Premature Newborn Baby Care

The littlest babies need the most attention. A whopping 10+% of all babies are born premature (before the 37th week of pregnancy is completed). 

Why do premature babies need extra care?

Early babies have more health problems than full-term babies do—particularly with their hearts and lungs. Also, pre-term babies face a higher risk of cot death.

And let us not forget their mums and dads! They need lots of extra support too. After parents leave the stressed ambiance of the specialist neonatal area (with 24/7 nurses, monitors and testing), they often feel all alone when they come home. And, that can make worry levels arise. Parents of premature babies often feel the pressure to do everything right—be great parents and perfect nurses—for their fragile babies. In fact, mums of premature babies get an unfair share of postnatal depression at two to three times the rate of mums of full term babies (as high as 40%!). And studies suggest that PND may also be a serious concern for dads of premature babies, too.

Happiest Baby hopes that by shining a light on the challenges of premature birth—and offering ways to help—we might make it easier on our littlest babies and their incredible parents.

How do you take care of a premature baby?

All newborns benefit from 3 months (a 4th trimester) of extra cuddling, sound and rocking. But, these little infants even need a bit more because they missed some of their 3rd trimester in their mum’s belly. That is why they feel so happy when we spend some time imitating their life in the womb, such as the 5 S’s (snug swaddling, shushy white noise and swinging motion) and skin-to-skin contact. (A recent UCLA study showed our Happiest Baby white noise helped improve cardiopulmonary health in premature babies—less hypoxia/bradycardia). Parents—and their trusted helpers—should use these methods often, and use them with love!

What do premature babies need? A new & nurturing bed for preemies

Happiest Baby created a smart sleeper, SNOO. SNOO’s innovative features give all babies—but especially premature babies—an extra serving of the soothing rhythms they missed by leaving the womb early. SNOO is capable of aiding sleep and calming fussiness in babies (it will not soothe a baby who is hungry or uncomfortable, but it can assist babies who just need a bit more calming rhythms). Several families with premature babies have used SNOO with great success! In this video, Joel and Margaux talk about using SNOO with their daughter Ruby, who was born 6 weeks early.

Rest for Parents & Peace of Mind

Premature babies feed often…so getting more sleep is helpful for parents in the early days. As Margaux and Joel explained in the video above, SNOO did not suddenly have Ruby sleeping 6 hours straight, but it did instantly make them feel more confident (and that Ruby was safe and comforted). Plus, it reduced their total time awake during night feedings by about 30 minutes! In addition, our Smart Sleeper is extra safe because the unique SNOO Sack has special wings that clip to the cot to keep Baby on the back, so it allows for safe wrapping for as long as baby needs. This little innovation can give mums and dads peace of mind, and help them sleep more soundly through the night.

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Disclaimer: The information on our site is NOT medical advice for any specific person or condition. It is only meant as general information. If you have any medical questions and concerns about your child or yourself, please contact your health provider. Breastmilk is the best source of nutrition for babies. It is important that, in preparation for and during breastfeeding, mothers eat a healthy, balanced diet. Combined breast- and bottle-feeding in the first weeks of life may reduce the supply of a mother's breastmilk and reversing the decision not to breastfeed is difficult. If you do decide to use infant formula, you should follow instructions carefully.