Premature baby care: How to care for a premature baby at home
A lot of ladies go through the premature birth of their baby. Most of the deliveries with twins or triplets result in preterm birth. And all of them need to know how to care for a premature baby at home. Any baby born before the pregnancy of 37 weeks is called a preterm and the baby is called premature baby. The preterm delivery is categorized into three different categories. These categories are late preterm (34-36 weeks), moderately preterm (32- 36 weeks) and very preterm ( less than 32 weeks ). The doctors try that the baby is delivered full term. Only if needed, the doctor takes the decision of delivering the baby preterm. According to the research done the babies born at late preterm stage are at a greater risk of negative results.
If your baby is born premature, then your baby not only needs special care at the hospital but also at home. We will discuss a few aspects on how to care for a premature baby at home. The parents of the premature babies have a lot of questions on how will they be able to keep their baby safe. Here we will be discussing a few of them.
How to give a safe ride to the baby home?
The first thing that a new parent or the parents of a premature baby are worried about is giving the baby a safe ride home. This is possible in a properly fitted car seat. You can take advice from the hospital staff on how to install the car seat and what type of car seat is needed. But, make sure you do not take frequent rides in the car. This may tire the baby out and make the baby fussy. This may affect the baby’s breathing in turn.
A lot of times you may be comfortable breastfeeding your baby in the hospital or at the neonatal care. There you are assured that you will get help from the nurses and other staff. At home, you are alone with the baby. And sometimes this is not comfortable for the baby and mother both. You can always seek help from your health care provider. There is no need to feel guilty about not being able to breastfeed. There are other available options.
How to protect the baby from infections?
Premature babies are easily prone to infections. They tend to fall sick very easily catching infections. So, the biggest concern a parent will face is how to protect their baby from infections. Here are some suggestions:
- Keep the baby away from anyone having infection
- Wash your hands frequently
- Ask the other visiting family members to also do the same
- Sanitize the surface and toys frequently
Keep soft tissues easily available and throw them away as soon as used.
This way you can help protect your baby from infections and ensure his or her safety.
What temperature should be maintained?
Usually, the neonatal care units are kept warm. The temperature over there is usually 22 to 27-degree celsius. So, if the baby is just coming home from neonatal care unit, then it is very necessary to maintain the same temperature at home. Slowly and gradually we can reduce the temperature to about 18-degree celsius to 21-degree celsius.
What if the baby needs oxygen even when at home?
Sometimes premature baby may need oxygen even when he or she is ready to go home. If your baby is one of them then you need to have a lot of first-hand information and training. The medical staff at the hospital will train you properly. Also, the oxygen company will set up the home oxygen unit and give you the number where you can contact them 24/7. The baby will have frequent appointments with the doctor. It will be determined whether the baby can get off the oxygen or not depending on the growth of the baby.