A premature baby is born before 37 weeks gestation.
Special Needs Before 37 Weeks
Because they were born before 37 weeks, they may struggle a bit more with feeding cues, preferring to preserve calories by snoozing away.
After all, just a few hours/days/weeks ago they didn’t have to do anything at all to receive proper nutrition. Everything they needed arrived directly into their body via the umbilical cord.
Now, they have to open their mouths wide and coordinate their lips and tongues and SWALLOW!
How To Support a Premature Baby in a Swaddle
It takes a little time and effort before preemie babies get good at eating. These instincts may not have kicked in yet. We want to make sure they don’t sleep so deep that they forget to wake up. You want them to rouse and root around to show us they need to eat.
They should feel comforted and cozy while following the ABCs of safe sleep.
Preemie babies can benefit from swaddling them with their arms up closer to their faces. This is similar to how they are in the womb. They can move their fists closer to their faces, initiating the rooting reflex. This prevents them from sleeping too deeply and missing a feed.
At the 37th week of gestation, you can move on to a variety of different swaddle techniques.