You'll see the word "Preemie" used quite a lot by people in online forums dedicated to premature baby topics and if you search for "preemie baby clothes" using a search engine lots of websites will be listed.
Preemie is widely used in the USA
But you'll notice that most of the people or websites using the world preemie are American, that's because this is where the world originates from.
What does preemie mean?
'Preemie' simply means 'premature baby' and it is an evolution from 'premy' which started to be used in the 1920's. But most often preemie signifies that baby was born before 35 weeks and typically when discussing a preemie baby people are talking about a baby that spent time on the Neonatal intensive Care Unit (NICU) or Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU).
Why do I see "preemie" being used in UK facebook groups and forums?
The internet, and in particular social media, has meant that people from all over the world can connect, and because the UK and USA share the same language (more or less!) Brits and Americans will end up on English language forums and Facebook groups.
Search on Facebook and you'll see people in the USA asking questions like "where can I buy preemie baby clothes" and people in the UK responding with links to Asda! And people in the UK asking similar questions with responses from Americans saying "Carters do a great range of preemie baby clothes". Carters is a big store in the USA! Basically because everyone is typing in English people get confused about their location and offer well-meaning advice that isn't actually helpful.
Also, in the UK it's very common for us to take on Americanisms, so more and more you see 'Preemie' being used interchangeably with 'premature baby' in the UK too.
Where can I buy preemie baby clothes?
As discussed above, preemie baby clothes are just premature baby clothes, but typically for the smallest of early babies.
A Google search for 'preemie baby clothing' will mainly result in links to American stores. Little Mouse is an exception though. We recognise that people in the UK are now often using this term, so we've made sure people using it can find us!
We have a specialist ranges of preemie baby clothes in three sizes, 1-3lb, 3-5lb and 4-7lb.