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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Optimising Preemie Development the First 6 Months

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.

You may have to wait until your baby is well enough to do some of these things; remember 0 will actually be when your preemie was supposed to be born not from their actual birth date

Ways to Optimize Your Preemie Baby’s Development by age

Average Age Ways to Optimize Your Preemie Baby’s Development
0 – 1 month
  • Spend time talking or singing to your prem
  • Spend time with your baby face-to-face and provide bright interesting objects close to their face for them to look at
  • Give your premmie bells or rattles
  • Hang interesting mobiles above their cot
  • Position your preemie baby on their stomach for playtime
2 months
  • Spend time talking or singing to your prem
  • Use interesting objects to get your prem to follow it in different directions, by moving it up and down, left and right
  • Smile at your baby and make happy sounds
  • Give your preemie toys or objects with a different feel to them e.g. teddy bear, plastic rattle, book, or large wooden block
3 months
  • Spend lots of time talking, smiling, and socialising with your premmie baby
  • Position your baby on their stomach for playtime
  • Help support them in the sitting position
  • Offer your baby toys & objects from a distance so your baby has to reach for or work to get at it
  • Offer toys or objects that your preemie baby can grasp
  • Help your baby shake the rattle or grasp objects if they don’t do it by themselves
4 months
  • Spend lots of time talking, smiling, and socialising with your premmie baby
  • Help your baby change positions during playtime, i.e. sitting, lying on back or stomach
  • Encourage your baby to roll over by offering toys on the side opposite your baby’s position
  • Help your baby bring their hands together to the centre of their body; let your baby bring their hands to their mouth
  • Attract your baby’s attention or try to gain a reaction by shaking a rattle or bell
6 months
  • Continue to spend time talking, singing, smiling and laughing with your baby
  • Position your baby on their back and place toys just out of reach to one side to encourage rolling over onto their stomachvEncourage exploration of their surroundings
  • Encourage new and different types of play
  • Encourage banging and activities that create noise
(DiPietro, 2000; McLoyd, 1998; Parker, Greer, & Zuckerman, 1988)



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

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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.