Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Swallow Study and Weaning

On Friday Claire and I headed to Denver for her third swallow study.  It had been six months since her last one, and we were hoping that she'd outgrown the aspiration.  If she was still aspirating we were hoping to have her drink more than a swallow or two.  For her first two studies, she would take one drink and then refuse any more of the stuff since it tasted so bad.  We were never really able to get her to drink once we thickened the milk to make sure the consistency was right for her. 

This time they had a new product that was apple flavored.  We started with Claire's yogurt and that went down just fine.  I haven't been worried about solids, so this wasn't a surprise.  We also gave her a small piece of cookie, and this was swallowed whole.  It was pretty hard, so that's what I was expecting, but it would have been nice to see her chew.  I forgot her string cheese in the car though, so there wasn't anything else for her to chew on, and we did the milk next.

We started with thin liquid in her straw cup and she did great.  She took a few swallows in a row and there was just very minimal penetration and no aspiration at all.  With her bottle she was still aspirating on thin liquids, and had pretty significant penetration even with it thickened like we have been.  So the verdict is thicken in the bottle (even more than we have been), but unthickened is fine in the straw cup.  The SLP thought it was the speed which she was able to drink by bottle, and the angle of her head that was causing the aspiration.

I'm not totally convinced that she doesn't need her straw cup milk thickened too though.  She will often get a little 'junky' sounding after she drinks, and I think I will continue to thicken it just a little bit.

So onto weaning from the bottle!  I've wanted Claire off the bottle for a little while now, but also didn't want to lose all my snuggle time with her.

For the last 10 days she hasn't had any bottles during the day, and hasn't had night bottles in about 4 days.  This morning I was going to skip her morning bottle too, but she insisted.  :)  When we were eating breakfast I would offer her straw cup, but she kept pushing it away and signing 'milk'. We finished her morning milk in the bottle and will try to skip it again tomorrow.  She's done so well with the transition this far that I think she'll off the bottle completely within a week or two. 

Sorry for the lack of photos...we lost power last night, and I still haven't pulled the Easter photos from my camera.  Hopefully tomorrow!


  1. Sounds like she is comming right along. Maybe Tily can take some tips from Clair. She still won't drink from anything (Still nursing). Eating she does just fine. So I have resorted to using a bottle and squirting some apple juice into her mouth, waiting for her to swallow and then doing it again. This is working so far. I love the pictures from the previous post.

  2. Glad the swallow study went well, and good luck with the bottle weaning! You totally brought back all of my memories of feeding dramas. Ugh, don't miss them at. all. Samantha didn't chew much at all (at least not remotely reliably) until she was 2. We still watch her like a hawk, as we're now scarred for life.

  3. You are such a good momma! And you can be sure I am taking notes on all of this for when I get Paisley home. Even as a pedi ICU nurse I still need a few tips! Thanks for sharing, you smart momma you!

  4. Sounds to me like things are moving in the right direction!

    Brooke Annessa

  5. sounds like a good day!! not having the snuggle time would be so very hard! and I think it so funny how our little ones now what they want! and she wants her milk the way she wants it!! Maddie is that way with ice cream! smiles

  6. Yay for no bottles!!! I think I could get Sutter off his morning bottle pretty easily if he would sleep a little longer but he demands his nighttime bottle! I tried replacing it with a sippy cup but he wanted no part of that! :) I'll try again around 18mo and with any luck he'll be ready by then!

  7. Great to read about the swallow study going well. And sounds like bottle weaning is going very well too! That's awesome! I had a ahard time getting Matthew off the bottle.

  8. I really had no idea this was one issue you were dealing with. It sounds like there was positive results with the test. The no bottle thing is bittersweet isn't it? I remember when I gave my son his last bottle, I made a mental note to enjoy it and appreciate it. I never did that with my first. I was so glad to be done with the bottles, but that snuggle time is so nice. It was the first of many acts of letting go, and it is hard!

  9. I wish I could get Russell off the bottle, but he will not take a cup or anything else yet, so I am stuck :(
    Good luck with the weaning!!

  10. We have our swallow study tomorrow. How do they put the contrast on whole foods, just dip it? We've never tried foods, just liquids. But my ped wants to see how she swallows foods, because she's choked a few times!

  11. So was this done in radiology or was she observed by someone? We have a swallow study next week but in radiology to see how badly Luc is aspirating. I'm glad she is doing well though!

    I imagine bottle weaning can be very difficult, good luck ;)


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