Need to thicken water and juice but not milk? — The Bump
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Need to thicken water and juice but not milk?

Jacob was found to be aspirating his milk when he was in the NICU. He needed just a touch of thickener in his formula to prevent him from aspirating while taking from a bottle. We eventually weaned him off of this. Now he's off the bottle and drinks from a straw. We found that he does not cough at all with milk but does with juice and water. Obviously whole milk is pretty thick and juice/water doesn't have the extra "body" to it which is what makes the difference. So I'm having to thicken juice & water. I'm actually a speech pathologist (for adults though which is VERY different) so I'm confident with what we are doing (Jacob has never had a PNA since being born) but still find it very interesting. Anyone else in the same situation??? I'm assuming if he's that close to not needing thickener, he'll grow out of it like he did with the bottle. Just hope soon! Anyone have similiar experiences?
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Re: Need to thicken water and juice but not milk?

  • Although Aiden is not close to not needing thickened liquids...we do have to thicken some liquids more than others.  Formula tends to be a little bit thicker than water/juice.  (We also found out that the formula he is given in the hospital is thicker than the formula we give at home-even though they are both nutramigen.  The one at the hospital is a high calorie one.)  Good luck!  (ps- I am a special ed teacher- early childhood and I have had several students that were in your LO's situation.) 
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  • I'm an SLP too and it could definitely be the straw too.  Do you find that you have to thicken juice/water in a regular sippy?  Our boys who have no swallowing problems often cough when using straws... I just think they take in too much fluid too fast.  But if Aiden is already needing some things thickened I would think they straw would definitely make it worse.  And I agree milk has more body and juice/water are definitely thicker.

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  • Not doing sippys as straws are better for our kiddos, so I'm not sure!
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