Average hospital stay for a premature baby

March 8, 2011 10 Comments »

Some of our wonderful forum members have been hard at work finding out what is the average time a premature baby will stay in a hospital for depending on their gestation when born.

We had over 190 premature births recorded from 23 weekers up to 36 weekers to help figure out the average length of stay thanks to our forum members. The stats are very interesting and we hope will provide further information for parents with premature babies currently in hospital. These stats are not reflected by the weight of each premature baby, just the length of time that they spent in hospital. The averages would of course change for twins & triplets.

They are below;

Baby born at 23 weeks gestation – Average of 163 days (23+3 weeks) in hospital
Baby born at 24 weeks gestation – Average of 147 days (21 weeks) in hospital
Baby born at 25 weeks gestation – Average of 104 days (14+6 weeks) in hospital
Baby born at 26 weeks gestation – Average of 114 days (16+2weeks) in hospital
Baby born at 27 weeks gestation – Average of 89 days (12+5 weeks) in hospital
Baby born at 28 weeks gestation – Average of 74 days (10+4 weeks) in hospital
Baby born at 29 weeks gestation – Average of 60 days (8+4 weeks) in hospital
Baby born at 30 weeks gestation – Average of 51 days (7+2 weeks) in hospital
Baby born at 31 weeks gestation – Average of 39 days (5+4 weeks) in hospital
Baby born at 32 weeks gestation – Average of 36 days (5+1 weeks) in hospital
Baby born at 33 weeks gestation– Average of 21 days (3 weeks) in hospital
Baby born at 34 weeks gestation – Average of 18 days (2+4 weeks) in hospital
Baby born at 35 weeks gestation – Average of 14 days (2 weeks) in hospital
Baby born at 36 weeks gestation – Average of 11 days (1+4 weeks) in hospital

Remember that this is just an average from 190 premature births recorded and not an Australian average. Not all babies will fit within the above results. Each of the babies included in these results all had different complications at birth including IUGR (growth restriction) so they were born smaller than the average of their gestational age, dependant on oxygen for longer due to lung complications so their time in hospital greatly differed. Most babies come home on their due date however others sometimes stay a little longer depending on each child’s circumstances.

Does your premature baby fit within the above averages?

Please join our support group to share your premmies journey with us.

Stats were collected in March 2011.


Maxx born at 25 weeks


The subject matter provided in these articles is strictly for informational purposes alone and should never be used in the place of a doctor’s advice. Please ALWAYS contact your doctor if you ever have questions or need advice in any area where medical advice is needed or medication is suggested.


  1. Anonymous April 17, 2011 at 10:25 pm -

    Wow these stats are fantastic! They really paint a picture of how the earlier gestations, even one or two extra weeks inutero makes a huge difference i.e. nearly 10 weeks difference in hospital between babies born at 23 and 25 weeks. Congratulations to those compiling these stats – they will no doubt be helpful for new members trying to work out how long they will likely have their precious babies in hospital before they can bring them home…really that is the most important thing.

  2. Blue baby July 8, 2011 at 8:49 pm -

    The statistics provided here are really interesting. This can make people understand the time required by a premature baby to stay in hospital for their healthy life.

  3. maternity fashion July 13, 2011 at 3:46 pm -

    Really you have done a good job. The written style is very prompt and the highly practical manners. Your blog is refreshing, but I wish one could find more content, though. The stats are very interesting and we hope will provide further information for parents with premature babies currently in hospital. These stats are not reflected by the weight of each premature baby, just the length of time that they spent in hospital. I especially liked your comments about reducing and eliminating it from your diet to feel better physically and mentally. I am looking forward to reading more from you. Keep up the good work. Thanks.

  4. PatPat October 14, 2011 at 2:52 am -

    My daughter was born almost 14 years ago, weighing 530 grams (approx 19 ounces). We had made the decision (due to preeclampsia) to deliver her early, rather than risk her getting sick in the womb, or me having a stroke. The docs administered steroid shots to assist lung development. She is an ‘Intact survivor’, and healthy and active at 13. She stayed in the hospital for 111 days so the chart above is pretty accurate. After she was able to tolerate the stimuli, Kangarooing, placing her on my chest, was very helpful. We went through the usual worries, retinopathy of prematurity, collapsed lungs, blood draws and blood infusions with the staff from the NICU. One thing that helped enormously was touch. Holding her, stroking her, rubbing her feet, whatever she could tolerate without her blood saturations dropping were immensly helpful to stimulating growth and development. After she came home she was on oxygen until she was 9 months old. We grew to hate the oxygen monitor which would give false readings in the middle of the night, but we’d reach over, lay our hand on her back, and when we felt her ribcage expanding, we hit the reset button. Only twice did we actually need to make an adjustment. We encountered delays of about six months in her development compared to other children her age. She learned to read later, walk later, struggled with Math until she was in middle school, but she makes each milestone- just later than her peers. I am just writing this to give hope to new moms of micropremies. She is still in the bottom 25 % of weight and height, so her 10 year old brother matches her in those areas. I would love to post a pic, but I don’t see that option.

  5. seenaselrna February 10, 2012 at 9:36 pm -

    This is a very interesting chart. It matches with my experience, I was born in 1986, at 23 weeks, at under a pound and a half. At one point I required a blood transfusion. While I don’t know the exact day I was released from hospital, I do know it was roughly 4 months, late July to late October or early December. I came home with breathing tubes, it was still touchanging and go for a bit… actually, if this is based on recent premature babie, I’m surprised technology hasn’t lessened hospital times. And I’m still almost underweight, even at 25, and only 5’4, I wonder if it’s related to being premature.

  6. Missemily December 10, 2012 at 8:08 am -

    I was born at 33 wks, 4.5 pounds (I think I was late in the 33rd week, since my dad says I was 6 wks early and mom says 7). I was sent home 17 days later…so the chart is pretty accurate! This is amazing for the story I’m writing, in which a character has premature twins….so this helps in my research! Thanks!

  7. lsn September 30, 2014 at 9:57 pm -

    Not even close to my child’s experience – complications such as chronic lung disease can really screw up the stats I think.

  8. Ingrid August 12, 2015 at 8:29 am -

    This is pretty good I was born 31 years ago at 26weeks weighing 890grams. I was very lucky and the first baby to come home on oxygen from royal north shore hospital in Sydney. I was very sick as a child in and out of hospital with my lungs. Now having my own baby and they are saying it will be born early. Which I hope it wont go through what I had to go through. Take care. 😊

  9. Ingrid August 12, 2015 at 8:31 am -

    Also I was in a humidity crib from 6and a half months. Finally went home. Any questions are welcomed. Don’t really talk about my experience as its really screwed up the way my life went. Thanks.

  10. Emily May 20, 2017 at 9:28 pm -

    I love this. It helps me understand what the doctors say when they say my girl is more like a 24 weeker.
    She was born at 29 weeks but our stay was 4months. We have chronic lung disease and a few other issues that lengthened the stay.
    Very helpful for new premmie parents ❤️

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