Weaning a preemie

(22 Posts)
AlisonL1981 Mon 22-Jul-13 17:31:56

Hi, I planned on asking the hv today but she was late and after weighting ds pretty much hurried us out of the door.

Just wondered when you started to introduce food. I've seen the baby rice etc say from 4 months.

My ds is 18 weeks actual (11weeks corrected).

MiaowTheCat Tue 23-Jul-13 09:20:15

http://www.bliss.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/Weaning.pdf is what I followed as my health visitor was fuck all use when it came to prematurity and was more obsessed with faffing about over who'd done the track back lines wrong on a weighing five months ago etc etc.

Basically we went at 6 months (well a week or so before) actual age, had to adjust our grand visions of nice minimalist highchairs and baby led weaning in favour of a more supportive chair and pureeing it up. Seem to have done OK though, apart from the semi-expected toddler food stropping phase now, she'll eat absolutely anything.

AlisonL1981 Tue 23-Jul-13 10:52:44

Thanks got the reply and the link. I now seem to remember the hospital giving us some bliss leaflets on weaning so ill dig them out.
I was aiming for 6 months actual so gives me a bit of time to have a look!

Hv was the same, spent more time deciding whether his weight should be plotted for 18 or 11 weeks!

NoForkNKnife Tue 23-Jul-13 11:04:02

Alison, we are under the dietician (29 weeker-nearly 5 month actual).

She said that te advice is to start anytime between 5-8 months actual. she said the biggest indicator is if head control is good, and they can sit upright aided (obviously).

I did BLW with dd1, so this is all new to me. I don't feel dd2 is ready yet and think we'll probably stick to starting closer to 6 months corrected (around 8 months actual). This of course could change as head control is improving really quickly.
Good luck.

softkitty79 Wed 24-Jul-13 10:12:25

We started at 6 months actual (just under 3 months corrected 26 weeker) probably would have left it another few weeks but I was back at work at 6 months and he was (and still is) refusing bottles so we used purees and porridge etc as a way to get milk down him during the day. We've used bouncy chair up to now but hoping he'll have the control for his highchair any day now (20 weeks corrected).

AlisonL1981 Wed 24-Jul-13 10:22:15

Thanks ladies. I've had a look at the bliss website.

Ds always seems hungry at the minute but that's possibly because its warm?! He us forever eating his fingers at the minute!

He has good head control and is supported in his bouncy chair. We tried him in the high chair and as it can recline slightly he held himself quite well in it.

MiaowTheCat Wed 24-Jul-13 19:02:35

We ended up getting quite a big supportive highchair (which is an utter bastard to clean and hogs half the living room) but for the first while she got fed on our knees most of the time to be honest.

Featherbag Wed 24-Jul-13 19:18:36

We started 32-weeker DS at 22 weeks actual, with thin purées in his bouncy chair. At about 28 weeks we bought an ikea antelop high chair with the inflatable support cushion, which still only cost about £12 in total and gave him the extra support he needed until he could sit unaided. We introduced new flavours in purée form until about 9mo, when we gradually gave him lumper stuff and quickly moved on to finger foods. He was using a fork all by himself by 14 months and is now a hefty 17kg at 22 months - and eats anything that lingers too long as it passes by!

Dd was born at 35 weeks and we started weaning at 6 months actual. We are doing blw and she could sit in bumbo by then. She has taken to it really well.

NoForkNKnife Wed 24-Jul-13 21:41:21

Does anyone know WHY the advice is to wean at actual age rather than corrected? DD is only still 6lbs and it doesn't feel 'right'.

mrsbugsy yy to the bumbo. I was going to suggest that. DD despite her size can sit well in a bumbo (20 weeks Friday shock ).

MiaowTheCat Thu 25-Jul-13 08:37:49

It's something to do with the iron stores in the body which start to run down after birth, whenever that had happened, so by the 6 month mark on actual age the fuel tank's starting to run low so to speak. I'm sure there's a more technical description for what goes on but that's my very loose understanding of it all.

MrsPear Thu 25-Jul-13 08:46:56

Both mine were born early (10 and 9 weeks respectively) and both times I was told to wean when they were 6 months actual. DS 1 had poor head control so I used one of those neck pillows whilst he sat in the bouncy chair. DS 2 was much better and just sat in the bouncy chair. Both had purees until six months corrected and then I introduced BLW. Although ds 2 is only 7 months corrected so we are still on that journey! This morning he had wheetabix (sp), toast and milk. He still in the bouncy chair due to dh's anxiety. He is now sleeping!

op please do not let your hv plot the weight/length on the actual age - my pead told me that you shouldn't worry about that until they are two! He was one who also explained about iron stores but at the same time except they are smaller than the average 6 month old so one or two teaspoons are fine at the beginning.

noknifenfolk if you don't mind me asking how early was your child?

nofork I think it's because their digestive system is ready for solids six months after they start having milk, regardless of the gestation they were born at. And as miaow says their iron stores begin to run out after around six months. Having said that we did blw from the start and have just kept dd on the multivitamins and iron that she was prescribed to make sure she gets all her nutrients.

mrspear I was told that it is dangerous to do blw in a bouncer as if the baby is not sat upright there is a greater chance of choking.

30 weekers here, six months actual on paed guidance for the reasons bugsy have posted - i.e. the gut is ready for food by then because they start on milk so much earlier.

We went bouncy chairs, bumbos, ikea high chairs with inflatable inserts, then without. Took ages until they could sit in most cafe high chairs and ages too until they managed finger food.

Initially I too felt they weren't ready, but they adored most soft purees and that stage was easy - moving onto texture was harder and is still an issue with DS on some things (meat etc): our paed said that can be common in preemies so don't beat yourself up about it. (Dd was fine though)

Another vote for the Bliss leaflet, was the only prem specific weaning advice I could find.

And all red book measurements should be corrected until 2!

NoForkNKnife Thu 25-Jul-13 09:34:19

Thank you both. Interesting about the iron! She's on Sytron (which I keep forgetting to give) so in theory should be ok?
She's a 29 weeker, and 5 months next week. I suppose another month will make a huge difference.

Still would love to do BLW! It was brilliant last time (although dd1 (3) is now a fussy madam). Anyone else do it with a preemie? I think in a month she'll be able to sit quite well.

NoForkNKnife Thu 25-Jul-13 09:38:22

X-posted tweleve. So, you think the co-ordination wasn't up to finger foods? I've not done purees before. Is it literally blend up fruit? Or do you add milk? Does it matter which fruit? Should I give baby rice (yuck) first?

I'm quite worried about filling her up. Weight gain is painfully slow (below 0.4th percentile).

I got a couple of Annabel Karmel books second hand, and used the Ella's sachets for trying new tastes and ideas for combination sons too. So started on simple fruit purees, moved onto fruti and veg, used baby cereal (we stayed gluten free for ages too), then gradually introduced fish, meat etc.
It's a faff but the one good thing is you can very carefully monitor what's going in. We kept going on the vitamin drops too.
I think it was more like 9-10 mo before they started finger foods tbh.

I posted a question on the weaning board about blw premature babies, and got some really useful advice here

www.mumsnet.com/Talk/weaning/1768972-BLW-premature-baby

MiaowTheCat Thu 25-Jul-13 10:47:43

I very loosely followed Annabel Karmel, apart from all the 'waft about in the kitchen for three hours' bits. Sometimes added liquid to make things a nice consistency but not often needed really.

Redecorated the kitchen walls losing fights with the stick blender several times as well. One day I will master blending without wearing it!

NoForkNKnife Thu 25-Jul-13 17:30:51

All very helpful, thank you!

10storeylovesong Wed 31-Jul-13 08:33:34

Hi nofork! I started my 27 weeker at 5 months actual, about 2 months corrected, following the Bliss advice. He loves it and will eat anything put in front of him. He's 6 months next week, and is currently eating baby porridge with fruit purée for breakfast, puréed veg for lunch with a petit filous for mid afternoon snack then either chicken or fish with veg puréed for dinner. He's still having 5 x 5 oz bottles, but is showing signs of wanting to drop one of the bottles. The hospital advised feeding him in his bouncy chair or car seat, and I've also got the Ikea Antilop high chair. I'm making everything from scratch, mainly so I can sneak milk or water into it during the hot weather as refuses water in a bottle. He's putting on weight at a fantastic rate and has become a much happier baby, sleeping and settling much better when he has a full tummy!

I stopped giving him his Sytron as it upset his stomach, so making sure he has lots of iron rich food.

All his food is still being puréed on the advice of HV until 7 months, although she has said to hold foods such as banana, mango and avocado to his mouth to encourage him to start chewing it until he has the co-ordination to do it himself.

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