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Feeding this child of mine has never been a fun task. From the get-go we had problems latching so I’ve been exclusively pumping and bottle feeding ever since. I tell ya, low muscle tone is B*TCH.
Solids have been exponentially more fun, but equally challenging. Some days I don’t know how I’m going to get through. Luckily, Kara has an amazing SLP (and by amazing I mean, I ADORE her). This woman is incredibly knowledgeable and has made a huge difference in Kara’s speech-language development already. All of the items below are ones that either she recommended to me or she has made a positive comment on.
With that, I think it is a perfect day to share our Baby Registry recommendations for
We were so very spoiled with baby showers last summer and now Kara has some really great stuff that have become major must-haves for our little family. I’ve decided to share our most favorite items, divided into categories. (You will find the full list at the end of this post.) Stay tuned and I’ll share much more about each item’s details, a few quick thoughts, and how we use it in relation to Kara’s Down syndrome.
Keep in mind, these are my absolute favorite items special needs or not, and the ones that I’ve found most useful (so far) for raising our Baby Lemonade.
::::: Boon Swap Baby Utensils from Amazon [$9.50] :::::
A spoon is a very important developmental tool. Who knew?! It is especially important for someone with hypotonia, which is very common with Down syndrome. The way you spoon-feed can dictate your baby’s awareness for lip closure and tongue placement among other things.
These Boon Swap spoons have been great for Kara. One end is curved and rubbery, the other is flat and metal. When it comes to a baby with low muscle tone, the flatter the better. I’ve used this line in the past: Think of eating peanut butter off a butter knife versus a spoon. Your lips would have a much easier time getting the pb off of the flat surface. It forces them to use their lips and cheeks, to stimulate and strengthen.
Sometimes Princess Kara gets in a mood where she doesn’t want to feel the metal on her lips, so I switch to her plastic Munchkin spoons instead. You can find them here.
**Buying tip** With Amazon Prime, you can get this with free 2-day shipping & free returns (Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial).
::::: TalkTools Honey Bear from Amazon [$13.63] :::::
If you read my Feeding Therapy post, then you have a little bit of background on me and this bear. We didn’t have the best relationship at first and some days I still struggle to bring him out of the cabinet. The biggest reason is because I am not naturally a patient person, but Kara and Mr. Bear both require a LOT of patience.
Kara’s Speech-Language Pathologist recommended that I get this tool for home. (This one specifically. Not one with a lip guard, not one with a bendy straw. This one.) He comes with an instruction booklet and an extra straw. I would suggest asking your SLP or OT before diving into a relationship with this tool. What I will say is that with the right guidance and technique, it WORKS. Kara’s lip closure and tongue retraction are significantly better. In fact, her SLP told us that her abilities are “not typical for a baby with DS” and that what we are doing is making all the difference!
**Buying Tip** Make sure to get the one from TalkTools. It is the best on the market!
::::: Munchkin Weighted Straw Cup [$6.00] :::::
Okay, so this one isn’t really fair because we haven’t actually used these yet, but they are in Kara’s future. Once its time to move forward, these cups are what she’ll be using instead of your typical sippy cup.
When kids drink from sippy cups, they use the same techniques as drinking from a bottle. That’s not necessarily a bad thing unless your kid has low muscle tone and you’re trying to avoid tongue thrust like we are.
I chose the weighted straw cups because Kara will be able to hold it at any angle and will still be able to capture the contents. There’s nothing more annoying when you’re trying to get that last little bit and your straw is on the opposite end of your cup, right? The special weights at the end of the straw prevent that from happening. They are also leak proof and top-rack dishwasher safe so they landed a spot on my baby registry.
**Buying tip** You can find these at a number of retailers including Amazon, Target, Walmart, and Babies R Us.
::::: Ingenuity Trio High Chair from Target[$79.99] :::::
When listing out all the things that I needed for Baby Girl, a high chair was a no-brainer. The big reason I chose this one was because of how easily it converts from full high chair, to booster seat, to toddler seat. I figured this will be especially helpful when (one day) we have two kids in the house. When Kara is enjoying her toddler chair, we’d still have the booster seat available for “future baby.”
Money well $pent.
Little did I know, this chair would get an A+ from Kara’s SLP! Turns out, this high chair gives fantastic support for Kara and helps her stay aligned. It reclines to three different angles and provides what she needs to have a strong foundation while eating, which is Rule #1 for her speech-language therapy.
**Buying tip** This chair goes on sale a LOT. It recently went on sale from $99.99 to $64.99 and is currently $79.99! You can also snag it at an additional 5% off + free shipping with a Target RedCard (sign up here).
Bottom line is that a baby with Down syndrome is a baby first. Though there are some things to keep in mind and some things that they might get some extended use out of, you might be surprised to find that there isn’t much extra needed to accommodate that extra chromosome.
Below is my full list. I will include details in the coming weeks
NAP & CHANGING TIME