WPD12: What To Buy A Premature Baby

When a baby is born too soon it can be very difficult for friends and family to know what to do. Is it a celebration even though the future of a tiny life is so uncertain?

When I gave birth to Esther and William I was a bundle of mixed emotion but among the sadness, fear and worry there was joy and pride too. I had given birth to two beautiful but tiny babies who were fighting for their lives. I was going to be strong for them and make the most of the time that we had. Thankfully our story has so far had a happy ending, the twins will soon be two and a half.

I still think of those earliest days and before Matilda I felt robbed of my happy birth and people coming to visit us for cuddles in the hospital, bringing balloons.

I remember people visiting us when Esther and William were born. I cried so much to begin with but by the time my sister in law and my best friend came in the afternoon I was feeling some hope and masses of pride for the little bravehearts David and I had created.

I wanted people to say well done and to bring us presents. I was a new mum just like any new mum. I had new babies. Two! I was proud of what love had done. I needed positive people around me to help me be strong for our babies.

As it happened when Matilda was born we asked people not to come to the hospital. It all happened over night and we wanted the day to bond as a three before heading home for tea and to begin our busy life as a family of five!

If someone you know has a baby too soon. Here are some of the things you might buy.

Comforters That Can Be Used As Blankets
When Esther and William were first born and in their incubators they were not able to wear clothes or have covers. Their skin was so fragile and it needed to continue to develop in a warm, humid environment. The day that their hunidity was turned off and their environmental temperature started to be reduced was an occasion to be marked and celebrated. We bought them each a baby comforter which because of their tiny proportions they were able to use as a blanket! Everyone on the unit knew about the Teddykompaniet blankets covering the Henley twins. All the staff knew that the giraffe was little Esther and the elephant was tiny William. The comforters provided them with comfort and an identity.

Giraffe for Little Esther

A Small Soft Toy
Once babies are out of humidity they can have bedding and also small toys. If they had been around for Esther and William’s arrival I would have loved them to have Safebreathe toys in their incubator. Matilda has a Hoppy and she loves him. Esther and William did not have toys in their incubators but they did have the animals attached to their comforters. The jungle ones and also some very cute Jellycat bunnies. These were mostly used as super soft blankets. Esther and William, and Matilda, use them now as toys.

Pink for a Girl

Blue for a Boy

Keepsake Box
Another gift that I would have loved for collecting all the bits and pieces from NICU such as CPAP hats and arm splints is a memory box. There are some beautiful ones around on the Internet. I love these from Born Gifted. They have gorgeous designs for girls and boys.

Muslin Squares
One thing that can be bought for any mummy I think is a pack of muslin squares. They have so many uses and for prem babies they can be used as an extra layer of warmth or a bottom sheet on their cots. These beautiful muslins from Aden and Anais would make a wonderful gift and can be used well into the toddler years. And beyond.

Stories To Read Aloud
One thing that I loved doing when Esther and William were in the hospital was reading to them. I read poems and picture books, short stories and news. It was soothing for me and them. It gave us a connection. A good present might be a collection of stories to read aloud. I loved reading Bible stories to Esther and William. To this day they seem to enjoy them too. I have a Lion Storytelling Bible. It is great for young kids. We used one of the stories at Esther and William’s christening last year.

Specialist Clothes
As premature babies continue to grow and as their health improves they reach a point, a beautiful point when they are allowed to start wearing clothes. I think that a clothing bundle from Teddy and Me at this point would be a lovely gift for a new mummy and her preemies.

A Towel
One other present that would be nice for mummy and baby is a Cuddle Dry apron towel. When you first bath your premature baby it is on the special care ward for all to see and unless you are prepared you might have to dry your baby in a hospital towel. A thoughtful gift therefore for a prem baby and their mummy is a pretty and practical, super soft towel.

Beautiful Post Bath Bubba

Hand Cream
As a mummy with babies on NICU I washed my hands more than ever before in my life. I continued to do so when I came home and a bottle or tube of luxury hand cream would have been the perfect indulgent gift for me.

Clean Hands Had Never Been More Important

These are some presents you might like to buy for a new mummy and her premature babe.

What is the best new mummy or baby gift you have been given?

WPD12: Bonding with your Premature Baby with Baba Sling and Poddle Pillow

When you first bring your baby home it is the most wonderful feeling.

Matilda Mae came home with us on the day that she was born. For Esther and William it was the 59th day.

59 days old and still carried easily with just one hand.

They were still so small.

Too tiny for many of the toys and accessories we had bought for them.

Too tiny for chairs and bouncers and rockers.

Far too teeny for their bed!

Tiny little creatures lost in their pram.

Born too soon and too small.

I wish with Esther and William there had been two products that I know of now. The Baba Sling and the Poddle Pillow.

These would have given some comfort and security to the babies and me.

The Poddle Pillow could have been used to give an extra snug fit to prams and cots. It would have been a warm and safe place to lay and play or sleep. A comfortable place to be dressed and changed.

The Baba Sling would have provided a way of wearing one baby close to my heart while leaving my hands free for the other.

I did not just have one tiny baby to orientate with the world but two!

My bonding with all my babies began long before I brought them home.

I read and sang to both my bumps.

I spent every minute that I could with each of my newborn babes.

It is not always easy to bond with a NICU baby but these are just some of the things you can do.

Enjoy kangaroo cuddles
There is something magical about skin to skin cuddles for babies and their parents. It is a natural way to bond with your baby. It steadies the baby’s heart rate and can stimulate the mother’s milk production. It also melts your heart. How can you not love a tiny being you have created who’s warmth is on your warmth, heart beating with your heart and tiny hands placed so lightly upon you.

It is a wonderful experience that is good for the health and well being of babies and parents, premature or not.

Sing and read to your baby
I sang songs and read poems and stories to Esther and William everyday. It was all I could do some days to keep myself strong. Read to them the stories I wanted them to know. Stories from my own childhood or from my teaching. Stories with a message of hope. Of strength. I bought Esther and William special books during their NICU stay and I still share these books with them now. You are never too young or too small to enjoy the wonder of words.

Stroke and hold them
You have to touch a premature baby quite definitely. They can be distressed by a touch that is too gentle. They can get agitated by what we might think are soothing strokes. A firm stroke can reassure them and provide that skin to skin that all parents crave. Often what such tiny babies want and need more than a stroke is a touch. A hold. A comfort hold. This is where you place your hand on their head or their tummy to let them know that you are there. I remember holding Esther and William in this way as they had long lines threaded through their veins and blood taken from their heels. It was something very little that I was able to do.

Get Involved with Cares
Though a premature baby is in an incubator it is still possible for you to wash them and change their nappies. I used to love doing Esther and William’s oral care as whilst cleaning their mouths they also got their first tastes of breast milk. I felt that this was something so important to do and it helped me feel more confident that one day their tubes would be removed and I would be able to feed them myself.

Bonding is about developing a relationship and with these tiniest of babies making sense of what has happened and sharing a promise of hope. One wonderful way I found of doing this was by keeping something with me at all times that smelt of them and ensuring they had something that smelt of me. Scent is a wonderful sense that helps us get to know our world and in those dark earl days it helped my babies and I get to know each other.

Bonding with your baby is so important as a mummy. I love my children unconditionally and it is a good job as we are deep in the midst of the terrible twos now and some days can be a real challenge. But I love my babies. I have bonded with each of them from the start.

Once you bring a baby home you want nothing more than to make them happy and to keep them safe. As mummies we work hard to get our baby’s trust and their beautiful first smiles.

Baba Sling can provide you and baby with a closeness and security with each other that you need. Poddle Pillow provides a platform for rest and for play from where your baby may just give you that long coveted gummy smile.

You can read our reviews of the Baba Sling and the Poddle Pillow here at Edspire and for more detailed product information you can view each of their websites.

Baba Sling
Poddle Pillow

But together we would like to provide one new mummy some of the tools she needs to bond with her baby and make it through some of the more challenging days.

One mummy or mummy to be is going to win a Poddle Pillow and a Baba Sling to use with her newborn.

Here is what you need to do!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good Luck!