too thin
2 cups or bowls for the food (Camdyn has to have flax seed in hers.)
2 spoons
2 or more interesting toys to distract them
a gum toothbrush (will explain later)
a cup of lemon juice (will explain later)
biter biscuits
2 preferably naked babies
2 self feeder toys
a very patient mom (or one who tries really hard to be so)

This first picture is just for fun.  I have to push Daddy's beer out of the way to make room for our 12 bottles a day.  Just thought this picture was funny to add.

So the fun begins! 

Camdyn is "Little Miss Independent" and likes to hold the spoon herself.  Of course, this is a huge mess, but she eats like this, so I will deal with the mess.  I have no idea why I didn't take their clothes off this time.  I guess I thought we might manage to be a little neater, but I must have been crazy.

Every inch of them is covered in food when they are done, and I do mean every inch!  The therapist says that messy play is great to help them learn to like food.  Well, we have mastered messy.

I bought these self feeder things.  Camdyn loves hers.  Cade played with his a little. 

Camdyn ate the banana in hers and then ate Cade's too!  She loves the autonomy of feeding herself.  No one can tell me that babies don't remember anything.  They might not remember consciously, but those NICU memories are very present for them.  She doesn't want anything forced on her. 

This time Mommy was smarter and we did the feed with naked babies.  I do have them set up in the living room because I find it easier to work with them when I am sitting on the floor.  You can see some of our supplies in this picture.  The red cup has lemon juice and one of those infant gum toothbrushes in it.  The therapist told us that getting lemon juice on their tongues helps their tongues "wake up" and get ready to move.  Throughout their meal, we intermittently use the lemon juice to remind them that they are supposed to be using their tongues to move food around and swallow.  They have 2 different feeding cups because Camdyn's contains flax seed oil.  They also like the toddler biter biscuits.  They can hold those themselves.  Cade is chewing on one in the picture, and Camdyn is holding hers.  I have learned that I can dip it in food, and they will eat the food off of it.  I also put the self feeder toys on their trays.  Anything that gets food in their mouths is an accomplishment.  They are starting to take bites from a spoon as well. 

This makes me so proud!  Cade is happily chewing on the biter biscuit.  Yeah!

Clean up is quite a process too.  If Daddy is home, he cleans up the mess, while I shower the babies.  I don't know if you can tell in the picture, but they have peaches all over them.  I love our big shower in our new house.  It has come in very handy to bathe all 3 children and myself at the same time.  (I end up covered in peaches as well).

So that is our feeding routine, and we are supposed to now start trying that twice a day instead of once a day.  This is on top of the 6 bottle feeding times that we still do.  It definitely feels like all we do is feed babies around here, but I am not complaining.  I can see the benefits of all of our practice, and it is so rewarding.  Sometimes I tear up when I am feeding them.  I am just so happy that Cade is eating the little bit that he does and that Camdyn is making such good progress.  It is exhausting, and it is messy, but what a beautiful mess it is!

1 comment:

Stacey B. said...

Your picture with the bottles and beer reminds me of my post with the picture of the wine, bottles, and vials of horse blood.

So other people DO have that shelf in their refrigerators!! hahahahahaha