tell me what it's like weaning a prem baby? any tips?

(7 Posts)
minipie Fri 05-Apr-13 12:44:45

so, DD is coming up to 6 months actual and the guidance is that I should wean her at that point even though she will only be 4.5 months adjusted.

Obviously she can't sit up yet, has only just started grasping things, and I suspect her mouth/tongue control is pretty undeveloped still too (she has her tongue out half the time and isn't great at drinking from a bottle).

so, weaning her is going to be a bit different from weaning a term baby. just wondering if others could share their experiences of how they found it and any advice or tips to make it easier? I am guessing not a lot will actually go down for the first few weeks...?

Hi mini
I've posted in this before so you might find more with a quick search under my name as I'm on iPad right now, but here goes: we also weaned 6 months despite being 10 weeks early on paed advice.
We started in bouncy chairs (messy), then progressed to bumbos, then ikea antilop chairs with the inflatable insets, then just normal, but it took a long longtime until they could reliably sit in most restaurant high chairs (we ended up doing an emergency dash to Argos on holiday to buy some as the dts couldn't sit in the hotel chairs).
We obviously started on purees, and took it quite slowly introducing texture. I have twins and dd would have progressed faster than DS I think. DS also was lactose free, and we kept them off gluten until quite late - not on medical advice, more precautionary as there is coeliac disease in the family and obviously their guts had been working when every premature, so I just felt comfortable doing that.
The actually eating of purees went much better than I expected, they seemed to really enjoy it and were quite rapidly eating a reasonable amount. It also really helped with ds's reflux.
Moving onto proper texture was more challenging and is still something we have issues with at 18mo, but much more DS than dd which maybe means it is not related to the prematurity.
As soon as they were in high chairs I offered finger foods but it was months and months until they would touch them - I think nearly 9mo actual. Then they discovered toast and were away!
I think the key thing is to be led by your baby, and to be aware that it might not be taste that they don't like, but they might be struggling with the sitting/chewing etc. good luck!

MiaowTheCat Fri 05-Apr-13 13:28:34

I found that we had to start off with her on my knee, then in a much more supportive (and annoying to clean) highchair than I'd planned to use... also had to go down the puree road rather than BLWing like I'd planned - and had to take shit from a few ignoramuses who wanted to argue the toss that purees were cruel and shouldn't I be waiting till she was like 8 months before weaning her... yadda yadda yadda (full-term baby mums without a clue about preemies but with gobs the size of a small country).

Took slightly longer for her to really grasp (bad choice of phrasing there) finger foods in terms of the motor control required - but I actually think weaning is the parenting thing I've done really really well - at nearly 1 year (next week!) she'll eat absolutely anything, loves things like chilli and curries, has little old ladies oohing and aahing at what a good eater she is etc!

minipie Fri 05-Apr-13 21:06:54

thanks - sounds like it may not be as bad as I had feared, at least the purée bit. will search for previous posts.

did you bf past 6 months and if so did you give vitamin supplements? I have read that is recommended.

OrangeFootedScrubfowl Fri 05-Apr-13 21:15:20

DD hardly ate anything for weeks I must admit, but it wasn't traumatic, I just let her try tastes, and eat more when she wanted to.

I did bf after 6 months but l didn't continue with vitamins, as per guidance at the time. I believe they do advise to carry on longer with them now though.

We used bouncy chairs to wean our girls who were 6 weeks prem, we started when they were 24 weeks. They seem to be enjoying tasting new foods and get excited now when they realise it is food time. I bought the soft 4+ month Tommee Tippee spoons and introduced foods and textures slowly. They are now really getting to grips with finger foods, their favourite is steamed broccoli fingers of steamed sweet potato. I haven't weaned a full term baby so I can't compare but it was much easier than I thought it would be.

Good luck.

Mandy21 Tue 09-Apr-13 18:23:13

We weaned early too on medical advice. Agree that its just about textures / tastes, so we started with the baby rice at one meal per day - kept with that for quite a few days (and they spat most of that out - kept breastfeeds the same but offered that after the food) and then moved on to purees - root veg to start with then fruit etc, then started with baby porridge in the morning and food for tea (with just a milk feed during the day). Also agree that we didn't really progress to lumps very early, we kept with purees for quite a long time.

We used bouncy chairs, I did one at a time to start with as it was so messy but then had one dish and one sppon with them sat next to each other, one spoon for Twin 1, next spoon for Twin 2 etc. It is chronically messy but worth persevering.

When they could sit up, we also used the IKEA Antilop high chairs - absolutely brilliant because the chair itself is just one piece of moulded plastic so no crevices / hinges / gaps for food to collect in - therefore v easy to clean which is a must for twins!

Good luck

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