You may be wondering what happens in a baby’s first few weeks after birth. Week by week’s guide to premature baby development week by week will give you the inside scoop on your little one’s early development. Below are some things you should keep an eye out for in a premature infant. Some of these signs indicate that your baby might not normally be developing, and you may want to consult a medical professional.
Your baby may have an irregular sleep pattern. Your baby may also have brief alert periods. Your baby’s eyes will probably open and close, but you’re unlikely to be able to focus or get them to move in unison. Your baby’s response to sounds might vary daily, but you can probably tell by their reactions. If you notice a baby sucking on something, they’re likely getting ready for feeding.
A typical preemie baby cannot feed by mouth until around thirty-two weeks old. This means they will likely have an NG or OG tube placed for the first few days. Depending on their medical condition, this can last longer. The goal is to get your baby as close to a full term as possible, but the fact that you’ve had a baby with a low birth weight means that your baby may need extra nutrients.
The lungs of a premature baby develop at 26 weeks gestation. However, they’re still too young to breathe independently and need to be monitored carefully. Premature babies may also develop a startle reflex – a reaction to loud noises – and they can even develop fingerprints or footprints. Even over 28 weeks, many premature babies still require medical care and may stay in the NICU for weeks or months.
Despite the risk of having a premature baby, modern medicine has made it possible to save many preemies and improve their quality of life. The first couple of years after birth will be largely determined by genetics. Even though a baby may not grow as tall as a full-term baby, it’ll start to look and feel like everyone else within a couple of years. And in the process, they’ll catch up to their full-term peers.
Another factor that can slow a premature baby’s development is their lack of brain development. Because they have less time to develop, their brains aren’t fully formed and have to prioritize other things. Because of this, premature babies may have trouble staying awake, processing sounds, regulating their breathing, and responding positively to touch. As their brain develops, they learn to make vital connections between the brain and the rest of the body.
In addition to the medical care your premature baby will need, you should be involved in your child’s development. Regular visits to your child’s pediatrician will help you and your baby. This relationship is crucial since your baby will be with them for many years. You’ll need to be involved in their care and follow up on important milestones. The sooner you get started, the better. And remember: it’s not too late to start working with your pediatrician.