Rooming In with Baby
Author: Angela Heidt
What’s “rooming in” you ask? For those soon-to-be new moms out there, rooming in is where your baby stays with you during your hospital stay, instead of in the maternity ward nursery. Different hospitals have different policies on rooming in – full or partial, so it’s important to confirm that your hospital offers the choice you want, before you choose to deliver there.
When you get home, you have the same options – your baby can sleep in your room, either in the bed or in his own crib or bassinette, or he can sleep in his own room. There are pros and cons to both rooming in and not rooming in, which we’ll cover in detail below, so you can make an informed decision.
Pros of Rooming In
Keeping your baby with you at all times after birth is part of a mother’s instinct – so to remove your baby to another room may result in negative emotions. Additionally, enhancing the mother and baby bond during these first few days is important for both mom and newborn and will help to lead to a stronger relationship.
Having your baby in the room with you also helps you to learn baby’s “cues” – when he’s hungry, tired, or needs a change. It helps you to establish a regular pattern of sleeping and feeding so you can continue it at home. When you do get home, you may find rooming in is easier for night time feedings and that you both don’t have to wake up quite as much to feed, so you both get back to sleep sooner.
Pros of Nurseries
You will never be quite as exhausted as the first day after you deliver a baby, and having to immediately care for your newborn 24/7 may just be too much of a burden to bear. Nursing staff can care for your baby while you sleep and bring him to you for regular feedings so you can get some much needed rest and time to recuperate before going home.
At home, you and your baby may feel more comfortable in your own rooms, and you may find that you both sleep better. Mom’s super-hearing can be a bit of an inconvenience sometimes, and with a baby in the room you may find yourself waking every time he moves or makes a noise. Babies who have their own room may also find it easier to go to sleep on their own – which in turn makes it easier on mom at bedtime.
As with most things in life, there are compromises. At the hospital you can request to have your baby with you during the day and then get a good sleep at night while he’s in the nursery, or just have a few hours off to catch a good nap.
At home, sleeping in may work for the first few weeks, but once baby is sleeping for longer periods you can transfer him to his nursery so you can both get a more solid sleep. Nothing is set in stone, so give whichever option you think will work best a try!