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Readers Respond: How Long was Your Baby in the NICU?

Responses: 141


Updated May 28, 2014

NICU babies need to meet certain milestones before they can be discharged from the hospital. Parents wonder when they can bring their baby home, but doctors usually can't give a definite answer. Talking to other NICU parents can help moms and dads cope with having a baby in the hospital. How early was your baby? How long did your baby stay in the NICU? What were some of the roadblocks to discharge you faced?

6 weeks in NICU, getting nervous

My son was born April 6, 2012. All has been okay, he is more than 7 lbs but he is not feeding from a bottle really. I know he is not due till 5.23.12 so I am told just to wait. He seems like he may have reflux but he just doesn't have interest in taking a bottle. He likes the breast but can't keep interested for long enough. So he ends up taking rest of feed through the tube. The time just drags. I wish there was something that can be done because I feel like there is underlying problem here. HELP.
—Guest Rem

25.6wkr Beautiful Miracle

Nalani was born via crash c-section 8/19/2011 (water broke at 24wks) weighing 1lb 6ozs and 12 1/2inches long. We spent 106 days in the NICU. When I first saw her I was terrified & quietly thinking "how can such a tiny thing make it?".... My younger brother passed away at the same hospital 9 months earlier. I thought, "There's no way I can handle another loss." Nalani had breathing issues, heart rate issues, sespis (infection of the blood) and her body wouldn't produce red blood cells :'( At one point her left leg was considered for amputation due to circulatory issues from the changing of IV's so frequently eventually requiring the IV to be put in her head (broke my heart).... Four blood transfusions later she finally began to produce some blood :)... We were lucky for each accomplishment she made there were no backslides.... She amazes me so much. Shes very advanced with her development and now weighs 11 lbs 9ozs and is 24 inches long yayyyyy!!!

Baby David

I am a mother off two preemie boys. With my first I went in labor 26 weeks. They were able to keep me pregnant till I was 34 weeks and he went home 3 days later. With my second I went in labor at 25 weeks exactly. He was born that night. We had many hurdles to jump and many scares. He was born 2 pounds. Against what we thought and were told our little miracle baby came threw and was able to come home in a little more then 3 months, all by himself no machines or anything. He is now a healthy almost two year old with very few delays.
—Guest amanda

Payton S.

My son was born 04/12/12 @ 5 1/2 weeks premature. He was born 6lbs 5oz and 19inches long. He is still in the NICU and has been there for the past 8 days. He has been doing okay with feeding here and there and my wife and I thought that we would be bringing him home soon since he has been a few days out of incubator and has been eating somewhat well. However we received a phone call from the hospital tonight saying that his body temperature dropped some along with his heart beat so they had to put him back in the incubator. The nurse reassured us that this was normal and that he is still doing good but needs to get more rest. I am scared and keep praying every chance I get. Can't wait to bring him home.
—Guest Paul S.

27 wk old Preemie (:

I went into labor 4/3. They gave me magnesium to stop my labor & steroid shots to help mature the baby's lungs, then I was taken off the magnesium & I went back into labor. I dialated 6 cms by midnight that night. Around 3 am the doctor went ahead and broke my water & I had my son at 4:32 weighing 2lbs 7oz & our journey began in the nicu. Within a week's span he was taken off everthing & he moved to the intermediate care. The only thing he has left is his little feeding tube. He has a few bradys every now & then which are scary, but other than that he's doing great. I thank God each & every day for the progress of my baby boy. Its been 16 days exactly and I'm not rushing him home. I want him to be a nice size before we leave the nicu (:
—Guest Mommy Of 2

34w 5d

I had my daughter 6 weeks early. She weighed 4lbs 7oz and spent 11 days in the NICU because she didn't want to eat...which they said was normal for preemie babies. She lost down to 3lbs 15oz but was back up to 4lbs 6oz when I brought her home. Now she is a very healthy 2 1/2 month old who is 8lbs...best wishes and prayers to families with babies in the NICU because its definitely not easy to see your baby have to go through that. I can only hope that you have as good of an experience as I did because the hospital staff was amazing.
—Guest ashley

Why the NICU isn't that bad

My baby was only there for one week. I hated every moment and wanted him home with me. But now I realized all the benefits of it. Read more about my NICU baby here. You can find me at www.allmomsareperfect.com
—Guest Ellen

My Baby Girl, Ashleyani

They started me on antibitics and gave me a shot of the steroids. I've been here 2 wks already and still have one more to go. Dr explained that they're trying to keep me pregnant till I am 34 wks. He also told me that the point of that is to help the baby's growth. For every 1 day she is inside of me, she grows 2 days. By the time I deliver her at 34 wks she'll be developed like any other baby that is born 37-38 wks. The doctor told me yesterday that she would probably have to stay 3-6 wks in NICU, but I'm scared. I'm pretty sure I'm gonna feel weird coming home without the baby in my arms or my belly.
—Guest Ashley

My Baby Girl , Ashleyani

It helped a lot reading all of the stories. But I'm still worried and scared. I'm 21 years old and been a Diabetic Type 1 since age nine; today 33 weeks pregnant. My water broke March 30, 2012 at 10 am when I was only 30 weeks and 6 days. I woke up all wet and did not know what it was. After I checked myself and everything I knew I didn't pee myself. First thing I did was to jump in the shower. Next thing I know as I was putting cocoa butter lotion on, I feel another gush of water. That's when I knew there was something wrong. I never had a baby before or was pregnant before but the first thing that came to my mind was "my water broke." I called my OB quickly after that and he told me to go to the hospital where I was delivering, which was 30 minutes away. As soon as I arrived, they were wating for me with a room ready at the labor and delivery section. They checked me andtold me I was only 1/2 cm. dialated with some contractions, but not very strong.
—Guest Ashley


I had my daughter at 31 weeks in May last year and she was in nicu for 6 days.... :'( she didn't make it...... God bless her and I pray no one goes through what I experienced.
—Guest tiaras mum

Born at home

I had my baby girl Somaya at 32 weeks. She stayed in then nicu for 5 days. I had her at my brother's house. She weighed 4 pounds and 8 ounces. I thank God each and everyday.
—Guest octavia

32 Weeks

I was 31 weeks pregnant when my water broke. They kept me on fluids in the hospital for another week before I had to have my son via c-section. Born at 32 weeks exactly, he was 3 pounds 11 ounces. He was a little fighter though and had no trouble breathing or keeping warm. He just had to learn how to eat! We were able to take him home after 3 weeks! He just turned one a couple of days ago and has no set backs besides his size. He is normal height and a little skinny but he is walking, talking and eating us out of the house! I am now pregnant with our daughter. I'm at 29 weeks and just found out my cervix is only 1.7 cm thick. I am on bedrest and waiting to see if I can stop her from being too early too.
—Guest Madison

Baby decided to come out at 34 weeks

My son was born 6 weeks early. He had to spend 3 weeks in the NICU. For me it was very scary to see your baby wrapped in wires, but believe me NICU nurses are angels. They took care of him very well. My baby was on feeding tube for almost 3 weeks. One thing I wanted to tell people, yesterday I received my NICU bill and it is way too much but nothing is more important than my baby. But make sure you get a good insurance to cover all the NICU cost.
—Guest Patil

25 week twins

OH WOW. I love all these ideas. My twins are almost 1, born at 25 weeks 3 days on 12/30/2009 and I am quite active now at Alta Bates in my NICU afterlife. (I'm the parent liaison between the newly formed Family Advisory Council and their Partnership Council). We have a gift drive for families who will spend the holidays in the NICU. I will be sure to pass on these ideas to the kind folks there.
—Guest JfxceyqVUVxKH

3 months early

Thank you so much for posting this Dr. Jennifer! I voted for Obama busceae of his promises for Health Care Reform and I have gotten nothing but criticism. A major portion of that criticism from family members. As you know our son Ty was born 3 months early and was on oxygen for almost 2 years. I know we don't know everything that is involved with The Health Reform law, but we needed change and more importantly hope!
—Guest GFkVepTjAmCQcunRDOS

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