"There is enough sensory stimulation with the eating alone". Back when Coraline first began purées at six months old, her speech therapist said to us to leave any purée which went around her mouth on her face for the duration of us feeding her. She explained that if we did clean it off as we went along for her, it would change the sensory input for Coraline. Not to mention the fact I imagine there's enough sensory stimulation alone with the types of purées Kevin whips up (as he was a chef for 17 years). I could do a whole post about them; in fact I probably will.
We have been working on Coraline's gross motor skills with her Physiotherapist which underpin her fine motor skills for eating. We appreciate how hard Coraline works when she is eating, due to her lower muscle tone. She loves to eat.
Her speech therapist also said to hold a flat spoon flat on Coraline's tongue so that she would consciously close her mouth to take the food off (as opposed to us lifting the spoon up to the roof of her mouth). She has lent us tools such as the Z-Vibe (a kind of wand to put in the mouth with a different textured end, which you can switch on to vibrate) which encourages sensory oral motor stimulation for babies with low oral tone.
Coraline's speech therapist lent us this Tomato Chair for Coraline to sit in supported whilst eating as she does not yet have the core strength to sit up (in a high chair), again due to lower muscle tone. In due course we will try "baby led weaning" where Coraline can pick up food and feed herself.
These are just a few examples of what we've learned, but isn't it fascinating the kind of input we receive? This photo was taken by Kevin when I was on a night out with some friends the other week. Coraline is just beginning to be able to put her own hands around her bottle for a few seconds. The purées post will be coming soon!