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Will my baby develop normally?

Most infants develop normally after discharge. Your baby's development in the first year will depend upon his gestational age, how sick he was at birth and the length of his illness. Babies who were very small and who were very sick may develop at a slower pace. It is important that these babies have their development watched closely during the first years of their life.

Your baby may be referred to the NICU Follow-Up Clinic. In the clinic, your baby will have a thorough developmental evaluation by the clinic team at six months, one year and two years after his due date. If your baby is referred to the NICU Follow-up Clinic, you will receive clinic information and an initial appointment before your baby is discharged.

It is common for parents to worry about the possibility of serious problems. While no one will be able to tell you exactly how your baby will develop in the future, your doctor can tell you if there is any reason at this time to suspect that your baby will have problems with development. Try to discuss any concerns you may have with your doctor or discharge planner before discharge.

In addition, the Early Development Network (in Nebraska) and Early Access (in Iowa) are available to assess any child's development between birth and 3 years. The social worker can give you information regarding the contact person in your community.