Parenting

Premature Baby Development

Premature babies need special care because they come into the world earlier than other babies do. After birth, they stay in the neonatal intensive care unit for up to a few months, in general until the doctor is satisfied that they weigh enough and is able to drink sufficiently to grow. Their development may be different from other babies.

Eating and Sleeping

Premature babies can only take a little milk at a time because their digestive systems are immature and they may not have enough energy to suck for prolonged times. In general, they feed more regularly than typically developing babies, as frequent as every 1,5 or 2 hours.

Stages and Ages of Development

Premature babies go through the same sequence of development than full term babies, but they may achieve milestones later than typically developing babies. You can correct for prematurity by calculating their developmental age based on the date on which they should have been born. Most authorities agree that you can do this up to 12 to 18 months.

Immune System

Premature babies are more vulnerable to infection than full term babies because of their lungs are not fully developed at birth.

Hearing and Vision

Premature babies may have visual or hearing problems. Take your baby for an eye examination and hearing test as soon as you are able to travel with her.

Don’t succumb to feelings of guilt that your child was born prematurely, rather focus your energy on encouraging her growth and development.

What do these names have in common:

Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, J.J. Rousseau, Victor Hugo

They were all born early!

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