Aim: There has been an increased use of heated humidified high flow nasal canula (HFNC) in premature babies (PBs) admitted to our neonatal unit. The aim of this study is to identify clinical characteristics in PBs < 29 weeks gestational age (GA) that distinguish between those who did not or did receive HFNC. Methods: This study compared prospectively collected data from 2010 to 2012. Comparisons were undertaken between PBs<29 weeks GA who received continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP: 44/72 (61.1%)) to those who received both CPAP and HFNC (28/72 (38.9%)). Data were analysed using general linear models. Results: There were no significant differences in baseline characteristics between the groups (GA: 27.6 ± 1.1 vs. 27.5 ± 1.1 (weeks), birth weight: 1066 ± 209 vs. 1057 ± 304 (grams) respectively). When analysing outcome measures with multivariate analysis, we found the corrected GA to cease CPAP and oxygen were significantly longer in the HFNC group (31.2 ± 2.1 vs. 32.7 ± 2.0 weeks, P = 0.01 and 32.8 ± 3.5 vs. 36.5 ± 2.8 weeks, P < 0.0001 respectively). Conclusions: Increased use of HFNC has been associated with increased oxygen requirements. These findings highlight the need to review the use of HFNC in small PBs.