Babies, in general, require a lot of care and security. In the case of premature babies, this requirement is much higher so that developmental loopholes can be avoided. In most cases, premature babies face a large number of emotional and physical challenges. While these can be handled medically, the role of you, the parent, is extremely important. Understanding your premature baby’s needs will help you help your child meet the challenges that tend to come along during infancy and beyond. The following points emphasize how you can respond to the needs of premature babies.
Remember that a premature baby is not as strong as a baby that is born at its full term. Therefore, ask the doctor as many questions as possible about the child. Before you respond to your baby’s needs, you will need to know more about the physical condition of the child, any health risks, complications, as well as restrictions that need to be followed. Understanding is the first step to support.
Be observant. The doctor may not be able to give you a complete diagnosis of the condition of your child. Watch your baby for any movement or change in behaviour. If you feel that something is not in line with what you have been informed, bring it to the notice of the doctor so that your baby will get the right attention at the right time.
Your premature baby is more susceptible to infections. Breast milk contains components that help fight infections as well as build up your baby’s immune system. If your baby cannot be nursed because of being born prematurely, there are other ways in which to feed the child breast milk. These can be discussed with a medical professional and used depending on the condition of the child.
Bond with your baby. A premature baby suffers from emotional problems as well. Therefore, cuddling your child, holding the baby close to you and expressing a lot of love and concern will help give your little one a sense of security.
Ensure that your baby is dressed comfortably. Most premature babies require special clothing in which they will be comfortable and relaxed. Ensure that the clothes allow diaper changes or changes in hospital equipment without putting your baby through any needless suffering.
Premature babies are at higher risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Therefore, ensure that the baby’s position of sleeping is proper and that the little one gets sufficient sleep. Try to avoid letting your child sleep on its stomach and make sure that the bedding does not suffocate it.