Premature Baby Growth & Vaccination Schedule

Tips on Caring for a Premature Baby

Babies born before their complete term in their mother's womb are termed premature, and these babies have special requirements in the first two years of their life. Special care for premature babies is all the more essential if their weight at birth was less than three pounds.

Special care has to be put in their food basics, their immunization charts and their overall growth and development.

Growth in a Premature Baby

The foremost important thing is keeping in regular contact with the doctor about the baby's growth. Growth in a premature baby may not take place at the same rate as a normal one in the first two years; premature babies are usually smaller and their growth occurs in bursts. A doctor can use special growth charts to track the baby's growth, along with other details like their state of activeness, their first crawl and situp.

Doctors also help plan a premature baby's feeding chart which would include vitamins, iron and special feeding formula for those being bottle-fed. These babies need extra vitamins for growth and iron as their bodies do not store much iron as the full-term baby.

Feeding Schedule

Feeding requirements for premature babies are different, and most babies require 8-10 feedings in a day, and a gap of no more than 4 hours in between two feeds. This is important as a gap between feeds increases the risk of dehydration. A rough indicator of sufficient fluid intake is a change of six to eight wet diapers in a day. Also, parents would want to make sure their baby is gaining weight over time.

Solid and Liquid Food Diet

It would take longer for premature babies to develop swallowing ability and for this reason doctors advise giving a premature baby solid food only after 4 to 6 months after the baby's original birth date.

Vaccination Schedule

the vaccination schedule for premature babies is same as that fo full term babies; a flu shot will be highy beneficial as premature babies fall victim to flu more often.

Your Baby's Sleep

Premature babies sleep for shorter spans of time, though overall they tend to sleep for longer periods. Also, babies must sleep on their backs, and on a firm pillow. This is the best way prevention technique against sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

Travelling with a Premature Baby

An infant car seat is to be used when travelling with a baby in car. Rolled-up towels and blankets keep a baby's head and body from slumping. Never leave a baby unattended in the car, and it is always a good idea to have a friend or family member riding in the backseat with the baby.

A premature baby's needs are quite simple; all they need is some warmth and nutrition to develop into healthy toddlers. Their nutritional needs are special as they need to grow at a fsater rate to catch up, while at the same time their digestive tracts are not fully developed. With special care and attention a premature baby will grow to become healthy and active kids