Stimulate My Premature Baby Boy

by Heidi

Medical personnel say I must stimulate my premature baby boy. My son was a premature baby boy born at 30 weeks. So, ten weeks (2,5 months) too soon. There were no complications and he weighed 1,440kg (3lb 3oz) at birth. He is now 10 months old (7,5 months corrected age).

He does not say mama. And he cannot sit on his own. They say he must be stimulated. Aparently the reason why he cannot sit is because he is too tense.

How do I stimulate him to sit? Is there anything else I can do to encourage his development?

Comments for Stimulate My Premature Baby Boy

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Baby Massage
by: Aida

A baby massage every day, or more often if you can, not only promotes bonding and closeness between parent and child, but it also eases pain, aches, and discomforts babies often have and parents are unaware of. Massaging reduces heart rate and blood pressure. This can result in a more relaxed, restful state for the baby, which can lead to many other benefits, including a generally more mellow baby, physical therapy, as well as longer nights of sleep. Massaging promotes healing: stimulating and utilizing the body's own natural resources.

Some hospitals promote massaging premature babies. They have discovered that premature babies who were massaged on a regular basis seemed to gain weight at a slightly faster rate than premature babies who were not massaged. Massaged babies apparently also build a stronger immune system.

To learn specific techniques you can sign up for a class at your local hospital or buy books such as: Baby Massage Therapy: Newborns, Infants & Toddlers

*** Comment by Dalene ***
Similar books you may want to have a look at are:

Baby Touch: Massage and Reflexology for Babies and Children

Baby Massage: Soothing Strokes for Healthy Growth

Baby Massage: The Calming Power of Touch

Exercises For Learning To Sit
by: Helen

Hi there, I am a pediatric PT (physiotherapist) and work with babies who are having some difficulties learning these skills.

One thing that can help for learning to sit is holding the baby by one hand while lying, and gently pulling on his hand and arm to encourage him to lean over to the other side and push up on his other elbow. This way, he works on developing the strength to push himself up, but also learns how to do it. If you do this every time you want him to sit up from lying, e.g. at diaper change time, he gets lots of practice each day. Don't just pick him straight up but make him do the work too.

You can also sit him astride your leg, either facing you or away from you with his feet on the floor and gently tip him from side to side - I sing "Heigh di ho, the elephant is so slow" song. By holding just his hands, he has to adjust his body to keep his balance as you tip him slightly off centre and he can pull back to the middle.

He will get his balance forwards first, then sideways, then backwards… so just putting a soft pillow behind at first allows him freedom to practise sideways balance without the fear of hitting his head backwards.

I am a little concerned that you say he is tense and wonder if he has been seen by a PT to assess if he has higher muscle tone which will also interfere in learning to sit.

Does he roll over yet? This is very important to teach, as it is the basis for all transition movements.

Hope this is helpful.

*** Comment by Dalene ***
Helen, this is really great, practical advice that can be used by any parent.

Row Your Boat
by: Anonymous

My DD loved playing "Row Row Row Your Boat" when she was learning to sit.

Sit on the floor with your baby held in a sitting position in front of you and hold his hands. Rock him back and forward with the words to Row Row Row Your Boat.

This will help him to strengthen his stomach muscles and hopefully help him relax a bit too. It's a great stimulation exercise.

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