Last week I popped into Staples to pick up some supplies, and picked up this water bottle on a whim. I liked the colour, size and shape; I thought it would be a nice thing to have on hand for Aisha in the future. She likes to drink water, and will take it from a cup – although she refuses to take it from one of her regular bottles.
The little spout at the top flips up and down and has a straw attached. The function is pretty much straightforward; flip up top, put spout to mouth and sip. Voila! Thirst quenched. I think we take this action for granted. I have a friend whose son is either 12 or 13 and doesn’t know how to drink from a straw due to feeding/gastro issues he had as a small infant. Aisha couldn’t figure out how to breastfeed, so I hand expressed my milk and fed it to her from a bottle; kids with Down Syndrome can sometimes have suckling issues associated with low muscle tone. There are a ton of online message boards and parent forums chock full of tips and tricks on how to get little ones with DS to drink from bottles and straws.
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We’ve been having some lovely and typical summer-in-Toronto weather lately, but it’s been incredibly warm in the house. The girl has been super thirsty and trekking back and forth to the bathroom to fill her little cup has been a bit of a nuisance. The water bottle has been sitting on my dresser since its purchase, so on a whim I washed it out and filled it, thinking that I’d at least be able to unscrew the top and pour out a little water for Aisha whenever she wanted a drink.
She watched me wash and fill it, and then stretched her arms out to hold it. I flipped the spout and signed the word for water, and then showed her how Mama took a drink from it. I did so once or twice before giving it to her to see what she would do. At first she turned away from it, so I took a sip again, and then she finally let me put the little blue piece to her mouth.
She kind of chewed on it for a little bit, but I made a little “o” with my lips and made a little sucking noise: “fwip-fwip-fwip!” She looked at me, put it to her mouth again…and took a sip.
And then another.
She ended up drinking half the bottle.
I am so freaking proud of this kid today.