Did you know that caring for a premature baby may be a little more different than caring for a normal baby? A premature baby requires much more careful and constant attention from parents. As a premature baby enters the world earlier than they\u2019re expected or are ready to, parents will need to put more effort into making sure the baby grows well and healthy.\r\n\r\nByrd, a father of two children, shares his experience of caring for his first child, who was a premature baby.\r\n\r\n\r\nByrd Yee, 37\r\nTo be completely honest, I was a little disappointed yet anxious when I first found out that my baby was born earlier than expected. It may sound bad of me but it was really out of my control to feel that way. Imagine having your first child, you\u2019d expect a perfectly normal and healthy baby.\r\n\r\nTo learn about this, it wasn\u2019t exactly ideal and I\u2019m sure it wouldn\u2019t be ideal for any parents at all. This is because I was already aware of the fact that unlike normal babies, premature babies are usually or most likely to face complications.\r\n\r\nBut of course, my wife and I were still blessed that our baby came out okay. The little guy just had a little problem with his lungs and nothing much. My wife and I feared for the worst and were extremely relieved to find out the complications weren\u2019t as bad as we thought it\u2019d be. We were extremely grateful for that.\r\nOverall Experience\r\nMy overall experience of taking care of a premature baby can be concluded by using two words; very exhausting. I know caring for a normal baby can be tiring also but this would have to be something completely different. It included countless sleepless nights and having to worry every second of the day.\r\n\r\nBut in the end, my wife and I would still be incredibly excited to see him grow stronger day by day. Watching a premature baby grow from being weaker than the rest to being able to do what the others do as well is truly something I will cherish.\r\n\r\n\r\nThe Challenges\r\nI would say that one of the main challenges would be having to be on standby every minute of the day. This is because premature babies are likely to have a breathing problem. In order to make sure the baby\u2019s breathing doesn\u2019t cut off, we have to be very alert all of the time. Can you imagine that if you didn\u2019t pay attention for a second, you risk the possibility of losing your baby forever?\r\n\r\nAnother challenge would be feeding time. I remember that slow and hourly feeding was needed as the baby isn\u2019t like the other normal ones. I also recall having to be overprotective in everything to ensure my son doesn't get sick as getting sick for a premature is definitely a big no-no. Hence, taking care of a premature baby takes a lot of willpower, love and care.\r\nDifferences between Premature & Normal Baby\r\nLooking after a premature baby is so very tiring. Both your mind and body are being challenged daily compared to caring for a normal baby. You have to be vigilant throughout every second of the day. This type of baby needs special attention and food but way more than that.\r\n\r\nEverything has to be thoroughly cleaned as their immune systems are much weaker than the normal ones. The first year of their life is most important to ensure that they\u2019re almost or at par in comparing normal babies of the same age. It is a very tough process but it is needed in order for the baby to grow up fine.\r\n\r\nBut still, care goes beyond that at least until they reach the schooling age. Lastly, your finances are stretched to beyond your limit as their food, medication and more are very expensive.\r\n\r\nFor more similar stories, please visit Motherhood.com.my.