Quest about helping a friend with a preemie — The Bump

Quest about helping a friend with a preemie

Hi Ladies,

Before I get to my question I just want to say that I haven't posted or lurked on this board at all, so I really hope that this question is appropriate to the board and not offensive!

I have a friend that will be delivering her baby early (between 32-36 weeks) due to medical reasons, and she doesn't have anything ready yet.  A group of us want to get together and get her the basics- but I'm not sure if there's anything special/different you need for a preemie.  My own DS is 6mth and was full-term, so I know in general what babies need, but not anything preemie-specific.

I'm thinking that (in order of priority) we should get her car seat, pack n play (can be used as bassinet and also changing station), preemie diapers and outfits, wipes, swaddle wraps, bottles, pacis, burp cloths, stroller.  Is there anything I'm missing?  Any of this a bad idea/not preemie-appropriate?

We're also planning to bring over prepared meals, muffins, etc. once baby is here.  Is there anything else that would be helpful?


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Re: Quest about helping a friend with a preemie

  • Nope, that all sounds good! Make sure you get the slowest-flow nipples you can for her bottles, if she's registered for Dr. Brown's, they actually have a preemie nipple. Also, I think most NICUs use Soothie pacifiers, and my DD would only take a soothie after her NICU time, so you might want to get those instead of the other brands.

    If you REALLY want to help out, you could ask her for a to-do list and just get to work. Although it sounds like she knows she's going to deliver early, so she might get everything done in time. But when DD was born early, it was a surprise to everyone and we were totally unprepared. My in-laws came over and completed all of our projects and I just started crying I was so happy that it was all taken care of.

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  • What great friends yall are! There is a big difference between at 32 weeker and 36 weeker. So depending on when the baby is born and with what diagnosis will depend on how long they will be in the NICU.

    Here are some ideas for a package or gifts for preemie parents:

    - journal so they can write down weight, feeds, temp, developments, etc while in the NICU. 

    - camera to leave at bedside (disposable is great) so the nurses can take picture if the baby is doing something new when the parents are not there. 

    - Gas or food gift cards and/or frozen meals. 

    - Preemie clothes, hats. In our NICU preemies had to weigh 1500 grams before they could wear clothes so depending on how much the baby weighs they might not wear clothes for a little while. 

    - Blankets are nice, especially home made ones.

    - The NICU should provide preemie diapers and when they come home the baby might not be in preemie diapers anymore. My son was born at 30 weeks and weighed 2lbs he came home 2 months later in new born size and QUICKLY moved to size 1s. I would not get preemies and get a larger size. 

    - Things for mom and dad are nice as well. Being a NICU parent is extremely taxing and some parents forget to take care of themselves which makes it 10x worse when the baby comes home. I would have loved a day out with the girls, get a pedicure, lunch, dinner, etc.

    Hope this helps a little bit. Its not offensive to buy her things for a full term baby like bath, linens, car seat, etc because the baby will use those items eventually. I also loved personalized items. One friend gave us a picture frame that said, "so tiny, so loved" and to this day it is my favorite picture frame we have because it reminds me of where we started!

    Mom to former 30 weeker born early to Pre-E. Now happy, health and growing at home!
  • I love your list!  We had some friends do something similar, and it was so so helpful.  The only thing to think about when deciding what to set up for them is that some toys and gear isn't appropriate for preemies right at the beginning.  Our NICU said no visual stimulation until the baby's due date, which means we weren't supposed to put him on an activity mat.  Also, he wasn't supposed to go into a swing until 38 weeks' gestational age, and he isn't supposed to go in a bouncy seat until his due date.  Knowing those things may help you decide which pieces of equipment to set up for your friend.

    I'm sure your friend will be so thankful for your help!  Having friends do that for us made things so much easier. 

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  • I LOVED my Dr. Browns preemie bottles & nipples!! I also second the soothie paci's - Nolan won't use ANYthing else besides these & we've tried all of them. 

    Hand Sanitizer!!! Depending on how big the baby is a preemie swaddler was nice. Also if you can find preemie socks!! I had a heck of a time finding socks that fit! 

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  • It's very sweet what you are doing...she is lucky to have a friend like you. Be sure that if you do purchase a carseat that it is designed for preemies. Not all carseats can safely hold a check the weight specifications. And the soothie pacifers are of my LOs was addicted prior to leaving the hospital.
    Mom of Riley-13, Libby Jaye-11, Maguire-8, Callum & Maggie-7mo Photobucket
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