How exciting it is when you find out you are expecting a new life one into your life, and the shopping can begin! It is one of the fun things a Mom gets to do around possible morning sickness, an ever-increasing belly, and many other life changes. The fun of preparing for the new baby to arrive is the highlight for many a new mother. Then all of a sudden a big surprise happens, that little baby decides to come early, and you wonder, “what now?” We understand that it may really take a few days before the thought of clothing may arise. Parents and family members will be in the midst of brand new experience and will be trying to just figure out the NICU. The truth is your preemie will probably not need a lot of clothing for the first few weeks of life. The hospital staff will be busy trying to assess your baby's medical needs to see what he or she may need in regard to oxygen, feeding, plus monitoring and trying to regulate their body temperature. During this time, there are some cool essential accessories that your preemie will be able to wear long before clothing. Most hospitals allow little hats to be worn right off the bat. No matter what size, Preemie babies lose a lot of heat through their heads, so trying to keep your baby's temperature regulated with a hat is usually welcomed by NICU staff. We have many different options for you to choose from, and offer our caps in three different sizes. We have recently updated our little cap to have a larger band providing the ability to grow with your preemie, or be folded down over sensitive little eye when those bright lights in the NICU need to be on. These are not yet available on every style, but keep your eye open for them on new items arriving daily.
Another very beneficial accessory are mittens, they will keeping little hands covered so they can not pull out feeding tubes, or scratch cute little cheeks. We also highly recommend leg warmers to keep tiny legs and even arms warm. They are nice because they don’t get in the way of diaper changes, and that always makes the nurses' and parent's jobs easier. Another suggestion is purely for the cuteness factor. A simple diaper cover doesn't keep your baby any warmer, but they sure do add a bit of color and fun. No matter where your baby is on the road out of the NICU, they will be wearing a diaper, so why not add some pizzaz to it!
As soon as the staff feels your baby has hit the required milestones, they will give the go-ahead to bring clothing in for your preemie to wear. This begs the question, “What preemie clothes should I get?” Let me break down some of the things you should think about and what styles we carry that will help you. The first consideration is the medical devices hooked up to your baby. If they have IV’s, monitors, and such, then I would recommend the NICU-Friendly styles we carry. This is our specialty here at Perfectly Preemie, I have designed many styles with the ability to open the shoulders so dressing will be much simpler for both nursing staff and parents. This way it is easy to work around whatever medical requirements your preemie may have. Many of these styles have velcro closures making dressing fast and straightforward. We do manufacture the NIC-Sac, which is made with plastic snap closures. These are effective because unlike metal snaps, they will not warm up and are okay for your little one to wear if an X-Ray is needed.
The NICU-Friendly styles that you can choose from include: IV shirts, NIC-suits, Crossover Baggette, Dresses, and Jumpsuits, all having the open shoulder design. Besides having the ability to work around the medical needs your preemie may have, these styles also help parents with easy dressing. Most of these styles will allow you to lay your baby down and then dress around them. This works great for new parents that are not familiar with dressing such small infants! You may discover you really enjoy the easy dressing styles of these garments and will want to continue using them even after your baby has outgrown the wires. That is understandable, and we think the Jumpsuit may be one of those styles!
Your next question might be, “What if my preemie doesn’t need NICU-Friendly items?” Some of our styles are offered in both open shoulder and non-open versions; for example, the Crossover Baggette. This style has been very popular for parents with the open shoulder and fold-over bottom. We now have it in the non-open shoulder and also in a larger size, Take-Me-Home. Their super popular Sweet-Tee is also available with closed and open shoulders.
When your little one has gained more weight and doesn’t have the same medical needs, we suggest parents look at sleepers that include the shirt and pants all in one easy little package! We do make the playsuit that is a combination of our side snap shirts and pants. The playsuit has easy snaps at the crotch for quick diaper changes and provides great access if your little one still has any medical wires. The double-layer on the front will keep your little one warm and cozy.
From here, the options are much bigger and mostly depend on your preferences. We do think that the preemie clothes that work the best are the ones that provide for easy dressing even in complicated situations. These little ones are fragile, and as I was recently reminded of by a parent, many times, they should still be in the womb! So keeping them warm and cozy, without a lot of fuss, is by far the best idea I can put forward.
We do our best to provide you with lots of choices, so no matter what you need, you can find the size and style your preemie requires and that you are excited to dress them in! If you need any help, please feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or if you see Melissa’s cute face at the bottom right of your screen, start a chat with her.