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Stock photo. Brand new: lowest price The lowest-priced brand-new, unused, unopened, undamaged item in its original packaging where packaging is applicable. The information is empowering and easy to access. Once your baby comes home, you may need to adjust timing and quantities depending on feeding cues. Over time, your preemie's tummy will grow enough to hold one or two ounces roughly the size of a medicine cup of formula, eight to 12 times per day.
That's about the rate at which most full-term babies feed at birth, Johnson notes. Even once you're home from the hospital, it's likely that your baby's immune system is still not fully developed. Johnson emphasizes that it's important to take extra precautions to protect your baby. Make sure that all visitors wash their hands with warm water and soap before holding your baby, and that you do the same before preparing feedings. Your preemie baby will grow and develop quickly after returning home, and it can be easy to expect that they'll "catch up" right away.
Premature Baby Care: 7 Tips For New Parents
However, it's important to remember that development will likely be delayed by the same number of weeks or months that your baby was prematurely born. A baby born eight weeks premature can be expected to develop about eight weeks behind babies born at full-term, says Johnson. Keep this in mind both when it comes to feedings, introduction of baby foods and when your pediatrician shares your baby's growth measurements with you.
If you have any concerns, pediatrician appointments are the perfect time to raise them. We all lose a significant amount of body heat through our heads, and babies' heads are much larger relative to their overall body size than those of adults. You might need some extra equipment.
Women and Newborn Health Library (WNHL): Premature Birth and Babies
Some preemies require extra help from at-home monitoring equipment for extra oxygen or for conditions like sleep apnea. If your baby is going home with an apnea monitor or oxygen equipment, make sure you know how to read and operate all the buttons and knobs, and know what to do if an alarm sounds. It can be trying at first. While it seems like a distant dream, soon enough your preemie will be sleeping through the night just like his full-term counterparts.
Just make sure you take advantage of it.
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Put the lactation consultant on speed dial. Preemies can present special breastfeeding challenges like keeping your sleepy sweetie awake long enough to get in a decent feeding. A lactation consultant can help with that as well as issues like latching on , establishing your milk supply and getting used to pumping. Take a CPR class. Most hospitals require that you learn baby CPR before checking out with your premature baby, and many offer on-site classes. Stock up on preemie equipment.
Thinking about pregnancy after premature birth
Your premature baby will need a special wardrobe and other pint-sized items. You may also need a special car seat made for low-birth-weight babies or at least an infant seat with a newborn insert that will cradle his smaller-than-usual frame. Some hospitals have loaner car seats, so ask before you leave.