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How soon did you take your baby out?

(44 Posts)
Italianbride Mon 19-Nov-12 14:00:01

I never thought I'd find myself posting in this section but here I am.

DS was born at 33 weeks and we brought him home last week after 2.5 weeks in scbu. He is making great progress and the only 'issue' he has is that he's small.

So my question for those of you who have had a premature baby is how soon did you take them out? For walks? For coffee? To visit friends/family? I am not intending to overdo it but I don't really want to be cooped up inside forever.

confuddledDOTcom Sun 25-Nov-12 02:23:07

I know what you mean! EB/ TB clothes themselves are just scaled down versions of the bigger sizes so never quite fit right - they forget these babies don't have much body fat. I have used a lot of micropore in the past to hold clothes in place (on themselves, not onto baby!) or threaded ribbon through belt loops. If you put tights under trousers it shouldn't be too much of an issue, put dresses on on top of sleep suits.

Best tip with socks is to wrap micropore around the ankles then fold the top down to hide it.

I think I got to the point where I didn't care what she looked like as long as she had clothes on!

bytheseaside Sun 25-Nov-12 02:10:26

Good idea! Except ive yet to find tights small enough - any tips? Teeny bottom and little legs! ... her padded suit sometimes feels too warm though.

confuddledDOTcom Sat 24-Nov-12 20:35:10

I'd recommend tights with a wrap - even for boys! - if they're wearing normal clothes as if they manage to keep their socks on (almost impossible with a preemie, even my 3yo finds they tend to swivel a lot because her feet are so tiny) their trouser legs can get pulled up and expose their calves. Unless you have a really long coat on the cold gets to their legs quickly.

bytheseaside Sat 24-Nov-12 18:50:29

I've got a kangawrap which is good for teenies, although it does need to be tighter than you think when they are very small and takes done practice. lovely though, and my baby sleeps really well in it. my winter coat is luckily still big enough for both of us (will move buttons over when she grows a bit) and also have a very big fleece that fits us, although it does look llike i have a growth...

confuddledDOTcom Sat 24-Nov-12 18:37:14

I deliberately always buy bigger coats or mens coats. Baby is flat against you and between the boobs anyway and I wear less layers, so it only needs one size up or the corresponding man's size. Any coat you can wear when pregnant will fit a baby under it in a wrap. Baby doesn't wear a coat, just a hat if they're old enough to pop their head out and keep it out, so there's no extra padding there. I will also wear those long loop type scarves (no idea what they're called) loop it around my neck and then inside the sling. When baby is old enough to hold their head up I also do a loop around their neck, crossing it in between to close up any gaps.

My mum promised to buy me a Mam coat for my birthday this year (in March!) and said something a couple of weeks ago about she better get onto it - which would be good now it's getting cold and wet and I still have one in the sling as well as being pregnant with a January (prematurity taken into account) baby!

TeaandHobnobs Sat 24-Nov-12 18:36:18

You can get coats with a zip panel which gives you extra space to go over the sling - my friend has one. No idea where you get them from though!

I have worn my maternity coat a couple of times which has room to go round both of us. Otherwise you just wear your coat, and make sure the baby has a hat on and something warm on their legs/feet - the rest of them will stay nice and warm up against you, plus the layers of the sling keep them warm too.

Italianbride Sat 24-Nov-12 18:23:10

This may sound dumb but if you're going out in this weather do you put your coat over the top? I take it you can't then do it up so how do you ensure both of you are warm enough??

confuddledDOTcom Sat 24-Nov-12 18:01:45

Another cross post! I use a jersey that's not very stretchy so has all the benefits of stretch but doesn't over stretch as they get older so has the benefits of woven too. I tend to use jersey in summer and winter, putting my coat on top and fleece in spring and autumn when I want a coat but can manage without a heavy one and leaving it open.

confuddledDOTcom Sat 24-Nov-12 17:59:14

Italianbride, wraps are brilliant for premature babies - some hospitals actually use them in their NNU - they keep them tight against your body which they find comforting and support their body well. I've used the same ones from premature baby in hospital up to when they've been three (which isn't easy because of your centre of gravity but not weight).

I make my own and sell occasionally, cost me about £20 which is a lot less than you get in the shops if you want one.

TeaandHobnobs Sat 24-Nov-12 17:52:13

Stretchy wraps are perfect for tiny babies - this is an article about the different stretchy wraps available.

My boba wrap definitely said it was suitable for prems, but I think the Moby says from 7lbs (although I'm fairly sure it would be fine for smaller, as long as it is tied correctly etc). I think DS was just under 5lb when we got our boba.

The Kari-me is nice and light, but IMO once the baby gets a bit bigger it doesn't offer enough support. The Hana bamboo wrap is also a nice light fabric, but I think may have similar issues (judging by what my friend who has one has said). The boba wrap is actually quite thick material, and is still coping well with DS now 16lb+, but is very warm, so was a bit of a pain in the summer - good for winter though!! There must be others too, but they are the only onces I know of.

Have you got a sling library near you? You could go and get some advice, and get a demonstration of how to tie a stretchy wrap correctly - it is easy once you've got the hang of it, but can be a bit daunting to start with. You'd also be able to borrow a sling first to see if it suits before you shell out for one.

confuddledDOTcom Sat 24-Nov-12 17:47:03

I was angry when I found out, especially as they hadn't said anything - I'm bit of a Scrappy Doo wink my husband is Scooby lol. I got accused of breastfeeding being too important to me(!) like the idea of it was more important than the health of my baby which is ridiculous on a premature baby ward when you are supposed to be getting the baby to that stage (the ironic part is that I seemed to be the only one to be able to see that my baby was/ is lactose intolerant and they were forcing us to give her formula because she wasn't doing too well...)

Each baby has their own thermometer and then they're thrown away when they leave, so it's not unusual for them to give it to you rather than waste it but a lot of mums will be so in the habit of every three hours you change nappy, take temp, feed that they carry it on at home. I just think they're useful to have for when you have a sick baby.

Italianbride Sat 24-Nov-12 17:40:13

I like the idea of a sling for outings (and to allow me to move around the house a bit!). What would you recommend that's suitable for a small baby (now 4lb)? The carrier I have is for 8lb plus and is a bit more structured than a sling.

bytheseaside Sat 24-Nov-12 16:50:15

confuddled ps shock at that complaint!
We weren't even given thermometer and the one we have is so tricky to use that im not bothering unless she seems ill

confuddledDOTcom Sat 24-Nov-12 15:37:56

The one thing I love about wraps is people are less likely to touch your baby wink

I think I'm fortunate that the manager of transition who does the home visits too is very down to earth and gives realistic advice. She doesn't like it when they give you the thermometer when you leave because she doesn't want you to be a slave to it any more, she's always said you've come home because baby is well enough to, you don't need to worry about all those things any more.

bytheseaside Sat 24-Nov-12 11:33:05

This is a really interesting discussion for me, I've been thinking about it a lot. Dd born 33 small but not ill, and came home after 2 and half weeks. very conflicting advice from diff medical professionals and Bliss, and i was really worried about bugs so we mainly stayed in for a good month. now im venturing out, baby groups but not toddler ones, shopping, cafes, often using stretchy sling to keep her close and protected or with rain cover on pram (nb old ladies WILL want to stroke your baby's cheeks!) i know there is a risk to going out at all, people inevitably will cough on your baby, and part of me is willing to stay at home all winter, but i know this isn't really practical, and consultant really didnt think it was necessary. its all a balance really between what you need and what's ideal for your baby, so it all comes with a big dollop of guilt... the one thing everyone agreed on was limiting large number of visitors to your home, don't allow anyone on with coughs, colds, tummy bugs etc and make them wash or gel their hands before holding your baby. if they are offended, or think you are loopy, so be it! Fingers crossed smile

confuddledDOTcom Wed 21-Nov-12 18:31:48

Last time I was in someone made a complaint (it was never addressed to me though, it's just my neighbour knew everything that was happening on that ward!) because I didn't pull the curtains when I breastfed during visiting times! I'd have told them where to go if they had! It's a long stay ward so no Premier Bedside, you pull the curtains and you're on your own, with nothing to do but feed your baby. Even if I wasn't talking to people I wasn't going to isolate myself and anyway, the way I see it if you don't want to see women breastfeeding, don't go to a postnatal ward! The woman (patient) who complained was a member of staff! I don't generally go topless when there are people around but I won't hide in hospital (between my high risk pregnancies and only having premature babies I have very little "modesty" left) or anywhere else. I don't think it was about a lack of "modesty" or my rights or any lactivism (although I am one anyway) it was about this is a premature baby who fought to get this, who I fought to get this far, I'm not giving up now or depriving her to please anyone else.

TwelveLeggedWalk Wed 21-Nov-12 17:41:06

Confuddled, I know what you mean. After 7 weeks of pumping cot-side I doubt there was ANYONE in that hospital who hadn't seen my boobs.

The heating engineer certainly saw plenty!

TwelveLeggedWalk Wed 21-Nov-12 17:40:20

Again, a couple of days after arriving home. No snotty/ill people (god I offended a few relatives with that, really really not regretting it now though), air conditioned shopping centres, swimming pools or anything like that for ages though. Early baby groups only also, i.e. without grotty toddlers pawing all over them - definitely think it's going to new mums groups though, the support outweighs the risks in my book.

confuddledDOTcom Wed 21-Nov-12 17:35:20

By the time I'd fed in front of all the staff, had people pulling my boobs around, a week in transition care and actually managed to get my baby full time breast, I didn't care who saw any more. You'll probably find once you get into it you don't worry so much.

Italianbride Wed 21-Nov-12 17:04:28

Thanks to all of you who have responded. It's reassuring to know that life can go on with a premature baby. I'm going to steer clear of groups of babies/children for a while but feel that a few walks and the odd trip to a coffee shop are do-able.

Now to tackle my fear of breastfeeding in public.......,,

Peetle Tue 20-Nov-12 10:57:06

DTs, 35+5, 3lb 3oz & 4lb 5oz. 3 weeks in NICU but basically just putting on weight (don't talk about long-line nutrition). Discharged at 9pm on a Friday night hmm one with feeding tube (which we removed after a few days as it sounded like she was choking on it).

But they were out in the double buggy in the supermarket (cue lots of shocked expressions on people) and the cafe within a few days.

Having got used to seeing small babies in NICU I remember seeing a "normal" sized baby in said supermarket and thought it has a serious disability, otherwise why would such a large child still be so inert ?

They're in year 1 now and running us ragged...

agendabender Tue 20-Nov-12 10:52:14

DS was 5lb 1oz at birth, 33 weeks. He had three and a half weeks in scbu because we wanted to breastfeed and they had unrealistic expectations. He came home with an NGT and I took him out pretty much straight away, but in the sling not the pram. He was warm in there and close to me, so just kangaroo care on the move really!

confuddledDOTcom Tue 20-Nov-12 10:40:52

Our hospital will tell you "36 to term" if you ask how long they're likely to stay in but as long as they're maintaining temperature, gaining weight and on sucking feeds they'll let you go home. If you breastfeed they room you in for about a week to make sure you're established first. My 31 weeker went home at 24 days; 35 weeker was only in for a week and we were roomed together after a couple of nights which was only about beds anyway; my 34 weeker went home on her due date and we were roomed together for most of that!

I've had two summer babies - one in a heatwave - and one winter baby. My winter baby is possibly my healthiest baby.

Wow TeaandHobnobs - I thought my 31 weeker was big at 4lb 2oz!

Flatasawitchestit Tue 20-Nov-12 03:16:35

I'm also surprised at how quick some of you took your babies home. The hospital I work in generally keeps babies in until 36/37 weeks, although I've never seen the reasoning behind this if baby is feeding, good weight etc.

Flatasawitchestit Tue 20-Nov-12 03:15:03

As with the others, when I needed to more or less straight away as I have 2 other kids.

As aitch said though be very careful this time of year. I brought my 35 week baby home after 1 week, and although didnt really want constant visitors I caved in and had them, some who brought children with them. Consequently my baby ended up getting rsv that lead to a nasty case of bronchiolitis and she ended up very very poorly in hospital.

Make sure you're firm about visitors not coming over if ill, and get them to wash their hands, especially children. I think the moment you step outside of a ward these things to out of the window for some people.

Good luck and enjoy

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