A baby brings a lot of joy into a home. However, having a baby can be stressful and hectic, especially if you are not getting any rest. This can be bad for mom and dad’s physical and mental health. In these instances, new parents need help with things like getting the baby to latch on or fall asleep. Under these circumstances, hiring a night or baby nurse is a great option.
What is a Night Nurse or Baby Nurse?
A night or baby nurse is an expert who assists new parents in taking care of their newborn babies for the first few weeks of bringing the baby home. Most baby nurses take care of newborns and infants at night so mom and dad can have some rest. While many of us refer to them as baby nurses, they may or may not have medical training. Some baby nurses are also licensed or registered nurses who have completed a nursing degree and who love working directly with babies instead of working at a healthcare facility.
Those who would like to get into these roles can enrol in an accelerated online nursing program where they get to complete their degree in a very short period. Students can graduate from Marymount University Online in as little as 16 months, for example. Accelerated nursing degrees also prepare students for the NCLEX, after which they become registered nurses. Registered nurses working as baby nurses also need certifications in infant care and development, infant CPR, sleep training, and more. They also need expertise in managing multiple babies if required and taking care of the special needs of premature babies or babies with various other medical conditions.
While some baby nurses can be hired by parents who may feel worn out after a few weeks of having the baby at home, some of them are hired in advance. Parents can choose to hire a baby nurse for a few weeks or months depending on their circumstances. When hiring a night nurse, it is important to choose the candidate who best fits your family’s needs. There are professionals who know about infant care but are not baby-nurses. For example, baby nannies’ roles may overlap with those of a baby nurse, but nannies remain with babies as they grow up while baby nurses leave after a few weeks or months.
What Do Night Nurses Do?
Baby nurses are primarily hired to help support new parents as well as provide different aspects of newborn care. Important role baby nurses play is in baby feeding. They ensure the baby is fed by bringing them to the mother as well as helping with latching on, preparing bottles, or helping with pumping.
Trained baby nurses who are registered nurses can help with umbilical cord care, circumcision, diaper rash, Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease and a lot more.
Other ways they may help include soothing the baby and helping them learn a sleep routine, bathing and changing the baby, doing the laundry, organizing and cleaning the nursery, and helping families develop a schedule by keeping records of the baby’s feeding, sleeping, and changing patterns.
Parents should realize that baby nurse are not supposed to handle any household chores that are not related to the baby or babies they are taking care of. They are also not required to take care of or babysit the baby’s siblings.
Why Should You Hire a Baby Nurse?
Although hiring a baby nurse can be expensive (they charge $18-$30 an hour) they are extremely important for parents who might feel overwhelmed, especially during the first weeks. Baby nurses give new parents time to get enough sleep, which is extremely important as sleep deprivation has been linked to an increase in the risk of postpartum depression and difficulty bonding with the baby.
Baby nurses also teach new parents what they need to know about caring for their baby. This is extremely helpful in cases where the parents might not have relatives or friends close by who can teach them.
For parents who have other children, baby-nurses can help them with the baby so they have enough energy and time to take care of the other kids.
Lastly, trained and certified baby nurses can help with multiple babies or babies who require specialized care due to any number of illnesses or conditions.
How Do You Find a Good Baby Nurse?
Asking for a referral from the nurses at the hospital where you gave birth should be your first stop. These nurses have interacted with lots of newborn babies and baby nurses so their recommendations are usually stellar. Your paediatrician or physician might also be able to recommend a good baby nurse.
Asking family and friends is another great option. However, ensure that you check the candidate’s credentials and references. Most importantly, ensure they are trained in first aid and infant CPR.
Lastly, you can get in touch with local placement agencies as well as newborn specialist associations or nanny associations for reputable candidates.
Are There Any Downsides?
An obvious downside is that hiring a baby nurse can be expensive, especially for babies who need specialized care or where the family needs to hire a baby nanny for an extended period. Some moms might also prefer partners, siblings, or parents to help take care of the baby instead of hiring a night nurse. Even with these downsides, the reviews of baby nannies are very positive and their benefits always outweigh these downsides.
Hiring a baby nurse is a decision that both parents or partners will have to think about carefully. Hiring one will often depend on your needs as well as recovery. If you have an easy delivery and someone to help you during the first few weeks, you might not need a baby nurse. Many parents who hire baby nurses say it gives them peace of mind and allows them to enjoy being new parents. Some say they would not like a stranger taking care of their newborn. Regardless, hiring a baby nurse is a personal decision that depends on your circumstances, how much help you need, as well as your willingness to hire one.
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