A new study in Pediatrics suggests that even if your preemie was born just a week or two early, he or she may have some difficulty when it comes time for kindergarten.
The study found that up to 52 percent of late preterm infants (those born up to 3 weeks early) were developmentally unprepared. Even if late preterm infants were tested at the age of 2, this did not predict which children would go on to have difficulty in kindergarten with reading, math, and expressive language.
Your best bet: lots of one-on-one interaction with your infant and toddler before kindergarten rolls around, such as reading and playing games. Parents really can have a great impact on their children’s development before kindergarten even starts. Routine developmental screens by your pediatrician during infancy and the toddler years will help identify any delay early, so you are not surprised in Kindergarten.
Reviewed by Dr. Sara Connolly, August 2019
Spending a lot of time with your preemie helps to improve their rate of development.