Elizabeth like many preemies has an oral aversion which we first noticed when solids were introduced. We were lucky as Elizabeth never had a problem with taking a bottle or nursing, many preemies are so orally aversive that even a bottle is too much for them to handle leading to some babies being only fed by g-tubes. Nobody knows why they develop aversions but many hypothesies have been made; some feel there is connection with reflux, oral feeding tubes endotracheal intubations and sensory integration disorders. Dealing with an orally aversive child has been one of the most difficult things for us to work through. With lots of sensory play, slowly introducing textures, teaching her how to chew and bite, allowing her to help in the kitchen, distraction and positive reinforcement she now likes to eat. Her favorite foods are chicken nuggets (McDonalds), tacos, spaghetti, strawberries, hummus and dipping Oreo cookies into milk. Teaching her to dip foods was a great way to introduce two textures together which would normally lead to vomiting and has allowed her to try new foods and feel as foods they get soggy (which would lead to vomiting). Keeping her on her stomach medication is also a huge part her success. Dealing with her choking, food refusal and vomiting has been very difficult but as she gets older it is getting better. We still have lots of work to do but the most important thing is she now enjoys eating. Elizabeth is also reaching a huge milestone of no barfing for almost 2 weeks YIPPEE.
As we have plodded through her aversion and reflux we have learned a couple lessons;
-seagulls will actually eat barf in it's entirity
-cheese needs to be removed prior to washing as it melts in the dryer
-when holding a vomiting child do not aim over floor register/vent
-it is very hard to clean up vomit from vents in the floor
-ants are difficult to treat when in the vents
-the tune of twinkle twinkle must be avoided as it can lead to barf
-getting a cold chill after swimming can lead to vomit
-public pools do not have readily available supplies for cleaning leading Mom to garbage pick to find objects to clean with
-no matter how long time passes the smell of barf in the dryer is quite hard to get rid of.