Baby-Friendly Step #7 “Practice rooming-in—allow mothers and infants to remain together 24 hours a day.”
My first baby was born in the days when husbands left the hospital at night and babies slept in the nursery. I remember our first night at home — it was terrifying! With no nurse to watch over our baby, we were afraid to sleep. We were unsure how to put the baby to bed or what to expect at night. My husband and I got very little sleep those first few nights home.
Traditionally, babies have been sent to the nursery for nursing care and to let the mother rest and recover from childbirth. However, we now understand the best people to care for their babies are mothers and families, under the nurturing guidance of nursing staff. Mothers are able to sleep within arm’s reach of their sleeping infant. There, mothers and infants can learn each other’s sleep patterns and sounds, preparing them for their first nights at home together.