Premature babies or preemie babies are the most delicate type of babies. Since the baby has not developed his lungs fully, he requires more care than normal babies. Preemie babies are susceptible to more respiratory diseases. Sleeping is one way for babies to develop their lungs, but in order to have your preemie baby sleep in the proper position, you should remember the follow pointers:
- Always make sure the bedding on your baby’s crib is tightly secured in place. Some babies shift all the time and may accidentally clench their tiny fingers on the bedding thus pulling it. This can be potentially harmful for the baby because he may eventually get caught up in the sheets. Secure the beddings all the time.
- Preemie babies should be sleeping on their backs and not on their tummies. Babies who sleep on their tummies are more likely to suffer SIDS or sudden infant death syndrome. There are ways to secure your preemie baby into the recommended position. You can have pillows secured on both of your baby’s sides to keep him in that position. You can also purchase an infant sleep positioner, one that has a wedge pillow and secured side pillows. This product is intended for preemie baby use with mild congestion or reflux or to prevent those symptoms from occurring.
- A preemie baby is more at risk of reflux and respiratory problems so you should position your baby with a slight tilting of the upper body. A wedged pillow can achieve this position. Just be sure that your preemie baby is securely in place and does not fall off the wedged pillow.
- Do not put large stuff toys, large blankets or big pillows in your baby’s crib. Your preemie baby should be free from accidental and potential dangers in his own abode.
- Make sure the room temperature is not too cold and not too warm. A preemie baby is susceptible to respiratory problems such as colds, RSV (Respiratory Synaptic Virus), Pneumonia, and Obstructive Airway Disease. You can put one layer of blanket of your baby but do not use the thick blankets. A thinner blanket should protect the baby from other outside conditions but at the same time, it will not add weight on his chest and would let your baby breathe normally.
- It would be best to use cloth diapers than the disposable diapers for your baby but since babies need a lot of sleep time, it is recommended to use the disposable diapers while the baby sleeps overnight. It will lessen the disruptions of sleep both for you and your preemie baby. Just be sure that you are using the right size for your baby. If the diaper size is too small for him, it might restrict his breathing by constricting the stomach.
- It is advised that preemie babies be breast-fed often. You can offer to feed your baby every 4 hours. A lot of pediatricians advise not to let a preemie baby sleep too long without being fed. You can preserve breast milk in the freezer to ensure that your baby has sufficient milk for the rest of the night.
Caring for a preemie baby may be somewhat difficult but if you have the love and support for him, it will prove not to be a difficult task. Systematic care is always required for a preemie baby from eating to sleeping.