World's smallest surviving baby released from hospital

Baby Saybie, born at 8.6 ounces, was released from a San Diego hospital weighing a healthy five pounds.

Sara Rubenstein ,

Baby in intensive care hospital (illustrative)
Baby in intensive care hospital (illustrative)

The world's smallest surviving premature baby was released from a San Diego hospital this month, according to a statement by the hospital on Wednesday. Baby Saybie weighed 8.6 ounces (245 grams) when she was born on December 2018 at 23 weeks and three days, the same weight as a large apple.

The parents (who wish to remain anonymous but gave permission to the hospital to publicize the story) were told by doctors that Saybie would die within a few hours. Instead, she spent almost five months in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at the Sharp Mary Birch Hospital for Women & Newborns and was released as a healthy baby weighing five pounds (2 kilograms).

Saybie's doctors said that she was so small she could "fit in the palm of the hands of her care team." Unlike most babies born prematurely, Saybie didn't suffer from medical challenges apart from her low birth weight. "Saybie experienced virtually none of the medical challenges typically associated with micro preemies, which can include brain bleeds, and lung and heart issues," the hospital said.

Saybie was ranked as the world's smallest baby to survive by the Tiniest Baby Registry of the University of Iowa. Previously, a baby girl in Germany held the record, born weighing 8.9 ounces (252g) in 2015. A baby born in Japan at 9.45 ounces (268g) earlier this year holds the record of the world's smallest baby boy to survive birth.