A premature baby in the house is a huge problem for parents. The list of fears and questions is long. How to care for a premature baby? Why be particularly sensitive? When should I buy a respiratory monitor for a premature baby? How to dress, bathe, feed a premature baby? Let’s try to understand this delicate subject together!
You know that a premature baby needs special care at home. Due to preterm birth, he faces various complications. What should be the right care for a premature baby after being discharged from the hospital?
When does a premature baby get into mom and dad’s house?
There is no such thing as an average premature baby. A premature baby is every child born before the 37th week of pregnancy, but we are currently saving the lives of children born on the 23rd week of pregnancy. And the smaller the child, the more he needs care, and the greater the risk that things will not go according to plan.
Children born closer to a safe gestational age are much shorter in hospital than children born at 6-7 months of gestation. The smallest premature babies stay in the hospital for up to two or three months, and those born on the 36th week of pregnancy can unsubscribe even after a week. But this is not the rule, because each case is individual, and the discharge of a premature baby depends on many factors. Although many parents want their premature baby in their home to feel comfortable even at an early date of birth.
How to determine readiness to discharge a premature baby?
The main evaluation criterion is the maturity of the child. He usually leaves the hospital when the test results are satisfactory, babies weigh at least 1.8-2.2 kg and gradually gain weight, can eat independently, coordinating sucking and swallowing with breathing. However, there are children who need a much longer stay in the hospital due to some difficulties that can only be overcome by specialists. Therefore, a premature baby at home appears only on an individual basis.
Can a premature baby in the house immediately sleep in his room?
At least for the first few months after returning home, the premature baby must sleep in his crib, but in the same room as his parents. He must eat often, he also wakes up at night, at least twice, so it is advisable to sleep in the bedroom with his parents.
I don’t recommend sleeping with a premature baby on the same bed – you can always pin it down accidentally, which can be dangerous.
Should I buy a respiratory monitor for premature babies?
We very rarely advise parents to buy such equipment. In fact, only if there were serious episodes of apnea while the child was in the ward. Parents do not need to buy a monitor, they can rent it. In those cases where the child did not have serious episodes of apnea, there is no need to use a monitor if the parents are not really afraid. Then such a monitor can ease their anxiety, although I think it is much more important and more efficient to pay more attention to the child. Under no circumstances should this be a regular purchase made by all parents of a premature baby in the house.
How to put a premature baby in the house to sleep? In what position should he lie?
This depends on the state of his health and the doctor’s recommendations, because some premature babies, such as reflux, are forced to sleep with their heads higher than the rest of the body. But, as a rule, all children, and not just premature, we recommend sleeping on the back. Since we submitted such a recommendation, the number of deaths in the crib has decreased significantly. But lying only in this position can lead to a flattening of the neck, therefore, when a premature baby in the house is not sleeping, it is worthwhile to put it in different positions, for example, on the stomach. This position greatly facilitates the development of a newborn baby, because, by raising its head, it strengthens the muscles of the back, neck and shoulders.
What does a premature baby eat at home?
It is best if the mother breastfeeds him and in most cases she manages to achieve this despite the fact that the child was given a bottle or probe in the hospital. In the first period of life, usually until the child gains 3 kg of body weight, the mother’s food is enriched with a special powder that dissolves either in the food, the child is then given a bottle or water between meals. The powder contains the protein needed by the premature baby. Then, until the age of six months, a healthy baby in the house should be exclusively breastfed, and if this is not possible, we recommend giving a mixture intended for premature babies that has a slightly different composition than milk for newborns.
How to wear a premature baby? Should he always have a hat on his head?
This should depend on the temperature in the room. The premature baby in the house is highly susceptible to cooling, so we recommend that the temperature in the room where he is located is between 24 and 26ºC, a little less at night. If the temperature is lower, the room must be heated. The bed can be installed on the radiator or placed near the oil heater. There is no need for a hat.