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When our youngest was born two months early, I read this book (which focuses mainly on the time in the hospital) and The Preemie Parents' Companion (which focuses more on the time after discharge). The combination of these two resources was so helpful for understanding what was happening to our child and how he would develop differently from a full-term baby. This book is pretty comprehensive as far as the different tests, monitors, procedures, etc., but it's done in a way that is educational, not terrifying.

The reason I am giving it four stars instead of five is because everything is presented from the perspective of Attachment Parenting, which is what the Sears family is known for. However, I found some of their suggestions to be unrealistic. For example, they place a strong focus on breasfeeding, which is great, but my preemie never figured out how to breastfeed, and the suggestions they give for maintaining a supply while pumping are a joke. (The Breastfeeding Mother's Guide to Making More Milk is much, much better.) Also, they talk a lot about babywearing, but my preemie was prone to apnea spells and tucked his chin for a long time, so I didn't feel safe wearing him until he had better head control. Based on things the neonatologist and nurses said, I know my preemie is not unique in these respects, so I felt a bit left out by some of the suggestions made in this book.

All in all, this book is definitely worth a read and will help you get a better idea of what's going on during your baby's hospital stay. They also give lots of helpful tips for making the stay a little less difficult. If your baby has already gone home, though, or is close to being discharged, then I would suggest skipping this one.
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on November 18, 2012
Purchased this after my daughter's birth at 30 weeks 1 day gestation. It covers a wide variety of topics relating to preemies and their care. With the stress of the NICU and the fatigue of recovering from a c-section I really appreciated having an easy to read, well organized, and comprehensive resource I could refer to in order to gain a greater awareness of prematurity and help me to better discuss my daughter's care with her doctors. While this book doesn't go into great depth on every single aspect of prematurity, it's a very good introductory book which covers the most common issues preemies face. If your child has a specific issue and you're seeking in depth information on a specific condition you'd probably be better off finding a more specialized book. If you're wanting to get a handle on what you can expect during the first year with your preemie, this is the book to get.
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on November 4, 2014
Our baby came unexpectedly 6 weeks early. I read this for the 2 weeks while he was in the NICU. It really helped me understand what was going on and what I could do to get him better. Having a baby in the NICU is emotionally draining and you feel helpless, this book really helped letting you know that others are feeling the same and how to channel your energy to positive thing for your baby.
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on August 17, 2016
When you're freaking out because your baby was in the NICU this book eases many of your fears and makes you feel better about being the parent of a preemie. One of the only books you'll need to read about your baby.
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Very well laid out. An easy read. Nice illustrations. Medical information and terminology was made easy to understand to the layperson.
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on June 6, 2012
This is the best resource available for parents anticipating a preemie or with a preemie recently admitted to the NICU. I say that because, as a former preemie parent, I know how hard it can be to juggle the preemie lifestyle and trying to read a book. Read this as soon as you possibly can, you won't regret it. It's got great information for doing the best you can do to help your preemie thrive. The NICU is a tough, tough world and this book will help guide you through it. This book is chock-full of information and suggestions of what YOU can do to help your preemie have the best outcome possible. Dr Sears is a God-send. I buy & give this book to every parent I know who has to face the NICU.
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on January 19, 2007
My beautiful first grandson was born on Thanksgiving Day 2006, 1 day prior to being in the womb for 27 weeks, he weighted 2lbs 2ounces. My daughter-in-law's water broke when she was pregnant for only 25 weeks and she had be in the hospital, laying flat on her back for 2 1/2 weeks. The doctors had us prepared for the worst, however, my grandson who is now 8 weeks old is doing great and so far no major problems. He is still in the hospital but we expect that he will be home soon. The Premature Baby Book was great, I bought a copy for my daughter-in-law at a well known bookstore, but was unable to find a copy for me so I went on line and found it at AMAZON. This book answered all of the questions that we had while traveling this journey of having a premature infant in your life from infections to how to deal with nurses you are not sure that they have your childs best interest when taking care of them along with what to expect of your baby. I highly recommend the book because it sure gave us alot of peace. Since my children were full term babies, I am learning so much and having the pleasure of seeing our precious preemie thrive outside the womb and is doing so well. We are blessed that he is in a great hospital with wonderful staff and the book serves as a great guide and is very informative. If you or anyone you know has a premature baby, by all means give them this book, you will give them a peace of mind to know that almost all of their questions are answered in this book.
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on May 11, 2015
All the baby books in the world never prepare you for life with a preemie. This book was wonderful and helped deal with the daily difficulties no one tells you about.
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on April 22, 2013
This book contains everything that parents and caretakers of premature babies need to know from birth to 1 year. Among the contents include life in the NICU, useful tips on providing breast milk (and sustaining supply - since extreme preemies aren't able to feed directly from their moms in order to provide sufficient stimulation for the latter), the importance of attachment parenting (AP) for preemies, and health issues / risks that are good for parents of preemies to know. This book is highly reader-friendly too, as every point is explained using plain and precise form. Recommended for parents and caretakers of preemies.
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on January 6, 2015
Helped my husband and I get through our child being in the NICU -- but was also helpful after we took him home.
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