Preemie Development - a quick look

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Keeping an eye on your preemies development can help you determine when a little help might be necessary.


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Preemies aren't just small...

Sometimes preterm children can develop at different rates to a child born full term. In this way it is important to know the key developmental milestones and timeline so that you are able to give your preemie any help if required.


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Development of Touch, Taste, Smell

Keeping an eye on your preemies development can help you determine when a little help might be necessary

It’s amazing how quickly babies grow and develop! The tables below highlight some important milestones. Although these tables give an average age at which milestones are achieved it is important to realise that even babies born at term achieve these milestones at varying ages. For preemies, you should always correct for their prematurity. 

Development of Touch, Taste, and Smell

Have a look at the following information for typical development of these senses. You should talk to your paediatrician if you have any concerns about your preemie's development.

preterm infants touch taste & smell development


Age Touch Taste and Smell
Birth Is responsive to touch, temperature
  • change, and pain
Can distinguish sweet, sour, and bitter taste; prefers sweetness
  • Distinguishes smells; prefers smell of sweet tasting foods
  • Prefers smell of own mother and lactating breast
1 – 6 months Prefers salt solution to plain water
  • Taste preferences can be easily changed through experience
These milestones represent overall age trends. There are individual differences in the exact age at which each milestone is attained.(Berk, 2008)

 

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AlbertEinstein_iconOne of the greatest minds in history, Albert Einstein was born preterm.

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Preemie, Premmie, or Prem?

Most babies spend between 38 and 42 weeks in their mother’s uterus. So, technically a preterm birth, preemie, premmie, or prem, is an infant who is born less than 37 completed gestational weeks. 


Read More: Defining Preterm birth


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