DSAM Day 20: Don’t Eat That! It Might be Poison!

Lily used to be a wonderful eater…until she became a toddler and now she reacts like we are poisoning her!

When Lily was 3 months old, we learned that because of her low tone (on the inside), she was aspirating my breast milk into her lungs. She also was diagnosed with acid reflux. We had to add a thickening agent to her milk (which meant I could no longer breast feed but had to exclusively pump) 😦 and she began medication to treat the reflux. Both of these issues would begin to resolve as she got older, stronger and bigger.

Beautiful Nurser

At 6 months old she had her very first bite of food- PEAS! After that bite, a whole new world had opened up for her and she eagerly stepped into it. She enjoyed all flavors of food….

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….with the exception of squash- not a fan of squash.

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With her first birthday came the extinction of bottles and baby food. My big girl was now drinking whole milk from a straw cup and eating table foods along with us. How exciting! She was really turning into a little girl now.

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Still not a fan of squash.

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At about 18 months, she learned she could spit out her food. Even more fun, she learned if she spit it out on the floor then Molly would eat it. Much to her amusement and my dismay, a new game was invented! She also began to throw her sippy cups to the floor (spilling them- even the spill proof ones spill!)

Just when we our teachings of “set it down” were taking effect and the random flying of objects ceased- she decided that she was ready to be INDEPENDENT.

Now it is a HUGE cognitive development when toddlers begin throwing tantrums and want to do things their way. So as much I am thrilled that Lily is experiencing this, I want to run to the nearest island for a break!

Here is her progression with eating: First she refused all food the first, second and third time. This included yelling, turning her body around and even trying to run away (when she was not in her chair). Next she began sniffing and licking her food first (testing to make sure we aren’t trying to poison her)  Then she would only eat food placed exactly where she wanted it and had to feed herself.

So we introduced utensils. Now she had been introduced to a spoon and fork before but this time was different. This time she learned how to use them! She loves her fork! She has mastered the art of stabbing items with her fork and makes it to her mouth every time. Next came the spoon, she did amazing with the spoon- I was so proud of her!

Before my eyes my little girl just grew up a little more. I forsee many more food messes, meltdowns and hunger strikes in our immediate future but she is on the right path to feeding herself and my eyes rain with joy!

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Now the important Down Syndrome Awareness Month (DSAM) message for the day is this:

Lily is just like every other toddler! Lol. She strives to be independent, is demanding, yells when she gets frustrated, and makes huge messes when eating. Yes, its true she must work harder to eat due to the lower tone of the mouth muscles and sometimes gets lazy with chewing but she is more alike than different ❤

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