Our Austrian coaching services officially came to an end this week. Not that Lillian has really needed coaching these days, but our services through No Tube extended until 35 days after Lillian’s last tube feed, which was on August 20, 2016. Lillian is officially weaned, and there seems to be no looking back. Dave and I were talking today about how her tube feeding days are starting to remind us of her breathing tube days–a distant memory (though all to vivid and real) of a baby who barely resembles the one in front of us now. In fact, the baby in front of us now tasted scallops at dinner with us tonight! (You can’t see the scallop in her hand in the picture above through all the avocado mush, but it’s what she’s putting in her mouth).
I’ve started reading Baby-Led Weaning by Gill Rapley and Tracey Murkett. It was suggested by Lillian’s local feeding therapist and is a natural extension of the philosophies behind the Graz tube weaning method which puts eating in the control of the baby or child. While Lillian likes eating from a spoon a whole lot better than she liked being fed through her tube, she likes trying “our” food even more. Every morning I drink a green smoothie. She has watched me do this for six months and now begs to drink it too. When I let her experiment with it, she licks the glass and takes sips when I tilt some towards her. But seeing her pick up half a scallop, which Dave took from his own dinner plate and put in front of her, and lick and taste while we ate dinner was just priceless. She is definitely our little eater now!
Dave and I have been worried about a decline in Lillian’s milk intake over the past several weeks. During that time, her weight gain seemed to plateau. But over the weekend, her appetite for milk picked up again and for several days in row she’s been drinking volumes more like her previous highs. And looking at the numbers, even through what looked like a weight gain plateau, for the last three weeks she’s managed to gain an average of almost ten grams a day, which is considered pretty typical weight gain for a baby her age. So while she’s not continuing to do the catch up growth we were hoping for, she’s doing enough to stay on her current growth curve if she keeps this up. Given how happy and healthy she is–we’ll take it!