Sunday, April 30, 2006

Preemies - Our littlest population

There's been a bit of discussion on our message boards about sewing for premature infants. I'm the mother of two premature infants who are now 21-year-old adults. Yep, twins. I didn't do much sewing for them when they were below 7 pounds because my time was taken up caring for them. Premature babies require close attention, transportation to a lot of appointments, lots of small feedings, monitoring, etc., etc., etc., that is in addition to that you would provide for a full term infant. Many premature infants don't make it, and there's the added grief of a baby's death. And here's where we can help.
Parents of premature infants don't have a lot of time to do anything other than take care of their children. Organizations that provide clothing for the little ones abound on the web. Do a quick Google search for "patterns for premature babies" or "sewing for preemies" or any permuation of the phrase. There are free patterns on the web for tee shirts, sleeping gowns, blankets that fold and swathe a baby, as well as clothing and burial gowns. Any thing you can do for your community or for an organization line is more than appreciated by the parents who receive the items.
If you do sew for premature infants, remember to keep the fabric extra soft. Their skin is not as developed as a full term infant.
The best "help" I received when my twins were infants was anything that helped save me time. Many parents, such as myself, have another child as well as their preemie. That child needs to be remembered too. Stitch up a small stuffed animal or something unique for the sibling of the preemie if you have some time. You can use scraps you already have and stuffing you have stashed away.
Sewing for preemies is relatively simple and it's definitely something we call can do.
Feel free to browse around Google's free preemie sewing listings and try out an item or two. You'll feel really good that you've done something positive for the littlest babies.

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