MommaMalia Blog: Tales of The Feeding Tube

Bite Session Tips: Tip #1 DON’T SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF (AKA: DISTRACTIONS)

Posted on: February 28, 2011

From my experience with Feeding Session Bites, here are a few tips I want to pass on that I have learned. If you have any tips for bite sessions feel free to post your ideas in the comment boxs.

TIP #1: DON’T SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF (AKA: DISTRACTIONS)

Most likely, you will NEVER be able to re-create the environment the Feeding Center provides for Feeding Sessions. You WILL have to deal with multiple distractions at home. So don’t worry about the distractions. Minimize them to the best of your ability and don’t worry if your child does get distracted by things in the home. IT HAPPENS.

*I think I stressed myself out when I first began bite sessions. I tried to re-create the Feeding Center environment at home and quickly realized it was impossible. Distractions were EVERYWHERE!!  If I didn’t relax and give in to the fact, that therapy won’t be as perfect as I had it at the Feeding Center, then I would have made myself absolutely crazy. I didn’t need to put anymore stress on myself and you don’t either. So my advice is…DON’T SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF.

 

Major Distractions at Home I Encountered And How I Dealt With It:

Distraction #1:     Pets

*My cat constantly wants to sit on my lap during bits and this is distracting to my daughter. My dogs like to hang out next to us ALL the time and eat the food my daughter might drop on the floor.

-A way I got around this distraction and you can too, is to put them away in a cage or in a room while you are giving bites.

 

Distraction # 2: Family and Friends

This is a big one. You think your family will cooperate with you…but they may not. Sometimes you family will want to talk to them. Or give attention to your child when your trying to ignore your child. They want to say hello when they come in the door and talk to them when they are trying to chew and swallow. Or bother them while they are eating. Your younger children will try to get your attention. The list goes on and on. Plus, friends can just randomly show up during bites….or call you on the phone…it happens.

1. Talk to your family and friends. Let them know what you are doing. If you have a scheduled time for bites everyday make sure you let people know not to call you during the time. If they are around the bites when it is happening make sure they know NOT to interact or talk to you and your child while bite sessions are happening. (Your child will WANT to get their attention, talk to them or show off for them. As long as your guests and family knows not to give them that attention you child will realize that getting their attention is pointless.)

2. One thing I did when I first started bites at home was make signs letting people know bites we were in session and not to distract us. I hung as sign on the outside door so people who may stop by are aware bites are happening. I also tell my family, in the house, that we are about to do bites and not to bother us.

3. When I babysat my 1 1/2 year old niece I made sure bites where given when she was napping or when she was eating her breakfast in her high chair. I would place her in a place where I could see her  but my daughter could not see her because my daughter would constantly try to get the attention of my niece and my niece would give it to her. Other children in the house are BIG distractions. Do your best to occupy them with toys etc.while your doing bites, if you are alone. If someone is home, have them take care of the little ones while your busy doing bites. If your children are older, try to get bites done before they get home from school. My Step-son is 12 and he still has his moments where he distracts his sister even though he knows not to bother her. It is better if bites are done before he gets home.

4.  Let your family know that they also have a crucial part in Bites and the health of their family member. Their part during therapy is NOT TO DISTRACT you. Tell them that their role is very important and needs to be taken seriously.

5. Don’t exclude your family….include your family. You can involve other children in the house with the therapy sessions by having them help you prep the food and clean up. This will hopefully help the family feel they are involved.  They may not be trained to give the bites but they can help in other ways.

6. Many people will be curious about your therapy sessions. If you feel comfortable enough, allow them to observe you during a session. Of course, make sure stay quietly in the background. By allowing people to observe what you are doing, your friends and family will learn why it is so important that they do not interrupt you or distract your child. Plus, they will be more inclined to understand the importance of therapy and why you are doing it. Surprisingly, especially for the skeptics, they will see that your child is eating better and the bite sessions do work.

Distraction #3: Everything else in the house (Phone, TV, Etc.)

Final thought: All these things I mentioned above, will distract your child. Many things you won’t be able control but you can try to minimize the distractions as much as you can. Administering bites in a quiet closed room is ideal and if you can do it that…then do it. But if you are like me and your main floor with the kitchen, dinning room and living area is a great room where everything is open… then try to minimize the distractions to the best of your ability. Don’t stress out too much. The important thing is that your child eats all of their bites. If this is accomplished…even with distractions…you have achieved your goal and should be proud of that.

CHECK BACK FOR TIP #2:

TIP #2: (USE THE TIME TO YOUR ADVANTAGE. Bites don’t always have to be Tedious)


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2 Responses to "Bite Session Tips: Tip #1 DON’T SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF (AKA: DISTRACTIONS)"

How did the march weigh in go? How are you guys doing?
Keep in touch
Kelly

HI Kelly,

I haven’t blogged in a long time. I need to update how Malia is doing! There is a lot happening at our house. Malia is still small in weight. She is slightly under the 10th percentile. But I am not letting that stress me out any more. The older she gets…the less I worry. She will be 4 1/2 in June and is developmentally right on point. She is high energy and acts like a normal 4 year old is supposed to act. She did finally creep up into the 29 lb range! Big accomplishment. We are going up…not down…that is always a plus. I have to check her and see if she hit 30 lbs. She weighed herself yesterday with clothes on and she was 31 lbs…but that was with clothes so I think she is still in the 29 lb range. I will weigh her later today.

We have been relaxed, to say the least, with her therapy. I have been relying more on Benecalorie to help us during the day. I find it harder to give therapy bites on a consistent basis with an active on-the-go lifestyle. It was much easier to accomplish multiple bite sessions as a homemaker who stayed home all day and who’s main job was to feed my child. Now that I am out of the house working…and she is at work with me…giving bites outside of the home…doesn’t work well. Packed lunches is much better. So, BeneCalorie has become my best friend.

Another thing we have been dealing with is the aftermath of having a child who pocketed her food most of her life. Her teeth are now suffering big time. We have had 5 fillings and a mini-root canal where she was put to sleep for oral surgery. She has a new “grill” in the front of her mouth, as I like to say. LOL! Poor kid can’t get away from hospitals. For the record….we do brush her teeth but the dentist said that “Pocketing” is really bad for the mouth. A kid who pockets needs to have extra brushings and constantly be rising their mouth out with water after every meal. We didn’t do that. *Note to other mother’s with kids who pocket….don’t forget to brush their teeth after every meal and rinse the mouth out with water if they eat something and you can’t brush their teeth. Oral care is sooooooooo important!!! Nobody told me that…so I brushed her teeth at night and sometimes in the morning but I didn’t obsessively brush her teeth, like I should have.

On the bright side: Malia is eating more and more every day. She rarely pockets anymore and when she does….she is old enough now to recognize what she is doing…and she stops right away. At Easter dinner this year she sat down and ate two very large raviolis all by herself with no help. That was a mile stone b/c usually she is too distracted by everything going on that she refuses to eat. But this year…she cleared her plate….on her own free will and “Want”! Even though the food level was small…the action…was a huge accomplishment. Her “want” to feed herself on her own with no help, doesn’t always happen like it did on Easter, but she is SLOWLY correcting that behavior. But the main thing is that she IS getting better and I think that this is happening largely due to the fact that she is getting older and smarter every day. Now she is recognizing that she has a problem and she trying to correct herself.

Maila’s feeding is a work in progress. But aren’t we all works in progress? We take one day at a time. One accomplishment at a time. Clearly she is much better now then when I first started blogging. We still have a long way to go. Accomplishing the will to “want” to eat is our biggest hurdle yet. However, Easter dinner proved she has it in her and I think…we are well on our way to crossing that bridge very soon.

Thanks for asking about her. I appreciate hearing from you. In Fact I may just post what I just wrote above as my next blog! =0)

Hugs,
Tianna

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