The "preemie look"? — The Bump
Preemies

The "preemie look"?

My mom has mentioned once that my dd still has the preemie look. Then she said that she'd outgrow it. We went to the doctor last month and a nurse asked was she a preemie because she had the preemie look. So now I've been staring at my child trying to figure out what the preemie look is. What do you think it is?

Re: The "preemie look"?

  • I have heard of this too and I was told it has something to do with them having disproportionately large eyes to the size of their face.  I've also heard that maybe its that their ears are a little lower and further back on the head because they stopped developing earlier than a full term baby.  I don't really know what it is exactly, but I've been told that it's very evident when people look at pics of my boys. (They are very tiny for even their adjusted age so in person you can tell right away.)  Either way, it's not something we preemie moms really need to hear.  It's just another layer on the guilt/anxiety cake.
  • In addition to what LSTaylor said, preemies often have narrow heads - the term I've heard to describe it is "toaster head". Preemies also often have little pads of fat near their temples. I don't know what that's about, but babies do outgrow it.

    Looking back at pictures of about the first 6 months or so, my boys DEFINITELY looked like preemies - but H and I were totally blind to it. IMO, my guys don't look like they were preemies at all aside from their little toaster heads, but lots of people have toaster heads that weren't preemies - like Michael Phelps!

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  • Okay, I definitely get toaster head, but other than that I don't think there is a *look* to preemies. And Laura, the boys definitely do NOT look like preemies! Yes, they are small but they don't have toaster head at all!
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  • HA! ?Toaster Head?! ?Love it! ?Unfortunately my girls had Toaster Head too. ?I'm happy report that they've lost the toaster look and now they have nice, round, melon heads. ?:)
    Claire Avery born at 32 weeks on 10/25/06 Keira Leigh born at 27 weeks on 4/29/08
  • imageijack:
    Okay, I definitely get toaster head, but other than that I don't think there is a *look* to preemies. And Laura, the boys definitely do NOT look like preemies! Yes, they are small but they don't have toaster head at all!

     Thanks! That does make me feel better.  My siggie pic doesn't really show how narrow their heads are but they are quite narrow, esp Cameron's head.  We used to have to use a mini neck boppy on the changing pad to prop their heads up straight so they wouldn't flop to the side when we laid them on their backs. LOL!  I guess at 9 mos actual they are shaking the preemie look. 

  • lol... never heard the term toaster head before.... well then most of us had some adorable looking toaster heads!
  • I thought the "preemie look" had something to do with the lack of baby fat that can come from being born early, which can make the facial features look a little different?

    One of my nurses pointed out that some preemies have eyes the seem to bulge a little until the fat fills in the eye socket area. Sometimes this can look like they have bags under their eyes. Ruby had that for awhile, but it went away when she gained more weight?

  • Interesting...never thought about DS having a "preemie look".  Now I am sitting here staring at him :-)
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  • I have no idea what the preemie look is either!  We've had a lot of people say "he doesn't even look like a preemie" and I have no idea what that's supposed to mean.

    "Toaster head" was used by our NICU nurses a lot - especially when they would reposition Jake they'd say "don't want to get toaster head."  It has to do with not being in zero gravity (like the womb) so the head gets "smushed" on the sides.

  • I guess Taylen's toaster head thing and taking after my long narrow face was a double whammy. She's still cute so oh well. She can be Tay Tay Toaster Head to me and still be my sweetness.
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