Do preemies digestive systems mature at the same rate as term babies?

Chona - posted on 06/04/2009 ( 3 moms have responded )




Or is it just developmentally that we have to do age correction. Starting solids is very confusing. My pediatrician said to start at 4-6 actual age., but my lactation consultant said to wait 6-8 adjusted age.. Does anyone know that answer to this??


Zoe - posted on 06/05/2009




all my books say that you should not ween premmies untill 17 weeks corrected but my son was 13 weeks early and by the time he was 23 weeks old (10 weeks correct) he was on 6 8 oz bottle a day and was still hungery . in the end i asked the health visitor and she said their is 4 signs babies ready for weening these are :

the baby who slept through night now wakes in night for food

baby shows intreast in others food

babies milk intake increases

baby looses weight

in the end we started to ween the little man at 10 weeks correct, feeding him baby rice each morning with his 1st feed off day and again before putting him to bed at night this was suffifent and it is only now at 14 weeks corrected that we are beginning to offer fruit and veg to him. the health visitor told us to keep him on baby rice for as long as possible until 4 months corrected if we could. also through i think a lot depends on health visitor ours told us the above but a friend made on nicu baby was just like our boy and health visitor would not allow it. at end of day if your baby isnt ready for solids they'll let you know if you do try.

Siobhan - posted on 06/04/2009




Eating is very much an individual baby thing. My son was born at 35 weeks, but he wanted to eat by 4 months...he also had reflux and we started him on cereal at 4 months, and he loved it, he couldn't get enough of it. He has been eating pretty much everything he can up till now and he is 8 months now with no teeth. He loves his food and especially anything that is soft cooked on your plate. If your baby is ready, ie. can sit well, has good neck control, then he is ready. And most importantly, I think, he shows interest. I have met a few people who's babies were the same age as mine and they really had no interest in solids.

Jennifer - posted on 06/04/2009




The answer is no. Thier bodies will grow at the rate of thier developmental age for the most part and not "catch up" until about one year and usually two years including developmental milestones. Some of it depends on how preemie they were too. And it is very common for pediatrtions who don't have a lot of experiance with preemies to over look this. I learned something new recently that makes a lot of sense when it comes to feeding. The timeline of teething is connected to what a baby can eat, not just the mechanics, but digestively too. So thier stomachs arn't ready to digest things they arn't ready to eat. My son actually teethed on the timeline of his developmental age, which everyone considered to be late. He didn't start solids until he was 8m, he also didn't get his first tooth until he was 10m. We had tried cereal at 6m and all he did was gag it back up. Also they shouldn't start solids until they can somewhat sit up on thier own (muscle development) with is also usually delayed. I know this is a little rambly, it's been "one of those days", but I hope it helps! We actually changed pediatrtions when my son was 9m because we were having such a problem with him eating solids! It was such a relief to find a peditrtion that had us use his developmental age and stop worrying about his actual age!!!


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