Working The Chewy Tube

Parker has been totally g-tube fed for the last year now. Before that Pediasure found it’s way to Parker’s belly via an ng-tube.

While this has (theoretically) solved the problem of getting enough calories a day into our guy, it also created a new issue.

How was Parker going to learn to eat. You know. The old fashioned way. By mouth.

Parker is a pro at taking in foods via the front of his mouth. But after that he spits it out because he can’t move it from side to side with his tongue. And here is where his chewy tube comes in.

Now, before I go further, I need to make sure everyone understands that I am not a therapist. I am just showing you what we are doing at home with Parker. Consider this to be my liability claim.

We start out taking turns with the chewy tube. I tap the chewy tube up Parker’s arm and then onto his cheek. It is very important not to ever surprise or force anything orally on your kid. I then tell Parker open and when he does (fingers crossed) I gently place the chewy tube inside the side of his mouth. And if all the planets happened to be aligned correctly that day, Parker then BITES DOWN on his chewy tube.


Then it is Parker’s turn. He taps the chewy tube up his own arm (which he thinks is great goofs.) and on to his own cheek.


And if all goes well into his own mouth. And he then bites down.


Can I get a big ‘ole YA-HOO! here, please?

During the day I clip Parker’s chewy tube to his shirt with a paci clip. Several times a day Parker and I take turns tapping the chewy tube up his arm and then into the side of his mouth in hopes of him biting down on it.

Not only are we teaching Parker how to get his tongue to cross his oral base line, we are teaching turn taking and have found that Parker has much, much less need to ‘play’ with his tongue to generate the oral stimulation he needs.

You can also find Tammy and Parker hanging out at their other blog: Praying For Parker

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