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Advice on weaning

(12 Posts)
mummykat12 Sun 25-Nov-12 19:23:43

Hi all

I am new to mumsnet, so hello, and thank you for reading my post.

I would really like to hear your experiences of weaning your premature baby.

My son was born at 27 and 5, weighing just 1lb14oz. He is amazing, and is now somewhere over 9 and a half pounds, and around 23 weeks / 12 weeks corrected. He is breastfed.

People keep mentioning the need to start weaning, as he is coming up for 6 months. But he obviously isn't yet showing any signs you might normally look for - sitting up straight, reaching and grabbing and taking things to his mouth. I know that the Bliss guidelines are 5-8 actual, and as he was so premature I am thinking that I will go closer to 8 than 5. But I would be really interested to hear about others' experience, and advice you have received from your hospital support teams (the hospital we were originally in was amazing, but we have since moved and I am less confident in there support).

Oh he also has reflux, I have heard weaning can make this better and can make it worse, so any experience of that to share would also be very welcome.

Thanks loads.

forevergreek Sun 25-Nov-12 19:26:34

I would just see how he seems as time passes, there is no rush. He might get to 7 months and be ready to gum a bit of banana, he might not. Really just wait until he can sit up unaided, in a highchair/ on lap and grab some
Food himself and feed. This is on average at 6 months but probably more like 8months min in your case

JoEW Tue 27-Nov-12 09:26:53

Hi mummykat, congratulations on your DS, great that he's doing well after being so early.

The advice for prems is to start at 6 months actual, as their digestive system has been working since birth you don't correct it. It doesn't matter if they are not sitting up, showing interest etc. I used a bouncer and the car seat until my DS could sit up. I started with very liquid baby rice and purees, rice cakes and banana are good for giving them something solid to gum.

Take it very slowly, don't worry too much about if he doesn't seem to eat much at all, until they are 1 it's not about nutrition just trying different flavours and textures. There is a good leaflet you can download from the Bliss website.

Are you still an outpatient at your hospital? I got to see a dietician as we were still having regular appointments and that was helpful, especially if your DS has reflux (mine did too, it's hellish). I found the usual heath visitors at the clinics didn't usually know much about prem babies.

I think it does help with reflux, at the very least it's a change from trying to get them to drink milk, my DS is now 21 months and we don't even think about reflux, though he's still on omeprazole.

I hope that helps.

TeaandHobnobs Fri 30-Nov-12 11:16:49

My friend's baby was born at 25 weeks and was advised to start weaning at 5 months due to poor weight gain, but our SCBU outreach team advises 6 months actual as a general rule.

I was planning to wait until 8 months (6 months corrected) but when we started at 28 weeks, he was obviously very keen. We are still on purées, gradually making them thicker/lumpier, and are starting to introduce a bit of finger food.

If your new hospital is a bit rubbish, could you call your old one for advice instead?

Mandy21 Fri 30-Nov-12 13:47:32

Hi there. My Dts were born at a similar gestation (27 plus 6) and were 2lb 6oz each born. I'm going back 7 years now and the advice at that time was to wean from 4 months actual (I know that its now 6 months actual). My Dts were both breastfed exclusively, gaining weight well and showing no signs of being interested in food either. We were still having visits from the midwife attached to the NU at that point, and she advised us to start weaning at 19 weeks actual. I can't remember exactly how much they weighed at that point, but they were 9.5lb when they were christened at exactly 4 months old, so it can't have been much different to that.

As others have suggested, we just took it very slowly. They couldn't sit up straight (I fed them in bouncy chairs) and most of the food never made it past their mouths (lots of dribbling!) but we stuck with baby rice for at least a week, just offering it once a day, and then gradually moved onto purees. We didn't reduce their breastfeeds or anything until quite a long time after. Good luck, its messy grin!

MiniPopsMum2012 Sun 02-Dec-12 15:39:07

Hello! smile My little boy was born at 30+1 and we've started properly weaning him now he's 6 months actual. We started with apple puree, but that really upset his stomach so we were advised to start with root veg/carbs, so we've been giving him porridge in the morning.

I echo what everyone else has said, take it slowly and make sure the food is pureed well. The Bliss booklet is very helpful, you can also download the NHS introducing solid foods booklet (although this is aimed at non-premmie babies) and dont forget you can call the Bliss helpline as well.

MiniPop can't sit up too well at the moment (and we haven't got a highchair yet), so I feed him in bouncy chair or sitting on my lap at the moment,

Good luck, we're just on one meal a day but am thinking of doing carrots next :-)

mummykat12 Wed 12-Dec-12 19:42:34

Thanks all for the advice. I spoke to the dietician at the hospital, and she was very helpful and agreed that we would be fine to wait. But then we began to see some signs that he was possibly interested: noticeably chewing and not just sucking (his own hand) and finding my husband eating crisps to be the most fascinating, funny thing he had ever seen. So we are trying a little bit each day. Some baby porridge stuff on day one, then a bit of pear for a couple of days, and today we had a little bit of sweet potato. We also have some carrot to try, and I did puree some apple, but given the minipop experience we may keep that back for a while. He seems to be enjoying it, so we will just carry on slowly trying new things. Thanks again.

Valdeeves Tue 08-Jan-13 23:28:54

Great advice here! I needed this two for my DD - thanks ladies

thereistheball Tue 26-Feb-13 02:16:28

I just wanted to add to this. My DTs are 6 months actual and we are starting weaning this week. They like watching me eat and constantly have their fists in their mouths so it looks like they might be ready.

I'm in France and the advice here (from the paediatrician - I'm not sure if this is for all babies or just prem ones) is:

- start with green veg. Fruit is too sweet (the fear is that they'll develop a sweet tooth and reject everything else) and cereals too hard to digest. They don't have baby rice here. Green veg includes carrots.
- after a month cereals can be introduced and fruit, but not exotic fruit (bananas don't count) or strawberries as they are more likely to trigger allergies
- offer new foods at lunchtime so you can observe how they react to them.

MiaowTheCat Mon 04-Mar-13 12:37:47

I went along with the Bliss guidance (since my health visitor can just about figure out what to do with each end of a preemie on a good day). Must have done something right since she will eat almost everything under the sun. Took some blooming flack for not doing BLW though from some incredibly ignorant/lucky people who had had perfect deliveries, model babies hitting every milestone like a checklist... you know the sort (those ones on a really bad day you'd love to see take a blooming tumble off their high horses sometimes)!

I found we had a longer, harder run till she had the motor skills (and willpower) to eat finger foods - for a long while she'd have a battle of who'd crack first and pick up the food between me and her, and it's only really in the last fortnight or so that we've mastered the logistics of slippery banana and preventing its escape.

Gurke Thu 14-Mar-13 13:27:21

This is all really helpful - thanks all. I've just been wondering about weaning too (my DS is 6 months actual, 3 months corrected).

The hospital advice was to wait until DS is nearer 6 months corrected age - and he has pretty bad reflux too. I know BLW would be so much nicer, in many ways, but it's a luxury we might not have...

Just out of interest: why did you start weaning when you did, Miaow?

How have things been going for MiniPop, MiniPopsMum?

I was told that apple (even when stewed) has some kind of enzyme in that is really hard to digest/ upsets fragile stomachs very easily - sounds as though you can back this up!

Love the French advice about green veg, thereis - as long as they're resisting temptation to add some camembert and red wine to make it more palatable grin (sorry for crass national stereotypes)

efeslight Thu 14-Mar-13 20:58:44

We are in Germany, and the advice sounds similar to France, start with pureed root veg, carrots etc, not baby rice/porridge, but then slowly mix this with the veg to introduce it, no sauerkraut or sausages for us!

my little one sat in the car seat when we started, he did not have the strength or skills for a long time to try to feed himself. We also started with apfelmus, which is pureed apple, and both my tiny babies, born 1lb 11 and 4lb 11, took to this really well, but it was no added sugar.

I think we took it very slowly, tried it once at midday, took a few photos of him covered in carrot, left it a few days, tried it again...

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