When the time finally arrives to take your tiny miracle or miracles home from the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at the hospital, you will need to dress your bundle of joy in preemie baby clothes.
Dressing a premature baby, or preemie, is much different that dressing a baby born at full-term. Premature babies who coming home from the hospital weigh only four pounds. Newborn clothing, even size 0-3 months, will be much too big for her. Premature babies need to wear their own special baby clothing until they grow into the newborn sizes.
Things to Consider When Buying Preemie Baby Clothes
The Apnea Monitor
When buying preemie baby clothes, one of the most important things to consider is how the baby's apnea monitor line is going to fit. The wire that attaches the baby to the monitor must be accessible.
The best kind of clothing to buy a preemie is one that snaps down the front so the wire can stick out. Avoid outfits that have snaps in the back or are two separate pieces if it is winter time. One piece pajamas are the most comfortable, as premature babies sleep a lot more than a full-term newborn because they have to catch up on their growing. There will be plenty of time for adorable baby clothes after the baby has grown sufficiently.
Besides, with a premature infant, you will not be leaving the house to see anyone, nor should anyone be visiting you with all of their germs. What the child is wearing really does not matter as much as how easy it is for you to change diapers without setting the monitor off.
Texture is very important when buying preemie baby clothes. Only baby clothing that is 100% cotton should touch the premature baby's sensitive skin.
Ease of Care
Any mother of a premature infant knows that sleep will be short on her part. Preemie clothing needs to be easy to care for and durable. There should be nothing fussy about caring for these tiny outfits-machine wash cold and tumble dry.
What to Buy-Preemie Baby Clothes
To be honest, parents of preemies really are not in the right frame of mind to go shopping for clothing. Most of their time is spent at the hospital with their baby or at home with their older child or children.
The best present you can give parents of premature babies is clothing that will fit.
Onesies and bibs are a great gifts for preemie parents. Just be sure that the bib ties together with Velcro and not with string. Tiny floppy headed babies make tying bibs difficult to use.
Pajamas with feet that also snap down the front are also a great preemie baby gift. They come in premature sizes. Be sure to give one for now and one to grow into.
Hats are a necessary clothing item. Premature infants have a hard time regulating their body temperature. A hat keeps the body heat in and helps the child stay warm. Many preemie and newborn outfits come with hats.
Tiny socks are also a great present. Give one of those mesh bags along with the socks to avoid losing them in the wash.
Where to Buy
There are many places to buy preemie clothing. Target and Kmart are two discount retailers that have preemie clothes in stores and online. Babies R Us also carries clothes for premature infants.
eBay is also a great place to find new and gently used preemie items. Parents of preemies tend to sell them in lots, so you can get some really cute clothing lots for a small price.
There are also websites, like Kohl's, that sell preemie clothing.
Mothers of preemies have a special bond. If anyone hears of another family who has a preemie, chances are her child's special clothing will be worn be someone else.
Buying preemie baby clothes takes a bit more care and consideration than buying outfits for a full term baby. The parents of preemies will appreciate your efforts in finding just the right clothing for their tiny miracle.