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Premature Babies – Taking care of Premie at home

Premature Babies | Taking care of premature babies at home | When can I take my premature baby home | Premature baby care at home | What are the precautions to take when there is a premature baby at home | Do’s and Don’t when there is a premature baby at home

Premature Babies at Home Taking Care of Premature Babies at Home Taking Care of Premie at Home How to take care of premature babies at home what are the preparations needed to take care of premature babies do and don't at home when there is a premature baby at home home care for premature babies

I’ve vastly spoken about reasons for Premature Birth and which babies are called premies. In this article let us know how to take care of a premie and a few relative things which can be helpful.

When can I take my Premie Home?

Premature Babies are kept under 24/7 observation in the NICU – Neonatal Intensive Care Unit to monitor them. They are discharged when:

  • They are able to breathe on their own
  • Maintain body temperature without any support
  • Breastfeed directly or in paladai/oLale or syringe
  • Weight gain of the baby is on track

It may be costing to watch your baby at NICU. It was the same with me as I was discharged prior and I had to make visits to feed her sometimes. We were advised to buy a breast pump with the help of which I used to send pumped milk along with my husband, sibling, or parent. This helped me a lot to cut down the visit, rest well and recover by the time baby was home. So, its best to be at home than to cry at the hospital. Be rest assured the staff is there 24/7 and it’s good for your baby in all means. Even if you had twins and one is ready and the other one yet needs to stay back, the same thought should be applied. Settle with one by the time the other one is home.

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Premature Baby Care at Home

  • Attend Discharge Briefing 

Premature Babies at Home Taking Care of Premature Babies at Home Taking Care of Premie at Home How to take care of premature babies at home what are the preparations needed to take care of premature babies do and don't at home when there is a premature baby at home home care for premature babies

Before taking the baby home have a discussion with the doctor in detail about the baby’s current health, progress, and risks. He will be the best person to explain this in detail. Not just you but your partner and caretaker also need to be present during this discussion. Note down all the instructions with a pen and paper. Make another detailed list for any medicines recommended. Sometimes or most times we do not understand the doctor’s handwriting.

  • Stock up Essentials 

Premature Babies at Home Taking Care of Premature Babies at Home Taking Care of Premie at Home How to take care of premature babies at home what are the preparations needed to take care of premature babies do and don't at home when there is a premature baby at home home care for premature babies

Premies do not fit into regular clothes or diapers, hence lookout for specialized ones. Also do not stock up extensively as they shall outgrow them very quickly. A Good Baby Carrier will be helpful in keeping them close and warm, so invest in an ergonomic one. LID. A Feeding Pillow will make your life easy as it’s difficult to hold and feed a very small baby. Breastpump, Sterilizer, Bottles, and paladai can be helpful.

  • Create a Support System 

Premature Babies at Home Taking Care of Premature Babies at Home Taking Care of Premie at Home How to take care of premature babies at home what are the preparations needed to take care of premature babies do and don't at home when there is a premature baby at home home care for premature babies

All babies need multiple people to take care of them, but premature babies need more than that. No hand is less when it comes to premies, so take all the help offered. Mother, father, brother, sister, in-laws, husband all need to be a team here. Medicines, hourly feeds, bathing everyone needs to be aware of everything or one job a person can be shared. Hire a full-time maid if you can afford it. Most hospitals advise on handling premature babies including giving bath to them, please don’t forget to talk to the NICU staff.

  • Get the Room Ready 

Premature Babies at Home Taking Care of Premature Babies at Home Taking Care of Premie at Home How to take care of premature babies at home what are the preparations needed to take care of premature babies do and don't at home when there is a premature baby at home home care for premature babies

Premature babies need to be in a room with temperature not too little or too more to bother. Sleep is a very important aspect for babies to grow well and hence the bed needs to be proper too. Never keep it messy or unhygienic. Keep all the necessary items in the room to not waste time searching. Create a baby station. Air the room every now and then.

  • Breastfeed Right 

Premature Babies at Home Taking Care of Premature Babies at Home Taking Care of Premie at Home How to take care of premature babies at home what are the preparations needed to take care of premature babies do and don't at home when there is a premature baby at home home care for premature babies

Breast milk is the best medicine for your premature baby to help her reach all the milestones. Breastmilk is easy for your baby to digest and will keep him away from infections and build immunity. Meet the lactation counselor if you find any difficulty, it’s worth each rupee paid. Breastfeeding a premature baby can be quite challenging initially. They will not have enough energy to suck directly from your breast and hence a breast pump will surely be a good investment. You can feed them breastmilk using a spoon, syringe, or oLLe until they can suck directly.

  • Choose the right Pediatrician 

Premature Babies at Home Taking Care of Premature Babies at Home Taking Care of Premie at Home How to take care of premature babies at home what are the preparations needed to take care of premature babies do and don't at home when there is a premature baby at home home care for premature babies

A pediatrician plays a prominent role while advising a premature baby reach milestone. If in doubt always take a second opinion. Research a bit and zero on a pediatrician who is good with NICU and premature babies. Most of them are but one who specializes is best. Also, he needs to be a calm and patient one, and available on the phone when needed. Initial few weekly visits and later monthly visits are a must for these babies. They give a chart or just mention that baby needs to gain a certain weight in these many days. Breast milk and medicines suggested can help them reach the same. Never postpone a Doctor Visit and ensure to visit in the first slot when there is less number of people, babies to avoid infections.

  • Avoid guests in Baby Room 

It can be a very difficult task especially in Indian Community but be gentle and calm in explaining to your guests that your baby doesn’t need your visit right now. These babies have poor immunity and any small infection can be dangerous.

  • Hygiene 

Premature Babies at Home Taking Care of Premature Babies at Home Taking Care of Premie at Home How to take care of premature babies at home what are the preparations needed to take care of premature babies do and don't at home when there is a premature baby at home home care for premature babies

Wash baby clothes, sweaters more often, same applies to mother as well. Give a baby bath in the baby room in a baby tub instead of taking them to the bathroom in the first few months. One cannot insist more on how important maintaining hygiene is for babies so everyone in the family needs to be cautious. Ask everyone to wash their hands and legs before meeting the baby and insist not to visit the baby room often. My father and brother were allowed to hold the baby until the 15th day. Also, avoid going out in the first few months.

  • Kangaroo Care 

Premature Babies at Home Taking Care of Premature Babies at Home Taking Care of Premie at Home How to take care of premature babies at home what are the preparations needed to take care of premature babies do and don't at home when there is a premature baby at home home care for premature babies

Skin to skin or Kangaroo care works magically. My relative who recently delivered a baby and was not breastfeeding well was amused with how well it worked for them. It helps maintain a baby’s body temperature, helps in growth and weight gain, helps in increasing breastmilk supply, helps in good sleep, and most importantly creates good bonding and intimacy. Father and caretaker can do this too.

  • Stay Strong 

Premature Babies at Home Taking Care of Premature Babies at Home Taking Care of Premie at Home How to take care of premature babies at home what are the preparations needed to take care of premature babies do and don't at home when there is a premature baby at home home care for premature babies

Spit ups, vomit, more sleep, less milk intake, smaller child, and weaker child all these problems and thoughts are real and can easily break down a strong human being too. It is not easy to manage a baby and more so if it is a premature baby. Positivity helps a lot, try to educate your family first that it is just a phase and learn to not listen to what people say. Postpartum depression can take a toll on you if you start bothering too much. Being practical and confidently taking care of your baby is most important and crucial for her growth currently. Most importantly eat well, rest well and take care of your health which definitely helps in staying strong.

As I always say it is easy to say than done, but trust me I’ve been through the phase and it is just a PHASE. In a few months, you will not observe any difference between your premature child and a fully developed child.

Premature Babies – Taking care of Premie at home

Premature Babies at Home Taking Care of Premature Babies at Home Taking Care of Premie at Home How to take care of premature babies at home what are the preparations needed to take care of premature babies do and don't at home when there is a premature baby at home home care for premature babies

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