Saint Elizabeth Regional Medical Center
Home
Discharge Criteria

Each baby’s situation is different and there are many factors that play a part in being ready to go home.

Here are the general guidelines for discharge from the NICU:

  • 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 combination
  • Baby is event free for five - ten days. This means no apnea (pauses in breathing), bradycardia (slow heart rate) or desaturation (change in color)

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