In the first week we will prepare you and your child for the weaning period. We will have an initial video consultation with you and your child. We will give you advice how to handle the feeding situation as well as the feeding via tube. The first steps are sometimes small for us from an adult perspective but big steps for your child. Therefore, take time and being patient is very important. We will give you the support to feel calm and safe during this process.
You may have realized that your child is never hungry or thirsty. The feeding via tube blocks the natural hunger drive. Most children rather feel nauseous than hunger. Therefore, we will slowly decrease the amount of tube supply. Your child may re-experience hunger as well as thirst. This can be confusing and stressful for you and your child. We will be on your side and support you during the hunger induction.
Intensive Weaning Phase
Your child and you have gone through a phase of preparation and the hunger induction. Your child may feel hunger now, but maybe don´t know what to do. Therefore, we will have daily videocall with you and your child. You will have many questions how to handle the situation and how to feed. How can I see my child hungry? What do I do when my child seems hungry but doesn´t want to eat or be fed? My child is losing weight, will there be an end? When can we pull the feeding tube? When will my child start to chew? We will be on guard and giving you advice. If you have a challenging situation, make a short video. We will review it and come back to you.
Understanding Hunger and Thirst: You may have asked yourself if your child knows hunger. The answer is: Your child will know what hunger is, but not what to do when is hungry. We will work with you to support your child regulate the hunger sensation.
Understand Food Refusal: Children do only what they are really motivated to do. Over the past 20 years we have learned from children that there are different motivations for food refusal, but there is always a motivation. What we do is trying to change this motivation from refusal to acceptance to enjoyment. Carefully, with a lot of heart and understanding, until your child feels safe to give up food refusal.
Think different: You tried very hard to get your child to eat. You spend hours with different spoons and different bottles, and nothing worked. And that frustrates you. You should know that it is neither you nor your child ́s fault. You need a fresh start for what comes next. We may have to change the situation, the handling, the food or the environment a little bit, to change your child ́s feeding behavior. Sometimes small changes can make significant results.
When we have successfully established oral feeding during the intensive treatment period, we will follow up with you for the next days. There will be questions regarding, food intake, textures, handling of infections, Weight gain and growth. You are welcome to send us your questions, concerns and your feeding videos. We will go through your question and come back to you. Usually the program ends after 30 days. But if you would like to proceed you can book us as long as you need us.