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Preemies and Solids

1029 Views 14 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  OGirlieMama
I'm wondering if you did/would/will do anything different with your preemie for introducing solids?

Ds is coming up on 6mo (4.5mo adjusted) and I'm not sure how to interpret and respond to his readiness cues. I know he isn't ready just yet, and I'm fine waiting until he is, but how will I know when that will be? So far, his development is a patchwork of unevenness that is so common for preemies.

His size/weight are large even for his chono age, but his gross and fine motor skills lag at the adjusted age. Its entirely likely his interest and desire for solids will emerge before he can manage self-feeding, which seems to be strongly advocated here. Then there's the question of whether or how to make adustments for his reflux issues...

I'd love to hear others' experiences or plans
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The most basic guide is :
Is he sitting by himself?
Has he lost his tongue thrust?
Is is showing interest in your food?

If all of these are met then I say go for it. With that said I would wait until at LEAST 6 months adjusted age as well as waiting for these cues.
I just started Joey - she's over 6 months adjusted and, while she's not sitting up she is grabbing at our food and does well with the tongue coordination, etc.
Mine are 10.5 months actual, 8 months adjusted. I started letting them have tastes here and there when they were 5.5 months adjusted -- they didn't start demanding food every day until around 7 months adjusted. Mine do not sit up by themselves though they do pull themselves up into standing position all the time. One has 8 teeth and the other has three teeth. I usually allow them to play with finger foods, but they do prefer and demand to be spoon or finger-fed. I don't give them food unless they are leaned over with their mouths open in anticipation -- then they grunt to me after they are done chewing and swallowing when they want another bite. They are great about letting me know when they are done -- I am working on baby signs with them, and while I am pretty sure they understand the few I use, they do not yet use them themselves.
I think you should watch your baby's cues and remember that the adjusted age is just a good guideline. Full term babies can be born anywhere from 37 to 43+ weeks, so who knows exactly when our preemies would have been due.
About reflux...I'm not too sure. I would start with something that contains it's own digestive enzymes like ripe raw banana or if you pump your milk, you can make a yogurt from it which would be a great way to test out solids when you aren't quite sure if they can handle it.
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I was planning on waiting until Maggie was sitting up on her own, grasping for things, reaching for food etc. She has lost that tongue thing and is getting amazing head control for 11 weeks adjusted. She is 6 mos this week. We figured on waiting until her corrected 6 mo date (November) or later this fall introducing it if shes showing the above signs.
Joshua was showing lots of interest at 6.5 months (4 months adjusted) - grabbing at food, etc. So I went ahead and mashed up some banana one day. Would you believe he grabbed the spoon and started feeding himself?!? He was definitely ready at 4 months adjusted age. I had originally been planning to wait until 6 months adjusted, but oh well! His first food was a ripe banana well mashed with a fork, and he ate about the equivalent of a 1" long piece of whole banana before mashing, so it was a good amount for a first meal. But that's what he wanted!

He's still my big eater - eating anything and everything. He also went straight to finger foods as soon as he was capable, ditching the pureed stuff (I still have tons of pureed veggie cubes in my freezer that I NEED to throw out
).

I think you'll know when your child is ready. And if it's before the magical 6 months adjusted, so be it. Children don't read the recommendations on when they're supposed to be ready to do something.
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Quote:

Originally Posted by boscopup
I think you'll know when your child is ready. And if it's before the magical 6 months adjusted, so be it. Children don't read the recommendations on when they're supposed to be ready to do something.

I think you're right about that
: Maggie is 11 weeks corrected and is getting into the crawling position. She is 6 mos old this week. If she crawls that quick, I will be ready for the funny farm by Halloween. Not fair since I have only had her home for 3 mos.
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They were interested (watched us like hawks when we ate), had good head control and have no tongue thrust for the most part. Conan mushes his tongue up on his palate, it almost looks like he's trying to chew. They're nine months tomorrow, six months adjusted.
Quote:

Originally Posted by Amys1st
I think you're right about that
: Maggie is 11 weeks corrected and is getting into the crawling position. She is 6 mos old this week. If she crawls that quick, I will be ready for the funny farm by Halloween. Not fair since I have only had her home for 3 mos.
WOW!!!! There was a little boy (full term) on DS's due date list who was WALKING at 6.5 months. She showed a video, and he was doing the franken-baby walk all over the room, and kicking balls and such! It was amazing! He'd been walking for at least a few weeks at that point. SCARY. He's still super active. I can't imagine what his mom goes through every day.
:


DS did all the major milestones like that pretty much on time for adjusted age. You just never know what they'll do when though! In some things, he's gone with actual age, and some things he's gone with adjusted age.

I can't imagine crawling at 11 weeks adjusted... Yeah, you'll be at the funny farm for sure!
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gah--

we were at the ped's this morning for ds's 6 month checkup, and the dr said he needs to be started on solids. ds is only 12 weeks adjusted, and is not showing any interest in solids at all. he nurses and grows great and just hit the growth chart for his actual age, so i don't think i'll be giving him any anytime soon. he only just recently even started to reach out to touch things (other than his face
).

i guess my plan is that i don't have a definate plan, but will just kinda play it by ear when he starts to show some interest.
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Thanks everyone for sharing your stories. Its nice to hear how people are handling solids even if the situations are all really unique.

Ds has been very slow to touch/hit things so I wondered if he'd have everything but an ability to self-feed. Of course, since I started this thread, he has managed to swipe at several things and touch our drinking glasses if he's on our lap.
I guess he's been reading at MDC while I sleep.

I think we'll first try letting him play with frozen BM cubes in a mesh feeder if it seems he's wanting to eat things (rather than just touch spoons, etc). I know other people have let their babes play with bowls or spoons first but I'm not sure he can handle those, in a physical dexterity sense. The mesh feeder I think he could grasp.

ETA: I also read in a link from a Life W/Babe thread that the popular "just let them self-feed" approach is explicitly not reccomended for preemies. They didn't say why, but I found that interesting.
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My little guy wasn't born as early as many others here, but I waited to try until he was sitting up, no tongue thrusting and showing interest in our food.
He is 7mos 1wk old but 5 and a half mos adjusted and there are still some days he just doesn't show interest in eating solids and some days he does.
So we're going at this slowly..
You know, after visiting this thread, I decided to go look at Joshua's photo gallery, as I have some feeding pictures in there. The album with one of his first solid feeds is an 8 week timespan (31-39 weeks of age), and towards the beginning of that he was not yet sitting up on his own, but he was sitting up *assisted*. Later in that timespan, he started sitting up on his own, and there's a picture in that album of it, but I know that in that picture he could still easily fall over (we have a hilarious video of it happening
). I know lots of people here probably advocate waiting until they're sitting up unassisted, but I just waited until he was sitting up assisted, as he was clearly ready. You can see that in this picture. He's around 6.5 months, 4 months adjusted.

And for an amusing comparison of how they turn out later... Here's a feeding picture at 15 months.
Daddy is a BBQ judge, and we're obviously not vegetarians around here.


I can't believe how much my teeny tiny baby has grown up. *sniff* A recent pic from his 2 year old birthday party - eating ice cream with a fork.
He's really outgrowing the high chair, but I don't have a good feeding setup for him until we start eating dinner at the table (as soon as we GET a dining room table, we plan to eat dinner there
).
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My basic plan is to wait for them to mooch. When they show interest I'll start. I'm also planning on skipping the cereals and going with veggies and fruits from FIL's (organic) garden. In fact, I've already made summer squash cubes and am waiting for the next crop of peaches. I think Batya will be first as she is already starting to chew more at her bottle and then gets into sucking.
Ours started looking interested in food right around 6.5 months chronological (4 adjusted) and had good head control and no tongue thrust. The ped and the neonatalogists had said to start around then, so we tried it and it was hilarious. Lilly saw the spoon coming out her and opened her mouth so wide I thought she was going to eat my hand. Her sister was slightly less demonstrative, but clearly ready, and they both seem to enjoy their solid feedings.
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