What your premature baby needs | Babies | metrobabyblog.com

What your premature baby needs

The incubator or incubator

The nurse will probably also put your baby on the stomach because it is better for breathing and sleep and prevents movements that consume energy. The Back to Sleep campaign recommends reducing the risk of sudden infant death by putting the baby to sleep supine. However, you do not have to worry about having your child sleeping on their tummy because the hospital staff will keep an eye on your child and the electronic monitoring of cardiac and respiratory rates provides extra security.

Your child's sleeping position will often need to be changed and the mattress will be tilted to raise the head, which has a positive effect on breathing and digestion. Babies feel more secure and grow better when embedded around them. Materials for this are special foam rollers, wedge pillows, neck rolls, cushions or bed nests. At some preterm stations, a granary pad is placed under the baby's head to prevent head deformation. Some stations even have small waterbeds in the incubator to soften the body. The storage in the Bettnestchen also serves the demarcation that your baby had in the womb.

Many preemies remain in the incubator until the 34th week of pregnancy or until they weigh 1350 g to 1800 g. They are then placed in warming beds.

Keep warm

The regulation of body temperature is not yet developed in premature babies and so it can neither freeze nor sweat. The baby does not have enough fat to keep it warm because it only forms during the last few weeks of pregnancy in a full-blown baby. And it has a lack of 'brown fat' - a fat that is a source of heat energy and is stored between the shoulder blades and around the kidneys in mature babies.

An incubator provides a constant temperature, the necessary humidity and possibly an enrichment of the air with additional O2. Small babies are also warmed up well if they are worn on the body like kangaroos. This so-called kangaroo (kangaroo or kangaroo) method means you can put your baby on the bare chest for several hours while being monitored by the monitor. At the same time, this method promotes the bond between parent and child. Ask the staff of the Preemie Station for details. (Muslim parents can also ask for privacy on the ward.)

Dry skin

The skin of a very premature baby is extremely thin, so it dries quickly and becomes chapped. The high humidity in the incubator and the covering of the skin help to keep the fluid loss low. In some incubators, a liquid paraffin derivative is used to store moisture. The body surface of a premature baby is huge in relation to larger children and adults and therefore the risk of dehydration is greater.


A deep sleep helps your child to develop and grow healthily. It is therefore important that your child is exposed to minimal annoyance from noise, light and nursing and medical treatment units. If your baby is allowed to leave the incubator, you will notice that it sleeps better in your arms than in the incubator. You can quietly read or sing to your child while kangarooing. Your voice will calm your baby as it will recognize her.

Protection against infections

The antibodies produced by the mother do not reach the placenta until the 32nd week of pregnancy, and thus the immune system of a baby born earlier does not provide adequate protection.
You can help by:
- offer breastfeeding or pumped breast milk
- avoid close contact with outsiders
- avoid as many people as possible
- Wash your hands before touching your baby
- wear a mask if you have a cold or a cold
- Do not come into contact with cold sores or genital herpes.

Protection from bright light

The lighting on the nursery should not be garish. This is not good for premature babies whose eyes are particularly sensitive to bright light, and it keeps very premature babies from getting enough deep sleep. It can also make you restless, hindering weight gain and reducing your waking state (the brief moments when you are alert and alert). At worst, it damages their eyes. In the meantime, most preemie intensive care units work with point lighting if required.

You and the hospital staff can help by:
- keep the lighting low
- Use dimmers to avoid sudden brightness, which literally takes some babies' breath away
- put on the curtains on sunny days
- Darken the incubator, unless a very sick or small baby needs permanent observation
- Darken the head area when it is on a ventilator
- put on protective goggles until the 31st week after conception
- Shield it from light therapy done on a nearby baby
- Do not let any form of extra lighting come to his eyes
- dim the light regularly when it reaches an age of 30 to 32 weeks after conception
- have their own lighting for each incubator.

Protection from noise

Loud and sudden noises disturb a premature baby, impair his sleep and increase his oxygen demand. Loud sounds can also prevent it from learning to distinguish speech patterns.

With it you can protect your baby:
- talk softly
- observe rest periods
- a sign "Please rest - baby sleeps" hanging on the incubator
unnecessary noise, e.g. from the radio, avoid speaking loudly in front of the incubator
- Do not close doors, quietly close drawers and trash cans
- Move devices quietly
- immediately take care of crying babies nearby
- use a cushioned incubator cover
- react quickly to alarm signals
- replace noisy alarm with visual alarm
- Replace the staff's sounders with vibration sensors
- more often remove the water from the breathing tube

Your voice, your heartbeat and other body sounds

Listening to your voice and listening to your heartbeat, belly-jarring and other body sounds are reassuring and comforting for your child. If you or your partner can not be there, you could tape your voices. However, it is important that the hospital staff set the players to "quiet", otherwise the audition would cause hearing damage.

Your smell

Recognizing your body odor can relax your baby and is especially important when learning to be breastfed. Do not use perfumes, intensive deodorants or aftershaves if you want to visit your ICU or want kangaroos.


Preemies develop faster through intense body contact. A study on healthy preemies less than 36 weeks after conception shows that intense contact increased weight gain by 47 percent a day. A similar study found that many touches caused the baby to be released earlier. Intense touch can interrupt respiratory arrest, and keeping your child's finger will make it quiet and breathe better.

It is important that you do not touch your child by violent stroking movements (to and fro the skin), but hold with the whole hand on the head and feet. The skin of the preemies is very sensitive and could be irritated too much. By holding, you give your child support and safety, as well as a limit that it knows from the womb. Speak to your child quietly and, if possible, hold this position for a longer period of time.

If treatment or care is required, it will be less alarming when you wake up:
- touch it carefully
- Give him a finger to hold on
- make it suck on a (clean) fingertip or pacifier
- wrap it in a sheet (peck)
- slowly dim the light brighter
- talk quietly or sing

Some babies are less worried when needed procedures are done in one go. However, in weak and very immature premature babies, it is better if they can recover after each procedure. Carefully place one hand around his head and the other on his back. It is also important to schedule time and space during the treatment for soothing gestures, so that the child is not overwhelmed and does not fear every subsequent touch that something bad could happen to him now.

The more your child grows and grows, the more often you will be able to touch it. It is likely to be creamed starting at the 32nd week of pregnancy and will then sleep well and need less artificial oxygenation. Make sure your child is warm, pay attention to low indirect lighting and wash and warm your hands. Take care products allowed by the ward and let your love speak through your hands by stroking your body.


After a few days or weeks you will be instructed by your competent intensive care nurse to be able to wrap your child without having to remove any hoses. Important: Speak to the nurse and rules of the ward, as the fluid excretion needs to be measured and controlled in small preemies. If your child has grown a bit bigger and more stable, you should change your child's diaper as soon as it is wet or dirty, because in a wet diaper, a little baby will cool down quickly.


Small babies quickly undercool when washed, so the nurse nurses will recommend using a heat radiator. Washing can also be quite stressful for your child and it could then require more oxygen.


Many babies feel better when wrapped tight - perhaps because they feel safer. Swaddling causes them to cry less, sleep more, and save energy because they move less. It can even increase your oxygen supply.


A baby that is mature and fit enough to cope without an incubator feels comfortable when gently rocked. Maybe it will trigger memories of the womb. Weighing improves rhythmic breathing and a deep sleep. Using a baby sling or kangaroo-style tummy tucks will give you movement, warmth and, at the same time, strengthen the bond with your child.


It is quite sufficient if a baby only wears a diaper and a cotton hat in the incubator. The cap is necessary because the baby gives off a lot of body heat over the head. Meanwhile, there are already special manufacturers of very beautiful preemies clothing, such. B. Perbelle, a thousand or XXS baby. During product development, you paid attention to the necessary openings for monitors and infusions. It may be that own clothing is prohibited - it is not necessary in the incubator anyway. So you better ask before you buy something.


You can try the following:
In the meantime, several companies have specialized in the production of premature nappies. It is important to avoid plastic foils on the sensitive premature skin so that it can breathe. For hygiene reasons, the use of cloth diapers is not allowed in many clinics.

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