My hospital's policy is to take newborns to the nursery every shift to check vitals. Is this needed?

Q: I would like to "room in" with my newborn, but our hospital requires that the baby be returned to the nursery every shift to check his vital signs (e.g., pulse, temperature and respiratory rate). What do you think about this?

A: Hospitals function best on routines. However, it seems your hospital wants to take your baby and tabulate his "numbers" far too often. If you have a premature or sick baby, these interventions are necessary. If not, your baby is much better off in your room, being held in your arms and nursing often. Healthy full-term babies almost never need to go to a nursery and can stay with their parents 24 hours a day.

You need to talk to the hospital staff about your wishes and ask your OB or pediatrician to mediate on your behalf, or you need to find another facility. Many of the best and more progressive hospitals no longer have well-newborn nurseries. Instead, they have special-care or intensive-care units for high-risk, sick or premature newborns, and the rest room in with their moms and dads.