This is a healthy choice for families because it lets you care for your new baby. Rooming-in will help you learn to care for all your baby’s needs while staff is around to help if you need it. This will help you feel more comfortable taking care of your baby once you go home.
When you room-in:
- You can more easily hold, cuddle, look at, learn to respond to, and get to know your baby
- Your baby can get to know you more easily
- Your baby should cry less than babies who are away from their mothers
- Your baby can learn to breastfeed faster and gain weight sooner
- You should feel more able to take care of your baby when you go home
Research shows rooming-in has these benefits:
- Being close to mom makes it easier for babies to get used to life outside the womb
- When babies feel their mom’s warmth, hear her heart beat and smell her, they feel safe
- Babies get to know their mom by using their senses. They are able to tell the difference between their mother’s smell and that of another woman by the time they are one to two days old.
- Baby’s attachment instinct is highest during the first days of life. Early attachment has a positive effect on baby’s brain development.
- Frequent breastfeeding will help to produce milk and keep up milk supply
- Rooming in helps babies regulate their body rhythms. This includes heart rate, body temperature and sleep cycle. Nurseries have lights, noise, and other distractions that can interfere with body rhythms.
What you can expect:
- You and the staff will work together on bonding with your baby, providing care for your baby, keeping your baby warm, and, if you choose, breastfeeding
- Most tests your baby needs (like hearing screen and lab work) can be done right in your room
- Most times your baby’s doctor will do any exams needed right in your rooms so you can watch and ask questions you may have (exams needing special equipment may need to be done in a different room, you can come along if you choose)
- If your baby will be circumcised (boys only) that will be done in a procedure room, you are welcome to come with your baby if you choose
Your nurse is available to care for your baby outside of your room when necessary:
- if you are not feeling well
- if your baby’s condition requires he/she be more closely watched
What else you need to know:
- You might think you will get less sleep if your baby is with you. However, studies actually show that mothers get more sleep with their baby in the room. We encourage that you cuddle often, keeping your diapered baby directly against your skin (called skin to skin) while you are awake.
- When you are sleeping, we ask that you put the baby in the crib next to your bed to assure the safest sleep for you and your baby
We want this to be the best possible experience for you. If you have any questions, please ask the nurse who is caring for you. Rooming-in is just a small way to get to know your baby in the very precious first days of life. It will promote bonding, help you learn about your baby’s behaviors, let you begin to understand what your baby’s noises mean, and see the many things your amazing baby can do.
Jan McIntosh BSN, RNC-OB, C-EFM