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weaning early in a prem baby?

(13 Posts)
faffmaff Sat 11-Jul-09 15:03:25

My HV said this week that my DS will be ready for weaning at 18 weeks because he was 4 weeks premature - anyone done the same or heard similar? Can't seem to find any advice that says the same...

geordieminx Sat 11-Jul-09 15:07:35

WHO guidelines recommend no earlier than 6 months, which is 24weeks minimum. Really wouldnt consider starting at 18 weeks, especially with a prem - what weight is he now?

geordieminx Sat 11-Jul-09 15:07:48

WHO guidelines recommend no earlier than 6 months, which is 24weeks minimum. Really wouldnt consider starting at 18 weeks, especially with a prem - what weight is he now?

Lulumama Sat 11-Jul-09 15:12:08

is your baby showing any signs of wanting food or being ready for solids?

i.e sitting unaided, good head control, pincer grip, could pick up a piece of food and get it to his mouth, loss of tongue thrust reflex?

weaning should begin around 26 weeks. obviously some babies will be ready earlier some later, but weaning at 18 weeks sounds a bit too early

did your HV have anything to back this up with?

TrinityRhino Sat 11-Jul-09 15:15:38

hv is talking shite
if anything you may want ot wait a little as he was prem

please just wait till 26 weeks

paisleyleaf Sat 11-Jul-09 15:17:53

I'd try and get a second opinion from a health professional on that
as it just sounds the opposite of what you'd think, if anything a premature baby might need that bit longer to develope
You'd think anyway. Obviously could be wrong.

FlappyTheBat Sat 11-Jul-09 15:23:19

She wasn't talking complete rubbish as in some cases early weaning is actually advised in babies who have been extremely preterm, but this would only ever be done, I think, on the recommendations/supervision of a dietician/paediatrician.

As your baby was born at 36 weeks, he was only 1 week off being classed as term, so shouldn't face the same nutritional problems that very premature babies can sometimes have.

Also, if he is growing well and not looking as if he is wanting to be weaned, I would keep him going on just milk until he is 26 weeks.

As Lulumama pointed out, there are lots of signs that a baby is ready for solid foods.

greensnail Sat 11-Jul-09 16:25:57

My DD was born at 36 weeks and we started BLW when she was about 22 weeks as she grabbed a piece of brocolli and started chomping on it! I was also a bit confused about when to start as some people said start early as she was born early, and others said I may need to wait a bit longer. At the end of the day, the best person to show you when they're ready is the baby.

tiktok Sat 11-Jul-09 18:42:33

Was he born at 36 weeks, faffmaff? Not really very prem, and prob not worth re-calculating for.

Very prem babies may miss out on the iron stores that are acquired in later gestation, and there may be a case for solids a tad earlier but this should be an individual decision made by someone who knows what they are talking about and knows your baby's needs and history. This may mean your HV, but personally, I think you are justified in asking for a second opinion.

FlappyTheBat Sat 11-Jul-09 18:53:48

Babies who are born at 36 weeks gestation are considered to be have been born early rather than premature as all their organs have matured by this gestation.
They are just missed out on the last bit of growth in-utero.

I wouldn't listen to your HV at all, as when I re read your op, she was advocating that you start weaning your baby when he is 18 weeks old because he was 4 weeks early. This means that she would expect a baby who is 22 weeks to begin the weaning process, 4 weeks earlier than the WHO guidelines.

This is the type of misinformation that gives health professionals a bad name.

faffmaff Sun 12-Jul-09 20:12:22

Thanks a lot everyone - lots of ammo to use against her! DS was born at 36 weeks and is now 3 months old - he weighs 14lb. I'll get more info from the HV but I agree that DS is the best judge of when he's ready.

Jack2601 Sun 12-Jul-09 22:00:34

BLISS website has some great information on there, you'd think (hope) it was accurate because it is a website dedicated to prem babies. They recommend weaning a prem baby between 5 and 7 months, there are also tips on signs and tips on weaning a prem baby.

mogmoo Tue 28-Jul-09 20:26:08

my little girl is 16 weeks (born 3 weeks early) and i started weaning her last week with baby rusks and weetabix as she used to fed every 4 hours and all of a sudden her feeding pattern changed to every2 hours and milk wasnt filling her enough, i only give her it once a day but she loves it and it seems to have worked with her hunger issues, but i cant understand why HV etc recommend waiting till abby is 6 months b4 weaning as when i had my older child 10 yrs ago weaning was reccommended from 16wks

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