Pregnancy is a wonderful, special yet difficult time for a mother. Sometimes even though you take all the care that you can, you find that due to some kind of complication you have a premature baby. It is very easy to get upset or disappointed but it is important to know that most such babies grow up normally and there is nothing much to worry about.
Premature babies are those born between 24 to 32 weeks of gestation and one must understand that the developmental, behavioral, nutritional and medical requirements are different from normal babies.
Firstly when you bring your little one home, make sure that the baby’s nursery is warm and cozy. Your baby has been deprived of two to three months in the womb, so make sure you keep him or her warm enough, the ideal temperature being 72 degrees F. Be sure your baby is warm not hot and always keep him or her well wrapped because they tend to get cold easily and end up spending a lot of energy in trying to keep warm.
The next thing to keep in mind is cleanliness. Be very careful to wash your hands before handling the baby, do not encourage frequent visitors, even visitors must wash their hands and most importantly do not let the baby be in contact with anyone sick or ill.
The reason to be extra careful is that your premature baby is more prone to sickness or infection than a normal baby. So sterilize bottles, pacifiers, and any thing that you use for your baby.
Breastfeeding is always the best for your baby. Preemie babies tend to drink in small amounts so feed them every two hours. Don’t let the baby without milk for more than four hours as he or she may dehydrate. The doctor may advise extra vitamins and nutrients, do give them on a regular basis.
Do not make the baby lie on his stomach as preemie babies are prone to SIDS(sudden infant death syndrome). You may need to introduce solid food after the baby reaches 13 to 15 pounds and is 6 months as per the original due date. Premature babies are special and need to be handled with utmost care. The love and parenting in the early months will ensure your baby grows up healthy and normal.