By 27 weeks, premature babies are no longer considered micropreemies. Now called "very premature babies," these babies have a greater than 95% rate of survival past birth and NICU discharge. However, 27 and 28 weekers still require a lot of medical care and can be expected to stay in the NICU for long periods of time.
By 28 weeks, premature babies weigh about 2 1/2 pounds and are about 16 inches long from head to toe. Rapid eye development is occurring, and premature babies born after 27 weeks can blink and no longer have fused eyelids. Their retinas are still developing (making them still at risk for retinopathy of prematurity, or ROP), but their eyes can form images.
By 27 and 28 weeks, premature babies are also starting to develop more coordinated sleep/wake cycles. They are starting to have periods of REM sleep, and parents watching their babies sleep may wonder what they're dreaming about!