After holding and feeding them, dressing your preemie is one of the most comforting things you can do. Which is probably why one of the most frequent things I see preemie moms ask about online is “where can I find preemie clothing?”
While the NICU does supply tee-shirts or donated onesies for preemies to wear, there is something special about picking out clothing for your child, dressing them and doing their laundry. When so much is out of our control as preemie moms, bringing clothes back and forth to NICU can help us feel more like “normal” moms.
But back to the question: where is the best place to find them? Brands like Carters carry preemie sizes (for babies under five pounds) however, the items may not work with your babies medical needs.
That’s why Cressie Baerg started Perfectly Preemie which specializes in preemie clothes that address the special needs that preemies have, either in the NICU or in the transition home.
Bright colors and fun patterns are her signature along with velcro closures and snaps that allow easy access for nurses and parents. The best part? Her prices are comparable with name brands and many styles are reversible for two style options in one.
Cressie has generously offered a 15 percent discount for Preemie Mom Camp readers with code CAMP15 at checkout. Read more below to get to know Cressie thenclick here to start shopping!
What inspired you to start sewing for preemies back in 1993?
Someone I knew in church had a preemie baby and back then no one was able to find any suitable or affordable clothing for them. I told them, “I can make preemie clothes!” You see, I had sewn all my life, from sewing my own clothes to clothing for my three children. And when I discovered the need, it became my passion to research and design a line of preemie clothing that would truly address their unique requirements and sizing.
I am a seamstress at heart and have sewed since I was in the seventh grade. To be able to buy carefully selected fabrics and design preemie clothing is a passion for me, not a job. This is a family business. I am very lucky to have my husband, daughters and a long-time employee working on the day to day tasks of keeping our business and mission humming along.
What sets Perfectly Preemie apart from other retailers?
I think shoppers will be hard-pressed to come anywhere close to matching our experience, quality, sizing and selection. For more than 20 years we’ve done medical research, consulted with NICU staff, and dialogued with preemie parents to determine just what a preemie baby needs in regard to their clothing and accessories.
What were some of the initial challenges in sewing for tiny babies in unique physical circumstances, such as monitor leads, feeding tubes, mechanical ventilation, etc?
Choosing safe fabrics and perfecting our designs. Our IV-Shirts and Nic-Suits start at micropreemie size and offer shoulder openings for easy access. Our Nic-Sac style, also provides easy dressing and openings for monitor leads. The lap style necklines on our preemie clothes work wonderfully for the tiny necks of preemie babies and allow much easier dressing. Closures on these preemie clothes vary from velcro, ties, plastic snaps and classic snaps, to meet the many different needs of these little miracles.
How has your design evolved to become your signature design today?
The newest style is the Jumpsuit. It bridges the gap from the simple NICU shirts to a full-length version with velcro closures at the crotch. It provides the parent very easy dressing and can be used in the NICU as well as when the baby goes home.
Then there is the next step with the Playsuit, which doesn’t have open shoulders and uses snaps instead of velcro.
We still have our wonderful Sweet-Tee which is being updated currently to a newer look, with a little more adjustment on fit, while maintaining all the appealing features it has always had.
What’s next for Perfectly Preemie?
In addition to evolving our own Perfectly Preemie Signature Design line of clothing, we continue to look far and wide for the best preemie gear and products from other manufacturers to ensure that you can find everything needed here in one stop.
The best part of my day is when I read the emails from a customer writing a review on how much they love our clothes. It just warms my heart to see babies in our clothing and hear how great the products have worked for the baby and NICU Nurses. We frequently hear how much the nurses love our gear! I am hoping we can do an international collection by finding great fabrics in interesting places. We shall see! You just never know where life will take you.