rolling with the sweet baby punches

Holy cow! The last few days have been an emotional roller coaster. Although, anyone living with a toddler can tell you that. So many big feels in such small bodies!

A little over a month ago, Sumner realized that he loves solid food — or mostly solid food as he gets purées. We were both in shock and amazed. To be honest, Justin and I thought that he would never enjoy the taste of solid food because of Sumner’s developmental delays. It was heartbreaking to watch Sumner reject any and all things food-related. How did he know the difference between what a food item is and non-food items?

Due to his volume issues, we had to figure out how to add in solids without messing up our delicate bottle feeding balance. This kid has lots of issues around food and does not often handle change well, even when he initiates the change. Now, despite his food issues, we have been blessed with him being a solid nighttime sleeper and a mediocre napper. For his typical days, he would sleep from 7 PM to 6 AM and take two 40 minute naps during the day.

So, we eventually settled into a routine of:

  • 6 AM bottle
  • 8 AM solids breakfast
  • 10 AM bottle then nap
  • 12 PM solids lunch
  • 3 PM bottle then nap
  • 5 PM solids
  • 7 PM bottle then sleep

Yes, I really was feeding him something every two hours. On the upside, he was eating everything by mouth and we haven’t used his g-tube in over a month. The extra positive was that he eventually decided that Dad was allowed to hold the spoon and feed him. This took some of the meal times off of me.

Well, all of that went up in smoke the last few days. First, he decided that he sleeps until 7 AM now. Okay, no biggie. Mommy gets to have her coffee quietly. Then he decided that he doesn’t drink bottles any more. Okay, now I’m concerned. The first day, we thought he might be teething or have a bug and decided to ride it out. Especially when he took a two hour nap that day. But when the same behavior continued throughout the rest of the weekend, we knew something was up.

On the second and third day, I had the idea to feed him his formula with a syringe. I was desperate to not give up 30 days of g-tube free progress because he decided he was done using a bottle. You may be wondering why we haven’t moved to a sippy or straw cup yet. Trust me, we have tried. I feel like we own every cup imaginable. Unfortunately, he is unwilling to try. Every time we bring out a cup, he starts arching his back, screaming, and generally losing his mind. We’re taking it as a sign that he’s just not ready yet. Sumner has a habit of not being ready for things until he’s ready. It’s like a switch flips. He did the same thing with rolling, combat crawling, and purées.

Oddly and thankfully syringe feeding seems to be working for the moment. So we’ve transitioned to an entirely new schedule that seems to be working for us:

  • 7:30 AM breakfast and 4 oz formula
  • 10 AM snack, 4 oz formula, and nap
  • 12 PM lunch and 4 oz formula
  • 2:30 PM snack, 4 oz formula, and nap
  • 5 PM dinner and 4 oz formula
  • 7:30 PM 4 oz formula and sleep

By combining his meals with formula, we’ve been able to cut out one meal entirely and increase the number of times per day that he does solids from three to five. This has also helped us to transition him to only eating downstairs in either his high chair for meals or his big boy chair for snacks. I’m hoping that normalizing eating in these spaces will make his room more of a sleeping and play space.

We’re about a week into the new schedule and it seems to be working… for the moment.

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