By Christina VanGinkel
Until one gives birth to a premature infant, or has one born to a family member or close friend, it is difficult to understand just how different the needs of theirs can be from a full term infant. Everything from diapers and clothes, to pacifiers and bottles, need to be in an altered size. Some preemies, termed Micro Preemies, may even require items so miniature; you wonder how the items would ever fit anybody because they are so miraculously small!
By the time many of these infants are released to go home from the hospital, there is a great need for these smaller clothing items and accessories. Dressing them in typical newborn wear and using bottles and pacifiers sized for your average full term infant just does not work. In the past, parents and caregivers have often had to make do, make their own, or be creative in using things that were too big. Thanks to places like BabyLoving.com that does not have to happen anymore.
Type the word preemie in the search box, and you will find direct links to order preemie clothing in appropriate sizes, including long sleeved bodysuits, suitable for girls and boys, short sleeved body suits, Halo Sleep Sack wearable fleece blankets, and two piece preemie outfits. You will also find items like the Preemie bath basket from Jacqui's Preemie Pride, which includes bath soap, bath tea, a 3 Piece set by Duck Duck Goose, including a sleeper, hat, and a receiving blanket, a 3 Piece set from Gerber that includes an 'I Love You' sleeper, hat, and bunting blanket. All of this arrives in a bassinet styled gift basket along with a Handprint Kit for you to make a print of your preemies itty, bitty hand, so you will always remember just how small they were.
Be sure to check out their retail links too, including Ebay. They have a good selection of preemie items, such as preemie sized bottles and nipples, pacifiers sized for preemies, and preemie sized disposable and cloth diapers. I also found accessories to help convert your car seat into a more stable environment for your little one, including head support devices that slip right over your car seat's straps, snug into the seat area, so when you place your tiny one into the car seat, it is not so big an area that they can slip all over.
Finding small items to make everyday tasks with your preemie baby easier, is worth the effort, as normal newborn sized items are often times just too big. Clothing hangs, slides off to the sides, diapers slip right off, car seats can be a major headache, and feeding equipment that is overly big, can even make it very difficult to allow baby to eat normally. While your hospital should provide some help with these issues, if baby does not catch up in size rapidly, you will appreciate having your own supply of many of these things. Do ask at the hospital where you gave birth though, if they have a list of retailers that you can purchase supplies for preemies. Do not wait for them to offer the information, but ask. Some hospitals are more prepared for these situations, and have a plan to follow for when a preemie gets to go home. However, for some smaller hospitals that do not normally deal with a situation such as this, they may be as in the dark about some of this information as you are.
Some items, such as car seats and diapers, you will be responsible for on your own, most likely from the minute you walk out those hospital doors. In addition, some of these you may need a supply of for some time, such as disposable diapers. For these, ask at a local store if they can order whatever it is you need. Stores may not stock some of these items, such as the diapers, but most are more than willing to place an order if they know there is a need for them. The same goes for many other special items you might require. Ask at your local pharmacy for items such as bottles, nipples, and pacifiers. These are of a health related nature, so even if your local discount store cannot locate them for you, the pharmacy may be able to.