What your premature baby needs

Do premature babies need to nurse more often than full-term babies? (March 2019).


The Incubator or Incubator

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

Your child's sleeping position will often need to be changed and the mattress will be tilted to lift 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 preemie stations, a granule pad is placed under the baby's head to prevent head deformation. Some stations even have small waterbeds in the incubator to make the body softer. The storage in the Bettnestchen also serves the demarcation that your baby had in the womb.

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

Keeping Warm

Regulating body temperature has not been established in premature babies, so it can not freeze or sweat. The baby does not have enough fat to keep it warm, as 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 you wear them on the body in the manner of kangaroos. This 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.


Deep sleep helps your child 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.

Prevention of Infections

The antibodies produced by the mother do not reach the placenta before the 32nd week of pregnancy, and thus the immune system of a premature baby does not provide adequate protection.

You can help by:

- offering breast milk that has been pumped out

- avoiding close contact with outsiders

- avoiding crowding

- wash your hands before you touch your baby

- wear a surgical mask if you have a cold or a cold

- do not come into contact with cold sores or genital herpes.

Bright Light Protection

The lighting on the nursery should not be garish. This is not good for preemies, 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, hamper weight gain, and reduce 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:

- keeping the lights low

- use dimmers to avoid sudden brightness, which literally takes some babies' breath away

- on sunny days the Drape curtains

- darken the incubator, unless a very sick or small baby needs permanent observation

- darken the head area when it is on a respirator

- until the 31st week after conception put on protective goggles

- shield it from light therapy done on a nearby baby

- do not allow any extra light to come to his eyes

- dim the light regularly when it ages From 30 to 32 weeks after conception has reached

- for each incubator to have its own lighting.

Noise Prevention

Loud and sudden sounds disturb a premature baby, impairing his sleep and increasing his need for oxygen. Loud sounds can also prevent it from learning to distinguish speech patterns.


- Keep quiet

- Keep calm

- Hang a sign ""Please rest - Baby sleeps"" on the incubator

- unnecessary noise, eg.

- do not slam doors, close drawers and dustbins silently

- move equipment silently

- immediately take care of crying babies nearby

- one use padded incubator cover

- respond quickly to alarms

- replace loud alarm with visual alarm

- replace the personal beeps with vibration transducer

- 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 Scent

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 due to 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 with violent stroking (tossing of the skin), but hold with the whole hand on the head and feet. The skin of premature babies is very sensitive and could be irritated too much. By holding you give your child support and safety as well as a limitation 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 of the child is due, then it will be less alarming when awakening if you:

- touch it carefully

- give it a finger to hold on

- put it on a (clean)

- diminish it in a sheet

- dim the light brighter

- speak softly or sing

Some babies are less worried when required procedures in a single operation be done.However, it is better for weak and very immature preemies to 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 from 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.


Your competent nurse will instruct you after a few days or weeks to be able to wrap your child without removing hoses. Important: Talk to the nurse and the rules of the ward, because the fluid excretion in small preemies must be measured and controlled. If your child has grown a little bigger and more stable, you should change your child's diaper as soon as it's wet or dirty, because in a wet diaper, a little baby will chill 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 tightly - perhaps because they feel safer. Swiping 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 good 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 for a baby to wear only 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:

Meanwhile, 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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