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Rooming-in at the hospital

Babies are happiest with their families

Rooming-in is when a newborn stays where he or she feels safest: at his or her mother's side during the hospital stay.

When babies room-in they feed better, cry less and lose less weight. Parents go home with more confidence in their ability to care for their baby, and report more positive feelings toward their baby.

Mothers who keep their babies with them at night actually have better quality sleep than those whose babies are in the nursery between feedings.

What rooming-in looks like

While you are awake, you can hold your baby in your bed or in the chair.

While you are sleeping, your baby will need to be placed in the crib next to your bed. Another alert adult caregiver, such as your partner, may hold the baby while you sleep.

Rooming-in: Safe and healthy

Rooming-in is safe for healthy babies and their mothers. It is recommended by the American Association of Pediatrics.

Not only is it safe but it has been shown to get breastfeeding off to a good start.

You and your partner will have support from your health care team as you learn to care for and get acquainted with your baby.

Rooming-in is not always possible. Sometimes, babies require closer monitoring that needs to happen in the nursery. The goal is to reunite mother and baby as soon as possible.

Making rooming-in successful

  • Have a support person who stays with you at all times, and can help with the baby at night. This is especially helpful if you had a Cesarean birth.
  • Keep visitors to a minimum so you can get plenty of naps. This will allow your family to be rested enough to care for the baby when he or she needs you.
  • Be aware that your baby may be very sleepy in the first 24 hours. After that, he or she may be sleepy in the morning and the early afternoon. He or she will probably be most alert and feed most often between 9 p.m. and 3 a.m.


Source: Allina Health's Patient Education Department, Rooming-in at the Hospital, ob-ahc-15071; American Association of Pediatrics

First published: 08/15/2012
Last updated: 08/15/2012

Reviewed by: The Mother Baby Center experts