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Neurological Development of the Premature Infant

Developmentally, a newborn isn't able to fully interact with the greater world until a few weeks past the due date. You can see this in the amount of time a newborn spends sleeping and in the limited vision a full-term infant has at birth. Slowly, the full-term newborn becomes physiologically able to take in more and more of the physical world and its sounds, sights, and experiences.

The premature newborn naturally needs even more time after birth to transition into the world. You can expect that your premature infant will need to sleep most of the time and that he or she will not spend much or any time interacting with you. But your presence is important to your infant.

Recommended Related to Children

Your Child's Nutrition: The Power of Parents

Mom has plenty on her plate these days, including the high-ranking job as senior manager of her children's nutrition. In most families, "mom buys the food that's in the house. Mom puts food on the table. Mom has the pivotal role in what the kids eat," says Marilyn Tanner-Blasier, RD, LD, a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association. Dads influence their child's nutrition, too, and it's not just what's cooking in the kitchen. Both parents set the pattern for the family's lifestyle....

Read the Your Child's Nutrition: The Power of Parents article > >

When you are giving your infant the benefit of your presence, keep your voice low and keep outside noise and light to a minimum.

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer John Pope, MD - Pediatrics
Last Revised April 14, 2011

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: April 14, 2011
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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