When it comes to feeding a baby, you may wonder how blind parents do it. Here are a few techniques I’ll use to feed with a bottle when my baby is born as well as with a spoon once he’s older.
I’m lucky to have had practice with this as an aunt.
• To fill a bottle, or any cup for that matter, simply crook your finger inside the bottle, reaching it to the point you want to fill, then pour. Once you feel the liquid touch your finger, stop pouring.
• Like anyone, test the temperature of liquids by touching or sprinkling a few drops on the inside of your arm or wrist.
• I will hold Baby in one arm while feeding with the other. I keep my fingers close to the nipple of the bottle and Baby’s mouth so I can best determine if, one, I’m placing the nipple in the Baby’s mouth, and two, to better know if Baby is sucking or not. You can also feel if Baby is sucking by how much the bottle gives when gently pulling it away from the mouth.
• Again, like anyone, I will stop feeding to burp Baby periodically. I can feel how much liquid is left in the bottle based on the weight when holding.
• Once Baby is older, I will label food containers in Braille so I know what jar contains what.
• I will use my thumb to act as a guide near Baby’s mouth for knowing where the spoon should be. Eventually, Baby will learn to lean forward toward the spoon.
These techniques aren’t so different from feeding visually, and I haven’t found feeding to take longer. And like any parent, we develop techniques that work for us. I use the ones above, but other blind parents may have their own. Blind or sighted, parents have a knack for developing techniques specific to their baby and family.
As for an update – we had another ultrasound last week, and Baby P is still doing great and moving constantly. In fact, based on his measurements and the measurement of my stomach, they think I may be a week further along than originally estimated. Either way, I’m six months along now, so let the countdown begin!
Editor’s note: Bridgit plans to breast feed her baby, and her next blog will focus on how to do so non-visually and precautions she’ll take as a diabetic.