When and why did you start weaning your premies?(20 Posts)
There have been several threads about weaning recently from which I learned a lot. But I'd love to ask you all something else: when and why did you start weaning your LOs?
My 28 weeker is coming up to 7 months (actual), fully BF. I haven't done anything yet (other than to give him a boiled carrot stick to hold the other day). He can't sit yet properly, so I'm thinking I should perhaps hold off a bit more. But: I haven't been able to give him his iron or Dalavit drops for a while because he just spits it at me or throws up - so I'm a bit worried about vitamin and/or iron deficiencies. He has had terrible silent reflux, and then became very pukey, and still throws up a fair bit.
Any advice and stories about your weaning adventures would be very welcome, thanks!
We were told by the pead to wean at 5 months actual (31 weekers), as they had silent reflux and he thought it would help (which it did).
He also told us to count developmental things as corrected age and anyting to do with feeding as actual age if that helps.
They could nowhere near sit up so we started on purees sitting in fisher price rocker chair. I had wanted to do BLW but there was no way they could have managed it. I introduced finger foods when they were able to sit in their bumbos with trays but still carried on with the purees as I wanted to get the calories into them as they were tiny. We took them off Abidec for the same reasons as you've stopped the Dalavit but they were FF so it was fortified anyway. I would imagine if your diet is good the BM will have enough vits?
Thank you silverangel! Funnily enough our pead only said not to start too early and not before 7 months actual - but he was vague about when would be the right time!
So the purées really did help with your LO's silent reflux? That's good to know.
Sadly my diet is appalling as I'm following advice about bf diet for reflux babies (no dairy, no fruit, no green veg) but have begun to be very fed up with this (just started a thread over on the feeding board on this). So any vitamins we are both getting are coming from tablets
Anyone else have any stories to share?
My twins were 23 weeks and we were told to wean at 6 months actual age, so mine were 10 weeks adjusted age.
I did it because I don't know enough about very premature babies to have the confidence to go against medical advice.
BLISS do a leaflet and the general advice if to wean at 6 months actual.
Slightly cautious posting this since I got flamed by the mum of a full-term baby for saying this before (accused me of weaning too early, forcing food down my child - lots of quite nasty stuff).
Think we were about a week before 6 months actual as she was so desperately hungry, despite hungry baby milk, soaring up the centiles and on 9oz bottles and still unsatisfied... had to ditch plans of BLWing as she didn't have the motor skills to do that (she didn't have those till much later on) and had to ditch plans of a nice small minimalist highchair and go for a much bigger and more supportive one.
Must have done something right despite all the best laid plans going to ruin - she loves her food, will eat absolutely everything and gets admiring looks from little old ladies about what a good eater she is!
Thank you everyone.
Can't think why you would be shot down for that, Miaow! (But I have noticed that parents of healthy term babies often have no idea what it's like have a tiny preemie with health problems).
I'm heartened to hear about all your successes with weaning around 6 months actual. I think I just have to take the plunge with my DS... One reason for hesitating is that his reflux has just flared up again, and I can't work out what part of that is caused by food intolerances. And, as always, different doctors seem to be contradicting themselves...
dd is now 6 months actual (4 months corrected) and 10lb, we have just started purees (did blw with other 2, but they were only 4 and 5 weeks early. We were told between 5 ad 7 months actual, but no later than 7 as they need to develop the muscles in the mouth - how true it is i dont know, but we are just starting slowly x
Dd was a 36 weeker (IUGR who had actually stopped growing at 32 weeks). She has a 4 week corrected age & we started weaning at 24 weeks actual. I tried with purées at first with a mix of finger food & now at 7 mo actual she is more or less BLW. She couldn't sit up when I started weaning her, but being in the highchair helped & she can now sit up.
She had a weird stomach issue (paed thought it may have been secondary lactose I tolerance) which caused stinky runny poos, but weaning has sorted that out.
I don't know but I'm not sure that it really matters when you wean a premie - if they're ready for food they'll let you know!
As for what I did - I loosely followed the Annabel Karmel book - but cut out the faffing around wafting around the kitchen for 3 hours to make 4 meals worth of food factor... loads of microwave steamer abuse etc!
Thank you, that sounds very encouraging!
Mine also has weird stomach issues; and just as I thought we're over the worst of the reflux he has decided to throw up again all the time. This has made me dread this whole food introduction business, but you all had such good experiences that I'm less terrified by the prospect. The Karmel book looks useful, I'll try to get my hands on a copy.
DS was born at 34 weeks, and we started weaning at 6 months actual as advised by doctors.
We started on purees as DS wasn't able to sit up properly at 6 months actual. We also started very very slowly, especially as DS hated being spoon fed.
Once DS was able to sit properly, pick up food and put it in his mouth himself and so on, we moved onto BLW. This was at about 6 - 7 months corrected.
I am starting this weekend when DD will be 6 months actual/4.5 months corrected - partly because it's the advice, partly because she genuinely seems ready - fascinated by people eating, getting hungry between milk feeds, etc. she can't sit up or put food in her mouth ( though she would have a jolly good go!) so I will be doing purées mostly.
Good luck minipie, and thanks again everyone for your stories.
I think I will start giving him solids in a few days, if the recent volume of vomits goes down again (as I hope it will). We saw the paed today, who encouraged us to start weaning and actually thought the latest bout of spit-ups may be due to a stomach bug/s rather than his reflux. It hadn't even occurred to me that my DS might have some 'normal' disease such as infection, I've been so primed to think about preemie troubles!
Thanks again, you've all been very encouraging.
Coming to this a bit late. DS was born at 36 weeks so only a little bit early. I'd BLW his big sisters so at 26 weeks actual I put some banana in front of him and he ignored it. He also ignored pretty much every other bit of food I put in front of him for the next month (there was a bit of courgette in his nappy one day, that was very exciting!). He then at 7 months old (or 26 weeks corrected) decided this food malarkey was quite good and started eating. A lot. It really was like a switch was flicked, he went from ignoring everything to demolishing a banana within a matter of days.
Because he was only a little bit early and hasn't any other issues I was happy to wait until he could pick things up himself but I think with a baby that was a lot more premature it would make sense to start with purees since they won't necessarily have the co-ordination. Just follow his lead, they don't need much food initially so try to not stress about it. Weaning is one of the fun parts of a baby growing up.
Oh god bananas. DD1 can now eat an entire banana whole in one go, not pausing to swallow, just shoving more and more of the length of it in her gob and puffing her cheeks out like a hamster.
I dread to think what the talent to get a good 6 inches of banana in your gob at one time is saying about future career paths!
how's it going Gurke?
just to update. I started DD on purées a couple of weeks ago as planned and my god the girl can eat! she's now having 80g+ of purée twice a day and can't get it in quick enough. I have to wrestle her for the spoon sometimes! so far, so good. I use a bouncy chair mainly - she is ok in a high chair (ikea antilop with the inflatable support) but she gets tired more quickly in it.
she did have some constipation issues at the start, I guess as her system got used to the new input, but seems to have mastered pooing solids now.
Miaow - I can see DD doing the same in a few months!
one thing I am not sure about is what to do about the "wait till 6 months" food like gluten and dairy. do I wait till 6 months corrected or are they ok from 6 months actual? anyone know? the bliss pamphlet isn't clear but seems to imply it's all done on actual age.
Hi minipie, that sounds like a weaning success, well done! What kind of purées have you been giving her?
Well, I finally took the plunge with DS a couple of weeks ago: gave him some mashed banana and he got so overexcited I suddenly felt quite guilty for having withheld this pleasure from him for so long! (Having said that, I don't think much actually went down...) Since then I've given him baby rice, lots of banana, some puréed pear, melon fingers, rice cakes dipped into one of the above, and oat-banana cookies, and they were all hits. (He wasn't keen on avocado or carrot.) But all of this in quite small quantities, I don't think he's swallowing more than a couple of spoonfuls each day. But still! I'm hoping to be more adventurous soon & start introducing more things. At last appointment paediatrician told me off for not giving DS his iron (but it makes him puke even more), so I'll look into iron-rich foods in particular...
Do you just keep shovelling in the purées until DC says 'enough', or do you limit amounts from the start?
Miaow your banana-eating DD sounds lovely.
I've also been wondering about the gluten business, minipie. I think I would wait until 6 months corrected - but mainly because there is eczema, hayfever & asthma in the family. I've been reading My Child Won't Eat, by a Spanish paediatrician who says some v sensible things about weaning etc. (I've mentioned this on other threads btw, but I'm not getting a commission from him or anything i just like his tone & common sense). His line is to introduce gluten "with caution", and that "there is no hurry" to introduce dairy & other highly allergenic foods, but not to take this as "dogma". I'm not so worried about gluten as about dairy - I've been off-dairy myself for ages because I think it made/makes my DS' reflux worse (he's bf). Don't know this for certain, of course, but every time I ate some he seemed to be suffering & vomiting more. So I think I will hold off dairy in weaning until (if ever) he seems fine with it in bm first. Whatever you do introduce minipie perhaps just always leave a few days to look for any reactions, and if she seems fine then press ahead!
Those of you further down the road, how soon did you drop a milk feed for solids?
I've been giving her mainly root veg and fruit purées, sometimes with a bit of formula or baby porridge mixed in. Also given her mashed banana and avocado - she loves banana but it bungs her up so am trying to limit that a bit. You could try mixing avocado with banana if you wanted to encourage DS to eat avocado? I've also used some of those pouches when at other people's houses. Cauliflower didn't go down well with DD so I cheat and mix it in with sweeter veg. She loved sucking on an orange segment to my surprise!
I also mix her vitamin drops into the food (which I feel a bit bad about, as it makes all her food slightly orange flavoured!).
quantities - I have wondered about that too! I have been giving DD as much as she wants mainly, although if she finishes the pot I won't generally prepare more iyswim.
Yes I guess there is no hurry re dairy and gluten so no harm in staying off those for the moment. I don't think DD is dairy allergic since it made no difference to her reflux and wind when I went dairy free a while back, and she's had no reaction to me introducing one FF a day. however she does have slight eczema/dry skin, and i have slight eczema and hayfever myself, so will be cautious.
can't remember what the advice is about dropping milk feeds but I know it isn't for a while! might be at 8 months or something like that? <unhelpfully vague>
My ds was slightly premature only but could not sit until he was 10 months old so I don't recommend waiting until your baby can sit. I got a high chair which could be reclined and weaned ds at 6 months on purées. He was skinny and fragile looking with no teeth and weaned easily with purées and a slight recline, just enough to help him sit.
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