Should New Parents Hire a Baby Nurse?

A baby nurse educates, trains and helps new parents take care of a newborn

The option to hire child care exists even before your baby is born. Many parents-to-be choose to hire newborn care specialists, also know as baby nurses, in preparation for those first weeks home with a new baby.

What Is a Baby Nurse?

A baby nurse is someone with extensive practical experience with newborns. This includes knowledge and experience with newborn sleep schedules, apnea monitoring, breast and bottle feeding, and other medical concerns, such as jaundice and reflux.

If the baby has colic or fussy periods, a baby nurse knows techniques for reducing baby discomfort and soothing the baby. 

What Does a Baby Nurse Do?

A baby nurse can help new parents in many areas. A baby nurse will teach new parents how to change diapers, how to give sponge and tub baths, how to feed and burp a baby, how to swaddle,  and soothe, and teach proper care for a baby's umbilical cord and circumcision. A baby nurse will do nighttime feedings for bottle feeders while the new mom rests. For breastfeeding moms, the baby nurse will bring the baby to mom, help with breast feeding positions, burp, change and soothe the baby back to sleep after feeding. A baby nurse will help organize a nursery. Similar to a nanny, many baby nurses will do the baby's laundry and help with light housekeeping. 

How Long Does a Baby Nurse Stay?

The duration of a baby nurse's assignment is your decision. The position is temporary in nature, but a typical baby nurse will stay with a family from two to eight weeks.

A baby nurse can stay with you 24 hours a day, or can work just night, also known as a night nurse.

What does a Baby Nurse Cost?

Baby nurses can stay with a family from anywhere to a few days to a few weeks or even months. The average fee of a full-time baby nurse $200 to $450 or more per day, depending on location and the care of a singleton, twins or multiples.

If you want a nurse, but cannot afford the 24 hour price, look for a night nurse who will come for night feedings and leave in the morning. Or if you prefer, you can find a nurse who will stay for the day and leave in the evening. If you or your husband have a flexible spending account at work, find out if a baby nurse's fee is covered. 

Do I Need a Baby Nurse?

A baby nurse is a choice, not a necessity, but most new parents who hire baby nurses find them very helpful and supportive. Baby nurses provide extra care, knowledge and help during this important transition. A baby nurse helps new families learn how to take care of a newborn, communicates about the baby's daily and/or nightly routines and educates and teaches parents to understand their newborn's development and habits. A baby nurse can help ease many new mom's concerns or simply be a shoulder to cry on during those hormonal swings or someone to eat lunch with when you feel alone with a newborn. If you need a break, a baby nurse will hold the baby throughout the day, providing your baby with security and affection. A baby nurses can ease the burden for new dads who may not feel comfortable with a new baby. If a husband can't take time off from work, he knows that he is not leaving his wife alone.


Where Does the Baby Nurse Sleep?

Depending on your home, the baby nurse can sleep in a separate bedroom, in the baby's bedroom or on a couch. Baby nurse's are very flexible and accomodating when it comes to their place in your home. Having the baby nurse close to the baby will allow them to wake with the baby and bring the baby to your for night feedings. If they baby is sleeping in your room, the baby nurse can sleep elsewhere and will wake when the baby wakes.

How and When Do I Book a Baby Nurse

Baby nurses can be found through word-of-mouth or an agency. Ask friends, coworkers or family members for recommendations.

Using a recommended baby nurse will increase your comfort level. When you speak to the baby nurse, you can ask them these interview questions. If you do not know anyone who has used one, you can search for an agency online that will connect you with options. Baby nurses book up quickly so lock one in 3-4 months before your due date.

What Are Other Concerns?

Having another person in your space might increase anxiety or make some couples feel uncomfortable. If a baby nurse is living in your home, you will need to provide them food and drinks. The cost of a baby nurse is the biggest negative, but it also can be extremely helpful and comforting during the transitions into new parenthood. Some new moms may feel pressure to entertain the baby nurse or talk to them all day, but most baby nurses are experienced and know when to keep to themsevles and when to engage the parents.