The Advanced Baby Center
Discharge Criteria

Going Home

Saint Elizabeth maintains general guidelines that determine when a baby is ready to be discharged from the NICU. Of course, each baby’s situation is different and there are many factors to consider—your care provider will use these guidelines and their professional expertise to determine when your baby is ready to go home.

  • Baby is able to maintain a normal and stable temperature in a crib.
  • Baby is able to take all feedings by nursing, bottle, or a combination.
  • Baby shows a consistent, appropriate weight gain for several days while taking all feedings by nursing, bottle, or a combination.
  • Baby is event free for 5 – 10 days—this means no apnea (pauses in breathing), bradycardia (slow heart rate), or desaturation (change in color).

There is no specific weight requirement for discharge. Hospital stays can last days or months depending on a baby’s individual circumstances, and some babies may need to go home with special equipment such as an apnea monitor or oxygen.