Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Three Things You Should Know About Clothes Shopping For a Micropreemie

When a new baby is born, we love to give sweet little baby clothes as gifts. Those tiny little outfits are just so darn cute! I received some baby clothes when my 24-wkr was born as well. Here are three things to keep in mind if you decide to give a gift of clothing to the parent of a micropreemie:

  1. Micropreemies are not allowed to wear clothes at first. Their body temperatures must be carefully monitored and controlled in their incubators or isolettes. In addition, they usually have so many tubes and wires coming from them that clothing would just get tangled and be in the way.
  2. Once they are allowed to wear clothes, simple things are best. If you (or people you know) happen to be handy, making cute little "hospital gown" type garments out of sweet little prints can be ideal. If not, look for basic garments with easy-access and snaps instead of zippers- nurses need to be able to thread those wires and tubes through there.
  3. "Preemie"-sized clothing will likely be too big for quite some time. You can certainly find clothing specially sized for these very tiny babies. My sister-in-law and mother-in-law both purchased outfits for our C from one of these online shops. If that's too much trouble, standard preemie clothing is readily available at many mass-retailers and the baby will certainly need it at some point! Walmart is probably the most well-known store and they carry a large selection. For my micropreemie, I found the Walmart clothes to be a tad "short and wide". Gymboree has a cute line for preemies and their garments have a slimmer cut to them. We loved their clothing for our daughter. It's pricier than Walmart, to be sure, but we wore those sleepers to death.

Keep in mind that, while many people buy a couple preemie outfits for their 5- or 6- lb babies, those outfits do not fit them for long. With a micropreemie, you will get major mileage out of preemie-sized and, even more so, newborn-sized outfits. For full-term babies, I never recommend buying anything smaller than 0-3 month clothing. For micropreemies? Newborn size is very welcome and appropriate!

One final, frugal note: If you are the parent of the micropreemie and you're looking for more preemie clothes, ask around. Unfortunately, having a preemie is not terribly uncommon and there is likely someone in your family, church, job, or neighborhood who has had an early baby. While not uncommon, preemies are not so common that most people feel the need to save those clothes for future babies or family members.

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