Like most preemies, we struggled with acid reflux. We tried a crib wedge but he always ended up at the bottom of the crib. The rock ‘n play ended up being the place he slept most comfortably. They are notorious for flat heads, but he spent tons of time on the floor and in our arms, and even though he slept in the rock ‘n play, it was never an issue for us. It was truly a life saver.
Dr. Brown’s bottles were what our NICU highly recommended. We worked with a lot of speech therapist since he had feeding issues and they all loved Dr. Brown’s. We, of course, went home and stocked up. They offer preemie flow nipples and help reduce air, which in turn helps with gas and acid reflux. We eventually ended up with a feeding tube but until that point, we loved Dr. Browns.
In the NICU, as much as you hate the beeping of the machines, you learn to rely on them to tell you how your preemie is doing. When you go home without the monitors it can be shell shocking. I had so much anxiety. My little guy had apnea episodes during feeds and I was terrified he’d have issues at night. He eventually developed pneumonia and breathing trouble from aspirating and now every time he gets a cold, I panic.
Long story short The Owlet monitor tracks babies heart rate and oxygen levels while they sleep, so you too can sleep soundly knowing your preemie is ok. This monitor was the only reason I was able to sleep when my preemie was sick. I knew it would alert me if anything was off.
We loved this warmer. I could put a frozen back of breast milk in it, and it would safely thaw it out in a matter of minutes. It’s simple design makes it easy to use and easy to keep clean. It’s one of the few safe for heating breast milk.
My Preemie lived in my ring sling his first year. It was an absolute lifesaver. It greatly reduced the number of strangers touching him when we were out in public, I didn’t have to lug around the car seat, he stayed calm and relaxed being close to mom, and it kept my hands free so I could get things done with two kids in tow. I practiced with babydolls and watched youtube videos until I got the hang of it, but they are super easy to use with a little practice!
As a preemie mom, I was never able to breastfeed but I was lucky enough to pump exclusively for my little guy for 6 months! It took a lot of time, commitment, and a great pump to make it happen. When I left the NICU I no longer had access to their fancy hospital grade breast pump. I was lucky that my Spectra S2 was quite comparable. It’s light, easy to travel with, and honestly does just as good of a job as the pumps offered in the hospital. If your planning on pumping long term for your preemie, you need one!
Yet another preemie mom worry is weight gain. My preemie gained well for a while, but when he started to struggle with feeds, his weight dropped off. Instead of having to drive into the doctors for a weight check, having a scale at home to keep track was a huge convenience.