How Long Should You Employ Newborn Care
By Anita Rogers
Before I begin discussing the details of newborn care employment, let me first clarify the different terms used for these infant specialists. Although these childcare providers are rarely registered nurses, the general term used in the industry is “baby nurse” in the US and “maternity nurse” in the UK. For ease, I will use the term “baby nurse” in this article as it is so widely used by hiring families across America.
More and more baby nurses are expanding their education and training to become newborn care specialists. So you may also meet professionals using the NCS title.
How long should you employ newborn care?
Why do we recommend keeping a baby nurse or newborn care specialist on for a longer period of time? What do we consider a longer period of time and can it be too long?
We recommend hiring a baby nurse for at least 4.5 months as any kind of sleep schedule is not recommended by experts until after 4 months, providing the baby has at least doubled in weight from the time of birth. Until this time, an infant should feed on demand or every two to three hours.
Sleep scheduling or sleep training is often built around feeding. This is not 100% correct, as an infant should feed when it cries to be fed. Some restrictions in feeding are acceptable if the infant wakes up and whimpers, as opposed to a “feeding cry”.
After the 4.5 month period, it is ok to soothe an infant to sleep using self-soothing or a darkened room and not to feed the infant every time they wake up. A qualified baby nurse can educate the parents on the different types of cries and whimpers.
The way to ensure your infant doesn’t sleep through the night, into the toddler years (and sometimes later) is to pick the baby up every time they whimper or cry.
In no way are we supporting the ‘cry it out’ method but there are different types of cries and noises. Your baby nurse will be able to teach you how to help your baby self-soothe, to sleep and wake with the light, and more educational tips. Most of the time, parents need training on these delicate differences and methods. Because these methods are not recommended until after 4.5 months, we recommend a minimum of a 6 month long hire, for 20 hours a day, 6 days a week.
Learn more about Sleep Training Baby with a Newborn Care Specialist
What is the common newborn care schedule and pay?
How can a family afford this length of hire, when a baby nurse charges anything from $15-45 an hour?
If a family follows the advice of the American Academy of Pediatrics and does not ask a baby nurse to schedule sleep too early, a family can find a baby nurse who is looking for a 12 hour gig 4-5 days a week for a longer period of time. The other approach is to hire a baby nurse for 2 months, glean as much information from them and apply it yourselves. This involves a substantial amount of self-control, trial and error and repetitive action but if you are dedicated to the cause, it will work.
The aim is to make sure your baby is properly fed, growing healthily in all areas, is nurtured and develops healthy sleeping habits which will ensure they sleep well as a toddler, school age, teen and later adult.
If you are thinking of hiring professional newborn care help, contact our office closest to you. We are based In New York, London, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Miami/Palm Beach.