Sunday, November 08, 2009

Baby's room or parents' room?

We have been attending childbirth classes, sponsor by the government. At first I was skeptical about the usefulness of these classes, as I thought we could get most of the information from parents and friends who have already gone through all these. After 4 classes I really like it as the midwife explains things more from the medical and professional perspectives than what our friends can tell us.

On the third class, the midwife threw us a question: where will your baby sleeps? In the parents' room or baby's room?

We were three couples. In my culture most of the new born sleeps with the parents or other adults, I thought I was the only one choosing the parents' room. Out of my surprise, one woman said she was not sure, she might want to put the baby in her room for the first 2 months. I then expected the midwife to educate us about how it would be inappropriate to put the baby in the parents' room, but again, she surprised me.

According to her, statistically, only one third of the world put the baby in a separate room and it is actually an occidental practice. From medical stand point of view, it is preferable to put the baby in the same room as the parents. The baby was living in a comfortable temperature until he or she is born. Suddenly, he or she has to deal with complete strangeness in the world. It would be nice for he or she to immediately be around with something familiar, like parents' voice, smell, breathing...During the night, some babies can stop breathing, but when hearing the parents' breathing, the baby's respiration system restarts. Moreover, the baby won't realize a thing if you have put he/she in a baby room or dining room during the first 9 months.

Having said that, she assures us this is totally up to the parents to decide. There is no right or wrong answer. She understands that parents want the baby to be independent since the first day, but she reminds us that when a baby grows up, he or she will like to have privacy and would naturally putting distance between parents and child. One couple raised concern about their intimacy, meaning they might not be able to continue their couple private activities. Her response was hilarious, she said you just need to be creative. Well, I personally don't think this is an issue, seeing how my siblings continue to produce the second and third kids while their first still sleeping in the same room as them.

I know the other two couples were not quite convinced since it is a norm in France that baby sleeps in the baby room. I was thrilled and relieved that hubby changed his point of view after this class. He was reluctant to let the baby sleeps in our room but now he has completely accepted it. The baby bed is already set up in the room.

This photo shows the childbirth classroom we were attending. We learnt about using the balloon to ease the contraction. It was very fun as she also taught us how to sit on the balloon while leaning on our partner, and at the same receiving back massage from the partner. Very cool class I would say!


  1. Interesting ;-) Maelys slept in our bed during 2 weeks, and was in her bedroom around 2-3 months. Mostly because she was making too much noise for me!! Babies are so noisy when they sleep...

    The other (cultural) question is: swaddle or not swaddle?

    The balloon is great for contractions, but even more for calming and bounce the baby once he's here!

    I'm happy to see that everything is going well with your pregnancy.

  2. BE,
    The girls slept in our room too when they were babies. Emma still sleeps with me now.. Hehe.

  3. V slept in her own bed in her room since the first day but sometimes she ended up sleeping in bed w me on my arms bcos I was too tired to get up and put her back to her bed. LOL!

    Good that you are attending the maternity classes. I missed that bcos I don't where I'm going to deliver and I was in my 2nd year of university.