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!