"Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy."
Quote by: Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Solid foods and sleep trouble (pictures)

Solid foods and sleep trouble (pictures)

Okay, so now that surgery is over we have other things to deal with that I didn't even consider a few months ago when the NAM was my whole world. One of them is the sleep issues we're having with Emily, which I mentioned in previous posts. She's not comfortable falling to sleep on her own and she needs us to rock her a lot. I attribute this to the fact that she was moved from her car seat to her crib and back to her car seat after surgery. We also took away comfort items like her bottle, pacifier (and the NAM!) after surgery. Once the three week recovery was over and we were able to take the arm restraints off, we put her back in her crib and she really started having trouble (she also got sick at this time). She was waking up frequently after we put her down for the night, so we tried a few things and her sleeping is starting to get better. First we have her on a schedule now - two naps a day - morning and afternoon. We also put her down for the night at 7 pm (just started that a couple of days ago) instead of 8:30 which I think was too late. We have the humidifier in her room on low all the time, and I made her crib into a very comfy place with things on the sides, a warm fleece blanket and cotton sheets. So she woke up twice last night between 8 pm and 11 pm, but then slept through until about 7 am this morning - not bad!

Emily loves to sit and play, but she's resistent to rolling around on the ground on her back or belly. We did not give her much belly time as a small infant due to the NAM and then surgery.

The other issue we're having is her transition to solid foods. This may be something contributing to her sleep problems too, since the formula definitely doesn't satisfy her anymore. We started on rice cereal which she seems to like, then moved onto apple sauce, then pears and bananas. I recently introduced sweet potatoes, which she loves. The problem is that she can't use her upper lip to keep the food in her mouth, so even though she goes for the food and closes her mouth, it all dribbles out. Shelley Cohen (speech pathologist/feeding specialist) at NYU explained this to me when I called to ask about it. She said to thicken the food with rice cereal which will help Emily keep it in her mouth. I tried that and she didn't like the combination with the sweet potatos, but she doesn't seem to mind it with the fruit. Eating also makes her sneeze, which causes the food to shoot out of her nose in a most exorcist-like fashion. I guess we will keep trying. I want to ask the early intervention speech therapist if there are excercises we can do to help Emily make use of her new top lip.


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