How Your Baby Will Be Monitored

Babies in the neonatal unit are attached to vital sign monitors 24 hours a day. These monitors show your baby’s vital signs, e.g., blood pressure, heart rate, breathing rate, body temperature, and blood oxygen levels. These monitors are very sensitive and alarm when they detect a slight change in vital signs. 

Monitoring Weight Gain and Growth

Your baby’s weight will be monitored throughout their stay in the NNU.  Having the most up-to-date weight for a baby is important for calculating the correct amount of feed and fluids to give them as well as for correct dosage of medication.


Baby on weighing scales

Your baby's weight will be monitored throughout their stay

For optimal growth and development, your baby will receive a feeding schedule suitable for their needs.  This programme includes the frequency of feeds, the volume given, and the feeding method, e.g., intravenous feeding, tube feeding, breastfeeding, etc.  By continuously monitoring your baby’s weight, the medical team will be able to judge your baby’s progress and make changes to their feeding schedule.  As your baby grows and gets stronger, their feeding schedule will change to meet their changing needs until they are exclusively bottle or breastfed.

In the NNU of Cork University Maternity Hospital (CUMH), ‘weigh-ins’ are taken twice weekly, every Thursday and Sunday night.  More frequent ‘weigh-ins’ are taken for babies that are being more closely monitored or in advance to undergoing certain procedures.  Your baby’s weight will be recorded in Kilograms (Kg).  If you want to convert Kilograms (Kg) to pounds (lb) and ounces (oz), there are conversion charts located around the NNU.

Monitoring of growth and weight gain is recommended at home so that feeding can be adapted to meet the changing requirements of your baby.  Your public health nurse will continue to monitor your baby after they are discharged from the NNU to ensure adequate weight gain.