Preemie Milestones - a quick look

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Preemie Milestones are important to know and understand. Keeping an eye on your preemies development and checking when they reach certain milestones can help you determine when a little help might be necessary.


Preemie milestones can keep you both on track

When understanding preemie milestones is important to learn a little bit of information on the typical development of various skills, as well as some information about signs that may indicate problems with development. If your preemie is not meeting the milestones mentioned you may want to talk to your paediatrician about your preemie's development.

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Signs of Difficulty

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 table below highlight some important signs that might indicate some difficulty with physical development.  

Signs to Watch for in Physical Development

You should talk to your paediatrician if you have any concerns about your preemie's development.

Age Physical Development
By 3 months
  • Difficulty lifting head
  • Stiff legs with little or no movement
  • Pushes back with head
  • Keeps hands fisted and lacks arm movement
By 6 months
  • Rounded back
  • Unable to lift head up
  • Poor head control
  • Difficult to bring arms forward to reach out
  • Arches back and stiffens legs
  • Arms held back
  • Stiff legs
By 9 months
  • Uses one hand predominantly
  • Rounded back
  • Begins to eat junior and mashed table foods
  • Poor use of arms in sitting
  • Difficulty crawling
    Uses only one side of body to move
  • Inability to straighten back
  • Cannot take weight on legs
By 12 months
  • Difficulty getting to stand because of stiff legs and pointed toes
  • Only uses arms to pull up to standing
  • Sits with weight to one side
  • Strongly flexed or stiffly extended arms
    Needs to use hand to maintain sitting
By 15 months
  • Unable to take steps independently
  • Poor standing balance, falls frequently
  • Walks on toes
These milestones represent overall age trends. There are individual differences in the exact age at which each milestone is attained.(Berk, 2008; Zaichkin, 2009)



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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