Re: Tube fed baby trying to breastfeed need help
I don't have personal experience with your situation, but I think persevering might well pay off. I remember reading that kids with Downs' blossom in slow-motion- so a skill that takes a typically-developing baby a few days or a week to master might take several weeks for a baby with DS. A lot of typically-developing kids are still having trouble with nursing at 4 weeks, which is why moms are advised to delay into riding a bottle until at least 4-6 weeks, or longer if nursing is still difficult. So I think it makes sense to think of your baby as a brand-new newborn, in terms of his ability to nurse. Give him another few weeks to try to master this tough skill before you think about throwing in the towel!
I perosnally would not try a nipple shield. Shields are best reserved for moms whose babies will not latch on otherwise, and it sounds like your baby latches on just fine, and his major issue is milk transfer. Shields can actually interfere with milk transfer because they interpose a barrier between the breast and the action of the baby's mouth/tongue.
Have you seen a lactation consultant, preferably an IBCLC? One thing that can help you evaluate a baby's nursing skill is a weigh-feed-weigh measurement, which requires a professional baby scale calibrated to the 1/10th of an oz, and is often part of a visit with an IBCLC. If the measurement indicates good intake, then maybe you're already well on your way to ditching the tube and simply nursing. If it doesn't, then you take the scale home with you and do weigh-feed-weighs after every nursing session for a couple of days, to get a better sense of baby's average intake at the breast.
Are you pumping? If so, how is that going?
Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"