Monday, June 9, 2008

Baby Whisperer Part II

Or maybe this should be the "Cleft Edition."

There are plenty of good websites that help explain feeding a child with a cleft lip and/or palate. Like this or this. Here's a few things not mentioned.

1. Yes, when your new born drinks a bottle, he/she will absolutely swallow more air. At first. Eventually, within a few days, you should see an improvement. Otherwise, try another bottle. Once Holly and I tried the Medela Special Needs Feeder, regular size, I could see that Holly was not swallowing so much extra air. And she did not need to burp so often. The other bottles we tried, including the Mini Medela bottle, just didn't work quite right for us.

2. Can I just say this one more time? It is so very important. A new Medela Special Needs Feeder nipple can increase the amount of time your new born takes to finish a bottle, ALOT. From 15 mins to an hour or longer. Now that Holly is older, 6 months, the switch is not so drastic, but still noticeable. Be aware of how old the nipple is, especially at night. Even more important if your little one is struggling with weight gain issues. You can lessen this impact, by pressing the nipple between your fingers to help "soften" before you begin using a new nipple.

3. Milk Allergies and Lactose Intolerance ARE DIFFERENT from 'extra air being swallowed." These two conditions are not cleft related. You can tell the difference! Do not let a doctor tell you otherwise. Symptons of milk allergies (like any food allergy) include gasping, wheezing, difficulty swallowing and bloated stomach.

Lactose Intolerance can cause "colic" like symptoms, inconsolable crying. For Holly, the crying would begin about 20 mins after the bottle. This can include diarrhea or constipation. Do not let a doctor tell you, because your baby doesn't have near death diarrhea, there is no problem.

4. Reflux. What can I say about that? Well, if you have the right bottle, the right formula and your little one is still unusually irritable, something else may be up. Like, Reflux. Lots of good info on the web about this too. Holly's main "signal sympton" is a cough that cause her to cry.

Eventually, your baby will drink a bottle like any other, learn to burp themselves and generally be a happy little kid. You can be the Baby Whisperer for your little one, babies really don't cry for no reason at all.

1 comment:

The Dawkins said...

I thought the new nipple longer to drink the bottle was all in my imagination....thanks for the info, your little girl is a doll. Our Avie was born with a cleft pallet in April.