Weaning Pre-Term Babies

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baby-eating_cIf your baby was born prematurely, weaning times can vary. Some pre-terms will be ready for solid food before four months corrected age (times since birth) and weaning could begin earlier if your baby is over 5 kg (11 lb), the extrusion reflex is lost and they can eat off a spoon.

 


Babies born before 38 weeks are considered pre-term and have a greater need for certain nutrients like iron and zinc (because these start to be stored in your baby's body in the last weeks of pregnancy). Pre-term babies are usually given a special infant formula in hospital which contains more calories, protein, vitamins and minerals than standard formula milk. Most babies are considered ready for standard formula by the time they are strong enough to go home. Some pre-term babies may be sent home on a bridging formula that is lower in nutrients than a pre-term formula but still higher than a standard infant formula.

When weaning, ensure that foods are high in energy by adding fat to food. After six months, ensure that protein foods such as meat or chicken are given daily as these foods are naturally high in energy and protein.

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