19 Feb

The Littlest Things

Sometimes the littlest things take up the most room in your heart” – Winnie the Pooh

preemie-alena

Although babywearing research is somewhat minimal, one area that has been studied quite a bit is the benefits of wearing for premature or medically fragile babies.  In these situations, wearing can help create connections that not only help baby emotionally, but physically.

One often-cited study is a 2002  study looking at at premature babies who had a measured amount of skin-to-skin kangaroo care with their mothers.  Kangaroo care done prior to due date showed positive benefits for “ infants’ physiological, emotional, and cognitive regulatory capacities” even as late as six months of age.  If you need more extensive research, Boba has a great rundown of research on their site in their wonderful article on 20 reasons to use kangaroo care with your preemie.

If a video is more your style, micro-preemie parent and BWI VBE Melissa has a great series discussing the ins, outs, and how-tos of preemie wearing.  She includes instructionals with her little one that show how to work with a baby on a monitor, so make sure to watch all four parts of the series!

Mom of six–including two preemies–and SoCal Babywearers leader Alena wrote a guest blog post for Central Missouri Babywearers discussing what she learned from her preemie-wearing experiences and the difference it made for her boys and her family.  She finds that babywearing is “even more important for preemie moms to help recreate that womb-like experience for a baby that lost their nest too soon.”  Mother of three and BWI Peoria educator Jill wrote a post for their blog about her preemie-wearing experiences: both the benefits and some of the challenges

And finally, a short discussion on technique from TheBabywearer gives specific tips on technique.  [Registration required]  TBW also offers a forum for working with babies with special needs, and is an indispensible resource for caregivers of all types of special needs babies.

 

ALL babies benefit from skin-to-skin contact with a caregiver, but for medically fragile babies, it can literally be life-changing.  We’d love to hear your preemie-wearing stories in the comments!

 

2 thoughts on “The Littlest Things

  1. Pingback: Babywearing helps strengthen bonds for premature babies

  2. What an excellent article. My middle daughter was born 10 weeks early and we weren’t allowed to wear her in the NICU, but I spent hours every day skin to skin with her. Once she came home (36 week 4 days, 4 lbs 10 oz) She would not be put down. So I went and got myself a stretchy wrap and wore her all day, every day. She gained a full pound her first week home from the hospital and I credit wearing her with that amazing growth. If I had put her down, her little body would have had to expend all her energy just trying to stay warm and breathe efficiently. But with my body helping her, she was able to do exactly what she needed: sleep and grow.

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