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Ready to Interact

Earlier we have discussed ways to calm your baby, but your little one may be very ill and you may very well be too scared to touch her. It is important to understand where she is in her development and then plan interactions with her accordingly.

We discussed that a preterm infant experience three distinctive developmental stages (Gorski stages). 

  • The first being the turning-in stage when the preterm infant is still very ill and unstable as she reacts similar to a porcupine. She may at first react negatively to touch, all the pens coming out to protect herself, but as she get to know the stimulation she will slowly relax.
  • At about 32 weeks you can expect that her development is in the coming-out stage where she will react by withdrawing when overstimulated, but slowly, like a tortuous she will start exploring her environment again.  If she is very ill, she may remain in turning-in for longer or until she is older.
  • Finally, she will move onto the reciprocity or interaction stage, which is similar to newborn reactions. At this stage she will start reacting like a puppy: sleep, feed and poop. When she is awake, for short periods at a time, she may make eye contact and she will be ready to start feeding on the breast or bottle.

In Prematurity – Adjusting your dream you will find some useful activities that you can do with your premmie according to the developmental stage she is in.

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