30-34 Weeks Gestation

What You Can Expect

At this young age, babies start to look like smaller term babies with some layers of fat and wrinkly skin that is still sensitive to touch. Your baby’s systems are still immature and he will need time and patience as he grows and learns. The lungs are getting stronger but they’re not done growing yet so your baby may need help to make breathing easier.

preemie babyYour baby will be more active but movements are uncoordinated and without purpose. He is able to bring his hands and legs close to his body, but may need help holding them there. Your baby will stretch often. Your baby is old enough to be able to control his own temperature but may need a little help from the incubator so he can grow. To help brain development, the cover over the incubator will be taken off at 32 weeks so that your baby can start to learn about day and night.

At this age, your baby will start to have longer awake periods but will still tire easily and may hiccup, sneeze, arch away or cry with too much activity. Your baby needs a lot of sleep to grow and gain weight. Your baby is starting to use all five senses to learn about his environment. Eyesight is still developing; faces are his favorite to look at. He can hear quite well and will know your voice but loud sounds may still be too much.

Things You Can Do For Your Baby

  • Continue to do the things from 28-30 weeks gestation.
  • Skin-to-skin care. Avoid rocking.
  • Let the baby rest so he can grow and gain weight. Care should be done when he is awake or in light sleep.
  • Don’t stroke or rub the skin.
  • Uncover the baby’s incubator during the day when he is 32 weeks. Use dim lights; shade his eyes when open.
  • Remain still when your baby’s eyes are open, he is not ready to look at moving objects.
  • Drawing of a baby bottle
  • If your baby seems tired or fussy, stop and give your baby some rest.
  • Offer a pacifier during tube feedings and to calm.
  • Breastfeeding or suckling at the breast is supported as soon as your baby can eat by mouth.
  • When feeding your baby by bottle, hold the nipple still and don’t move it.
  • You can do some hands-on care for your baby. Move your baby slowly and gently when changing his diaper or taking a temperature.
  • You may be able to help bathe your baby, check with your nurse.
  • Your baby may be able to wear clothes so you can bring in a few outfits.