Feeding FAQ: 4-6 months – Weaning

At what age should I wean my five-month-old twins who were born prematurely?

My twin girls will be six months old at the end of this month, but since they were born two months prematurely, I’m not sure when to start weaning. They weigh around 6.5-7kg at the moment and their daily milk intake is around 700-750ml. I know it is less than the required amount according to their weight, but they seem to be gaining at a steady rate. At the moment they consider a full feed to be 150ml, which they take five times a day. Should I wait to start weaning them until they are capable of drinking 180-240ml at each feed?

You seem to be fully aware of the weaning guidelines. A baby needs to be taking full feeds, which are considered to be 240mls. You are probably aware that at six months a full term baby needs to be given protein to help boost the dwindling supplies of iron laid down at birth, but as your daughters were born prematurely their needs are slightly different. I would suggest discussing your concerns with your doctor or health visitor. They will be able to assess the individual needs of each of your girls, taking into account their prematurity, present weight and milk intake, as well as their physical development in terms of their ability to hold their heads upright when sitting in a chair. These are all important and individual issues.

Weaning the girls before they are ready, especially as they have a lower than average milk intake, could mean they begin to cut back further on milk because of the solids given. The first stage of weaning is about tasters and fillers, but milk continues to be the main nutritional source and it is important that the intake stays at the appropriate level.