This GIE graduate is 6 months tube free! She got an NG-tube when she was 4-months-old for silent aspiration on all thicknesses. She passed purees and nectar thick liquids when she was 6 months old, and we started our wean when she was 7.5 months old. I have some advice for those of you thinking about starting a wean with GIE.
Like many of you, I loved reading all of the stories of success on this page. It *seemed* like a lot of people were able to wean their kids in 4-6 weeks, and when we started weaning in mid-November, I had it in my head that we would have a tube-free baby for Christmas. We didn’t. In fact, for Christmas, I had a baby who was back on 100% tube feeds because she had gotten hit hard by a stomach bug. And that unfortunately wasn’t our only stomach bug. 2 weeks later she got hit with another stomach bug where she threw up on and off for 10 days and lost a pound. It took her GI system 10 more days to recover.
GIE helped us to re-start the wean each time she got sick, but each time, I feared that she would lose the skills that she had developed, but she didn't. In fact, she came back a stronger, more enthusiastic eater every time! But I had to adjust my expectations (and it wasn’t easy!). I had to recognize that each kid weans on their own timelines, and that my little one wasn’t going to be weaned in weeks. In fact, it took her 3.5 months. But she got there! And yours will too.
We had a supportive nutritionist, but we chose to join the GIE family for a number of reasons. First, the expertise. The GIE team knows what they are doing. They have great ideas when you hit a bump in the road! They are encouraging! They are calming! They are wonderful! Second? The accessibility. You can reach them every day of the week. That in itself can be so reassuring. Especially when you have so many questions! And third: the understanding and appreciation of what weaning really is. They have walked in your shoes. They truly understand how you feel and what you have gone through. And that, more than anything, can’t be underestimated.