What's A Night nurse?
SO many questions about the night nurse. Don’t worry, I was right there with you until I actually had one. No one in my family ever had a night nurse or even a nanny, the women in my family are very much about raising their own children, so having a night nurse definitely raised some eyebrows. Did I feel guilty or judged? Yes, slightly. But honestly, I’m a very sleep-dependent person (so is Paul) and I work a very unconventional job that requires me to be “on” pretty much 24/7. Without having to justify my choice too much, I just wanted to explain my thought process, as I know it’s easy to judge a decision like this.
Since Capri is my first baby I was really nervous about the lack of sleep & had no idea what to expect–all I can go off of is what people tell me, what I’ve read, and just general knowledge that babies = no sleep. As I mentioned above, I NEEEEED sleep, and like 9 hours of it to fully function. Luckily during my pregnancy (towards the end) I started to experience some insomnia in the middle of the night (usually after getting up to pee) so I feel like my body was somewhat prepping me for waking up at ungodly hours to take care of baby. This realization while pregnant made me realize that having a night nurse would really be a good option for us.
The other reason that sold me on the concept is more for Capri. I wanted to be awake, well rested, and happy during the day with her. Paul and I both. Especially during those first few weeks when she’s a newborn and we will never again have that experience, I wanted us to fully enjoy our time as a new family. While I know a lot of parents alternate during the night, I figured if Paul and I can both be well-rested it would just make our days that much more enjoyable. And I was 100% right. The night nurse was a life saver after 3 sleepless nights in the hospital. I’m sure all moms know this, but after you give birth there is a nurse coming into your room about every 20 minutes to take your blood pressure, check the baby’s temperature, bring you food, etc. and it makes it nearly impossible to sleep. PLUS, you now have a baby that needs to be taken care of so you’re basically a zombie by the time you go home. I had initially wanted to wait a few days after getting home for our night nurse to start but once I realized how sleep deprived we were in the hospital I quickly changed my mind.
I’ve rounded up all the commonly asked questions about the night nurse to answer in this post. Hopefully this sheds some light on the topic and answers all your questions.
Where Did I Find Our Night Nurse?
Referral. I would have no idea where to even begin looking for a night nurse honestly. I have a friend who recommended her night nurse when she found out I was pregnant and I took her up on the referral closer to birth, as I was not even thinking of having one at first. It’s a pretty big decision and trusting a stranger to care for my baby while I sleep is just scary. I would say try to get a referral if you’re looking for a night nurse….you’ll have some peace of mind knowing someone YOU trust had a good experience.
How Many Nights Does She Come?
We currently have our night nurse 5 nights per week (Sunday – Thursday from 9:00PM – 7:00AM). Basically she comes during the nights that we have to work the next day and on the weekends Paul and I handle her night feedings. We initially signed up for 4 weeks but now that we are approaching the last week we have extended her for another month. I guess you could say we REALLY like / need our sleep…and really like our night nurse.
Where Does She Sleep & Where Does Capri sleep?
Our night nurse sleeps in the guest room. Capri sleeps in her bassinet in the guest room as well. She has the white noise machine going as well as a little globe nightlight for the babe. On the nights we don’t have the night nurse Capri sleeps in her bassinet in our bedroom.
What Does The Night Nurse Do?
When she arrives at 9:00PM Capri is bathed and fed and ready for bed. Sometimes she’s already asleep and other nights she’s wide awake. Either way we hand her off to the night nurse after we say our goodnights and Paul and I head to bed. At this stage we are exhausted by the end of the day so we take advantage of every free minute and go to sleep. The night nurse swaddles Capri super snug and puts her down. It’s very rare that I even hear a peep out of Capri. When Capri wakes to feed (usually between 4-6 hours later) the night nurse feeds, burps, changes her diaper, and puts her back to bed. It’s pretty magical, as I never hear Capri cry yet when we handle her weekend midnight feedings she’s definitely more fussy with us.
Our night nurse has also been very helpful in the sense that she has taught us little tricks. Since this is our first baby it’s really nice to have a professional helping us and guiding us with the baby. There is SO much to learn and figure out that it can very easily become overwhelming. Having a night nurse puts us at ease that we are doing the right thing for Capri. Of course, Paul / Richard has his opinions so sometimes I’m a little embarrassed when he micromanages our night nurse.
Is It Weird Having A Stranger Care For My Baby?
Yes! As I said above, at first it was a little unnerving. I clearly watch too many scary movies because I had all sorts of creepy thoughts about her stealing my baby and worse. I for sure half slept the first week….Paul felt the same. However, after we got to know our night nurse by Week 2 we were sleeping a lot better and feeling comfortable.
Is It Expensive?
In my opinion, yes. Obviously everyone’s financial situation is different but for us it’s pricey. Obviously I wasn’t just going to have any random person watching my baby so I wanted someone with a good reputation, which typically comes with a higher price tag. We have also budgeted for this because we both need to work and honestly we can’t put a price tag on sleep. Yes….I know how crazy I / we sound but we REALLY need sleep.
Is It Worth It?
10000000% yes! I feel like being well rested has allowed me to really be a happier person during this super special time. While I’m not 100% energetic, nor do I feel FULLY rested (& I have dark circles under my eyes), I can’t imagine operating on any less sleep. I know this makes me spoiled but hey, at least I’m aware of it. Also, I highly believe that sleep is a major factor in your recovery. Without sleep your body can’t properly heal and my recovery was so quick that I can’t help but feel it plays a part in that.
While Paul and I rush to sleep at 9:00PM, it still gives us nice peace of mind and allows us to get into bed relaxed. Hopefully we will both adjust soon so we can maybe stay up a couple hours before sleeping to enjoy some quality time together, but we are still just getting used to sleeping less hours than usual.
Isn’t Your Baby Easy Though?
I saved this one for last LOL. Capri has been such an angel baby–so chill, mellow, and easy. BUT, I do feel that when I do the 2AM feedings on the weekends she likes to give me a hard time. She wants to wake up and have me hold her so I clearly have some learning to do. Or better yet, I need to toughen up and not just let her fall asleep on my chest. So long story short, the 2 nights we don’t have the night nurse really drains me. I feel extremely tired during the weekend and sleep a lot during the day while Paul watches her.
Also, because I pump, I still have to wake up at 2AM regardless so that adds an extra 15-20 minutes to the whole ordeal, which makes the middle of the night feeding that much more tiring. I end up staying awake for about 2 hours (2AM – 4AM) and it really takes it out of me. Our night nurse has confirmed that Capri is super easy but it’s still SO nice getting to sleep as much as possible right now.
If you guys have any other questions feel free to leave them in the comments below. Unfortunately I cannot share the information on our night nurse, as she has asked me not to.