New to mom's of preemies

Amanda - posted on 01/06/2009 ( 3 moms have responded )

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Hello! I am new to this group and have a question. I have a daughter named Emma, born in September of 2007, who was 8 weeks early after being put on hosiptal bedrest to stop contractions and labor 4 weeks prior to her early delivery. We stayed in the NICU for 3 weeks with no oxygen or anything like that and I did breastfeed her while there and then at home. So far we are doing great. I am wondering when I should start to worry about her not talking yet. She says a few words like uh-oh and grandpa, and she will say up, mama and dada occasionally. I am teaching her sign and she is catching on to that very quickly but she wont say anything else she just grunts and points. Being a special education teacher I should know the growth and development stages but they dont teach you much about premies in college classes. Anyone who has a talker have any advice. I am teaching her sign because it is proven to help babies speak earlier and have a better understanding of language and because i think it is beautiful and very handy especially in my field on occasions but i want her to talk too. Any thoughts. Are ther any books out there that give somewhat of a what to expect when you have a preemie???

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Robyn - posted on 01/07/2009

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My son was born 9 weeks early and I have him enrolled through Early Intervention for speech help. He did not say the word "no" until he was 22 months and then the word "more" about 2 weeks later. There are mile markers in speech, I am sort of learning them as I go along and as it pertains to my son. I had him evaluated at 18 months because he was not saying a lot of words. I am still unsure if he is delayed because he is a preemie or because he is a boy, but either way, the speech is helping. He was also a big drooler and we are working on blowing, not biting on the end of straws and to eat soft foods. There is more to speech then just words. If your gut is that your daughter is delayed, call Early Childhood and have her evaluated. In NJ, where we live, there was no cost for the test, which could be peace of mind and help. There is a little fee for service, based on your income tax return, but it was not outrageous. You can get the phone number for Early Intervention by doing a search on line. I hope that this helps. Best of luck!

Jessica - posted on 01/07/2009

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I taught both my preemie kids sign language.  It really did help!!  My daughter was 11 weeks early.  She has had some development delays, at least until now (she turned 3 in November).  When she is around other 3 year olds, you can tell her words are not as clear as the other children.  She did very well with the signing (we used Baby Einstein videos to learn signing).  We had a few occupational therapy sessions.... that is the best resource to determine if she is behind/ needs extra help.  My son was born 8 weeks early too.  He started kindergarden this school year, and he is definitely behind with his vocabulary and reading.  Looking back, I wish I had sought out the occupational specialist for him as well.  I think you really can't tell until they start school.  Just keep your little one involved with other around the same age.  In my experience, you will be aware of a delay until 2.5 - 3 years old... that seems to be when they catch up in size, movement, and communication.  I always tell myself.... by the time they are 20, it will not matter when they started to talk, walk, read, write, etc.

Jeannie - posted on 01/06/2009

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I have to admit my son is the same age, he was only 5 weeks early and he is not talking either. He was saying mama and sissy, but now she has taught him to quack so that is his favorite word. He says look and just started sayin go go go when i am driving. Each child learns at their own pace, if your pediatrician isn't concerned I wouldn't be either. My daughter was 11 weeks premature, and she too was a slow starter, talkin, crawling and walking, it just takes time for our preemies to catch up, but she is doing great, she was caught up by the age of 2. Just hang in there, repetition and patience is what is important, especially with preemies!

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