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Going Home - At Home


Babies benefit from a daily routine that responds to their individual needs. As you get used to having your baby at home, you will become familiar with their routine and specific needs. Routines that are consistent and familiar are reassuring for your baby. 

Preterm babies have specific needs

  • Preterm babies mature at a different pace to term babies.
  • They are often more sensitive to noise and handling than a term baby for the first few weeks or months. Your preterm baby may not like to sleep in a noisy room as, unlike a full-term baby, they may be unable to block out the excess stimulation that is caused by the noise and may need you to make sure that is it quiet.
  • They tend to like to be held and fed in a certain way and played with at certain times.
  • For some months, your preterm baby may not be able to cope with as much stimulation and interaction with their world as term babies do.
  • Your preterm baby may have a hard time becoming wide awake and paying attention to the things around them but, as their nervous system develops, their sleeping and waking patterns will become more regular like those of term babies.

Preterm babies’ behaviour can be unpredictable, for example:

  • They tend not to follow a consistent pattern of behaviour like some term babies do.
  • This unpredictable behaviour can make it harder for parents to cope or know what to do, but this is normal for preterm babies.

A term baby’s behaviour can be more predictable: for example they will typically go from a quiet sleep where they move very little, to alert sleep where they are more active and coming close to waking up, to being awake but dozy, to being fully awake and alert.