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Care Of Preterm Newborn - How To Do It?

Written and reviewed by
Dr. Supriya Rastogi 90% (27 ratings)
MBBS, Diploma In Child Health (DCH), Fellowship On Neonatology
Pediatrician, Faridabad  •  10 years experience
Care Of Preterm Newborn - How To Do It?

Whenever any baby takes birth 37 weeks in advance, then he is a preterm or premature baby. The baby would spend some time in the neonatal intensive care unit but very soon parents would take him home. The next thing that plays on the minds parents is about they are going to manage such a small baby.

There is no need to worry as, going forward in this article, we will discuss different tips, which could help parents to take care of their premature baby at home. Before that, we would briefly talk about the characteristics of Preterm Newborns.

Characteristics of Preterm Newborns

A premature or preterm baby would require special care as well as monitoring purely based on how early he might have arrived. Plus, his characteristics would be different in comparison to a full-term baby.

The characteristics include:

A premature baby can have low body fat. Fat is extremely important for generating heat in the bodies of newborn babies.

The lungs of the baby may not have got fully developed and hence could come across breathing problems.

Level of immunity also tends to be low for premature babies. This they could become quite susceptible to infections.

Tips Regarding Care Of Preterm Newborns At Home

Parents can consult a paediatrician to get a clear picture of exactly how they can go about taking care of premature babies. A doctor can come up with the following tips:

  • Baby Feeding: A mother should ideally breastfeed her baby. In certain situations, paediatricians can advise mothers to feed formula milk to their babies.
  • One Should Stick To The Feeding Schedule Of A Baby: A premature baby needs 8-10 feeds per day. So, mothers should make sure that they feed their babies on a regular basis. No more than a 4-hour gap should be given as that could increase the chance of getting dehydrated, which could be dangerous.
  • Keep Track Of The Baby’s Growth: The growth of premature babies happens in a different manner compared to full-term babies. Paediatricians could give parents a different growth chart in order to monitor the growth of the baby.
  • Ensure That The Baby Meets The Sleep Requirements: A premature baby needs a lot more sleep. So, parents must make sure that the baby lies on a firm mattress, without any pillows. Moreover, the baby should always be made to sleep on his back.
  • Keep The Environment Clean: As the premature baby’s immunity, even after coming home, does not get fully developed, so it is important to take extra precautions to protect the baby from getting infected. It is important to see that all visitors wash their hands with soap and warm water before touching the baby.
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