5 reasons we chose send our babies to the nursery at night

I’ve seen a lot of articles circulating lately about babies rooming in with parents during their hospital stay. While I think it’s awesome that this is an available option, I’d be lying if I said that this is an option that we go with. Now don’t get me wrong, I absolutely cannot wait to meet Bubbles. The past thirty-five weeks has been long and I’m just dying to get to know our gal on dry land. But my last hospital experience really cemented the fact that we feel it’s best for our family to send our babies to the nursery at night during our hospital stay.

These are 5 reasons we chose to send our babies to the nursery at night during our postpartum hospital stay and why choosing not to room-in was the best decision for our family.

I’ve read the benefits of having the baby right next to you, at all times forever and ever. I’m no stranger to Dr. Sears and much of that train of thought. And I respect it as a great option for many families. I also know there are going to be people who totally judge us for this. There are even some who might go as far to say that those of us who utilize the nursery must not love our babies because we’re so quick to send them away at night (seriously, a friend of mine recently read an article that said that very thing!).

While I try to be open to other opinions, that statement, to me, is a completely irrational standpoint and really extreme. So I preface this by saying, if you’re going to look at it in such a blatantly black-and-white way, it’s quite likely that you won’t get much out of this post besides a lot of eye rolls and a new-found disdain for me and my heartless ways. But I’m not sorry.

Last time around, A was born at 9:46pm and we didn’t even get into our final room until after 1am (in most cases, our hospital has you give birth in one room and then move to a different room for the remainder of your stay). We immediately went to bed after spending the entire day laboring. And by went to bed, I mean that J passed out almost immediately and I sat up and drove myself crazy listening to each perfect little breath and peep that A made (and babies are noisy!).

After a good hour of this, our nurse came in because it was time for A to have a feeding. I was exhausted, sore, overwhelmed and my hormones were beginning the inevitable postpartum crashes. It was pretty clear to me in that moment that it was best for everyone involved that A go to the nursery for these reasons:

  1. Getting a little rest allows you to make the most of your time at the hospital- The time in the hospital a huge mix of hormones and emotions. There’s a major learning curve, especially for first time parents. Sending A to the nursery at night allowed me to get at least a little bit of rest between feeds so that I’d be able to have some energy to spend our days at the hospital learning from the nurses (they are such an amazing resource in all things newborn!), getting the hang of breastfeeding and most importantly, getting to know our sweet girl.
  2. Having medical professionals readily available helped ease my new-mommy anxiety- Being that we were in the hospital meant that when A was in the nursery, she was under the watchful eye of qualified medical professionals. Every nurses and doctor that we came in contact with was incredibly professional and full of knowledge about infant care. In addition to teaching us so much in those couple of days, it put my mind at ease knowing that A was being watched over by people who were well-qualified to give her the best possible care so that I could recharge.
  3. We were able to be a bit more prepared for the long road ahead once returning home- Sometimes people forget that when you leave hospital, it’s game-on. There’s no one to bring food, change diapers, help you when the baby won’t latch and you’re nipples are screaming in pain. It’s all up to you and Daddy (and if you’re lucky, some helpful friends and family will stop by to help out a little). You won’t be able to buzz for a nurse if have a question or are freaking out about the peep your sweet baby made. To sum it up, shit gets real. You’re thrust right into the thick of it and you’re going to handle it a lot better if your tank isn’t on empty by the time you arrive home.
  4. It’s not a contest to see who can run themselves through the mud the hardest- Does that sound harsh? I don’t intend for it to come off that way. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned, which continues to be the refrain of motherhood, it’s that you don’t get a medal for being a martyr. Allowing yourself to get a little rest when there are qualified professionals available to care for your baby is really not a bad thing. It certainly doesn’t make you a bad parent or mean that you love your baby any less. Which brings me to my last point…
  5. You also need to take care of you- Yes, we all make many, many sacrifices for our children. This just comes with the territory of being a parent and for the most part I actually enjoy sacrificing certain things to accommodate the season of life that our family is in. But that doesn’t mean that you stop caring for yourself and lose yourself and every other aspect of your life in being a parent. That’s not healthy for you or your baby. Bottom line: Your baby will be much better off if mom and dad are healthy and happy as well.

Now I’m not telling you to treat your hospital stay as a vacation. We certainly didn’t have A spend her entire hospital stay in the nursery. On the contrary, she was with us the majority of the time.  But I found that utilizing the nursery to be able to get a little bit of rest before diving into the thick of it at home allowed me to recover from the huge medical-event-that-is-childbirth and be a better, more present mom to our sweet new baby, especially once we got home. This is just what works for our family.

Moms and Dads- did you room-in during your hospital stay or did you send your baby to the nursery?

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  • Reply
    February 12, 2016 at 12:12 pm You make some great points about having your baby stay in a nursery and its definitely some points i haven't thought of before as i was always raised seeing it a bit differently. Its very nice to see someone so open about their opinion and really puts down some facts behind them! Great article
    • Reply
      February 13, 2016 at 3:45 pm Thank you! I recognize that all sides have valid points. I think we all do our best for our unique situation. Thanks for stopping by!
  • Reply
    Heather Johnson
    February 12, 2016 at 2:48 pm I had two beautiful homebirths. Both of my babies stayed with me right from birth. If I had to go to the hospital, I would have kept my babies with me.
    • Reply
      February 13, 2016 at 3:43 pm It's awesome that you were able to have the type of births you wanted, and of course your sweet babies :)
  • Reply
    February 12, 2016 at 8:26 pm Was I the one who told you about the article? My pregnancy brain is off the chain. The nursery was a godsend. We got to our room at 3:30 Wednesday morning and I'd been up since 5am Monday morning, and I was a bit tired from having emergency surgery on top of that. HELL YES my kid went straight to the nursery. I remember the nurse was like trying to convince me and I was like girlfriend you had me at sleep. I don't really see how I would be bonding with him sleeping in a hospital bed while he sleeps in the little baby bin next to me? All the arguments I read were like well you might as well get used to it it's YOUR baby and you'll have to take care of them when you get home. Um, yeah, but I don't 24 hours a day in the hospital. Never say never because postpartum hormones sure are crazy but I can't imagine not sending #2 to the nursery. My favorite story is my friends. When I talked to the husband, he was like she roomed in with us, never left our side, it was great! Then the wife later was like the hospital got rid of the nursery it was such bullshit I wanted to send her so bad. LOL.
    • Reply
      February 13, 2016 at 3:35 pm You are definitely the one who told me about it! Haha I'm totally with you on the never say never. I said I would absolutely, 100% start A in her crib and when the time came I freaked and set up the pack'n'play next to my bed. Silly hormones! :)
  • Reply
    February 17, 2016 at 4:31 pm I love this article. Like you, I'm all for people making the choice they feel is best for their family, but I think it's important to remember, like you said that it's not a contest to see who can run themselves through the mud the hardest. Motherhood is hard, and it's okay to give ourselves a break if needed to be the best moms we can be. Thanks for this perspective.
    • Reply
      February 22, 2016 at 1:42 pm Thank you! I'm with you there. I mean, I'm totally down with family's that want to room in and not have any sort of break- I'm all for people doing what works for them :)
  • Reply
    AJ @ Aspen Jay
    February 22, 2016 at 2:14 pm Hi Jessy, Sleep is so essential after having a baby, so I'm glad that you found this method that works for you and for letting others know it is quite an alright option. Not too much longer now until your next baby bundle arrives- congrats!!! Thanks for sharing and linking up to #TALENTEDTuesday. Hope you are having a lovely day! Cheers, AJ
    • Reply
      February 23, 2016 at 5:16 pm Thank you :) I'mm all for people doing what's best for their situation :)
  • Reply
    Kylee from Kylee Cooks
    October 5, 2018 at 8:07 pm We didn't have a choice, actually - there was no option to send the baby to the nursery, but I probably would have done it with my second child (because I knew then, exactly what I was in for). I had c-sections both times (you think people judge you for this? lol) and I could really really have used some sleep.
    • Reply
      Jessy Freimann
      October 7, 2018 at 4:17 pm Oh man, I bet! I can't believe people judge for everything! The point is the baby is here - that's the important thing!

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