Rooming-In With Your Newborn
Rooming-In With Your Newborn

Rooming-In With Your Newborn

Rooming-in is when a newborn baby stays in his or her mother's hospital room 24 hours a day instead of staying in the hospital's nursery.
Rooming-in can provide many benefits. It can help new parents understand their baby's needs, establish a routine for eating and sleeping, and prepare for a smoother transition to home.

How does this affect me?

As a new mother, rooming-in has many benefits for you, including the following:
  • You will get to know your baby, and the two of you will have time to form a close bond.
  • You will learn when and how often your baby wants to eat.
  • You will learn to identify the clues that your baby gives to show that he or she is hungry and ready to feed. These may include:
    • Starting to open his or her mouth.
    • Making sucking motions.
    • Sucking on fingers or hands.
  • You may have less pain after your delivery, and you may not need as much medicine.
  • Your breast milk supply may come in sooner.
  • You will be able to practice breastfeeding.
  • You can watch your baby's health care team interact with your baby, which can help you learn how to care for the baby. Also, when your baby's team is in your room examining your baby, you will have the opportunity to talk with them and ask questions.

How does this affect my baby?

Rooming-in will also provide benefits for your baby, including these:
  • Your baby will begin to learn what your voice sounds like, how you feel, and how you smell. This will help your baby form a close bond with you.
  • Your baby may eat better.
  • Your baby will sleep better and develop a better sleep pattern.
  • Your baby will cry less and be more at ease.

Follow these instructions in the hospital:

  • Take part in your baby's checkups, baths, and screenings at the bedside as directed by your health care provider. Your partner may also be allowed to participate in these activities. This will make it easier to learn how to care for your baby when you go home.
  • Ask for help with feeding if needed.
  • Rest when your baby sleeps or ask your partner to care for your baby while you sleep.
  • Talk to your health care provider if you are in pain or need medicine for pain.
  • Ask your health care provider to use cluster care for your baby in order to cut down on interruptions. This means that tasks such as bathing and newborn screenings are done at the same time instead of at separate times.

Questions to ask your health care provider

  • What are my options for rooming-in with my baby?
  • What are your visitor rules or hours?
  • How can I request help if I need it?
  • Can my partner stay with me?
  • What are the different ways to feed my baby (if breastfeeding is not for you)?

Tell a health care provider if your child:

  • Has a fever or chills.
  • Has few or no wet or dirty diapers.
  • Has trouble eating.

Get help right away if your child:

  • Grunts or has trouble breathing.
  • Has a bluish skin color.
  • Is not moving or is moving only when touched.

Summary

  • Rooming-in is when a newborn baby stays in his or her mother's hospital room 24 hours a day instead of staying in the hospital's nursery.
  • Rooming-in can help new parents understand their baby's needs, establish a routine for eating and sleeping, and prepare for a smoother transition to home.
  • While rooming-in, you should rest when your baby sleeps or ask your partner to care for your baby while you sleep.
  • Ask your health care provider about rooming-in options, how to get help with the baby or with pain, and other ways to feed your baby while you are in the hospital.

This information is not intended to replace advice given to you by your health care provider. Make sure you discuss any questions you have with your health care provider.