How to Take Care of Premature Babies

There is nothing more thrilling and exciting than having your bundle of joy in your arms. But with the happiness of finally having your baby at home comes a huge responsibility, especially if it’s a preterm baby. Premature babies need extra special care to make sure that he is safe and comfortable. However, changing the environment according to your baby’s comfort is a good idea, but that isn’t enough to through this roller coaster ride.

Listed below are some tested and tried premature baby care tips which could help in taking the best care of your baby:

1. Breastfeed your baby

Breastfeeding is essential for the health of the baby. At times, preterm babies face issues in latching. It is advised to pump your milk in a bottle and feed it to your baby in such cases. Taking care of premature babies isn’t easy. In a few cases, doctors also advise formula milk for the baby – the formula used in preparing this milk is highly beneficial for preterm babies.

Should you have any trouble producing milk, here are few foods believed to help you naturally boost breast milk production 

2. Maintain a proper schedule for feeding the baby

Preterm babies require a minimum of 7 to 9 feeds every day. Feeding the baby at fixed hours is essential. A gap of over 4 hours may result in dehydration which could prove fatal for the baby. Hence, maintain a proper schedule according to your baby’s needs so that he can be fed at the right hours.

3. Monitor the growth of your baby

It is one of the essential premature baby care tips. The growth of premature babies is different from that of a full-term baby. The good part is that they catch up eventually. Get a customized growth chart from your doctor and monitor the performance of your newborn accordingly.

Besides, crossed eyes are another common problem in preterm babies. As the baby develops and grows, this issue may go away. Keep track of this problem when taking care of premature babies. Regular eye check-ups are also essential for monitoring the condition of the newborn.

4. Monitor the hearing condition of your baby

When it comes to premature baby care, you need to keep track of all their senses as well. Hearing issues is one of the common problems in preterm babies. If your newborn is facing a hearing issue, then you must consult an expert immediately. Check your baby’s hearing by making a sound either to the side or behind your baby’s ear. Tell the doctor if your newborn doesn’t react to the noise.

5. Ensure regular visits to the doctor

The role of doctor doesn’t isn’t over even after your newborn leaves the hospital. It is essential to stay in touch with the expert. The professionals will give you the best tips for caring for a premature baby. If need be, visit the professional from time to time with your newborn.

6. Keep track of your newborn’s sleeping pattern

Preterm babies need to spend most of their time sleeping. It is essential to lay him down on a soft mattress without the pillows to ensure your newborn’s sound sleep. One of the most excellent tips for premature baby care is that you shouldn’t make the newborn rest down on the stomach side. Additionally, provide a peaceful sleeping environment for the baby. Dim lighting in the sleeping area of the baby also contributes to a peaceful sleep.

Related read: be aware of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) and how you can protect your little one from it

7. Take a professional’s advice before introducing solid food to the newborn

It is always recommended to consult an expert before giving solid food items to the babies as swallowing it may be difficult for them. At the same time, you should ensure optimal medical care for premature babies. The experts usually advise solid foods after 5 to 6 months from the date of the delivery date.

8. Keep your newborn indoor as much as possible

Avoid outdoor visits for your preterm baby, especially during the initial months. Caring for a premature baby isn’t easy, but if you follow the tips rightly, then things will become much sorted for you. Preterm babies are weaker and may catch infections easily. Besides, ensure Kangaroo care for the baby. In this technique of baby care, the mother’s skin-to-skin touch for a more extended period. Doing so helps in strengthening the cords between the mother and the baby.

9. Immunization of the baby is essential

Tracking the immunity schedule is essential to ensure proper care for a premature baby. Schedule your baby’s immunization to keep him safe from deadly allergies and infections. Always clean your hands before touching the baby to keep germs at bay. A regular medical check-up is mandatory. Make sure the baby breathes easily and freely without any troubles.

10. Restrict visitors at your home

Premature babies have low immunity. Hence, it’s wise to limit guest visits to your home for a short period, especially those who are unwell or in the habit of smoking. Even if a guest visits, you make sure they disinfect themselves properly before touching the baby. It is to ensure the best care for a premature baby.

11. Get specialized CPR Training

Parents of newborns should always be prepared for emergencies. It is best to take a specialized course in CPR and emergency training. Both mother and father, including the grandparents, should take up this course. You may consult a professional or your doctor regarding it.

12. Be extra careful when traveling with your baby

Use a high-quality infant seat recommended by experts when traveling in a four-wheeler with your newborn. Use blankets or towels (rolled-up) for giving support to the baby’s head while seated in the vehicle’s seat.

Concluding Word

Preemies generally have various complications. It is because they are underdeveloped. Babies born earlier than the expected delivery date have a high risk of infections and complications, including hearing issues, weak nervous system, heart issues and more. Therefore, you can’t take things for granted in their case. Besides, medical care for premature babies’ parents needs to look after the newborn’s developmental progress. Regular consultation with the doctor is also essential for the baby’s proper growth and development

Written by Bhargavi J