a while back, I shared that we were doing a somewhat aggressive tube wean to attempt to get shilo to eat food by mouth.
the wean began on june 15th. in the beginning we did weekly weight checks. she lost weight. also, once all daytime calories were gone through the tube, we would attempt to get some extra calories in by pushing a blend through the tube once she was asleep.
on august 9th, we got the official clearance from the dietician to stop the night time calories. in a little under two months, shilo went from every sustainable calorie being through a tube, to everything she eats being by mouth. (she still has not figured out how to drink so the tube is still in use for all liquids and meds).
I can't even share how well this went. there are families who spend months, and even years attempting to get their kids to eat enough to not use the tube. our only magic potion was working hard to follow shilo's lead-which meant, 'don't try to feed me. i'll do it myself.' we still have to cut everything up, and give her one bite at a time, but none of this seems like that big of a deal. six months ago, shilo didn't know how to swallow. at all. and now, we have to buy her, her own meal when we go out to eat.
there are days where it feels like life has always been like this. but, most days, I am in absolute awe of the fact that my child is eating by mouth. she has no true texture aversions. she doesn't like cold, and we are working hard on getting her to eat fruit. so no ice cream (unless you warm it a bit in the microwave first. weirdo.), and we are continually offering her different fruits over and over again with the knowledge that lots of children have to try things multiple times before the decide they like it. we're making progress as we started out with no fruits, and she will now eat all types of melon, banana, and grapes, and is willing to humor me with a few bites of plum, kiwi, and strawberries before she refuses them.
she has favorites, like most toddlers. (pasta of any sort, as you will see in the photo below). and there are meals where I have to remind myself not to get upset or panic that she didn't eat much, because all toddlers do this. she puts food in her hair, and gets it all over herself. her weight is more than it was before we started, and she's grown 1/2 an inch. she tells us when she's hungry. if she sees someone else eating, she asks for some (or attempts to grab it out of their hand or off of their plate).
I really hope this gives others some hope that their child will likely eat some day. it may not go as easily or as quickly as it did for shilo, but it's possible!!