Parents should be extra cautious to understand the needs of a premature baby/ infant. Read on to know more about premature babies and their needs.
Premature Baby Needs
What babies look for in their parents is a secure and caring hand. Babies really do require that extra bit of care and concern. When a baby is premature, he/she requires even more care and protection. Premature babies often are lacking in some or the other aspect, as compared to a normal baby. Special care for preemies is required to overcome any developmental loopholes. Premature babies face a number of physical and emotional challenges, such as impaired vision and hearing, jaundice and anemia etc. These are definitely situations to be handled medically, but parents also play a major role in promoting healthy development of their babies. Parents can help the premature babies to give emotional strength to develop both mentally and physically. However, there are times when the parents may not know what their babies need or expect from them, and how they need to take care of their premature babies. This article will provide you information on what is it that your premature baby needs from you.
Premature Babies & Their Needs
- Learn more about your baby. Always, be aware about your baby’s condition and medical assistance given to him/her. Uncertainty or lack of knowledge can be a risky situation. Ask as many questions as you can and seek answers for all your queries, because it is the question of your baby and their health.
- Be an observant parent. Know about each and every move and action of your baby. Do share your concerns and any change in your baby’s condition with the medical team. Bring to their notice all recent developments in your baby, so that they can function accordingly.
- Breast milk is a must for a premature baby, as it contains proteins that will help in fighting infections. Your baby may not be able to be nursed or have milk with a bottle. There are other ways to give breast milk. Begin pumping soon after the baby’s birth. For first few days pump at least two to three hours a day, once the milk supply is established, pump for 8 times a day.
- Provide lots of love and concern to premature babies. Speak to them in a loving tone. When they are ready, cuddle them, hold them close to you, turn their head so that they can hear your heartbeat, try and make skin to skin contact. All this gives them a sense of security.
- Dress up your baby comfortably. Premature babies are small in size and they lack in body fat, so they need special clothes. Their clothing should be such that it fits them properly and keeps them warm. The warmness will make them comfortable, relaxed and happy. Their clothes should also have easy openings for easy diaper change and hook up to any hospital equipment.
- You can bond very well with your baby at time of feeding him/her. Mothers develop skin to skin contact during nursing; this increases the bonding between the baby and the mother. Some babies may also require gavage method to feed them. When solid food is introduced after 4 or 6 months, the meals should be small and frequent.
- A premature baby needs diaper change around 5 to 6 times a day. Don’t get worried, as it indicates that your baby is getting required amount of nutrition. There are special diapers available for premature babies, which fit them well and can be removed without undressing them.
- Premature babies have a different sleeping pattern. They sleep for longer hours because of their developmental needs. To make sure that they get adequate amount of sleep, limit their exposure to stimulating environment and outsiders. They are also at greater risk of SIDS. Make sure they sleep in a proper position i.e. on their back and not stomach. Make sure their bedding is firm and without any loose or suffocating items.