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How does prematurity affect developmental skills?

My daughter was born 17 days before my due date & only weighed 4 lbs 15 ozs. How much does being born early and weighing only 4 lbs afftect the developmental skills?

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Asked by Laylas_Mommy09 at 2:33 PM on Aug. 6, 2009 in Babies (0-12 months)

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Answers (14)
  • My son was 4-6 weeks early and weighed about 4 lbs. He is a brilliant man, excelled in college, a talented musician, and a loving husband and father to his family. He spoke early, taught himself to read at age 4. He didn't walk until about 13 months, but the doctor said this was not unusual.

    Answer by Bmat at 2:42 PM on Aug. 6, 2009

  • From what I've heard her developmental skills will be based on her due date, not her actual birthday. But 17 days isn't that early, it should even out fairly early on.

    Answer by missanc at 2:43 PM on Aug. 6, 2009

  • My son was 3 weeks early and he was 8lbs. He is a VERY smart 5 yr old now. My sister had her baby 6wks early and she weighed 6lb 6oz and she was pretty much right on (based on her gestational age) I think the earlier they are the better chance they might have a ffew delays, but you just never know because there are babies born full term that have delays. I am sure yours will be absolutely fine! Dont worry!

    Answer by KaRaBaSsEtT at 2:52 PM on Aug. 6, 2009

  • There is no way of knowing but keep milestones in mind, my son was full term and he is speech delayed and God knows what else we haven't gotten a diagnosis just yet.

    Don't feel like there will be delays, there don't have to be delays, sometimes they just happen even in full term children. Just keep track of what he does when. I will take the liberty to e-mail you a spreed sheet I created, share with your pediatrician and see if it helps you to track things better because trust me, as they get older is hard to remember when they followed you with the eyes, rolled over, smile the first time, etc. I hope everything goes well, enjoy your baby and just keep things moving in the right direction.

    Answer by bebita at 3:00 PM on Aug. 6, 2009

  • Your baby doesn't meet the definition of being premature. To be premature, a baby must be born before 37 weeks.

    You don't have to worry that. Babies are at term if they are two weeks before the due date. I don't think the week between 37-38 has a name. You were so close to 38 you were almost term any way.

    The longer you breastfeed the more it will help your baby's development and brain growth. That's the best thing you can do for now.

    Answer by GailllAZ at 3:00 PM on Aug. 6, 2009

  • Seventeen day is not premature.

    Premature babies are 36 weeks or before.

    Until they are two years of age, a premature baby's age is adjusted by the number of weeks it was premature.

    Example: My son was born at 36 weeks. So at 10 months he was considered to be at 9 months developmentally.

    Most are pretty right on for their adjusted age developmentally. It depends on the baby.

    Answer by Anonymous at 3:46 PM on Aug. 6, 2009

  • Babies grow and develop just as well on formula.

    Answer by Anonymous at 3:47 PM on Aug. 6, 2009

  • I have two who were full had a severe fine motor skill delay and the other has moderate global delays (speech, fine and gross motor skills)

    I have one premature (36 weeks) and he has a severe speech delay. All his other skills were dead on average development or early.

    I agree..17 days is not premature.

    Answer by TiccledBlue at 3:49 PM on Aug. 6, 2009

  • Mine youngest was born just before 35 weeks. She has hit all of her motor milestones early or right on time. Her speech is developing a little slower than my oldest's, but she is right about even with other kids her age. Her pediatrician isn't worried. Both of my kids were formula fed and that has made no difference in their development.
    17 days is not premature. I wouldn't be too worried about delays.

    Answer by mupt02 at 5:44 PM on Aug. 6, 2009

  • I don't think that being 17 days early would have any impact of your childs growth or development. She was born full term as far as gestational age, not premature at all. But would be considered very small for her gest. age which might have a small impact on her growth, she may always be a tiny thing... but she might also catch up.

    Answer by AmiJanell at 6:08 PM on Aug. 6, 2009

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