After the NICU

When your baby is ready to leave the NICU, what happens next? Learn what you need to know about the next steps, including follow-up care.

When Can My Baby Go Home?

There are no specific weight and age requirements that determine whether a baby is ready to go home. When the medical issues have been addressed, we also make sure babies can do the following before sending them home:

  • Keep their body temperature in the normal range without an incubator
  • Eat by mouth without a feeding tube
  • Maintain stable respiratory patterns​

Preparing for Home

Before leaving the NICU, we'll prepare you so that you feel comfortable taking care of your little one(s) at home.

A nurse will also give you special training if you need to perform special procedures for your baby following discharge.

Once at home, please call your pediatrician if you have any questions. Our discharge coordinator will set up an appointment for you with your local family pediatrician after you take your baby home. 

If you don't have a pediatrician, learn more about our providers within the UC San Diego Health network.

Support Our NICU

Your financial gift helps us provide the little extras for parents and babies. We welcome your tax-deductible donations.

Give Now

Follow-up Program

You will have appointments with your baby's primary care provider and possibly, appointments with other specialists. You will be given a list of upcoming appointments and/or phone numbers to call to schedule appointments if needed.

Many infants cared for in the NICU will continue being seen through our NICU Follow-Up and Early Development Clinic until they are six months old, according to their due date (their "corrected" or "adjusted" age). This program will evaluate their development and muscle strength, and help teach families how to help your child grow and develop.