Each baby is different. The doctors and nurses monitor each baby's progress and make adjustments to the ventilator. The goal is to remove the ventilator as soon as possible. The doctor will update you on your baby's progress.
Mother's milk is the best nutrition for your baby. Until your baby can nurse from the breast, you can pump milk for your baby. Talk to your baby's nurse about pumping and storing your breast milk.
The doctors will start feeding your baby as soon as they think the child can digest the food. Premature babies may have problems digesting and the doctors and nurses will carefully monitor your baby's progress.
Your baby will probably start getting milk through a small tube passed from the mouth to the stomach. Later, when your baby is larger and stronger, the nurse will start bottle feedings or let you breastfeed.
Baby boys can be circumcised 1-2 days before discharge from the NICU. Ask your baby's nurse about information on newborn circumcision, and let him or her know if you want this procedure done. This procedure will require you to sign a consent form.
Babies are usually discharged when they are taking all of their feedings by bottle, are able to stay warm in a regular crib and are gaining weight daily.
If your baby has been admitted to the NICU, then he or she needs close monitoring and special care. You will be allowed to visit at the baby's bedside as soon as you are able.
Your baby's length is measured at birth and then every week thereafter. Ask your baby's nurse when the next measurements will be taken. He or she is weighed every day for about one week. Then the nurses may only weigh him or her 2-3 times a week. Ask your baby's nurse about his/her's particular schedule. You can also ask the doctor or nurse practitioner to print a growth chart for your baby's keepsake book.
Most babies don't need a monitor at home. However, if your baby is having apnea/bradycardia within a few weeks of discharge, you may be sent home with a monitor. The nurse can teach you infant CPR and help you learn about the monitor.