How Much Do Baby Nurses Actually Cost?

We know the rich and famous use them

sleeping mom, sleeping baby, co-sleeping
Credit: Sally Anscombe/Getty Images

Model Chrissy Teigen recently made headlines in the parenting world when she declared that she and her husband, singer John Legend, would be hiring a night nurse when they welcomed their daughter into the world in a few months. 

“It’s pretty unanimous," the model declared during an interview. "Everyone was like, ‘If you can do it, do it.’ So we’re going for it!” 

Predictably, her decision was met with a lot of criticism.

"Why bother having a baby if you can't even get up in the middle of the night to attend to their needs?" wrote one frustrated commenter. "As exhausting as that can be, I wouldn't have traded that bonding experience for all the money in the world."

Personally, I'm on the fence about this one. On the one hand, yes, I think that sleepless nights are part of the package deal that comes with parenting, but on the other hand, there are serious dangers that can come with chronic sleep deprivation and not every baby is the same. Some parents get a baby with colic who never sleeps and some parents just get lucky, for example, and get a baby who sleeps great at night. Does that mean that they are "less" of a parent? Um, no. 

And some women might go into parenting already at risk for postpartum depression, due to a situation completely out of their control, so for them, a night nurse to help them even get an extra hour of sleep could make a huge difference in their health – which will then, in turn affect the entire family.

 

The bottom line is that like almost everything with parenting, what is right for one family might not be right for another. But I still couldn't help but wonder if hiring a night nurse would ever be a real possibility for us regular, non-celebrity, non-model moms. How much does it really cost?

What is a Night Nurse?

First of all, night nurses aren't always actual nurses.

Sometimes, they may be actual registered nurses, but other times, they may be other care professionals, such as nursing assistants or doulas. One company in Chicago hires out postpartum doulas that can serve 8-12 hour shifts during the day or night and their duties can include:

  • Breastfeeding support
  • Help with the emotional and physical recovery after birth
  • Light housekeeping 
  • Assistance with newborn care such as diapering, bathing, feeding and comforting
  • Light meal preparation
  • Baby soothing techniques
  • Sibling care

How Much Does a Night Nurse Actually Cost?

Obviously, the cost for a night nurse will vary a lot, but prices are usually hourly and there isn't usually a minimum amount of nights you have to commit to. So you could, for example, hire a night nurse once a week or even once a month if that's all you could afford. 

One agency that has locations everywhere from Atlanta to Orlando quotes a "placement fee" of $200 and then an hourly rate of $27/hour for one baby on an overnight shift. Their typical overnight shift is from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m, which would be a grand total of $162 per night, plus that placement fee.

I totally admit that's a hefty price to consider. But then again, I have felt that desperation from a lack of sleep with a difficult baby, so it doesn't sound totally crazy if it's your health and sanity or your wallet. 

Who Might Benefit from a Night Nurse?

While you may think that night nurses are only for the rich and famous, it's not a bad idea to consider a night nurse if you have a unique situation as a parent. For example, parents of twins or multiples might literally need a second helping hand at home, especially at night. A lot of companies that offer night nurses also offer gift certificates, which might be a nice option to consider if you're looking for a cool gift for a mom-to-be. 

I know a lot of mothers who were lucky enough to have a mother or other family member move in with them after they had a baby, but for those of us who don't have that kind of free help, why should we be ashamed to hire the help that we need to be happy and healthy parents? 

Would you consider hiring a night nurse? 

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