Thursday, June 10, 2010

Over-Stimulation Can Hinder Feeding Skills

My son had a runny nose today and was grumpy for the most part. Guess what...he wasn't that hungry! This boy LOVES to eat, so that is how I know when he is sick, because his appetite is less than usual. My two year old son is no exception from other kids...the appetite is the first to go and last to return.

Kids and babies with special needs especially tend to be less hungry when they are sick or when they aren't feeling well. "Not feeling well" could be a temporary state such as being upset, having indegestion, breathing fast, being tired, and the list goes on. I think for babies with sensory processing problems, especially those with medical needs or prematurity, it doesn't take much to make them feel "not well". It could be something as simple as gas, reflux, or over-stimulation. The following link includes signs of over-stimulation that a baby may display. This is important to know, because until a baby is calmer, he probably will not have a good sucking pattern, especially if respiratory problems exist.

Alertness & Crying

Also included in this link are the arousal levels of a baby. Studies show that babies are more coordinated with their sucking patterns when in a quiet alert state or even a bit drowsy, but not as well in the other arousal states (deep sleep, light sleep, active alert).

1 comment:

  1. We have feeding problems with my son who is visually impaired with sensory problems, developmentally and gross motor delayed. We've found that the best way to get him eat a bottle is in a quiet, dark room. If there is anything else around to distract him especially noise, he will not eat.

    BTW - I love your blog, I find your posts super informative and helpful, so thank you!