There's no single rule that determines how long your premature baby will have to stay in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Preemies have several milestones to meet before they are allowed to go home with their parents.
Often, a rule of the thumb is to send the baby away on the actual date that he was due to be born on but this varies. If the baby needs some more monitoring, the date of discharge may be delayed.
Your preemie’s care, length of stay in the NICU, and chances of complications will depend on the category of preemie he or she is. Doctors classify preemies as late, moderate and very preterm babies.