So I'll just write it with pictures of cute boys in-between!
I'll start off saying- drinking involves the mouth! What are 2 things a person can control- eating and pottying. No one can make us eat or potty. So saying that~ trust and LOVE are huge issues if you want to encourage drinking! (which sounds exactly like what you are doing!)
To start off I like to hold their faces in my hands and gently do other things first. Like wipe their eyes, wash their faces with a warm wash cloth, rub a little lotion on their neck (they like the smell) all the while talking to them in my happy mommy voice. Smiling, and giving eye contact as much as they'll accept. Then I open their mouths gently, touch their teeth- gently wash their mouths. Often they put their hands up to stop me. But if I put their hands down and say no sweetly, they relax.
Everything at the orphanage had been done to them. Not done for them! This is the momma stuff I mentioned before, I want them to learn~ mommas do things for you. They learn this is our routine, soon they expect me to do this stuff. They allow it! They give me permission!
Lots of sensory teaching is involved.
Julius does not like to drink! He "drinks" through a small medication syringe, the old fashioned kind with the squeezie bulb on the end. (think mini turkey baster!) He also drinks from the syringe with the push plunger. He can drink off of a small baby spoon too. Each day we fix him small cups of milk or juice and he practices drinking. He's a tongue thruster. He'd like to drink with his little tongue like a kitten! :o)
I also take a straw and put it into the liquid, hold my finger over the end holding the liquid in and encourage him to suck on the straw that way because he can't yet suck liquid into the straw.
When we feed him meals we always add bread soaked in broth, milk or juice. (I make broth in a crock pot so it is full of vitamins) This adds liquid to his diet since he can't drink enough on his own. He doesn't hold a cup yet.
Pauly drinks from a straw like nobodies business! He loves food and drinks! However he cannot take liquid from a spoon! It all runs out his mouth?? He can drink pretty well from a cup, but still dribbles. :o) He doesn't hold a cup yet.
Jacob does not like to drink out of anything! He has ataxia from his arachnoidal cysts in his brain, which affects his ability to swallow. When he drinks his throat muscles tighten. It sounds painful. He drinks from a syringe because he can't keep the liquid in his mouth yet from a cup. We also add milk,broth and juice soaked bread to get more liquid in him. He does not like bottles. He can't "hold" things like spoons and cups yet, his hands shake.
Noah drinks out of a bottle. He loves his bottle. He does hold it himself! He would drink every meal all day long out of his bottle if we let him! He is a bottle guy. However- we use a medication syringes, straws, spoon, cup, to teach him new ways to drink! It is going slow. He has a hard time keeping the liquid in his mouth and swallowing. He does not like to be held drinking
his bottle.We can see that he'd love to keep his bottle forever, but after his surgery heals in February, we will only use it if we have to!! Like if he was sick and refused other drinking methods.
Mosie drinks from a medication syringe only. He refuses a cup touching his lips! He hits and bats at straws that come near him. He hates bottles. He is our pickiest drinker and yet because he loves us all so much, he lets us try the spoon and the cup with him. Then he looks at us like "See, told ya it wouldn't work!" LOL!! Oh my what a guy! He needs to drink water with his thyroid medicine. That was how we began trying to figure out how to get him to drink. Before that we soaked bread in milk, juice, or broth. But thyroid meds need water! So now he's a champion medicine syringe drinker!
Brushing teeth is another good way to play around with their mouths and desensitize them from rejecting things being put in their mouths. We do this by laying them on their backs, turning them upside down to us. So their head is upside down. Then we brush, (no toothpaste) floss etc. They don't really care for it. But being upside down they are much more cooperative. Our dentist taught us this. It's part of our after eating routine, so they expect it!
I guess you can see it takes a lot of time and experimenting! When we soak bread with liquid, we never mash the bread. We pick it into bite size chunks. Then pour milk, juice, or broth on it. We judge by how wet their diapers are if we need to give more! And they soak their diapers! :o)
And there you are! Drinking 101 by the Archer boys! :o)