This is Mr Juice Bear. He is our new best friend. Waverly has had a rough week drinking. I noticed that she wasn't finishing her cups of milk. (She typically uses a straw sippy cup.) I tried the thickener, chocolate milk, whole milk - nothing seemed to work. We have noticed that her hands sometimes get in the way when she is trying to drink. Her hands are so manic they turn the cup all around and she in unable to get the straw in her mouth. She also would prefer to chew the lid than sip her drink. I tried holding her hands down and placing the straw in her mouth. That didn't work.
After a week of trying all sorts of things, I pulled out Mr. Juice Bear. The Speech Therapist who works with Waverly's feeding issues gave it to us a few months ago. It is a simple honey bear with a clear tube straw. The purpose of the "cup" is for an adult to squeeze the belly of the bear to propel the liquid up the straw and into the child's mouth. It has been working beautifully. It seems as though Waverly is unable to independently work a straw. This bear allows her to stay hydrated with our help.
I am not sure if this is a temporary change or our new normal. It is a bit unsettling to know that she cannot seem to drink without our assistance. This was one of the signs we were to watch for in terms of deciding about a feeding tube. My hope is that in a few days, Waverly will once again begin sipping on her straw as if nothing ever happened. For now, Mr. Juice Bear will be with us where ever we go.