Stealing Babies from Hospitals

A fisbirsfra
short and sweet note from abroad (and a broad). Remember: Fear doesn’t need FACTS. It feeds on itself. – L

Dear Free-Range Kids:

I live in Switzerland. The paranoia is coming here, too.

I gave birth yesterday and am hanging out in the hospital. Protocol is if I want to shower I need to send the kid to the nursery, or bring the bassinette into the bathroom.

Because kidnappers.

No, this has never actually happened around here.

It barely ever happens here, either, yet of course new moms are warned the same thing. Hectored, even. It’s good practice for all the other inflated fears and blames they will face! – L

Waahhh! Why are hospitals freaking out moms?

Waahhh! Why are hospitals freaking out moms?


51 Responses to Stealing Babies from Hospitals

  1. J.T. Wenting October 16, 2014 at 11:40 pm #

    And yet very little is done against something that does happen in hospitals with some regularity, which is them making mistakes and switching babies around, handing parents the wrong child when they’re sent home…
    Which could easily be avoided by NOT forcing parents to hand over their new borns for storage in a large common ward (a.k.a. nursery) but letting them stay with the parents.

  2. mystic_eye October 17, 2014 at 12:05 am #

    Hospitals here don’t even have nurseries and you’re not “allowed” to have the baby in the bathroom when you’re showering. Mind you there’s no lock on the bathrooms and they’re shared among 3-4 women so I’m not sure many women chose to shower.

    And don’t get me started on NICU security theatre – ain’t nobody got time for that rant.

  3. Greg October 17, 2014 at 12:10 am #

    In the New Parent classes that my local hospital recommends for all new parents, they were very clear that absolutely no public notice of a new baby at the house should be made. You know those stork signs that say, “It’s a girl!”, balloons on the mailbox, that kind of thing. It was written down as one of the big no-nos because… kidnapping. I’ve lived in this area for almost 10 years and never heard of a baby being kidnapped.

  4. Jody October 17, 2014 at 12:33 am #

    When my children were born 7 and 9 years ago, they had put these ID bands on them complete with a security tag that resembled what they put on merchandise in stores – if the baby is brought past a certain point in the ward, all doors lock down, alarms go off and they call a “code pink”…. Too many desperate people out there that want newborns.

  5. L F October 17, 2014 at 1:03 am #

    I work on a hospital’s postpartum unit. I recommend babies to go to the nursery or in the bathrooms while the mother showers so the baby can be attended to if it cries, not because of kidnapping. Also, the nurses check the number bands because many babies can look similar and mother’s can be tired, so it may not be caught right away if there is a mix up.

  6. A. Ruscak October 17, 2014 at 2:18 am #

    Fortunately this paranoia has not come to Norway yet. Here we still trust each other.

  7. Suzanne Lucas October 17, 2014 at 4:43 am #

    Eh, I live in Switzerland too, and I’m not terribly concerned about this. I suspect their real reason is newborns sometimes have problems that aren’t identified right at first–like my son who almost died at 12 hours old and would have, had someone not been watching him.

    Anyway, she can enjoy this brief paranoia because when the kid turns four, his kindergarten teacher will lecture her for *not* letting the kid walk to school alone.

    And, not a single parent pays attention to their kids at the playground, allowing toddlers to hold slides hostage. (At least the older kids are nice enough not to knock the little 15 month old off at high speed.)

    From my vantage point, we don’t have a helicopter problem here. Unless you’re at the international school. Then we have one.

  8. Elin October 17, 2014 at 4:46 am #

    I think such young babies should be under supervision at all times but not because of kidnapping but because it is a tiny infant who needs people’s support fast and they should not be left to cry and not even have the opportunity to hear a comforting voice. I live in Sweden and hospitals here do not have nurseries as parents are expected to take of the baby themselves from when they are born. If the mom is too sick the dad is often expected to stay with her and only in extreme circumstances do the staff take care of a healthy baby.

  9. Beth October 17, 2014 at 7:30 am #

    “Too many desperate people out there that want newborns.”

    Just no. If this is true, why don’t we hear every day about newborns being kidnapped from hospitals?

    And to those who worry about the newborn’s well-being, no to you too. I’m actually offended by your belief that when I had my children, in 1986 and 1991 when none of this security nonsense existed, I was being neglectful and not meeting their needs if I dared to pee or shower without taking them in the bathroom with me.

  10. TRS October 17, 2014 at 7:51 am #

    This is not out of line. People do take newborns if given the chance and the hospital is liable. There have been a few incidences where the mom was murdered and the newborn cut out of her.

  11. TRS October 17, 2014 at 7:56 am #

    I was a RN in a newborn nursery once. You have to stand there staring at the babies. That first 48 hours can be hard for them and we had at least a baby a day we had to smack the bottom of their feet because they stopped breathing. Granted this was a huge hospital that birthed a lot of babies every day.

  12. Donna October 17, 2014 at 8:28 am #

    This seems like the school issue – why exactly are you allowing a hospital to tell you what to do and not do with your own baby? I don’t know what protocol was when I had my daughter in 2005. I didn’t ask. I simply decided that I wanted to take a shower and did it while she slept in the bassinet by the bed. Since I wasn’t hooked up to any equipment, I didn’t even mention my plans to anyone (in contrast to my surgery a few months later where I had to ask about a shower because I had an IV). If I had to do it over again, she would have spent some of her time in the nursery so that I could actually get some sleep and this wouldn’t have even been a question, but that is a different issue.

    With all the security on the maternity floor, kidnapping was not even a remote consideration. As for health issues, you are only in the hospital for around 24 hours these days after a normal childbirth. Do you really believe that your child suddenly becomes that much stronger in 24 hours such that you can’t take a shower without someone watching her in the hospital, but can at home?

    But I do wonder if some of our hospital experiences aren’t different which would lead to different choices. My hospital room was like a hotel. I had my own room with an ensuite bathroom. If the shower was down the hall, I probably wouldn’t have felt as comfortable leaving her alone in the room while I showered.

  13. SarcasticK October 17, 2014 at 8:34 am #

    Sigh. I guess it’s only a matter of time before we infertile ladies and those waiting to adopt are viewed with suspicion for talking to pregnant women or women with newborns. Clearly we are all hellbent on stealing someone’s baby. At least my status as a mother-in-waiting isn’t obvious, though, unlike a male with a child.

  14. E October 17, 2014 at 8:39 am #

    Congratulations on the birth of your child! Spend your spare time napping!

  15. Mrs. H. October 17, 2014 at 8:55 am #

    When I gave birth in Brooklyn in 2008 I walked down to the nurses’ station to get a birth certificate form, and the nurse there FREAKED OUT because I had left the baby in my room. She actually screamed at me Where’s your baby? You have to take the baby with you when you leave your room!!! The desk was about four doors down from my room, and I could see my door the whole time. Madness…

  16. Mrs. H. October 17, 2014 at 8:58 am #

    P.S. At the same time, my hospital roommate DID take her baby into the bathroom with her every time she went, and I thought she was nuts!

  17. Coccinelle October 17, 2014 at 9:12 am #

    There was a kidnapping like that where I live some months ago. The kidnapper dressed as a nurse. When people are that desperate, they take desperate measures. The story ends well fortunately. Sure, the government is now implementing new security measures, sigh.

  18. Ann in L.A. October 17, 2014 at 9:19 am #

    Hospital protocols for newborns where I work:

    Family members and baby are electronically tagged. Tags are checked to make sure baby and family match.

    All staff wear special colored badges if they are allowed in the maternity ward. Without the badge, you need a tag.

    A code is established which locks the hospital down if a baby goes missing. All doors must be closed, and employees must man the doors to make sure no one moves.

    These procedures are part of orientation and corporate compliance training.

  19. Doug October 17, 2014 at 9:36 am #

    A hospital here in town has the security bands that sound alarms, because there have been a few cases where baby-daddy/baby gramma try to sneak out with the child. But that’s because the momma tested positive for the sorts of drugs not dispensed at the local pharmacy, and risked having her baby taken away.

  20. pentamom October 17, 2014 at 10:08 am #

    My oldest is 23, almost 24. When I had her, in a very modern American hospital (really cutting-edge for its time in terms of the setup and amenities for birthing), I decided to get up and go for a bit of a stroll in the hall to stretch my legs. I picked up her up (she was rooming-in, though a nursery was available) and proceeded to walk into the hall with her.

    The nurse at the desk freaked, saying if I wanted to leave the room with her, I had to push her in the bassinet down the hall. (Yeah, my abdominal muscles turned to wet pasta and a fifty-yard stroll was about all the exercise I could manage, but I was supposed to push a heavy wooden bassinet.) She then said it was good she caught me before we got near the doors to the unit or all sorts of alarms would have started going off.

    So I wasn’t allowed to carry her out of the room (ostensibly because I might faint 24 hours after giving birth, though nobody really explained how that couldn’t happen IN the room) and we weren’t allowed to go anywhere near the end of the unit.

    At least they didn’t have that stupid shower rule — the way those rooms were set up, there was no place to move the baby into the bathroom anyway. I think maybe I was supposed to call the nurse to take her to the nursery if I wanted to use the bathroom unless my husband or another visitor was there.

  21. Sharon October 17, 2014 at 11:25 am #

    I had my daughter a month after September 11th in a major DC hospital. I was smart and took my shower when my parents and husband were around. I night I pushed (fortunately it was a plastic bassinet) into the bathroom.

    I fell asleep on the second day (I hadn’t had sleep in over 40 hours) and my baby was taken from me. I almost panicked but then I called the nursery and she was promptly wheeled back to me. I told my daughter this story recently and since she is a social child she said I probably should have left her with her “buddies” and gotten more sleep.

  22. Buffy October 17, 2014 at 11:29 am #

    Gosh, where is Dirk to provide me with 100 links to stories of “desperate” people routinely kidnapping babies from hospitals before these security measures were put in place?

  23. Kathleen October 17, 2014 at 11:55 am #

    “So I wasn’t allowed to carry her out of the room (ostensibly because I might faint 24 hours after giving birth,”

    That’s an interesting rationale, considering my husband (with his bracelet on) was also reprimanded for carrying our newborn in the halls rather than in the bassinet. No reason was given, and presumably no one thought HE was going to faint a day after I gave birth!

  24. JKP October 17, 2014 at 12:03 pm #

    Once when I was a doula at a birth, the hospital we were at had separate birth rooms and post partum rooms, plus the little bracelets on the baby so no one could steal the baby. After the birth, her husband went to get her suitcase from the car, the nurse wheeled the new mom in a wheelchair, and they gave me the baby to carry as I followed them to the post partum room. But the nurse took the direct path to the rooms, which meant they passed through doors forbidden to the baby. The doors slammed in my face and locked, and the nurse and mom didn’t notice and disappeared out of sight. I wandered the halls trying to find my way to the post partum wing, but every door locked and shut me out. I was lost for a good 30 minutes with this newborn until I finally found a nurse who could help. She lead me through this convoluted path through back doors and restricted areas that I never would have figured out on my own just to finally arrive in the hallway around the corner from the birth room we had originally been in.

    Thank god they make it so hard to keep mom and baby together. That way no one can kidnap the baby. (I suppose I could have. How hard is it to take a pair of scissors and cut one of those bands off?)

  25. Jill October 17, 2014 at 12:20 pm #

    Well, following this logic, I guess I should be bringing both my babies into the bathroom with me every time I shower or use the facilities because, hey, kidnappers may come into my home at any moment.

    Good grief.

  26. Heather October 17, 2014 at 12:34 pm #

    Because kidnappers is silly. Because most new mums don’t like their newborns to cry, so someone has to be nearby to pick the little one up and give them a cuddle, makes sense. Because very newborn babies sometimes have medical problems showing up unexpectedly and it would be gutting to be *in the hospital*, and yet not have anyone spot that they’d stopped breathing is a proper good reason.

    It’s not that going for a shower would be neglectful. It’s that the nurses can all cite cases of babies saved because someone was watching them. Two of them have posted here, even.

    In the UK, you share a postnatal room with 4-6 other mums and their babies, all in plastic bassinets. So you can leave sleeping baby while you shower, because someone else is there. The large common ward thing is weird to me.

    Also, I had a nice realistic nurse who helped me co-sleep in hospital with E when he was newborn, because he wouldn’t sleep if he wasn’t snuggled up to a parent for his first week. We had the bassinet jammed up against the side as a barrier.


  27. Betsy in Michigan October 17, 2014 at 12:49 pm #

    Eight and 13 years ago in SE Michigan, neither hubby or myself was allowed to carry a newborn in the hall; wheeled bassinet only. I’m guessing it’s a liability risk reduction rule. But hubby took our 2nd for a wheeled stroll down the hall, and when I heard distant alarms go off, I smiled and said to myself (correctly, as it turned out) “that’s my boys!”. I WISHED there had been a restriction on who they let in the room! When hubs went home to take a quick shower the day after my scheduled c-section, I had about 20 people pop in within an hour and a half to pester me (several over trivial matters, like thinking I was going home that day, when I was allowed a couple more). It was so obviously over-the-top that the student nurse assigned to me was nervously asking if I was okay. The last one was the lactation consultant, who I nearly threw out of the room when she told me I was doing it all wrong (and told her I’d nursed my daughter successfully for 18 months). Hubs returned, I cried, and we checked out of the hospital early the next morning (a day early!).

  28. Buffy October 17, 2014 at 1:15 pm #

    Please stop with the “someone needs to make sure the baby is picked up when it cries” and “the baby could die at any moment if someone isn’t watching”.

    I guess I don’t know about anyone else, but I didn’t stare at my kids night and day after they kicked me out of the hospital 36 hours after giving birth. Of course I looked at them and cared for them, but I also took a shower, went to the bathroom (number 1 AND number 2!!), and slept when possible. Sometimes my babies had to cry for a couple minutes and, while hitches and noises in their breathing of course got my attention, I never felt that they were in danger of dying, and no one told me they were. So….does that danger stop when Mom and baby are sent home?? I wonder.

  29. Tara October 17, 2014 at 1:15 pm #

    I gave birth 14 years ago. In the delivery room my daughter was fitted with an ankle bracelet with an ID number that matched a bracelet I was given. Her ankle bracelet also had what I called “baby lojack”, which was a sensor. If at any time a child wearing that monitor left the maternity ward, the entire hospital would lock down. Every time they brought her to me they check her bracelet ID against mine to ensure they were bringing the correct baby. I can’t imagine hospitals here have gotten LESS secure? Paranoia will destroy ya!

  30. Amy October 17, 2014 at 1:41 pm #

    In the hospital, having a baby, epitomises worst-first thinking. Everything is fear-based. Paranoia is at its peak. Everything revolves around “what can go wrong?” Helicopter parenting is taught and starts there. It’s always nice to go home and relax!

  31. Alexander October 17, 2014 at 1:56 pm #

    I usually agree with everything I read on this site, but securing babies against theft in a hospital seems like a very reasonable precaution. Babies have been stolen in the past. You can get roughly £700 to £800 for a healthy baby boy in countries that engage in the selling of children (such as China where it is legal to purchase children, but not sell them). source []

    With the right contacts stealing children can be a very profitable business. In my opinion, DCS engages in legalized theft of children precisely because it is so profitable. DCS is not really filled with lunatics out rip children out of the hands of capable parents because of some misguided moral high ground. They do this because they get paid a lot of money, not only to maintain the children, but for each adoption.

    More over, if an incident of a baby being stolen does occur, the hospital will be held resposible and their security measures will be put under intense scrutiny. So it makes sense for the person responsible for managing a hospital to protect the institution against the possibility of what could be a colossal lawsuit.

    I agree a person desperate enough for a baby to steal one from a hospital is rare to the point of being negligible. But securing a baby against theft, on an institutional level, makes a lot of sense for the same reason most of us lock our doors. If something is valuable, there is a very good chance someone will try to steal it.

  32. EricS October 17, 2014 at 2:02 pm #

    I’m surprised they didn’t also say you have to have armed guards, security cameras, and alarm systems. Along with a panic button, and bullet proof windows. Not to mention gas masks, and hazmat suits. After all it’s a hospital, a lot of sick people. And you just never know when some crazed gunman comes charging in to take YOUR child.

    While they are at it, they also have to fully screen all doctors, nurses, and care givers every time they come into work. Proper ID and thumb scanners in place. And to be on the “safe” side, additional retina scanners as well. Because you never know. Some one can kill a doctor and cut his thumb off and use it to gain access to YOUR child. Or some of them can be manipulated into joining ISIS like other western foreigners have, and will get YOUR baby. It’s possible. We’ve heard the very few stories.

    Trash that car. They’re a death trap. More children are killed or injured in motor vehicle collisions than being kidnapped by a total stranger. Forget walking too. There’s probably a “predator” lurking around every corner. You never know, your mailman, priest, doctor, nurse, teacher, father, mother, brother, sister, husband, wife, aunt, uncle, etc… can be predators. And that’s not including every single “stranger” you come across. You are alone in this world. Because it’s possible that everyone is out to get YOUR child. We’ve heard stories. So it’s possible.

    Don’t fall asleep now. Because the very second you close your eyes, your not paying attention to your child. And something can happen to him/her. Of course, you’ll have to learn how to redo everything by not actually looking at what your doing, because you have to constantly have your eyes on your kid(s). Anything can happen at any given time. It’s possible.

    Hey, if people are going to fear and have the “anything is possible” mentality, then be consistent. Because ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE. Even a meteor crashing directly into your room, and killing YOUR baby specifically. It’s possible. Extremely improbable, that you would probably win the lottery a few times before it does happen. But it’s possible. If you can choose to NOT fear about certain things, and do for others. Then it’s a logical thought, that you can also choose to NOT fear the things you do fear. Just because something becomes inconvenient for people, it doesn’t make it any less “dangerous”. Thinking from a paranoid person’s viewpoint of course.

  33. EricS October 17, 2014 at 2:15 pm #

    @Alexander: It’s goes without saying that it’s prudent for hospitals or any other institution that houses people, to have security measures in place. But some policies are really extreme. When it doesn’t need to be. All it does is feed into people’s fears and paranoia. Which is the reason why people are the way they are these days, compared to previous generations.

    And stealing property from your home is much different than human trafficking. Anyone can just break into your house and steal stuff. They get caught, they get charged for B and E, and theft. Which is a sentence of 6 months to 3 years. Sometimes, depending on the judge and circumstance (first time offender), it’s a slap on the wrist, with probation.

    Human trafficking and kidnapping is a totally different beast. That’s up to 20 years in prison. So it takes much more planning, and effort to kidnap a kid. So no joe blow, or plain jain, will just roll in to kidnap a random kid. The only time your kid would be in such danger, is if someone were targeting YOUR specific child. Otherwise, it’s all in people’s heads because of the movies. Not saying it doesn’t happen, but it happens so rarely, your worse off in your car with your child, than your child being taken from your hospital room while you take a leak.

  34. Mandy October 17, 2014 at 2:58 pm #

    Of course someone would want to steal MY baby, because she’s the cutest baby ever. Obviously.

    I had a son 2 years ago and a daughter a few months ago, at different hospitals in the DC area, and both had the same security protocols. Tags on me, baby, daddy with matching numbers;baby “LoJack”;a thing that would beep if they brought me the wrong baby; lock-down doors if baby got too close. Baby was not allowed in the hall except in the bassinet. Co-sleeping was supposedly not allowed but nobody said anything when they saw baby in bed with me. With one of the kids, the LoJack bracelet slipped off, and the nurse said “don’t tell anyone” and just slipped it back on. Good thing nobody tried to steal the baby!

  35. Tiny Tim October 17, 2014 at 3:50 pm #

    There have been thousands of instances of babies dying in cars. And yet.

  36. Merrick October 17, 2014 at 6:09 pm #

    I giggle over the no signs in the yard. As a homebirther, my midwife was frequently parked in my driveway with her SUV emblazoned with the name and logo of her midwifery practice. Best “theres a baby here” sign of all !

  37. Jill October 17, 2014 at 6:51 pm #

    This has been going on for years. Fairies (or maybe it’s goblins or witches,or possibly Republicans) steal babies from hospital nurseries and replace them with changelings. It totally happened to my friend’s cousin’s neighbor’s former boyfriend’s sister.

  38. Jill October 17, 2014 at 6:57 pm #

    Why, oh why, aren’t people stealing mean old women instead of babies? My mother-in-law is strong as an ox, and would be quite useful for plowing, or scrubbing floors, and yet nobody has ever stolen her.
    Babies don’t do much beside sleep and poop and spit up, so why would anyone want to steal one?

  39. J.T. Wenting October 18, 2014 at 2:33 am #

    “This is not out of line. People do take newborns if given the chance and the hospital is liable. There have been a few incidences where the mom was murdered and the newborn cut out of her.”

    yes, you got the party line down pat…
    Now, have you ever seen any evidence of that, or just the rumour mill?
    Because I’ve NEVER heard of it ever happening, only ever heard the rumours that it’s supposed to happen a lot and therefore we need all kind of radical measures to prevent it. But ask for actual reports of actual cases and people always come up empty, or have only some report of it happening somewhere else, once, far away and long ago.

  40. North of 49 October 18, 2014 at 12:15 pm #

    I had a nurse flip out at me because I had left my newborn in the middle of my hospital bed because the basinette was too big to keep in the room with me and get to the bathroom. She screamed and hollared cause my son was screaming too even though he was perfectly safe in the V the bed was in from having my feet elevated.

    Boy was her face red when she saw the gore I had left behind in the toilet. Can we say “post partum infection”? I knew we could.

    She was no longer my nurse on her shifts cause I complained about her yelling at me. What did they want me to do? Bleed on the floor and pass out? Gez.

  41. pentamom October 18, 2014 at 12:43 pm #

    Actually the thought that I might faint was simply a surmise on my part because it seemed to me the only logical reason why I couldn’t walk with the baby in my arms, but could push the bassinet. But perhaps I was wrong, if it also applies to fathers and others.

    I guess thinking about it, they figure that you can’t very well sneak out the bassinet, but could sneak out with the baby in your arms. The fact that there are dragons posted to yell at anyone who walks around with a baby, though, kind of gives the lie to that one.

  42. pentamom October 18, 2014 at 12:49 pm #

    Okay, it HAS happened.

    About eight times in the last 20 years in Canada; couldn’t find similar info for the U.S.

    Note how incredibly rare this is, and how it still happens DESPITE the security systems that are in place. This is not a good rationale for treating all babies like plutonium and all mothers like incompetents.

  43. Beth October 18, 2014 at 3:38 pm #

    We have read, on this very site, all of the stroller hate because “why would you want to encase your child in plastic when you could have him/her right next to your body”. Yet we accept that in hospitals we aren’t allowed to HOLD our NEWBORN because “encased” is safer?

    Boy, am I glad I’m done having babies.

  44. Matthew October 18, 2014 at 8:27 pm #

    I’m just disturbed by only a couple fathers being mentioned in the comments. I was there for both of ours, and part of my job was intimidating the nurses into leaving momma and baby alone. Our biggest issue in Texass was constantly checking vitals and interrupting much needed sleep. SC it wasn’t an issue.

    Other than that,the babies left alone for mother bathroom visits wasn’t an issue because I was there.

  45. JKP October 18, 2014 at 9:37 pm #

    Matthew, It’s great that you were there as a support for your wife. You might be surprised to learn that some hospitals don’t “let” the father stay in the room after the birth. The mother & baby are the patients and he is treated like a visitor who is asked to leave once “visiting hours” are over. In those cases, the mom is left to struggle with these issues on her own without his support. Not all hospitals, but some.

  46. gap.runner October 19, 2014 at 3:39 am #

    I’m sure that potential baby snatchers would have a field day in Germany. It is a custom (at least in Bavaria) to hang baby clothing on a clothesline in the front of the house when you have a baby. Just yesterday when I was driving to work, I saw a clothesline with baby clothes on it.

    I had my son in a small town hospital in Germany 15.5 years ago. His wristband somehow slipped off (he was a very thin baby) and was never found, so I guess someone could have abducted him. But because the hospital was small, the nurses on the maternity ward knew all of the mothers, fathers, and babies. I didn’t even have to worry about my son being switched with another baby because he was the only boy born during my week in the hospital (it’s customary to stay in the hospital for a week with a C-section). I would have known I had the wrong baby as soon as I changed its diaper. As far as I remember, the nurses didn’t say anything when I went to the bathroom and left my son in his bassinet in the room. I don’t know if this paranoia has hit Germany now.

  47. Omer Golan-Joel October 19, 2014 at 6:42 am #

    Why penalize parents? Catch and punish the kidnappers. If any exist. Innocent citizens need not be penalized for the crimes of others.

  48. pentamom October 20, 2014 at 8:20 am #

    Matthew, not everyone has the same options. I didn’t have anyone who could spend 24 hours for two days with my older kids. One of my kids decided to get strep throat at the same time my labor was starting one time, so taking an actually sick kid to the ER took priority over hanging out with a perfectly healthy wife and baby. For various reasons, my husband couldn’t be at the hospital round the clock after my first kid, nor was there any real reason to be. A father shouldn’t have to be at the hospital round the clock to stave off stupid security rules if the mom doesn’t feel the need to have him there the whole time anyway.

  49. Kathleen October 20, 2014 at 8:54 am #

    “Babies don’t do much beside sleep and poop and spit up, so why would anyone want to steal one?”

    I never left my newborn alone in the apartment to go do laundry in the basement, but I was frequently tempted to. I figured that if I would leave my door unlocked to go to the laundry room, and none of my neighbors ever stole my laptop, why would I worry that they would steal my baby? The laptop doesn’t even cry!

  50. Thea October 20, 2014 at 2:03 pm #

    I had my first son almost a year ago at a suburban Baltimore hospital. The only time they took my son was when they needed to do a heel stick or something like that, lab work. Otherwise he was always in my room. There wasn’t baby lojack in the regular post partum area but there was in NICU. We were banded to the nth degree though. Baby couldn’t be carried in the hall, must be in the wooden rolling bassinet. I was never told to take him in the bathroom with me but I was never alone, so it wasn’t an issue. They were big about not falling asleep with baby in the bed. I kinda of understand but between the pillows and the rails I’m not sure how he could’ve fallen out of the bed.

    Thankfully, my husband was able to stay with me the entire time. Which because of a blood infection turned out to be 8 days. Baby stayed that whole time too even though he was technically discharged on day 3.

  51. pentamom October 20, 2014 at 2:55 pm #

    Matthew, fathers don’t always need to be rooming in with mom and baby round the clock, or sometimes need to be elsewhere. There’s no reason a father should be expected to be there to fend off ridiculous rules.