Preemie toddler

I am a first time preemie mom. My son was born 31 weeks and 4 days on December 21, 2006. He was born via emergency c-section due to medical reasons I was having and the doctors need to take care of it. This was a task because I was hospitalized for awhile in ICU and there was my son in the NICU. At times I didnt know who I felt most sorry for, myself - or my son in the NICU and all it woes! It took awhile before I was able to go and visit so alot of the early stuff I missed and my husband had to endure! A preterm baby and his wife in surgery for 7 hours and then his wife in ICU and his son in NICU. But to God be the glory we are both here and doing fine.

Amongst other issues my son has had, RSV, reflux,..... when I give my son water and juice he gets choke. I spoke to his GI doctor who told me it will get better with his age. But all of mothers know that water is extremley important and so is his juice (liquids). Can anyone help or share with me how can get my son to drink his liquids without getting choke.

Also, in the early stages I got him to take the baby dessert by sucking through a bottle. Now he wont take it all! I tried spoon feeding him and he is not the least interested in a spoon! I feel at this age and I know with my other full term kids the started spoon feeding at around 7-8months. Is it too early for the spoon (for a preemie) and Should I be concern that he is not taking the dessert ot the juice?

He Only wants his milk and rice ceral!


Also, at 10months (on the 21st) 8 adjusted, when should I expect his first teeth. I understand that preemies develop a bit late/

Any positive suggestions and your story would help!

Doreen

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Doreen,

Glad to hear both you and your baby are doing well. I delivered my son at 26 weeks because I had HELLP. Long story short, my organs stopped working and the only option was delivery. So, I somewhat understand what you went through being in the ICU while your son was in the NICU.

I have learned to throw everything out the window when it comes to development of preemies, and when they are supposed to do what. I am not sure if your son receives any treatment through Early Intervention. If not, you may want to check into. They have helped us out alot.

My son had reflux and took medecine for it. He did not have any aversions to the spoon, food, or anything else. We honestly did not give him a lot of water or juice when he was that young because our focus was gaining weight. We did not want to give him anything that didn't have calories in it.

One thing you may want to try is add baby food to his cereal. If you know he likes his cereal, maybe he just needs a gradual change to something new. Slowly lower the amount of cereal and add more of the baby food. I also wouldn't force him to eat from a spoon, because then he may learn to hate it more. There were some days my son wouldn't eat his cereal, and there were days I couldn't shove it in fast enough.

My son is now two, but if I remember right he started getting his teeth when he was about one. All kids are different whether they are preemies or not, so don't be alarmed if he does or doesn't have them by then. However, when they do start coming in, be prepared his teeth may be a little yellow. It is due to the lack of calcium he would have received in utero. His permanent teeth should be "normal" when he gets those in.

Good luck!

Jodi

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Doreen,

Just one question...are you giving him cereal in his bottle? If so, try moving that to spoon only. My DD is a 26 weeker born Dec 28, 06. We have been working on solids since Sept. 1. She got sick shortly after starting solids and reverted back to oral aversion because of all of the meds and breathing treatments. So, we started back slowly and when she just isn't interested, I give her a spoon with a dab of whatever I am trying to feed her. I let her put it in her mouth and get a taste. She puts everything in her mouth right now, so this works well. Then I use trickery! When she goes to put her spoon in her mouth, I put a spoon full of food in too. It actually works very well. Then she thinks she is doing, which helps with her stubborn little attitude. And she eats. Most of the time all of her food.

Give it a shot, see what happens. My number one advice is too stay calm. Our ped said don't force her to eat. That will just make them that much more resistant to trying new things. Let them play and get a taste of the new stuff, let it be their idea. Eventually, they will get it.

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Hello My son was born 32 weeks he was also SGA weighing only 2lbs 14 ozs. His pediatrician had me begin spoon feeding at 4 mths chronological. so his adjusted age would've been 2 mths. but I started him out slowly. She told me not to put food into his bottle becuase he had to learn the difference between the food and formula. You know ,food on the spoon, formula from the bottle. he got used to eating from the spoon .I did however try a couple of times to put his cereal in the bottle but he wasnt having it! he looked at me like I was crazy. But now at 11 mths actual which would be 9 mths adjusted he is eating table foods and even picking uo foodswith his fingers to feed himself. But all I can tell you is not to get frustrated and keep working with your son. If you feel you need help early intervention is always there. DJ still hasnt cut any teeth, he is teething like crazy!!!! Dont know whenthey will come but every baby is different. I cant wait though I know he will look so cute with one little tooth. He will be 1 yr old next month. so dont worry your son will do it in time.Oh my son dosent like baby oatmeal or cereal and he doesnt care for juice!!! He will only drink water from his sippy cup. try that too, just keep helping hold the sippy cup and let him chew it untill he discovers he can drink from it. Thats how DJ learned. No Worrys Mom just keep working with him and if your concerned talk to his ped. and ask for early intervention. Be Blessed

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Thank you ALL very much for your comments and the information on your different experiences. And the advice. It is so good to hear from others who care enough to share their stories and encourage someone like myself along the way. Also, the idea of adding the dessert to his formula is a such good idea. I never thought about that! I can't wait to try it. It sound delicious to me and I pray my son enjoys it.

As I mentioned he had the reflux and was on medication for it but that has sort itself out so far Praise God. I really appreciate what you said about throwing stuff out of the window because I think that is exactly what I need to do. EVERYDAY I think about what I went through on December 21, 2006 and I think it is time for me to "throw it all out of the window" and thank God for the miracles he has performed in my life and my son's because It could have been worse. Even though I had an one of my organs removed. SO I will T R Y to throw it away and move on.

Again, thank you very much and God bless all of you and your families. Pray for me and I will do the same for you!

Prayfully,

Doreen

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Hi Doreen. Sounds like not only your son, but you, have been through a lot. It is hard enough to watch your child suffer, but you had a lot going on medically as well. I did not have the same experience as you by any stretch, but I was hospitalized for 9 days on bedrest with a Mag drip (nasty stuff). My son was born anyway at 24 1/2 weeks weighing 1 lb 10 oz. I was totally fine afterwards, but psychologically the whole experience takes a toll on you. I still miss being pregnant. There's a lot of emotionaly issues that go along with what we have all been through. What I have allowed myself to do is to have one year to deal with it - so after he is one year old, I am going to try to move past it and focus forward. He deserves it and so do I. I need to mourn my short pregnancy and the hellish 4 months my son suffered in the NICU - but he is home, amazing, healthy, and HERE. So I have another month to get my crying out! I'm hoping that will work for me. So give yourself a break - you had a lot happening and need a little more time to heal.

Now as far as his eating - he'll catch up. My son is 11 months old - 7 months adjusted - and does not have any water or juice. His pediatrician and the feeding clinic said for him, he needs the calories in formula. So he's never even tried it. He also has reflux, so we thicken his milk with Simply Thick which is amazing. It just helps slow that thin milk down so he doesn't wear himself out drinking, or reflux it right back up. Anytime we introduce something new, we slowly wean him into it and that seems to work well. These special babies have a lot of aversions sometimes. It's hard not to "compare" babies - but I feel like we really expected them to do a lot when they should've been inside sleeping, so I've tried really hard to cut my son a break!

No teeth yet for us either, but he's been working on it for several months.

Sounds like overall your son is doing well, and so are you. I hope he continues to grow and thrive and that your spirit will heal. Best of luck!

Liz

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Liz,

Thank you very much and all the best to you and your bundle of joy!

Doreen

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