Newborn Overnight Care: 4 Options
Navigating your way through the newborn stage can be exhausting. Baby’s sleep and feeding schedule are all over the place. Even sharing the night shifts with a partner still doesn’t provide the rest most parents need to feel refreshed for the days. It doesn’t take long before the sleep deprivation catches up to you.
Enter the overnight care specialists…
There are services that allow parents to get rest during the night while ensuring that their newborn is getting the best of care. There are many terms you will hear in regards to infant overnight care. The most common terms used are:
- Night Nanny
- Postpartum (Night) Doula
- Newborn Care Specialist
- Baby Nurse
All these terms are used interchangeably, yet are very different in terms of training and services offered. Below we break them down to help you decide which service would be the best fit for your overnight care needs.
Night nannies do not generally have any formal training and offer more of a babysitting type service. Night nannies are reactive care givers that work at night under directions of the parents. Parents leave detailed instruction on how care is to be giving to the newborn(s) during the night. The night nanny follows the directions and asks the parents if anything is unclear throughout the night. Night nannies generally provide night services for newborns birth through the first year.
Postpartum Night Doula
A postpartum overnight doula is a professionally trained and experienced caregiver. They are well educated on not only the newborn(s), but also on issues that a mother and family face postpartum. Postpartum night doulas will provide evidenced based information for the postpartum mother on a variety of issues including postpartum healing, infant care, breastfeeding support and mother care. The postpartum overnight doula is able to provide not only overnight services for the newborn(s), but can also assist mom with breastfeeding & pumping throughout the night while helping to instill healthy sleep habits for the newborn. The doula is a proactive care giver giving suggestions and support to the mother. Postpartum doulas work days and nights and stay with families up to six months.
Newborn Care Specialists (NCS)
A newborn care specialist has received specialized training in newborn care and has extensive newborn experience. The NCS is also a reactive care giver that does not need to work under the direction of a parent, yet is able to mentor and educate the parent on infant care including breastfeeding, scheduling, healthy sleep habits, ailments, swaddling and self soothing techniques to name a few. Generally, newborn care specialists are with families for the first three months, work nights and some offer 24/7 shifts.
While many people use the term ‘Baby Nurse’ to describe an overnight care provider, a true baby nurse refers to a Registered Nurse (RN) with extensive newborn experience. A baby nurse provides all the services of a newborn care specialist, but is also familiar with medical terminology and issues. While a NCS cannot perform medical tasks, a Baby Nurse that is a RN can, and are generally used by families that have infants with health issues that need specialized care from birth through the first 4-6 months (and some beyond).
When searching for overnight care for your newborn, it’s important to do your research and find the overnight provider that fits your needs best. As you can see, not all overnight care is the same!
At Nurtured Foundation five of our overnight caregivers are professionally trained postpartum doulas & newborn care specialists. Our sixth overnight care provider is a postpartum doula and baby nurse (RN). We believe in providing the best services for our clients and therefore have trained in multiple areas to ensure comprehensive care for you and your newborn(s). Our overnight specialists are hand selected for each family based on their needs. A perfect fit is key!
You can be confident that not only will your baby be taken care of through the night, but we will also:
- instill healthy sleep habits
- provide a wealth of information that is evidence based
- answering all your questions related to baby, mom and the family transition
- access to our extensive list of resources throughout the greater Cleveland area
- teach you our tips & tricks to getting baby to sleep better and longer
- make sure you wake up to clean bottles & pumping parts