Premature babies: slow to learn?

@mfrancq (1809)
United States
December 18, 2006 7:29pm CST
My son was four weeks early, which actually wasn't very bad. However, he was born at 4lbs 11oz, which was an issue. My doctor said this was because my body was not allowing my son the nutrients he needed, even though I ate constantly and took vitamins. They also told me that my son would be four weeks behind on everything and wouldn't be as smart as a full term baby. However, the older my son has gotten, I have noticed that he is actually quite smart. Smarter then most full term babies I have seen. My son was talking at three months, when I say the numbers one and two he will hold them up with his fingers..he's only eight months. There is so much he already knows...it is quite amazing to me. Anyways, any parents who also had a baby premature? Do you have the same experience? Or anyone that has an opinion or any type of advice is more then welcome also.
3 people like this
67 responses
• Singapore
19 Dec 06
dont worry, my friend...i was a prematured baby too...7 months..but look where am i now...i'm healthy and there's no difference between me and any other normal 9 months old baby...
1 person likes this
@mfrancq (1809)
• United States
19 Dec 06
That is wonderful, glad to hear you made it through alright. Gives me hope for when he gets older. Thanks for the response!
@medooley (1875)
• United States
19 Dec 06
I too was born two months early, weighted 3lbs. I would like to think that I am just as normal and as smart as everyone else.
1 person likes this
@mfrancq (1809)
• United States
19 Dec 06
That is why I started this, to hopefully feel better when I saw people who were preemies but now they are grown and okay. Thanks for the response!
@jade01 (803)
• Australia
19 Dec 06
twins - my twins
when my twins were born they were 4wks prem this is common for twins. they were only 4lb5 and 5lb the smaller out of the two is by far the smartest
1 person likes this
@mfrancq (1809)
• United States
19 Dec 06
Well I am glad that they are healthy and seem very happy! wow, a little smaller then mine was. Isn't it crazy how that works though, they always say the smaller they are, the more problems they will have. I don't see that as the case at all. Thanks for the response!
@mfrancq (1809)
• United States
19 Dec 06
Well, thanks for advice on twins. I was asking about premature babies though...Thanks for the response anyhow.
@serenetee (380)
• Singapore
19 Dec 06
I believe intelligence is not associated with premature birth. I have friends in their 30s who were born premature but are highly intelligent. However, they claim to have lungs/respiratory related problems when they were young. This is also prominent among my neighbours' kids. They are between 5 to 8 and they get coughs easily. Also, they are smaller in built compared to their peers.
1 person likes this
• Singapore
19 Dec 06
To add on, they are also more active and eloquent than other kids but definitely not slow learners. So don't worry.
• United States
19 Dec 06
Everything will be fine. They just had a little harder time getting started. They will catch up and go beyond. My sister had a premie too. He is very bright and all grown up now. Congratulations on your birth of your son. Don't worry mom.
1 person likes this
@mfrancq (1809)
• United States
19 Dec 06
hehe thanks! You can't help but to worry though, being a mom. Especially being a first timer. My son too is very bright. I love watching him grow and learn. Of course right now he won't go to bed and keeps screaming, not a fan of that. I've gotta go take care of him. Thanks for the response!
@brendalee (6085)
• United States
19 Dec 06
My son was also four weeks early and weighed just 1/4 ounce more than your son. He was never behind as far as I can remember. He is 21 now and is fine. Hes a little lazy but I think that is just the male in him.lol. The only advice I can give you is to keep enjoying these moments as they grow up sp fast.
1 person likes this
@mfrancq (1809)
• United States
19 Dec 06
I know that is true, I feel like I just had him and he's already eight months. He is starting to play this new game where he looks at me, smacks his lips..then he puts his thumb in my face so I will suck on it. I start and then he laughs and pulls his arm back. I think he could do that all night. It is adorable.
@vipul20044 (5801)
• India
19 Dec 06
Well am not married as of now but then i am really surprised to know you got a great smart son Really to be able to do such things in such a small age is really wonderful!
1 person likes this
@birthlady (5613)
• United States
19 Dec 06
The placenta is a fetal organ which transfers nutrients, oxygen, and all other substances from maternal circulation to fetal circulation--and also transfers fetal metabolic waste products from the preborn baby's circulation to maternal circulation. Here's a link to formation and functions of the placenta: Auntie Natal 911 ~ The Placenta http://www.auntienatal911.com/placenta.htm Maternal malnutrition prior to conception, and in early days and weeks of pregnancy, may cause the placenta to improperly implant into the uterus, and interfere with normal growth and development of the placenta. Yes, the placenta grows and develops until about 32 weeks gestation. Dr. Tom Brewer taught alot about maternal nutrition in pregnancy. I've been teaching Dr. Brewer's work, with his permission, since 1980. Dr. Brewer passed away in Nov 2005, he was my mentor and friend since 1980. Here's a link to unseen physiologic maternal changes during pregnancy: Auntie Natal 911 ~ Pregnancy http://www.auntienatal911.com/pregnancy Nutrition in pregnancy is a whole different ball game than when you are not pregnant. In fact, malnutrition in pregnancy is defined differently than malnutrition when not pregnant. Here's a link to the basics of good nutrition: Auntie Natal 911 ~ Nutrition http://www.auntienatal911.com/basics_good_nutrition.htm Preterm babies have what's called an "adjusted" age that is how old they would be, developmentally, if they were born full term instead of prematurely. That's why doctors told you that your baby would be 4 weeks behind. Many preemie babies do "catch up", some sooner than others. Remember, your baby's brain develops at the fastest rate in his life in the last trimester of pregnancy through infancy. Here's a link to growth and development of a preborn baby by day, week, and month: Auntie Natal 911 ~ Preborn Baby http://www.auntienatal911.com/preborn_baby
@Chiriac (287)
• Romania
19 Dec 06
Babies born at less than 37 weeks' gestation are considered premature, and they often begin life with serious medical challenges. If you know how to grow up the baby i dont think that`s a problem.
1 person likes this
• India
19 Dec 06
My sister was a premature baby... born in the 7th month but she is far to intelligent for me... and now a Chartered Accountant i don't think she is a slow learner b'coz she is only 23 now
1 person likes this
@nhtpscd (1418)
• Australia
19 Dec 06
My daughter was born at 24weeks and weighed 675g. I was told at birth she had a 10% chance of survival. On day five she had a minor brain bleed and was told to prepare my self she probably will have severe learning disabilities and will fail to thrive. Now at 16 she is going into year 11 wears a size 12-14 adults clothes.
1 person likes this
• Pakistan
19 Dec 06
I don't think they are slow learners. I know a boy he is more than 20 and was born pre mature (7 months). I know him personally and never seen him behind in any facet of life. he is a very good student and has great interest in social sciences along with different art forms. In fact i have found him an egg headed person. Junaid
@vbembot (750)
• Philippines
19 Dec 06
my response to your question without reading your discussion was to say it is the opposite.. so we were of same thought that premature babies are not slow learner. A lot of my friends who have kids that were prematurely born are fast learners and excells in schools. There must be a scientific explanation to this which would like to know.
19 Dec 06
What nonsense that premature babies are less smart... dun ever believe that. you said so yourself and you can see your own son and how smart he can be. :-) Well, the only problem when it comes to premature babies (that I know of) will be the early months, because they have to catch up with their growing outside your body. My niece was born at 7 mths. She had short tongue when she was a baby and my mother in-law was so afraid that it is permanent... they are also known to be weaker as their digestive and immune systems are not fully not developed. the doctor told her not to worry as it is too early to tell since she was a premature baby... have to give her a chance to develop like normal babies and she did. She is now a perfectly normal and intelligent 7 year-old. :-) Dun worry too much... take care. Enjoy seeing your kid grow...
• United States
19 Dec 06
As a premature baby he would "statistically" be behind in his development by how ever many weeks he was early. No every preemie knows that, though, lol. But for the most part preemies roll, crawl and walk later then other kids their age but that in no way means they are not or will not be as smart as any other kid. My best friend had pre-eclampsia and they induced her at around 30 weeks. Her daughter only weighed a little over 3lbs. She didn't start rolling until 6 months and didn't crawl until she was almost 1 and didn't start walking until she was 18 months but that girl is a freaking genius. She was talking by 14 months and knew her whole ABC before she was 2. She is 7 now and the school has offered a few times to move her up a grade (she is in 2nd like she should be). Her mother refuses because she is so small for her age (about the size of a 5-6 year old) and is the smallest kid in her class already making things hard on her emotionally. She said she will leave it up to her daughter to decide when she is older and understands what it will mean. Looking at her now you would never have guessed she was a preemie. She is a perfectly healthy little girl.
1 person likes this
• China
19 Dec 06
My son was about three weeks earlier. It seems that he does learn more slowly. But,wheather he can develop both mentally and physically depends on our education. So don't worry.
1 person likes this
@Marie2473 (8529)
• Sweden
19 Dec 06
My aunt had a premature baby 2 years ago and he is very slow - or behind in the learning progress. They told her that he will not be completelycatched up until the age of 3-4 and in his case it seems to be correct, on the other hand, he was born 12 weeks earlie, so he was quite small and had to be hospitalised for a few montsh after birth!
1 person likes this
• China
19 Dec 06
In some way, it maybe, but not absolutely. First I think you should be confident to your baby. He'll be OK only if brought-up elaborately,get good education. That will be fine. God bless you & your son!
@Croquetilla (1817)
• Spain
19 Dec 06
hello the babay is ver very hard only the fisrtt time need more medinal control but then not have more problems
1 person likes this
@vhalen (85)
• Philippines
19 Dec 06
if babies were born premature it doesn't mean they are slow to learn.... they're only lack in days when they were born but not in development of brain ;)
1 person likes this
@emjehe89 (287)
• Australia
19 Dec 06
i know alot of people who where premature and they where with me at an academically selective high school, so unless your baby has experienced actual brain damage i dont think it really means he is going to be a slow learner..