Help & Support - a quick look

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Parenting a preemie can be tough and it's important to find ways of coping and looking after your own health. It can also make you feel more in control if you can learn some great strategies to help with your prem's learning and development.


Finding a balance and a way forward

Parenting a preemie can be challenging and is a significant life transition. It is important that you find time and ways of taking care of your own health and wellbeing. Eating well, staying fit and healthy, and getting enough rest and relaxation are vital for optimal health. Maintaining and caring for relationships, especially with your partner is also important. If you need it, don't discard the option of professional assistance. Also, find advice about optimizing development and learning strategies to help with thinking & behavior difficulties.

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Optimizing Preemie Development: 1 to 2 Years

Everyone wants their baby to be happy and healthy; here are some tips for you to help optimise your preemie’s development over the first 6 months of life.

Ways to Optimize Your Preemie Baby’s Development by age

Average Age Ways to Optimize Your Preemie Baby’s Development
12 months (1 year)
  • Continue naming objects and actions
  • Encourage use of a cup with a lid or a partly filled standard cup
  • Offer lots of praise for efforts to imitate
  • Read to your child often and have them turn the page as you go (children’s books with thick pages can be great for this)
  • Give simple directions, such as “Give mummy the rattle”
  • Offer lots of praise when they succeed
15 months
  • Have lots of conversations with your toddler
  • Provide finger food for your child so they can practice reaching & grasping
  • Allow them to try to feed and dress themself with your help
  • Encourage different activities under supervision, such as colouring with crayons, building blocks, and finger-painting
18 months
  • Encourage conversation
  • Encourage play with different sized balls, teach them how to throw and kick
  • Provide building blocks and encourage your child to construct things
  • Read books together
  • Encourage and praise attempts to feed, dress, and wash themselves
24 months (2 years)
  • Encourage your child to use words and sentences instead of pointing
  • Read together and encourage your child to point at and name pictures in the book i.e. animals, bat, ball, house, clothing, and so on
  • Continue to praise attempts at dressing, washing, feeding, and housework
  • Encourage the use of a spoon and fork
  • Provide simple puzzles to encourage size and shape differentiation
  • Play games that encourage large muscle development and interactive skills, such as chasey, hide and seek, ball games
  • Encourage cooperation with other children
  • Organise fun & educational trips to provide more learning experiences, such as to the zoo, aquarium, beach, or shopping centre
(DiPietro, 2000; McLoyd, 1998; Parker, et al., 1988)



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

Help us help you!

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Preemie Help is also looking to provide a resource for any professionals that have contact with preterm babies and children in order to help them best understand the challenges that face a preemie. Get in contact to help us impact preemies.

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



New Release - Preemie Development

All in one easy to read eguide

‘The complete preemie guide to: ‘Preemie development’ is the must have guide to the NICU for new preemie parents.

With an easy-to-read layout this comprehensive guide is over 130 pages of important information about the NICU and your preemie.

Using Adobe’s .pdf format makes the guide usable across a wide range of platforms from ipad to PC, smartphone to macbook.

Packed with extra features like progress charts, NICU checklists and plenty of others. ‘The preemie guide’ is a must for any new parents.