So...what truely constitutes a 'preemie?' - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 22 Old 02-10-2007, 05:30 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I know preemie is 'premature'...but with due dates being sorta subjective, is weight considered a deciding factor when calling a baby a preemie?

My friend just had her baby--2 wks early--37wks 6days to be exact.
He was 5lbs 6oz and 17"long. He is swimming in the preemie dipers and no clothes fit him...I've heard doll clothes (16-18"dolls) work great, but haven't gone to get any for her.
He wasn't sent to the NICU--all was fine (even with a vaccuum birth)...just a little jaundice.


So...He wasn't full term, but not a preemie either I'm guessing...
Any insight?
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#2 of 22 Old 02-10-2007, 05:48 AM
 
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Don't put doll clothes on a child.
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#3 of 22 Old 02-10-2007, 05:56 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Ahhh...didn't even think of the fabric etc with doll clothes! Thanks! We won't be going that route...
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#4 of 22 Old 02-10-2007, 08:14 AM
 
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Hi and congratulations to your friend !!

My first child was born 4.5lbs (38 weeks) and my second was born 5lbs 11 oz at 37 weeks. I dressed them both in just 0-3 mos clothing and while it was huge on them they grew SOOOOO fast that the "swimming" part was only an issue for a month or 2. My 3rd child was born at 1lb 10 oz and we bought some preemie clothes for her for when she came home. She was just short of 4lbs. I think she was in preemie clothes for about 3-4 mos. However, I don't think I would invest in preemie or doll clothing for a baby over 5lbs...they just grow too fast !

And as for what constitutes a preemie....my first 2 kids were not considered preemies but obviously my 3rd qualified. Interestingly enough though I think my older children have more "issues" than number 3 so the term "preemie" doesn't really indicate much more than gestational age.

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#5 of 22 Old 02-10-2007, 10:32 AM
 
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As I recall anyone born before 37 weeks is considered premature by the nicu and special care nursery. It could be a few days and if there are any issues, they might want to look after the baby a few days. Some are fine and just go home.

And yes, watch the doll clothes talk. Also as dh said, dont talk about a shoebox to preemie parents

"The true joy of life is the trip. The station is only a dream. It constantly out distances us."
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#6 of 22 Old 02-10-2007, 10:38 AM
 
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My DS was born at 35 weeks - he was 5 lbs, 7 ozs. We were so freaked at how big everything was on him so I went out and spent $50 on preemie clothes - He grew out of them in under 2 weeks.
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#7 of 22 Old 02-10-2007, 04:59 PM
 
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Yes, size doesn't constitute a preemie. I have a friend who had a baby at 33 weeks and she was over 7 lbs but she was still a preemie since she was 7 weeks early even though she was FT size.

My preemie was 6 lbs 6 oz when I brought him home and he grew out of his preemie stuff within like a week. If you shop at Wal-mart, check there for reasonably priced preemie stuff. Or look at a consignment shop, you can often find nice preemie stuff there because a lot of it was only worn once or twice.
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#8 of 22 Old 02-10-2007, 06:38 PM
 
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I think preemie clothes would be the best bet since the baby is only 17". Both of my 32 weekers were longer than that. The baby might just be short. Most of the preemie clothes I had seemed to fit to around 19" or so inches long.

Unfortunately being small/preemie doesn't seem to deter many parents from circing. If I'd wanted my preemie son circed the hospital would have done it once he weighed 4 lbs. That was in Ohio which must have an incredibly high circ rate since my son was the only boy I saw go home in our 5 week stay not to be circed. (that hospital performed them in the NICU which I hated) The hospital my 29 weeker was at would send the boys over to the well baby nursery for circs. I didn't find out the circing policy since I had a girl and it was obviously never mentioned.

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#9 of 22 Old 02-11-2007, 04:11 PM
 
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I had a 35 week baby weighing 5 lbs even and measuring 18 inches long. He's considered a preemie even though he never had to spend time in the NICU. He roomed with us from the start and came home with us. As far as his clothes, he only fits into preemie clothes right now, we have about 6 outfits that we rotate through, most of which we got as gifts from BRU. The outfits are still big on him, he's only 2 weeks old right and he should be able to fit them for a little while longer. Most of the preemie clothes at BRU were $10 or so per outfit.
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#10 of 22 Old 02-12-2007, 03:52 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lindberg99 View Post
My preemie was 6 lbs 6 oz when I brought him home and he grew out of his preemie stuff within like a week. If you shop at Wal-mart, check there for reasonably priced preemie stuff. Or look at a consignment shop, you can often find nice preemie stuff there because a lot of it was only worn once or twice.
My preemie was this weight both at birth and going home. She lost a pound during her NICU stay and gained right back to her birth weight not an ounce more before going home.

I was going to mention Walmart as well. They have a pretty good selection of preemie clothes. Dd stayed in preemie clothes for a couple of weeks as well. Luckily we didn't buy too many.
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#11 of 22 Old 02-16-2007, 06:18 PM
 
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Gymboree's preemie outfits fit the bitty baby (american girl) dolls, so I wouldn't think doll clothes would be any smaller, and probably not as high of quality.

My DD was 5 1/2lbs at birth and 4 1/2lbs when we brought her home a week later and she wore preemie clothes for 3 months, so I definitely would invest in preemie clothes for a 5lber if they don't seem to be gaining quickly. She then wore 0-3 month clothes till she was like 7 months old and 3-6 month clothes till 16 or so months...she's 4 now and in 2t with a few 3t fitting.

Jillian wife to Ryan and mommy to Janelle Ashlynn (9/09/2002), Kincaid Chance (3/29/2004), Travis Neil (8/13/2007) and River Anderson (5/02/2009).
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#12 of 22 Old 02-16-2007, 07:10 PM
 
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as far as fitting, if you have a micro like I did and some other mamas here, the "preemie" size is 2.5lb-5lbs. the newborn is 5-7lbs. We bought the gerber preemie stuff at babys r us. It ran the smallest and fit the best when she finally could put clothing on. When we brought her home she was in newborn for about a month or so then went to 0-3 etc. Now she is in 12 mo but swimming a bit. The 9-12 is tight though.

I gave away my stuff to other mamas here. But I saved one gerber sleeper and one of those diapers they have in the nicu in her special box. Wow do they now look small! I put one diaper in her scrapbook. To make it thinner, I took the inards out, it was only a piece of gauze :

"The true joy of life is the trip. The station is only a dream. It constantly out distances us."
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#13 of 22 Old 04-05-2007, 12:26 AM
 
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Just to touch back upon the clothing issue, Nic's now 9.5 weeks and just outgrew his preemie clothes! Oddly enough he barely fits into newborn clothes, they look too big on him even though he's 8.5 lbs and 20 inches now.

He still wears Gerber preemie onesies, all the other onesies are too big. He's wearing Carter, Baby Gap, and BRU newborn clothes but they're too wide around the middle. Forget 0-3 size clothing, he's lost in it!

He's gaining weight and growing taller but is still quite a thin, lean baby so he never properly fills out his clothes, he probably won't be wearing 0-3 size clothing until at least another month at which point he'll be 3.5 months.
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#14 of 22 Old 04-05-2007, 12:44 AM
 
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My baby was born at 36 weeks and weighed 6 pounds 1 oz. she just regained her birthweight at 2 weeks old.
Her preemie clothes fit very well, we got most at BRU. None of the regular newborn stuff fits her at all. She is 18 3/4" long.
She is considered a preemie, although she did not spend any NICU time, but was readmitted to the peds unit for Jaundice at 5 days old.
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#15 of 22 Old 04-05-2007, 01:01 AM
 
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While preemies are usually small that doesn't mean that all babies with low birthweight are premature. Prematurity refers to the development of the baby, not the size. Anything before 37wks is technically premature becuase their body has not developed fully.

As for clothes, I always waste money on preemie clothes and I guess my kiddos are just weird because all of them wore preemie until they were 8-10lbs. The littlest one I put in a few little soft doll outfits because nothing else fit.
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#16 of 22 Old 04-05-2007, 01:06 AM
 
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dd stayed in her preemie clothes for a few weeks (some up to 8weeks) after we got home but I had alot of the Carter's newborn (5-8lbs) and she wore them forever! She is a shorty, too. When she came home she weighed a bit over 4lbs and was 17"long.

FWIW, dd is a Carter's baby. She always fit so nicely in their sizes. :
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#17 of 22 Old 04-05-2007, 01:34 AM
 
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My preemies were born at 32, 35, and 36 weeks all between 5 and 6 lbs they wore mostly 0-3 month stuff (that was too big) and I bought each of them a 0-7lbs outfit or two from the gap because I find their preemie stuff was long enough for my bigger preemies

This time I am crossing my fingers for a 37 week + baby but I bought the cutest "goign home outfit" from zutano from their itzy bitzy line I think its supposed to fit 4-8lbs it looks perfect size for those not quite cooked babies
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#18 of 22 Old 04-05-2007, 10:09 PM
 
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I remember buying the gerber stuff because it ran small. Maggie is now is 12 mos clothing and is starting on the 18 mo stuff :

"The true joy of life is the trip. The station is only a dream. It constantly out distances us."
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#19 of 22 Old 04-05-2007, 10:39 PM
 
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My dd was born at 35 wks and was 5lb 5oz and dropped to just under 5lb before we brought her home. She was in preemie clothes for a long time. Her growth pattern was was preemie/newborn until about 3mo, then 0-3mo size until she was 6 mo, then 3-6mo until she was 9mo. She was always one clothing size smaller than her age until somewhere between 12-18mo she finally caught up size wise.

Another thing about doll clothes is that the necks are ridiculously small in them. Back when dd was tiny there were hardly any preemie size clothes around here and I for a moment thought about doll clothes until I saw how bad they were.
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#20 of 22 Old 04-08-2007, 05:53 AM
 
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my brother was 9lb almost 7 oz at 33 weeks and a few days..but most definitely a preemie.


but then my son was overdue (42.5 weeks lmp, a bit more counting from ovulation) and 8lbs, but hed lost weight..anyway, he fit in a preemie gerber or carters..not sure. onesie for exactly 2.5 weeks, then he started getting GINORMOUS and was in size 5 sposies by 7 weeks, LOL

its development, not size.
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#21 of 22 Old 04-09-2007, 01:36 AM
 
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With Ds2, he was born at 37 wks.. and was never considered preemie.... he was 7lbs 15 oz(My biggest baby)

with DD, she was born at 35wks and was 7lbs 1oz(my smallest baby) and the ped Docs gave me the full lines about how preemies she is and what i have to watch out for.... i think it goes by weeks, tho i can't be sure.. i don't think its about weight.. i was told my the Chief Pedactric Dr.. where i had Gabby that anything before(Baby being born before) 37weks is preemie....he was the one talking to me aboutwhat to watch out for.... soo i don;t know..everthign is different everywhere you go.....All i know is we keep a very close eye on her and watch out who, and what she is around....

We may not have it all together, but together we have it all , Loving their daddy, my hubby, our soldier
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#22 of 22 Old 04-09-2007, 02:17 AM
 
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My hospital termed my 36 weeker as "preterm" but not "premature." They looked to lung development (and I think a couple of other things) to make the determination. He was able to go home without any time in the NICU, didn't have trouble breathing, etc.

As for the clothes, at just over 6 lbs, he was also swimming in preemie clothes. He grew fairly quickly back then, so we just waited it out.
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