3 tested tips to wean a premature baby

·5 min read

Weaning a premature baby might sound challenging, but if you do it right, your baby can thrive. VIP Parent Mommy Jozalyn shares about her Mighty Mikmik’s eating journey here.

What can you read in this article?

  • Weaning a premature baby: Mighty Mikmik’s eating journey

  • Healthy food you can offer your baby (and what food to avoid too)

  • Mommy Jozelyn’s BLW tips

weaning a premature baby
weaning a premature baby

Image courtesy of the author

I thought I was going to have a hard time weaning a premature baby, but it turned out to be a great experience for both of us.

Just a brief background, my baby is a 28-weeker micro-premature baby born three months ahead of his intended due date. I called him Mighty Mikmik because he is a real warrior who strived to live and fought all his complications at birth.

Mikmik started to eat solid food when he was nine months. I waited for him to meet all the signs of readiness before I introduced solid food to him. At first, I thought I was going to have a hard time feeding him but I was wrong.

Mikmik’s eating journey

During the first week of feeding, I prepared mashed fresh fruits and steamed vegetables (avocado, banana, mango, squash, chayote, broccoli, and potato) for him and he enjoyed it very much.

Eventually, Mikmik became more independent in terms of eating- he wants to hold the spoon/ food and put it inside his mouth all by himself so I decided to transition him to baby-led weaning (BLW), of course, with our pedia’s approval.

BLW is an approach to introducing solid food where the baby is allowed and encouraged to self-feed solid finger foods instead of receiving purées via spoon (Rapley & Murket, 2010).

With this approach, Mikmik was able to join our family at mealtime and self-feed appropriate finger food. He also has the freedom to explore new tastes and textures, without the pressure to eat a set amount or a specific food.

I also enjoyed preparing food for him and make art out of it. I still give him fresh fruits, vegetables, and other healthy and organic food, but this time with a twist, as I exerting more effort in the plating so he would enjoy his food and make it more appealing for him.

weaning a premature baby
weaning a premature baby

Image courtesy of the author

Some of the food that I consistently offered to him are as follows:

  • Fruit Pancakes

  • Fresh Fruit Smoothies with chia seeds

  • French Toasts

  • Bread Roll Ups with different fillings such as peanut butter, cheese, avocado etc

  • Fresh Mango Pie

  • Potato Rice Cakes

  • Vegetable Fritata

  • Cauliflower Balls

  • Rice Balls with Shredded Fish, Chicken or Pork

  • Sweet Potato Donuts

  • Oats

  • Pasta in different sauces

What to avoid giving your baby (and what to offer him instead)

I tried to experiment and present a wide range of healthy food to Mikmik so he would feel that mealtime is a fun experience. Mikmik eats solid food four times a day (breakfast, lunch, snack, and dinner).

As much as possible, I don’t give Mikmik food that is high in sodium or sugar. Too much sodium is bad for the baby’s kidneys while too much sugar may cause caries and tooth decay and it may also depress one’s immunity.

This doesn’t mean that Mikmik’s food has no taste. I substituted organic and natural spices for Mikmik’s food so he would still enjoy his food as much as we do. Instead of sugar I used cinnamon powder, mashed fruits, desiccated coconut, apple sauce, organic peanut butter among others.

Meanwhile, in lieu of salt, I used garlic powder, pepper, onion powder, butter, cheese and the like. Mikmik was able take pleasure in eating an improvised ice cream using yogurt and fresh fruits.

Other foods that I don’t give to Mikmik are choking hazards such as nuts, corn, popcorn, hotdogs, chips, jellies, raw veggies, etc.

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Mommy Jozelyn’s BLW tips

Baby-led weaning is an alternative method of introducing complementary/ solid food to infants and toddlers in which they are trained to feed themselves using their hands or baby-friendly utensils.

Many parents believe that doing BLW is hard but it’s not! In fact, BLW is so convenient for both parents and babies. Just remember these 3 BLW tips and you can never go wrong:

B – Bigyan ng masustansyang pagkain ang inyong mga babies gaya ng mga fresh na prutas at gulay.

L – Laging mag offer ng pagkain kay baby.

Some parents feel discouraged when they see their babies playing with their food. Playing with the food is part of the process in BLW. You may think that they’re only playing with it, but babies learn by exploring the food.

It doesn’t mean that they don’t like what you prepared for them. Just like adults, they need to familiarize themselves with the food in front of them, so just keep offering it.

W – Walang pilitan, or ‘Wag na huwag mag-force feed.

If you see that your baby is not in the mood to eat, just store his food safely and serve it to him later on, when he’s in a better mood. When we force-feed, our babies might get traumatized and it may become harder to get them to eat.

weaning a premature baby
weaning a premature baby

Image courtesy of the author

Even if I am a full-time working mom, I make sure to prepare healthy food for Mikmik because this is another way of expressing my love for him. We also strengthen our bond by eating together.

Mikmik is a gift from God and as his Mommy, it is my responsibility to take very good care of him. Eating healthy is very vital to all of us. As Heather Morgan says, “Every time you eat or drink, you are either feeding disease of fighting it”. Eat healthy and live well.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jozalyn Benavente is a first-time mommy with a micro premature baby. She currently works full-time in a private company while trying to be hands-on with feeding her baby, Mikmik. For more recipes, food ideas and tips, you can follow their FB page and Instagram @MightyMikmik.

The post 3 tested tips to wean a premature baby appeared first on theAsianparent Philippines: Your Guide to Pregnancy, Baby & Raising Kids.