Essential Baby Gear for Preemies

May 31, 2018

Planning and preparing for the arrival of a new baby is an exciting time. Many expectant parents spend a great deal of time and money stocking their homes with the latest and greatest gadgets to make caring for a little one easier. But when the birth of a baby comes earlier than expected, the nesting process can quickly become overwhelming. Not only is the sheer amount of baby gear available intimidating, but often preemies have unique needs. And while each baby is different, there are some supplies that are essential when you are caring for a preemie. Here are some of my must-have products for your tiny bundle of joy.

Car Seat Rated for 4 lbs

It’s no surprise that you must have a car seat to get your baby home from the NICU. But did you know that not every car seat will work for a small baby? Some child restraint systems are not suitable for babies under 5 lbs. Many brands offer a car seat that will work, so check the owner’s manual to confirm your seat will accommodate a preemie. (Shown here: Graco SnugRide SnugLock 35 DLX)

Snap Up Sleepers

Cozy sleepers are a must for babies. Some preemies may be released from the hospital, still needing oxygen or monitoring. Sleepers in preemie sizes that snap, not zip can accommodate any wires or tubes. (Shown here: Little Me Dalmatian Footie and Hat Set)


After a stay in the NICU, it can be hard to bring your tiny baby home without the security of hospital monitors. As annoying as those beeps and buzzers were, they did provide a sense of comfort. Many preemie parents find that a “smart” monitor that tracks movement or other vitals is a helpful at home tool. (Shown here: AngelCare Monitor)

Preemie Journal

Journaling while your child is in the NICU is a wonderful way to work through the trauma of the experience. It can also be a useful way to record your baby’s milestones and keep track of progress. Remembering details In times of stress can be difficult, so get a journal and write it down. (sShown here: One Eleven Lovey Lane Journal. We also love Every Tiny Thing’s Our NICU Journey.)

Hands-Free Pumping Bra

If you are going to be spending any amount of time pumping breast milk for your preemie, a hands-free pumping bra is a must. Pumping is a labor of love that requires a great deal of commitment and time, so you might as well be able to multitask during the process. (Shown here: Lansinoh Simple Wishes Hands-Free Pumping Bra)

Preemie Flow Nipples

Preemies often have difficulty coordinating the suck-swallow reflex, which leads to feeding challenges. Finding the right gear for your preemie can help. If bottle feeding is part of your baby’s regime, a preemie flow nipple could be just the right fit. (Shown here: Dr. Brown’s Original Nipple)

Hospital Grade Pump

Pumping may be a part of your NICU experience at least temporarily, regardless of how you ultimately choose to feed your baby. A powerful breast pump and a lactation consultant will set you on the road to success. And remember, you don’t need to buy a hospital grade pump. Many moms choose to rent their pump for a monthly fee, which may be covered by health insurance. (Shown here: Medela Symphony)

Feeding Pillow

All babies spend many hours of their early life eating. Preemies are no exception. In fact, making sure your preemie is receiving adequate nutrition and gaining weight will be one of your main concerns. Whether you are breastfeeding, bottle feeding, or a combination of both you will want to be comfortable while you are feeding your baby. A pillow that supports baby, will allow everyone to thoroughly enjoy meal time. (Shown here: Boppy in Notebook Fabric)