Sunday, January 15, 2012

Mommy notes - Honey bear/squeeze bottle

Honey Bear/squeeze bottle -
The basics of the squeeze bottle.
1. Take a hair dye bottle or a honey bear bottle emptied and cleaned
2. Cut the top off the lid of the squeeze bottle.
3. Using tubing cut one end at an angle (inside the bottle) and one end flush (drinking end)
4. Tubing should fit SNUG when pushing it through the lid. Any air will cause the cup to not work.
These bottles are used in feeding therapy for many reasons. They can be used to teach children how to suck out of a straw. They can also be used to teach a child what to do when liquid is in their mouth. These bottles can be used wrongly and cause more damage than good. We had a therapist in the past who used one to try to force Gabriel to swallow. This therapist would push the straw into Gabriel's mouth and squeeze. Gabriel would be in tears and would choke but he would swallow. Gabriel had to learn how to allow the bottle to even be put near his mouth before we could move on with therapy. I am not a feeding therapist and do not claim to be a feeding therapist. I am going to write my observations and experiences below but I suggest consulting with a feeding therapist before trying any of these processes because if they not not done correctly they can cause more damage than good.

Squeeze bottles allow you to be able to push liquid into a child's mouth easily through a straw. Doing this can trigger a natural instinct of sucking which can assist a child into being a straw drinker. If Gabriel had been able to do this they would have switched him to Take 'n Toss straw cups because the straws are shorter until he had a strong enough suck to switch to a different cup. Gabriel does not have the natural sucking instinct therefore he will be transitioned to a open cup. Feeding therapy said that they never use the squeeze bottles without thickener. It is too easy to squeeze too much into a child's mouth which can take the whole process steps backward. We started on honey thick and have gone down to nectar thick. The next step is nectar thick in a cup.

When feeding make sure the bottle is upright. Note I do not have it as upright as I should and as the liquid gets down it will blow air bubbles if I dont fix it. We are told to always count to three that way the kid knows when the filling will stop (you are in charge of how fast or slow you count). Due to Gabriel not being able to suck we have to put the liquid into his 'cheek pocket' so that he can get the volume in without choking. I am not sure what the process is for 'straw' placement.