Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Calories, Baby Food and John

John is now five months and 1 week and weighs 13.5 lbs. We started him on jar baby food #2. Fist starting out, John had trouble knowing what to do with his tongue as do all babies in making this transition. He would thrust his tongue out, therefore getting most of the food on us and himself. After working with him on a daily basis, he seems to be getting it. Now when we feed him, the tongue thrusts are fewer and he opens wide when the food nears his mouth. John sits in his bumbo chair at the table with us for meal times so he has noticed food for the past 3-4 weeks.

Normally, children with Down syndrome I think have more of an issue with transitioning from bottle to spoon because of the weak muscles in the tongue. This is one reason that we have chosen to keep John on the "slow flow" nipple for bottle feeds. The "slow flow" nipple makes him work harder in order to suck, therefore strengthening the tongue and jaw muscles. At this point in time, we are feeding John baby food 2x daily and he is guzzling anywhere from 26-30 oz./day. That sounds like a lot but when you calculate the caloric intake needed for good growth, it is probably minimal. Which leads me to my next topic - how many calories should my baby be getting.

Usually for proper growth a baby requires 100 - 120 calories/kg. To calculate your babies weight in kg., you need to divide your babies weight in lbs. by 2.2 since there are 2.2 lbs to 1 kg. On average, there is about 20 calories per ounce of formula with there being more in breast milk depending on the fattiness.

Working to meet benchmarks are usually not very important to us as each child is different and develops differently. But good caloric intake does matter to us as we feel that John needs all the bodily growth that we can give him.


Cheryl said...

What type of baby spoon do you use?
Ruby's ST told me not to try and feed Ruby any baby food on my own because she wants to use a special flat spoon and is going to start giving her baby food puree at 6 months.

Cathy said...

Hi again Jay. If I remember correctly, you commented on my blog one time when I was discussing something similar. Our pediatrician has us fortify Lily's formula. I use 5 scoops per 7 ounces instead of 4 per 8 ounces. Also if you are using breast milk, I know I've seen somewhere that Similac makes a little packet to fortify breast milk. Another trick I use is to add a scoop of dry formula to Lily's baby food/cereal mixture. She hasn't shown a lot of interest in eating until recently so I've had to get inventive and try to get as many calories in as possible.

Sounds like John is doing very well. He outweighs Lily and she's going on 7 1/2 months. I keep telling myself...she's growing and doing well so keep doing what I'm doing.

JaybirdNWA said...

Ruby's Mom,

I just use a regular baby spoon which is the same one that we've used for the last one. John has never had any swallowing issues much less asperated so we felt confident in going forward in the same way we treated our other children. You may want to trade in your inexperienced ST for one who has worked with a child with Down syndrome. The way you can tell a good practitioner is whether or not they are able to design their treatment for your child. It sounds to me like she is trying to address a problem that isn't there.

Brandie said...

If you're looking for high calorie foods, avacados will give you the most bang for your buck. They are high in calories, healthy fats, and very nutrients. Just smash and thin with a little breast milk or water, if needed.

Monica said...

Sounds like John is doing great!! And your comment on my blog made me laugh!!! Thanks