A frequently asked question from families after their baby is admitted into the NICU is “When can our baby go home?” A general rule of thumb is to expect discharge around the baby's due date. The decision to discharge a baby involves many factors including: 1) Being able to breath on his or her own without support; 2) gaining weight by taking all feedings by breast or bottle; 3) having no apnea or bradycardia; 4) maintaining temperature in an open crib. Each baby is individual in his or her ability to achieve these factors of discharge throughout the course of your baby's stay.
Before your baby is discharged, the nurses will teach you any special procedures or medications your baby may need. You may find it helpful to spend the night in the hospital in a private room with your baby before going home. This is called rooming-in and can be arranged by your baby's doctors and nurses. It is important for you and your baby to feel secure and comfortable together before going home. Feel free to ask any questions and talk about your concerns with your baby's doctor and nurses.