Every week the occupational therapist, Mary Walker, comes into our home and works with Nathan on eating from a bottle and developing appropriate motor skills so he doesn't lag behind other babies his age since he will have spent nearly 3 months of the first 5 months of his life in the hospital intensive care units. Nathan refuses now to eat from a bottle. He doesn't get any suction and we've discovered that because he doesn't have control of the bottle he simply won't take it. He will thrust his tongue and push out the nipple. We make a special effort to squeeze milk into his mouth with a syringe to help him learn to properly swallow. We are very lucky that Nathan doesn't have a full on oral aversion and its his LOVE of his fingers that makes it that way. Nathan will soothe himself by sticking his thumb and pointer finger into his mouth at the same time and sucking on it. He is also learning to like his binkie and chew toys. He has an extremely tiny mouth which is comes with his Pierre Robin like syndrome. It makes it hard to stick much of anything in there. but boy does he sure try! Jake and I encourage him as much as possible to suck on his thumb! (The future dental problems with this are going to be endless!) If it encourages him to like things in his mouth, hopefully it will help him like food in there too someday! Jake & I are proud of our little "thumb-sucking" legacy we have left for Nathan.
I get such a kick out of the last picture. Nathan gives me that look a lot. It means "Can you please get her to leave me alone! I'm sure she's going to hurt me!" Elisabeth is too good at giving "Love" to her brother. Nathan has even gotten to the point that if she comes around him he starts his sad cry for help and she usually hasn't even bothered him yet!