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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Born @ 33 weeks gestation, 17 3/4 inches, 4lbs, 11oz.

Background: My best friend had her baby girl on Sunday. My gift to her is a custom WAHM dip dyed ring sling (I have been plotting this for months). She wants to use a sling with this baby (she's intrigued by my collection and has seen me and my DDs in action). She has a toddler, too, and loves that I can hold my infant while I am caring for my toddler at the same time (the magic of babywearing, right?) She wants to do the same thing.

While holding and touching and bonding are essential to a preemie's survival, are there considerations or contraindications specifically for putting a preemie in a sling? Can they be too small or too fragile for a sling for some reason? Can she start slinging right away or should she wait for some developmental or medical milestone before slinging?

Another question: I purchased a simple unpadded ring sling. I'm guessing that might not be enough support for the baby's head. So - what else might work? I don't mind buying another sling for her (every gal needs a collection).

The baby will be home in about 2 weeks - and so far the little one is not experiencing any major difficulties or complications, so I am expecting she will have a healthy preemie at home. I just don't want to give my friend the wrong info about babywearing if there is something I need to know about preemies!

Thanks in advance mamas!
 

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I had a long post and my computer ate it.

Short post, my kids were all born around 35 weeks. Dd was in a padded ring sling from 9 weeks (I hadn't learned about slings until then), ds1 was in an unpadded ring sling from about day 2, ds1 was in a pouch from about day 4. With ds'- basically the day we got home from the hospital. They were around 6 lbs when born, so just under when we came home. The sling was great- IMO even more important for a preemie as they tend to be tired and being closer may help them to nurse more often.
 

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my dd was just a few ounces more than ur friend's bab y..we slung from day one..it was great..i always used the upright chest to chest position with a mayawrap ring sling..i felt safer holding her in the sling actually cuz it was nice and snug and it soothed her right away

HTH
 

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i used a pouch with my youngest (who was three weeks early) for the first couple weeks and then moved to an unpadded ring sling

the trick for us was to wrap him in a blanket and then put another blanket inside the sling> this seemed to give him the support he needed
 

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Definitely start slinging right away! My favourite slings for newborns are stretchy wraps and I think they would be perfect with a preemie - your friend could do lots of skin to skin with no shirt on and babe in just a diaper but they'd still be toasty warm (not to mention decent in case of visitors - LOL) as the wrap covers you quite well
 

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My son was a 34 week preemie, at 4 lbs 15 oz, 18 inches long


I put him in the Maya Wrap (unpadded) but for quite a while there he felt lost inside it. So, I made my own with less fabric and lightly padded rails for his little chicken legs
It was really easy, I bet nearly anyone could sew one. All's you need is two rings and fabric less than 35 inches wide. I think I used 30 inches and then rolled up batting inside the edges to make rails. I can't remember how long, but err on the side of long and cut/hem. And you can only tighten it to where the rails begin, so make short rails and sew off the ends (can you visualize?).

But I carried him kangaroo style and always kept my arm around him and he loved it. Occassionally I'd carry him lying down but until he put on some poundage I felt like I was swishing around inside a purse for some lost item, lol.

I think carrying babies, especially preemies, helps them self-regulate and the motion calms them down. They are used to being held close and being in constant movement from pregnancy, so go for it!
 

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My 4th was 36 weeks, 5lbs 7oz. I carried her at home in the kangaroo position (against my chest between my boobs) skin to skin held by a wrap-style cardigan or my housecoat. This worked better for us for the first few weeks than the padded ring sling that we had at the time. So- I would recommend carrying, for sure...but maybe try the sweater thng at home?
 

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Wow, your friend has a BIG baby for that gestational age! My second was 29 weeks and 2 lbs. 14 oz. (lost some after birth) - large for her gestation. I use a mei tai for the complete spine and neck support. I find it a good choice for her as well as me - I have a permanently broken vertebrae and this is the only carrier that seems to not cause more pain.
 

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I think an unpadded ring sling is fine. I especially like the stretchy MamaBaby for preemies and small babies. It's just sooo cuddly and easy to get them snug in there. Two MamaBabies would also aproximate the stretchy wrap, which is another great suggestion for lots of skin-toskin contact and easy nursing access. I think a wrap or sling would be a bit more versatile for infants than an ABC because they offer cradle positions as well as upright.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks, mamas -- I'm so glad I'm on the right track. I know she's going to love the sling because she has a toddler to care for, too. Slinging was my saving grace (and still is).

It's also encouraging to hear that she is big for her gestational age -- perhaps I quoted her statistics incorrectly. She was 7 weeks early on a 40 week calendar -- so that's not 33 weeks gestational age, now, is it? Better get my story straight LOL.
 
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