Q: “My baby was born at 30 weeks and is now 16 weeks old (corrected age six weeks). I’d like some advice on when to start him on solids. He takes between 6-9oz of milk 3-4 hourly at present.”
A: As with babies born at full term, the answer to your question is to go with what your baby wants. Some premature babies will develop at a normal rate and will need to start weaning four months from their birth date, while others will be satisfied with just milk for longer, but the same can be said for babies born at full term too. The optimum age to commence weaning onto solid foods is between four and six months old. If your baby is taking a full 8oz bottle at his feeds, or if he starts waking for feeds during the night, when previously he slept through, this could be a sign that he is ready to try some solid foods. As your baby is taking 9oz at some feeds, he may need to start solids, but I feel that you will need to speak to your health visitor for advice first. She will be able to help you decide which meal to start with and the best first foods. She will also know your baby’s history, so she will know if there are any reasons why you should wait a while.
Debbie Honer, Babyworld Health Visitor.