Parents and preemie milestones 

One of the joys of parenthood is watching your baby reach different developmental milestones. It’s normal for parents to worry about whether or not their baby is hitting the right milestones at the right times, and as the parent of a preemie, you might find yourself thinking about milestones more often than other parents do. Even if milestones haven’t been on your mind just yet, there are a few things it’s good to keep in mind when you use milestones to track your preemie’s development.

Calculate your baby’s adjusted age to measure their development

If you subtract the number of weeks early your baby was born from their age in weeks, you’ll get your baby’s adjusted age. Adjusted age is the best number to use for tracking milestones because, this early on, it most accurately describes where your baby is developmentally, and in their overall growth. Many parents stop using their baby’s adjusted age by around age 2.

Milestones are markers, not the finish line 

There’s no one-size-fits-all with milestones. Babies develop at their own rates, and in their own ways. Instead of trying to get your baby to hit each milestone in perfect order, you can use milestones to watch for signs that your baby might need help in certain areas. Milestones might especially look a little different for preemies.

Don’t compare your preemie to other babies

A lot of factors affect a baby’s development, many of which you can’t even see right now. You can’t compare any baby to other babies, and this is especially true for babies who are born premature. Just watch how your baby grows.

A premature baby is still a happy baby!

Your baby has amazing things ahead of them, and keeping an eye on developmental milestones can certainly help the two of you get where you both need to be. Celebrate the milestones as they come, but keep in mind the fact that an absence of certain milestones doesn’t mean your baby isn’t perfectly happy and healthy.

  • “Growth and development after prematurity.” Tommy’s. Tommy’s, 2016. Web.
  • “Supporting you and your preemie.” American Academy of Pediatrics. American Academy of Pediatrics’ Preemie Health Coalition, 2008. Web.
  • Maureen Mulligan LaRossa, R.N. “Developmental Milestones.” Emory University School of Medicine. Emory University, 2016. Web.

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