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Beginnings: Pregnancy, Birth & Beyond

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Your hospital stay: Rooming-in with your healthy baby

Keep your baby with you as much as possible. All of your baby's care can be provided in your room. Rooming-in is when a newborn stays where he feels safest: at her mother's side during the hospital stay.

Tip

  • Diapers, clothing and extra baby supplies are kept in the crib drawer.
  • Your nurse will show you what to do with dirty linen.
  • When you want to walk outside your room with your baby, put your baby in the crib.

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 put in the crib next to your bed.

Another alert adult caregiver, such as your partner, may hold the baby while you sleep.

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

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.

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

Your baby's safety

Tip

If an unknown person comes into your room asking questions about your baby or asking to take your baby, call your nurse so he or she can identify the person.

  • You, your baby and one support person will be fitted with numbered identification bands that all have matching numbers. It is important to leave the bands on you and your baby until you leave the hospital.
  • If you are alone in your room, always keep your baby where you can see him or her.
    • If you have to go to the bathroom or use the shower, shut the room door and leave the bathroom door open.
    • When possible, keep the crib on the side of your bed that is away from the door.
  • Keep your baby in the crib when he or she is not being held. Do not lay your baby on the bed and walk away. Even newborns can fall.
    • For your baby's safety and security, keep your baby in a crib whenever you walk in the halls.
    • Keep the crib with the baby at all times while in the hospital.
    • A banded person must be with your baby when outside of your room.
  • Do not give your baby to anyone unless that person has a name badge with the special color coding that your nurse will tell you about.
  • Do not sleep with your baby while relaxing in bed, on a couch or in a chair.
    • Being tired or taking pain medicine may increase your risk of falling asleep while holding your baby.
    • When you feel sleepy, place your baby in the crib.
    • If you fall asleep with your baby in your bed or arms, your nurse will move the baby to the crib.
  • Read the information in your folder about safe sleep and the best positions for placing your baby to sleep.
  • Make sure anyone who handles your baby washes his or her hands.

 

Source: Allina Health's Patient Education Department, Beginnings: Pregnancy, Birth and Beyond, sixth edition, preg-ahc-90026, ISBN 1-931876-25-8

First published: 10/04/2002
Last updated: 01/23/2013

Reviewed by: Allina Health's Patient Education Department experts