Bringing your premature baby home from the hospital is an exciting milestone. To help both of you adjust to life at home, we’ve rounded up the products you’ll need for your preemie, from baby gear to bottles and much more. Congratulations to your NICU graduate!
photo: bingngu93 via Pixabay
Talk to your pediatrician and the NICU staff for specific recommendations for your baby. Then read on for products designed with preemies in mind.
Keep germs away from your sensitive babe by stocking up on hand sanitizer, antibacterial soap and face masks for your family and visitors.
You’ll also need a baby thermometer and preemie-size diapers. Brands including Pampers, Huggies, Seventh Generation and Earth’s Best make disposable diapers in preemie sizes. If you’re using cloth diapers, check out the Green Mountain Diapers website for preemie options and recommendations on what you’ll need.
photo: Three Little Tots
When purchasing a car seat, look for seats that accommodate newborns starting at 4 pounds, such as the Chicco Keyfit. Add a mirror to the backseat positioned at the car seat so you can monitor your child while you’re driving.
Place a tag on your car seat and stroller letting people know they should keep their distance for your baby’s health. We love the Tags4Tots tags from Three Little Tots (shown above). They come in a variety of colors, styles and phrases to get your point across clearly. The company also sells car seat covers and pacifier clips with friendly reminders not to touch baby. If your child needs medications, Three Little Tots also sells a handy medicine chart that attaches to your fridge to help you remember dosages and when to give them.
Baby wraps are a must for baby’s comfort (and to help you get things done). If you have a baby store in your area, visit one to try out the wraps to see which suits your body and your baby best. Check out wraps from Solly Baby, Baby K’Tan and MOBY, all of which preemie moms recommend. A store clerk can also help you get past the learning curve of tying a wrap—if you’re still stuck, head to YouTube for instructional videos on the wrap you choose.
If you’re looking for an infant seat, the Mamaroo with an infant insert is a great bet. The Mamaroo sways side to side and gently bounces up and down to mimic parents’ comforting movements and comfort little ones. It’s used in many hospital NICU units to soothe premature babies.
photo: Dr. Brown’s
Whether you’re breastfeeding, bottle-feeding or both, preemie babies have special needs when it comes to nourishment. Look for bottles with preemie nipples (some brands to check out include Dr. Brown’s (shown above), Comotomo, Munchkin Latch and nanobebe).
If you’re pumping, invest in a good breast pump and pumping bra (check out our favorite breastfeeding tips, tricks and gear). And if you need a nursing pillow, read about top pillows with features that can help with your baby’s specific nursing needs.
Finally, the Hatch Baby Grow changing pad features a built-in scale to help you track baby’s weight gain, feeding amount and diaper changes for added peace of mind.
photo: Tracey Shaw via Pexels
Sleep Products for Preemies
There are monitors that track sound, movement, room temperature and much more. Consider your home’s configuration and talk to your pediatrician about specific features you should look for. Choose a monitor that addresses baby’s needs and your top concerns for baby’s sleep safety so you can both rest soundly.
In terms of sleepers, choose swaddle blankets or a sleepsack that’s safe for preemies, such as the HALO SleepSack. If your child is coming home with tubes still attached, look for sleepers with snaps rather than zippers.
The Puj tub cradles kids who are too small for other baby tubs and is made of a soft foam that conforms to standard-size sinks. When bathing baby, choose natural baby soaps and lotions that are more gentle on sensitive skin.
Clothes for Premature Babies
Preemie parents are in luck when it comes to finding cute, teeny outfits, hats and socks for their little warriors. Find your favorites from brands such as Carters (shown above), Feltman Brothers, Kickee Pants, Preemie Clothes Mart and Perfectly Preemie.
Pro tip from preemie moms: Choose kimono tops that open and wrap around baby, rather than a traditional top that you have to put baby’s head through.
Treat yourself to a high-quality hand cream (you’ll need it with all the hand-washing), and buy or make a keepsake box to hold your NICU items. Get a non-toxic, washable ink pad to help you remember just how small those hands and feet really were, and fill out a memory book to document the amazing journey you’re on.
—Eva Ingvarson Cerise