What is a Night Nurse and Do You Need to Hire One?

 Sleep Changes Everything - What is a Night Nurse and Do You Need to Hire One?

Estimated read time: 12 minutes

Everything you need to know about night nurses

Ever wondered what a night nurse does? Or the meaning of night nurse? Or wondered if you need a night nurse? We’re here to break down everything you need to know.

Having a newborn is amazing. 

Those teeny, squishable cheeks. That adorable little sleepy face. Those sweet, chunky little thighs. Yep. Babies are adorable. But, man. They can be utterly exhausting.

Sleepless nights, constant nursing, cluster feeding. As gorgeous as babies are, it’s very easy (and completely normal) to feel totally overwhelmed when you’re caring for your new little munchkin.

And this is where night nurses come in. Angels you can hire to help with those long nights so you can get some well-deserved rest. But what is a night nurse? What does a night nurse do? And how much is a night nurse?

Fear not Breast Friend, we’re here to answer all your night nurse questions.

In this article:

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What is a night nurse?

The definition of Night Nurse: A night nurse is a newborn care specialist who acts as an extra pair of (much-needed) hands to help out new parents during those long, early nights.

Understanding Newborn Care Specialists: While we still use the terms night nurse and baby nurse, they are a little outdated, and these specialists (or nighttime angels as we sometimes call them) are now known as Newborn Care Specialists or NCS. They are trained to give postpartum help and care to families with newborns. 

Night nurse is a general term, but it doesn’t necessarily mean someone with medical training. They are simply highly experienced in caring for newborns and helping tired parents when they need help. And speaking of help, there still seems to be a bit of a stigma in admitting we need help. This needs to change. So many women feel like they’ve failed if they admit that they can’t do it all. 

Hell, no!

If you have the resources to hire a professional, and you don’t have the help available from doting grandparents, family, or friends, hiring help like an NCS is the ultimate form of self-care. You can’t care for your baby if you don’t care for yourself first, mama.

The main difference between a night nurse and a live-in nanny or postpartum doula is while they clock off at a certain time, night nurses are there to help and stay during the night, allowing sleep-deprived parents to get some shut-eye. 

While you can hire a night nurse to work days or even full 24-hour shits, the most popular shifts are:

  • 8 pm - 8 am
  • 7 pm - 7 am
  • 9 pm - 7 am
  • 10 pm - 8 am 

Most night nurses are happy to work whatever hours you need, and this can be discussed when you meet the night nurse you choose to hire.

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What does a night nurse do?

As well as helping you through those sleepless nights, night nurses can help in many other ways. 

Even if your night nurse isn’t a registered nurse with medical training, they will have expertise in baby care and development, including sleep training, CPS, feeding, managing multiples, and treating the special needs of preemies. 

They typically work at night, feeding, changing, and soothing your baby while you get some rest, as well as supporting you in all aspects of newborn care. If you’re breastfeeding then you might be concerned about how hiring a night nurse can help. After all, don’t your Boobies need to be available throughout the night?

In these situations, your NCS will simply bring your little one to you during the night when they need a feed, and then take them out again once they’ve had their fill. They’ll take care of the burping and changing, so you can just roll over and get back to sleep…till the next feed!

Wondering what does a night nurse do? Or what the roles of newborn care specialists are...

Let’s have a look at some of the ways they help and what the responsibilities of night nurses are:

  • Working with you to help implement a gentle sleep routine and sleep training.
  • Taking care of feeds during the night, whether it’s bringing your baby to you to breastfeed, bottle feeding with pumped milk or formula, and cleaning and sterilizing all bottles and pump equipment.
  • Helping with latching if needed.
  • Assisting with baby-specific health needs, such as circumcision care, cradle cap, diaper rash, reflux, and umbilical cord care.
  • Soothing your baby during the night.
  • Changing diapers and bathing your baby.
  • Helping to create a schedule by keeping a log of sleeping, feeding, and changing times.
  • Organizing and doing your little one’s laundry. 

Night nurse benefits are unlike postpartum doulas, night nurses aren’t there to help with household chores or care for older siblings. They are there to support you and care for your little one during the early weeks. 

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Benefits of hiring a night nurse

Ask any new parent what the hardest part of having a newborn is, and they’ll all probably say the same thing. Lack of sleep. When you don’t get enough rest, it can make it hard to function, and those little problems or annoyances can be elevated.

Hearing your newborn cry constantly, while normal, can be extremely tiring. Throw in days and nights with no sleep can make it harder to cope. This can lead to you experiencing down days, and possibly even postpartum depression.

If you have the means to do so, having that extra pair of hands - the hands of a newborn specialist - means you can clock out and get the sleep you need. When it comes to the advantages of hiring a night nurse, this is one of the main benefits of hiring a night nurse.

The positive impact of a newborn care specialist can make the days much easier to handle, as you’ll wake up refreshed, reenergized, and ready to take on the day.

Another benefit of hiring a night nurse is that they teach you the ropes of being a new parent. This can be a wonderful benefit if you don’t have family close by to help. And if you had twins or multiples, having a night nurse to help you juggle their needs can be a real lifesaver. 

If you had a C-section delivery or a vaginal delivery that required surgical intervention, then having an NCS can be an amazing benefit. Not only are you recovering from pregnancy, but you’re also recovering from major surgery, which can make it harder to get up every time your little one cries during the night.

Remember, having sleep is a necessity, not a luxury. And being given the gift of sleep by hiring a night nurse is the biggest benefit of all. 

How much is a night nurse?

Yes. Hiring a Newborn Care Specialist isn’t cheap, but they can make all the difference in those first few weeks.

So, how much is a night nurse? 

The first thing you want to think about is how long you want to hire a night nurse. Newborn Care Specialists generally help for the first few weeks, but you can retain them for months if you wish. And while they typically work overnight, some are happy to be hired for round-the-clock care.  

When it comes to night nurse fees, hiring an NCS tends to vary depending on where you live, and they are usually more expensive than a day nanny, and rates are generally between $20-$45 per hour. This can vary depending on their hours, level of education, responsibilities, and whether you hire one from an agency. 

When it comes to budgeting for newborn care specialist services, it is becoming more and more common to add these night nurse services to your baby registry. 

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How to find a night nurse

When you decide that you want to hire a night nurse, you need to ensure you match your candidate to your and your family’s needs. So, how to find a night nurse, you may ask? 

When it comes to locating professional night nurse services, the first thing you can try is speaking to friends and family who have hired a night nurse in the past. It’s always advisable to check their references and credentials, but having a personal recommendation can be a great way to start.

Another good way to find a night nurse is to ask nurses and medical staff at the hospital where you give birth. If you have a midwife or an OB-GYN, they might also have some suggestions, so make sure you ask at your next appointment.

There is also the Newborn Care Association which has a resource for parents on their website for finding an NCS near you. 

Could hiring a night nurse help you?

We hope this article helped you learn all about night nurses. Having a night nurse can be a true blessing when you’re exhausted from caring for your newborn baby mama.

There is absolutely no shame in asking for help. Motherhood is one of the toughest jobs around, and we all need help from time to time. So when you’re preparing for life postpartum, think about whether hiring a night nurse could be beneficial to you. 

Just remember Breastie, you are important. You need to be taken care of too. And if hiring a night nurse can help you be the best mama you can be, then you go for it Breast Friend. We’re so proud of you for doing such an amazing job. 

At Titty City Design, we believe that every boobie is beautiful, and that should be celebrated. We are a female-owned and operated, small business here to spread self-love and body positivity with our line of boob apparel, boob accessories, and boob-themed decor and products for the home. A portion of our proceeds goes to help support postpartum people and breast cancer patients.

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