If your child has a cleft lip or palate, then he or she is likely having a hard time eating. He or she might be self-conscious about the way that he or she looks if he or she is old enough. This can cause confidence problems. Many children who suffer from a cleft lip or cleft palate experience pain in that area. To get rid of all of these problems, corrective surgery is the way to go. However, this is a slightly invasive procedure that will result in stitches being necessary. You will need to make sure that you give your child as much support as possible during the recovery from the surgery. Here are some tips for helping your child recover.
1. Get a Blender or Syringe
Your first step is to make sure that you have all of the materials on hand that you will need to feed your child after the surgery. You don't want to accidentally tear out the stitches so you will need to take steps to make food easier to eat. If you have an infant, he or she will not be able to suck on a bottle or anything else. Instead, you will need to carefully feed your child using a special syringe and gradually increase the density of the food over time. If your child is old enough to use a cup, you will need to put your child's food in a blender in order to make it easy for him or her to pour it into his or her mouth.
2. Place Your Child to Sleep Correctly
To further protect the stitches, you will need to make sure that you put your child to sleep on his or her side or back, rather than his or her stomach, to keep him or her from rubbing the stitches into the bed. Talk to your doctor about the exact position because it differs depending on your child's age. If you have an older child who might scratch at the stitches in his or her sleep, have him or her wear mittens when he or she goes to sleep.
3. Keep the Restraints On
For young children who don't have a lot of control over their actions, you will be given restraints that keep your child from bending his or her elbow and therefore being able to bring his or her hands up to his or her face. Your child will not like these restraints. Keep them on until the doctor says you can take them off.
For more information, talk to a company that specializes in pediatric plastic surgery.