Friday, January 11, 2013
a boy and a sippy
Yesterday afternoon, exactly three weeks after his palate repair surgery, John Paul drank from a real sippy cup for the first time in his life.
It might not seem like a big deal, but it is!!!
If the roof of your mouth has a hole you cannot build up an air vacuum. Your mouth and nose are connected, too connected. You can't drink from a straw or blow a whistle. You cannot pronounce any aspirated consonants (b, d, t, p). You can't click your tongue on the roof of your mouth. You can't eat watermelon without the juice dripping from your nose. (Watermelon juice dripping from your nose might be precious when you are a toddler, but possibly disconcerting when on a date with your girlfriend!)
John Paul never drank from a bottle using a sucking motion - he chewed on the nipple while the milk dripped into his mouth. We used sippy cups with the stopper removed and the hole enlarged. The drippy sippy was annoying but effective.
And then yesterday afternoon I was reaching for another of those annoying drippy cups and thought "Let's see if he can't work on this sucking action just a bit." I had saved two sippy cups from when Isaac was younger and one was absolutely perfect for a cleft baby. The spout is hard plastic (he would chew a soft spout to bits) and very short (we still have to be super careful that he doesn't do anything that could potentially harm his new palate).
I did the 'express version' of the way I've taught my other babies to use a sippy. I gave him the cup with no stopper and let him have a few sips - just so he would know for sure that water was in there. Then I put the stopper back in and let him at it. It took a bit of coaching and a lot of silly faces from me - helping him figure out to purse his lips :) Just glad no neighbors showed up for a visit while I was doing my 'how to use your lips to drink from a sippy' demo.
Within a few minutes he had gotten a few sips. But he's still perfecting the technique and defaults back to using his teeth (ineffective, but habitual). By this morning he was approaching professional-sippy-cup-drinker status!!!!
He is SOOOOOOO proud of himself! Delighted.
And, not surprisingly, very attached to his new sippy!
Yay for you John Paul!!!!!!!!!!