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When to start solids for prem baby

(16 Posts)
Reddottys12 Tue 13-Jan-15 05:46:23

I'm not sure whether to start my DS on solids at 6 months or wait until he's 6 months at his corrected age. Does anyone have any experience/advice on this?


sunflowered Tue 13-Jan-15 07:22:21

We were told to use actual age, so started when our 33+5 baby was about 3.5 months actual. She took to it really well but I got some funny looks from other mums in their judgey pants feeding puree to such a little thing.

When we were discharged from scbu they actually advised to start a bit earlier at about 5 months actual as some prem babies take a bit longer to get the hang of eating solids.

Annbag Tue 13-Jan-15 11:08:41

I'm confused about this too! I sent off for the Bliss leaflet which is supposed go be good. I've been told 5 months actual

TwelveLeggedWalk Tue 13-Jan-15 11:15:49

Bliss have a good leaflet on it. I believe the advice is 6mo actual unless advised otherwise by medics.
How early was your DS? Our 30 weekers started at 6mo actual, and I thought they were too early, but they went absoltely mad for purees Ellas, not so much home made.
Couple of problems we did have though -
First, they were far too small for almost all high chairs. We started in the most upright bouncers we could find, then tried Bumbos (not great). Then we got the Ikea high chairs with inflatable inserts to hold them up. It was a right pain when eating out and about as they often couldn't sit in the provided high chair - although for us the biggest drama was having two so they couldn't both sit on my lap for example.
Finger food took forever, they just weren't interested and didn't have the motor skills to do it, so BLW was completely out for us.
Probably a combination of hte above, using purees, and DS's reflux, it took a long old time to get onto food with any decent texture - meat etc was a real struggle.

On the plus side, it did help the reflux, they gained a huge amount of weight for a bit, and although DS is a bit fussy they both eat well now.

MsBug Tue 13-Jan-15 11:29:59

DD was only a month premature. We didn't get any specialist advice so decided to do baby led weaning, starting at 6 months actual. She was sitting up by then and took to it really well, although she did struggle picking up small pieces of food in the early days and preferred things like mashed potatoes which would stick to her hands.

I don't think blw is recommended for very premature babies so depends how prem yours was.

BabsUnited Tue 13-Jan-15 11:31:08

It's six months actual. DS was 10 weeks early and I personally felt it was too soon so held off until about 7 months actual. Started off with purees and finger food as per the Bliss booklet I was given, purees better received (he LOVED the fruit ella pouches, the savoury ones not so much).

The main criteria to consider are can they sit upright with support (ie strapped into a bouncer) - we had a baby bjorn babysitter one on its most upright setting - this is what we used as like TwelveLeggedWalk says he was too small for the high chair.

Took DS a while to get the hang of it and was still bf a lot so for a long while, so food was just 'fun' (not so much fun for me, bloody mess everywhere grrrr)

Pipsmilkmaid Wed 14-Jan-15 08:35:09

We started our 29 weeker at 6 months actual the Bliss leaflet was useful.
Like Babs we used the bjorn bouncer, it had lots of washes. He was interested but couldn't sit up.
I did a mixture if purée and finger food for the first couple of weeks but tried to give him loaded spoons. I started with simple single flavours then just gave him what we were eating. He really loves his food now.

wobblybobbly Wed 14-Jan-15 09:12:42

hi OP, like pp I started weaning my 27 weeker at 5 months actual age which was supported by our consultant. But in most people's eyes she was 2 months old and of course very tiny which raised a few eyebrows but I ignored them shock I introduced foods much more slowly than I did with my elder child so it took longer but she is now 18 months old and eats normally too much

My NICU gave me a Bliss leaflet too, their website was also very useful and there was an American website which I also found useful, I will see if I can find it and link it. The only thing they don't recommend is baby led weaning but I think that was about it.

Good luck!

UntamedByName Wed 14-Jan-15 13:23:31

There's no consensus on this, really. Different countries and different paediatricians have different advice, and it really depends on the individual child and their history and circumstances. I live abroad and was advised to wean at 5 months corrected (so 7-and-a-half months actual for my 29 weaker). FWIW, it went fine.

This is a quote from the Bliss leaflet:
"Most babies are ready to wean between five and eight months of age. However, it is best to wait until they are at least three months corrected age so that they can develop enough head control.
Few babies are ready to wean at five months, but you can start to look for signs that your baby may be ready [...]. Likewise, few babies will need to wait as long as eight months."

UntamedByName Wed 14-Jan-15 13:26:29

Argh, it autocorrected weeker to weaker!! Curses. Such a bad typo on a prem board!

Annbag Wed 14-Jan-15 13:32:44

Does anyone here formula feed and know how that works with weaning? Term babies move to the next stage formula at 6 months so I'm guessing this is 6 months corrected? Or does it depend on how the weaning goes?

plentyofshoes Wed 14-Jan-15 13:33:06

Both of mine were 5 months actual. You can download the bliss leaflet I think?
Early babies run out of iron as they are not in the womb for long enough, so early weaning is advised for prems.

plentyofshoes Wed 14-Jan-15 13:34:57

We were told to continue our normal milk until 1 then change to cows milk.
You can cook with normal milk though.

summerdreams Wed 14-Jan-15 14:25:19

I was told to start early weaning by my sons dietician for bad silent reflux and milk allergy so he was 5 months actual 3.5 corrected after a few days I felt guilty as you could see he wasn't interested, luckily I had a nnu check up thing and when I explained she said I didn't need to force it and stop if I wasn't happy so I have and we where starting on neocate special milk allergy food.

Reddottys12 Fri 16-Jan-15 21:54:50

You guys were so helpful! Thanks! My DS was 6 weeks early and although he's smaller than babies his age, he's bang on with his development and he's sitting so well. I've been letting him have a little suckle of my fruit when I eat it - not actually eating it himself, just getting the juice and he's going mad for it. I'll hold off a little and see how we go, no harm in waiting for him to get to his corrected age.

Dildals Wed 04-Feb-15 21:58:32

On the running out of iron thing - prem babies are prescribed iron supplements until one year old anyway, so don't worry about that.

The advice (in the UK) is to start at actual age, but I wish I had listened to my instinct because my baby wasn't ready for it at all. She was happy to stick a few things in her mouth and suck on it, but she didn't progress on from that for a long time. As you can imagine this made it a stressful time for me (help my baby is not eating) so just follow your own judgement on this, go with the flow and relax (haha!).

A lot of prems have a small appetite and take a bit more time to take to eating. She's 18m now and eating well (although still less than some of the hunk babies), but you just have to let them get on with it! (Going to the childminder really brought on her eating btw, eating with the other children really helped.)

annbag there's no need to move to follow on milk from a nutritional perspective. (THen again, the follow on milk tends to be cheaper so I can see your point!)

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