Originally published on July 29, 2018.


One of the things that I have learned working in children's feeding is that the interventions we offer often seem very simple. The hard bit is usually persuading everyone to keep doing them, and stopping everyone rushing around trying to add more interventions.

As adults, the urge to intervene so we feel like we're doing something is very strong. It is so important to remember that feeding is a developmental skill that must be learned. When we constantly introduce different approaches, feeding regimes, feeding equipment, positions etc etc, we give our babies something new to learn each time.

Imagine that you were learning a new skill, and each time you thought you were cracking it, someone came in and told you you weren't ging to be doing it that way next time.

Babies learn things. We may teach them that feeding is pleasant, and a skill they can learn, or that feeding is unpleasant and difficult, but they will be learning either way.

Many times the interventions sugegsted by your Speech and Language Therapist seem tiny. You may wonder what they could possibly be doing. It can take a lot of faith to keep going, doing the same little things, when you do not feel they are getting anywhere.

If you can't maintain faith in your Speech and Language Therapist, please keep faith in your child's capacity to learn. Learning can be difficult when we are tiny or unwell, and even the most basic things are difficult for us.

Less is often more in the neonatal unit when it comes to feeding.

Posts from Find the Key Speech Therapy are intended for information. They are not intended to, and cannot take the place of advice from an appropriately qualified Speech and Language therapist who knows your child. Find the Key Speech Therapy does not take responsibility for the use of any advice without appropriate professional guidance.