Night nanny for first few weeks(25 Posts)
Sorry if this isn't in the right place ... my parents are offering to pay for 3 weeks for us to have a nanny after our 1st child is born, to help show us how to get our baby into a routine, and to settle them after a night feed so DW can get straight back to sleep. We have space in the house. Apparently it helped my sister massively. Parents are too far away to help & whilst we could read some books about babies etc, it's not really a substitute for having someone that knows what they're doing in the house to show us what to do. Has anyone done this / what are thoughts?
Where I live you can buy support packages for help over a period of time - first three weeks is nice but a quick look at the sleep board will show that you get all sorts of sleep issues as things go along, so my advice is to stagger the support, maybe a week post birth and some time you can schedule as needed. also, getting a baby on a schedule at 3 weeks is very optimistic, that's why you may want to schedule help later say at 3-4 months.
A newborn won't really have a routine as they'll be feeding on demand for a while
I agree, later will be more helpful as they might be a) really sleepy or b) want to be up all night feeding. No way will a 3 week old have a night time routine, or not one with any longevity. Also, I'm assuming you will be on paternity leave which means more opportunity to sleep in the day. You might want night support therefore when you're back at work.
If they want to be really helpful in the first 3 weeks then sending meals might be more useful.
As pottering said it really depends on what your wife thinks - some women are delighted to have the help whilst others want to nest with their newborn and hate the idea of someone else (esp a stranger) being involved.
Maternity nurses/nannies vary hugely, some are quite old school and will want the baby on a routine (often quite a strict one) asap - this may not be very compatible with BFing - others are much less strict, others will be guided one way or the other according to the parents' views. So if you do have one, choose carefully - ideally by word of mouth - as the last thing you or DW want in the early weeks is someone you are not compatible with.
Agree that someone starting at 4/5 weeks old ish would be a better time if you want help with routine, and also agree with the point about paternity leave.
DW (and I) don't know what to think as we haven't got much of a clue.
I won't be taking much paternity as I'm a contractor
Meals are not an issue we are super-organised and have about 150 home cooked ready meals of about 6 varieties in the freezer that can be microwaved for a delicious & healthy bite!
At that stage I would have preferred having someone do things like cleaning and laundry during the day, if I was going to have any help.
Your wife may finds that she wants to sleep with the baby. She may find that she doesn't want a stranger telling her what to do with her own baby, or even holding her baby very much. And babies don't have a routine as such when they are that young - trying to impose a routine can be harmful to breastfeeding if that is your wife's chosen feeding method.
I'm not really seeing what help a night nanny would be at that stage unless you plan on having them do night feeds so that neither of you have to wake. And that is something that might sound nice on paper but most mothers feel very protective and "possessive" about their tiny new born that has spent the last nine months in their actual body.
To be frank I think this is a slightly interfering offer and one that has the potential to make you both question your ability to look after your own baby.
I found it hugely helpful with all three of mine. With DD1 I was literally in pieces by by 2 weeks as had had no sleep, so I booked a night nanny to come in for one night (DD1 was just over 2 weeks old). With DD2 and DS I planed ahead and with each of them arranged in advance for first night at about 10 days in. I had one night a week for 6 weeks which each of my three. For me it wasn't so much to try and get them into a routine - more to give me a chance to get some sleep. The most important thing for me was NOT to get up and do the feeds or settle or anything - I was lucky in this as I was able to express easily so the night nanny gave bottles of expressed milk. Standard practice was for me to do a feed at about 9pm / 10pm ish and then put in ear plugs and go to bed for the whole night, then get up 6am ish with the night nanny dealing with whatever happened throughout the night - feeding settling or just being up with the baby if necessary. In the morning I had to feed immediately as usually v swollen etc, and then due to a night of not feeding usually enough for me to express loads after that first feed and freeze in preparation for the next week. I would then express a bit here and there throughout the week to allow for me to be able to have a night off again when she returned the following week. That one night off a week in the early days simply saved my sanity and allowed me to cope - but as others have said it is a personal choice.
I really, really struggled when Ds was born but would not have wanted a (more or less) stranger taking care of my baby. You really can't get a new baby into a routine, or certainly not one that would last. Also, a nanny won't "know what to do" with your baby, no one will!! Babies are different and what "works" with one baby won't necessarily work with others. What if she tells you something you don't want to hear, or do something differently to how you've planned? It would just add more stress. You will be able to look after your baby.
Far better would be a cleaner or people to do general fetching and carrying for you. I don't know if your wife is planning to bf but the pp who could express and sleep through the night at 2 weeks is really very rare in my experience. Most new mums needs to feed during the night as it helps protect your supply. My sister had my DS overnight for the first time when he was 4 months old (and sleeping through) we had a nice break but I didn't have the great nights sleep I'd hoped as my boobs got so sore. Ask for a babysitter after 6 months instead.
Don't forget the midwife will come out a few times to visit in the first few days, you can also request a midwife assistant to come out straight away to show you how to bath baby, and the health visitor should turn up on day 10 - so you will have some support.
Another option is a postnatal doula. These are not trained nurses or nannies but usually women who have lots of experience with babies, so can help with the baby, give DW a chance to nap, and give pointers on feeding etc, but they are also (unlike maternity nurses/night nannies) happy to help with cooking lunch/unloading dishwasher etc. they are daytime only and live out. also cheaper so you could prob have one for longer for the same money.
Or you can also buy a package of postnatal care from a private midwife - this will consist of several visits, it won't help much in terms of sleep or household tasks but will help with pointers about feeding/baby care and any health worries you might have.
I think I'd take the gift of having 3 weeks support but stagger it. I would have given my left arm for a night off at about 4/5 weeks as that when sleep deprivation and reality kicked in for me. If someone had told me once a week someone else would come in and take over I would have thought the lottery had been won!
I should maybe add, I was a lone parent from birth so not sure if those in couples would have felt similarly so desperate!
Am going to give some conflicting advise here. As first timers I think you will benefit from a nanny right after the birth. Breast fed babies do not have much of a routine, but having someone ago can support you through the surprises & stresses of the initial days will make the journey smoother & stress free. Just knowing what to do if the baby cries at the top of its lungs, or turns red/white, or poos green or throws up - all this does happen - and it's handy not having to 'figure it out' with sleepless nights & post delivery fatigue.
Although exclusively breast fed, both my DDs did have sleep time routines...they did sleep 5 hours stretches which was immensely useful. But it was not without having some support in place - to swaddle, feed, settle etc.
I think you would benefit in the first week after which you can decide if you want to stagger the rest of the help..or just continue for another few weeks.
TBH the first 6 weeks are really hard, I would accept all the help I can get!!
Definitely accept the offer of some support but as others have said, stagger it if poss. You might find, for example, night feeds are quick and well spaced but daytime naps/feeding is a nightmare.
Some mums find breastfeeding easy, lots don't. Having day time support for the first week can really help with establishing a latch, general tips/reassurance on care etc. I was home 8 days before anyone from the NHS came to check on me or my baby. I would have been tearing my hair out if I hadn't had a maternity nurse.
If the dad has paternity leave then you might really need support after that ends too.
I would definitely suggest getting someone into help if you have the option/offer to do so - I had a night nanny when I had my second DC as I really struggled with my first. She was great! She took over the night feeds and gave me a load of advice to get my DC to settle more quickly than my first. I used the Little Ones agency (got my current Nanny through them as well!) and they were really supportive and speedy with their service. I'll include a link so you can have a look at the sort of Nannies they have. but almost all agencies these days would provide them and they would give you advice on how long you might need someone for depending on what sort of birth your planing on having etc
Take the help...21 nights of help at approx £180 per night (cost where I live in central London from a good agency) is a BIG contribution and it is worth a lot.
Agree with pp that this is about YOU, not about creating a baby routine in early days.
While you establish your milk supply be careful of missing too many feeds at night. Use a night nanny help to bring baby to you, and take and resettle baby. But as soon as supply is ok, and you can skip a feed do as pp suggest....feed around 10pm then speed to bed (alone) with earplugs and try to get 8 hours. Then move to night help just once or twice a week when you are feeling recovered from birth and up to it?
So maybe 7 - 10 nights in a row after birth, and then to once or twice weekly until baby is around 10 weeks old? Could be marvellous!
Those are your precious moments, why let a stranger in & take those moments from you... yes it’s tiring but enjoy every moment, you won’t get those memories back. Help doing housework etc.. would be much more helpful.
Personally I would have hated a night nanny. I was very anxious when other people other than my husband took my baby for cuddles in the early days and I didn’t expect to feel so strongly. I would have loved a cleaner though as our house quickly became a state.
I suffered with post natal insomnia, so for me having 1 or 2 nights a week to just sleep (or try to) with a highly experienced night nanny really helped me to enjoy my baby. I was lucky enough to be able to pump a lot of milk so that but was easy.
I respect entirely some people would hate it - but for me it was a luxury which made a huge difference for happier days and peace of mind.
Help with cleaning and housework is absolutely vital.
Can you find out how much notice you’d need to book some support? You’ve had a real mixed bad of feedback from those who would have hated it to those that really needed it. It’s so hard to know what you might need until the baby is here.
I think it's a great idea to have a support at home for the first 3 weeks. I would accept that offer only if I knew that this person would do major housework (cleaning, cooking, serving food, washing up, laundry, sorting laundry, shopping etc.) Because that's what I would mainly need after giving birth. I gave birth to 2 lovely children that both were born via emergency cesarean. With our first child we had no family support at all (they all leave abroad) so me and DH were left to manage everything on our own. I was in a lot of pain after c-section and caring for a newborn was very hard. Hubby was on paternity leave for 2 weeks so was helping as much as he could but we wished we had some extra help from family or anyone else really because we were exhausted! I wasn't sleeping because was feeding on demand and hubby was taking care of home (cooking, shopping and so on).
With our second baby, we thought that we needed that additional help as we learned from our experience. So my MIL came over and was staying with is for 1 month which was great because she was taking care of home and also looking after our toddler, who was only 2.5 that time. Thank God she stayed with us because unexpectedly I had another EMERGENCY cesarean and birth complications! So I had to remain in the hospital for almost 10 days and I was in peace knowing I have a support at home, DH was with me in the hospital as I needed help, and MIL looking after DS and home.
I was breastfeeding so I was co-osleping with my DD and I didn't need any help with looking after the new baby apart from just someone else holding her for a while so that I can eat or have shower or play with my toddler.
Having said all that, yes, I would strongly advise you to take an offer of that extra help! But I would insist that person would mainly take care of home and not the baby cause the mother knows best how to take care of her baby. Yes, the nanny can show you how to bath the baby or how to change the nappy, or how to position the baby when breastfeeding (or how to bottle feed, prepare formula, and sterilize bottles, if your DW chooses to bottle-feed) but all this will be explained in the hospital by midwives and nurses. You don't need to hire a nanny to show you all this. Just ask the midwives and they will show you.
All the best and good luck with everything.
Er the OPs child would be a toddler by now
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