A friend of ours is a dietitian and also studying to be a nurse practitioner. She came out last Saturday and gave us some hope. She said that BAB has an emotional attachment to food. Which I knew this. However, I was glad to hear a professional say that as well. She said that ALOT of kids in the foster system do have that. I'm guessing the story on why BAB does is this-
When BAB was in her biomom's care her mom would give her a bottle whenever she cried. This is the only thing BAB could count on. BAB was very over weight when she came. She had acid reflux from eating to much as well. So she thinks food is comfort. She does not know when to stop because food is comforting. She will literally eat until she pukes. She has no shut off for food either because she doesn't know when full is because she was just fed all the time or because she feels that it is comforting. (side note- most foster kids have problems with food because they were not given enough)
Skip to now. She is doing so much better then before. She is on zantac for her acid reflux and does not puke. The only time that she does is when someone else has fed her to much. For a normal child to want more food is great so people think she is ok with more food. Also she eats so fast, and by fast I mean she does not chew, people do not realize that she is over eating. This is a great struggle with me. It is hard for people to understand that even though BAB looks normal and acts normal her eating problems are not. People think that she is just a normal child and for the most part she is. I do not sense much emotional problems and no physical problems at all. Who knows as far as long term because she is 16 months we really don't know all that much. However, I do not think that there will be either.
So starting today she is going to have a set schedule for eating and sleeping. Ok the sleeping is going to be hard because she does not like to sleep and will sit up in her crib for hours. But we will try this. It is going to be a little hard to enforce some of the rules that I will have for her. To a normal child they may seem overbearing and wrong. One rule that I have a hard time explaining to people is that she does not get anything to drink in between meals. (She literally eats every 2-3 hours. She is not going to dehydrate.) She needs to learn again when she is full. Also she needs to learn that food is for nutrition and not a comfort. When I let her have a drink when not in her highchair she will carry it around in her mouth. As in she will literally just put it between her teeth and carry it there like she would carry a blankie or something. (ok not the blankie in her teeth, but you get the implication!) This is the hard part. I have to put my foot down and just say this is how it is. This is what is good for BAB and I have to be her advocate as hard as it will be.