Hi kentDee. I started to wean my daughter at 27 weeks actual - I waited a week to get her weight checked. She was a 25 weeker. The advice is to wean between 5 and 8 months actual age (according to the Bliss guidelines) unless instructed otherwise by your paediatrician.
My HV was a bit clueless about prems but to her credit she went off and researched. Even she felt DD was ready, so we went straight for fruit purees and have never looked back.
Hey KentDee - do you have twins? Mine were 10 weeks early and we weaned at 26 weeks actual, not corrected, exactly on the advice of the paediatrician - do you still have one you can check in with, I pretty much bypassed the HV when it came to things like this!
Practically you may find they don't tick the 'developmental' boxes for weaning (sitting up properly, picking up food etc) and BLW is probably off the cards, but I weaned pretty successfully (so far - touch wood!) on veg and fruit purees in a bouncy chair to start with, then moved to bumbos, then IKEA Antilop chairs - first with the inflatable inserts in. Finger foods took forever, but spoon feeding was fine, and one day it suddenly clicked. They are now 11 months and demolishing fish fingers, beans on toast, chicken pasta, and as much banana as you can physically fit in a baby!
BLiss do a great leaflet on Weaning Your Premature Baby - think it's viewable online, so do see if you can look it out.
I did BLW and found it quite helpful with seeing when they were ready. My 31 weeker was stuffing her face from about 27 weeks, 35 weeker couldn't even sit up until she was 10 months and it took another year before she was eating properly, 34 weeker was 7 months and hasn't stopped stuffing her face since!
That's interesting Confuddled, it would NOT have worked with ours. DS loves his food and very loudly demands we shovel it in quicker, please slaves! But his appetite definitely exceeded his fine motor skills and he would have foudn it very frustrating to be surrounded by food he couldn't manoeuvre into his mouth.
My eldest was shovelling as soon as she had it, she'd get cross if people tried to help her (as did the other two tbf) they've all just got loads on their hand then used the other to hold it against their face whilst eating it off. I was trying to feed my 15mo jelly earlier and she kept snatching the spoon because I was too slow!
I've been told by the hospital to correct, I didn't first time because she was doing everything and as we did BLW I guessed that she wouldn't if she couldn't. I planned to wait until 7 months with the other two, first time it obviously wasn't enough and second time she got it within a week.
Ah, we were told to go on actual dates, and the Bliss book definitely refers to earlier (5mth) weaning of premmies, so interesting you were told to correct. All up to each babies' individual circumstances I guess.
We was told that the 5-7 months was to allow for adjusting. The infant feeding coordinator at my local hospital is an NCT BFC so everyone around here is quite big on BLW (as she trains them all) and following their pace.