Small Babies (My advice on preemies)

It depends on what you mean. Is the baby premature or is there another reason he is small? My daughter was 5 weeks premature and she weighed 4 lbs 10 oz when she was born. I can give advice on a premature baby. There are certain things to take into consideration and these are based on my experience...
-Since they're tiny, they don't have as much body fat as a full term newborn. We were told to keep hats on her and dress her warm. She was born at the end of summer in Texas, but she still got cold pretty easily.
-They sleep even more than a full term newborn. We had to set alarms for her night time feedings. We rarely woke up to a crying baby.
-They have a harder time learning to latch with breastfeeding. I really struggled with my daughter in this department. We spent quite a bit of time in the lactation consultant's office. Unfortunately, she never latched. I exclusively pumped and it was miserable. I'm glad I did it though. I know I made every effort to do what was best for her.
-Health issues. Luckily my daughter was extremely healthy. The only issue we had in the hospital was a bit of jaundice, which is common in preemies. She had to stay in the UV box for 24 hours. They're more subseptable to infections because they didn't get to develop in the womb as long as a full term baby. Their immune systems aren't as strong. We stayed at home as much as possible when our daughter was a newborn. Whenever we went anywhere, people immediately migrated to the tiny baby. Keep the germs away!
-Late Milestones. It may take a while for them to catch up to where they should be. It seemed like my daughter was late with everything...rolling over, crawling, etc.

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Moms Expertise
    04/08/14
    Beth
    This is great advice Madelyn. All 3 of mine were full term (or more) so I haven't dealt with this first hand, but I have friends that have dealt with a lot of these same issues!
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      04/08/14
      This is pretty spot on. My daughter was six weeks early. Four pounds, six ounces, and sixteen inches long. She was also under the UV lights for 24 hours due to jaundice. She was on oxygen for 24 hours (after birth), but was weaned off because her lungs were alright. She had a GE tube for 24 hours because she would refuse to eat. Almost as soon as the tube went in she figured out how to eat so it came back out. :) She did have a few episodes where she would get too cozy while sleeping and stop breathing. So she was in the special care nursery at our hospital for three weeks. We took her home on her three week birthday.

      I woke up every three hours to feed her and then pump since she was too little to latch. She didn't officially latch until she was three months old and I remember just being SO happy that I didn't have to pump through the night anymore. Unfortunately she was born in September, and this winter was the absolute worst in terms of frigid temperatures and ice. So she hasn't really seen the outside. Thankfully it's warming up! She seems to be fascinated with everything!

      Now she's almost seven months and a happy, healthy little smiley girl.
      Thank you for writing this!!
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        04/08/14
        8Theresa Gould
        Great advice. I've never had a preemie but my husband was one back in 1966! His mom calls him and his brother her miracle babies.
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          08/27/14
          I had my daughter at 35 weeks as well, also 4lb 10oz and 19 3/4in. Luckily for me she was perfectly fine, came home with me 2 days after I had her just like normal. I didn't breastfeed so I can't comment on that but my daughter actually slept less than my full term son on account that she eat so little at a time that she ate quite frequently for the first couple months. Her milestones were never delayed and she grew in length quite quickly, far quicker than her weight grew. She's 11 yrs old now, and pretty much still the same 5ft tall and only weighs 74lbs. I guess my babies aren't that big anyway, my son is two weeks old, was also 19 3/4in, 6lb 7oz and born at 39 weeks.
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          About Madelyn
          Current: Deridder, Louisiana
          Birth: September 14
          On Moms.com since: Apr 5, 2014
          an army wife and full time college student. I am studying History, with a focus on WWII, with hopes of working in a museum one day.
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