Double Duty Daddy

Sleepless In Parenthood: Hiring A Night Nanny

There’s no way to prepare new parents for the fatigue, lack of sleep and resulting irritability they will experience when they bring a bundle of joy (or two) home.

We came home on September 17th, 6 weeks after G&O were born and spent 42 days in the NICU. No doubt the hardest days of our lives having to visit our twin babies at the hospital every day and night. However, what ensued after we brought them home might take the cake on emotional and physical exhaustion at it’s peak. After 5 weeks of multiple night-time feedings each and every day, hundreds of diaper changes and a ridiculous amount of sleepless hours, we convinced ourselves to get help for ONE night so we could sleep 5-6 hours straight without interruption.

Tada, the night nanny to save the day (or night)!



What Is a Night Nanny?

A night nanny, or newborn specialist, may be hired for several weeks, or longer, following birth. Working parents may need them only on weeknights — other parents for just two or three nights weekly to catch up on rest. Night nannies typically come into the home later in the evening and are on duty throughout the night in order to alleviate the night duties for the parents. Since we had twins, there is no taking turns with your spouse. That doesn’t exist. BOTH parents are “on-call” 24/7 and there is no taking breaks. You become a super parent during that time but also feel like you’re about to crumble into pieces and dissolve into a blob of tired gunk.

What Should You Pay a Night Nanny?
Although night nannies aren’t cheap, they provide outstanding relief for parents that don’t have help at night and need some relief. Many night nannies are trained and certified neo-natal nurses that are trained in the art of taking care of a newborn. The lady we hired had worked for a family with newborn twins and she would work 3-4 times a week in addition to her nursing job at a hospital. I think this woman slept less than we did! Anyway, the going rate for a night nanny is anywhere from $150-$300 night. Your city may vary but in Miami, that’s the going rate. Not cheap but imagine how desperate you have to be for some sleep to dish it out with no problem. That’s what we did. Despite not sleeping calmly because our babies were in the hands of some night nanny stranger (we talked to her obviously several times before but still, she’s relatively a stranger), we were able to get a few hours of uninterrupted gold sleep.

What Should You Look for in a Night Nanny?
While fees vary based upon experience and certification, any professional you hire to care for your newborn should have extensive experience with small babies other than their own, so as to expertly manage sleep training, scheduling, diaper rash, soothing and night time feedings. If your babies are premies or you have multiples, you want to ask the night nanny candidates if they have experience with premies or multiples. Parents of multiples know having 2 children or more at the same time is in an entirely different galaxy than 1 and that requires someone that’s highly trained and experienced.

Different than a babysitter, a night nanny is a great way for parents of newborns to get a break and attain a full night’s rest. This is especially useful for parents of twins that don’t have a grandma laying around, ready and willing.  When interviewing a potential night nanny, ask questions about nighttime routine, experience with given type of newborn(s), hypothetical scenario questions and always conduct a background check.

Have you ever hired a night nanny? What was your experience like? Why would/wouldn’t you recommend a night nanny to others?



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