Feeding problems...gagging...hating to eat

Discussion in 'The Toddler Years(1-3)' started by tfrost, Feb 27, 2010.

  1. tfrost

    tfrost Well-Known Member

    Now that we're officially in the second year forum, I thought I would ask if you any of you folks out there had problems with your little ones similar to what we're going through. So Andy and Will have always had a bad gag reflex from day one. They had pretty serious reflux until about 11 months and then we were able to stop the meds for that. I tried solids for them at 6 months, and it did not go well at all. Lots of gagging followed by lots of puking. That continued for 3 months until I finally gave up on solids for a couple of months. I then finally convinced their developmental specialist to refer them to feeding therapy. We were able to get our first feeding therapy appointment several weeks ago, and things haven't gone well after a few appointments. I know things are still early in the process, but I feel like I'm just paying the therapists to watch my boys struggle to eat with little or no advice or help. They have only told me things that I've already tried and I feel like we waste a good hour every other week on this so-called 'feeding therapy'.

    My boys do not have any interest in food whatsoever. They don't want to open their mouths for anything. I've tried everything: cereals mixed with formula, stage one foods including fruits and veggies, stage two foods of all varieties including meat combos, etc., and I've even tried more chunky foods like soft cooked apples, mandarin oranges, baby mum mum cookies. They hate it all. They clamp their little mouths shut at everything. I've tried letting them eat on their own. I cover their spoons on each end with plenty of food and just let them play and mush the food in their hands hoping they will eventually put either their hands or the spoon in their mouth. On the off chance they actually get anything in their mouth, the usually gag pretty hard then puke :(

    Any one else out there have similar issues? I'm just looking for anything, any advice, any little tidbit of wisdom to help my little babies to eat. I now have two toddler than live off nothing but bottles, and I am willing to try just about anything to get them to eat. Help!!!!
  2. nateandbrig

    nateandbrig Well-Known Member

    :hug: oh my goodness I am so sorry to hear you go through this!!! I wish I had an answer but I don't :(
    Have you asked for maybe another food therapist?
    The only experience I've had is with my youngest and he would NOT take solids at first either. He was already in therapy so I had the nurse come and work with Ethan and I on feeding. She did have me feed him with a stick type thing, it had a rubber thingy on the end and he mostly chewed it. But it did get some food in him. Ethan's biggest problem was his tongue so we had to help train his tongue to go down when he got food in his mouth.
    Again I know you've probably already done this, but I'm so sorry that you're all having such a rough time! GL and please let us know how things go. :hug:
  3. Rach28

    Rach28 Well-Known Member

    I, too, sympathise with you. I have two 21 month olds who refuse solids but its nowhere near the problems you´re having. Have you tried offering something like biscuit or puffs that dissolve quickly in their mouths? I gave my two fruit pouches and they loved having the control to hold and drink the fruit. Also, maybe offering food in their bottles but blended finely so it gets through the hole? The thickening it bit by bit. Im sure you´ve already treid this. I would get a 2nd opinion if that is an option for you. GL and I hope things get better. I knowhow stressful the feeding issue is. :hug:
  4. tfrost

    tfrost Well-Known Member

    Yeah, we got two of these through feeding therapy last month. The Nuk training toothbrushes are a great idea, and you would think that they would be helping since they are supposed to desensitize their mouths for any textural issues and the utensils hold food pretty well so they can work like spoons, etc. But no go. My boys just play with them and barely tolerate the little bit of food they get from putting the toothbrushes in their mouths.

    It's like every time I think I can maybe make some progress, my little monkeys figure out the tricks that we are trying to pull and they make extra efforts to fight the food :headbang: This happened with the Nuk toothbrushes, it happened when we tried to distract them while we would sneak a spoon into their mouths every once in a while. It works only for a day or two and then they catch on, and they start to clamp their little mouths shut or gag and puke even more. Very frustrating, but I just have to keep trying. Thanks for the advice though!
  5. Buttercup1

    Buttercup1 Well-Known Member

    Maybe it's not an oral aversion or texture thing. It could be GI related. My dd was a terrible gagger and would vomit after almost every meal. She never wanted to eat and when she vomited hours after she ate, it would often look undigested. We had her on prevacid for awhile, tried an appetite stimulant that didn't work, took her to a feeding team and had EI working with her as well. Finally the GI doc suggested that it might be delayed gastric emptying. It made sense, she was never hungry because her tummy was always still full. We started her on a med for that and it's worked wonders. She gained a pound in 2 weeks! I don't have to sit and try to feed her nearly as much as I used to and she even asks for more food to eat at times.

    Good luck, I know how frustrating and stressful it can be.
  6. tfrost

    tfrost Well-Known Member

    Yep, I've tried the yogurt melts and now we're trying the baby mum mum cookies. Those go ok every 3rd or 4th try, and I'll take that right now. They wince a little once they get a small piece in their mouths, but they seem to like that they are holding the cookies themselves. They'll puke most times they get that small piece in their mouths, but I can tell they might just do well with them with a lot of patience and work.

    I've been researching food nursers on amazon and I've finally found a set that I want to try: http://www.amazon.com/Sassy-Baby-Food-Nurser-Colors/dp/B002TOKHLM/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=baby-products&qid=1267547135&sr=8-2
    I'm hoping this may get us somewhere, and if not I have Dr. Brown 'Y' nipples for thicker liquids and I may try those too.

    Thanks for your advice!
  7. tfrost

    tfrost Well-Known Member

    We've been to a GI specialist back when they were going through so many reflux issues and I have to admit I was really not impressed with the non-help I got from that particular GI. Their reflux has practically vanished since then :Clap: and they gain weight pretty well. They were born at 2 lbs., 3 oz. and 2 lbs., 15 oz. and they now weigh 22 lbs., 6 oz. and 24 lbs., 5 oz...I have to buy 18 and 24 month size clothes for two 12 month olds :D They definitely get hungry because they will pitch a fit when they want a bottle. This is what I hear from our physical therapists that are doing their current feeding therapy and from their developmental specialist...that since they were in the NICU so long and had tubes in their mouths and throats for a substantial amount of time, they have developed a bad instinct to resist certain substances like food. They say that this is somewhat common with preemies.

    Well, I'm not sure how much this holds up as get this...my boys have no problems sticking all kinds of plastic toys on their mouths with no wincing or gagging whatsoever, and they can chew paint off their cribs :mad: and eat paper tags off toys and swallow that paper with no problem :wacko: It's like they can eat things they're not supposed to, but the minute they get food in their mouths it's gag and puke time. What the heck?
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