Having a baby, by all accounts, is the most rewarding, most exhilarating, and most exhausting experience of parents’ lives.
We’re all aware how “sleeping babies make happy babies”, but what about the parents? Between the feeds and the nappy changes and the trying-to-will your-child-to-finally-fall-asleep-at-4am, mum and dad don’t have it easy. And this sleepless routine takes its toll.
So that’s where night nurses come in. Not just glorified babysitters, these women are vetted, qualified health care professionals who have a wealth of experience and can give advice and even a shoulder to cry on when things get too much. What’s more, their experience in establishing a sleep routine for the baby could provide game-changing to any parents experience difficulty in this regard.
But night nurses are not cheap, which is why the luxury of having one is out of the question for so many parents. As a result, a growing trend involves friends pooling in together to pay for the service, which makes for a really thoughtful idea.
Even if the contribution is enough for only one night of sleep and support, this service will usually be welcomed with arms wide open (if mum and dad have the energy to raise their arms, that is).
Basic roles of a night nurse
- The nurse arrives in the evening – they will get an update on baby’s day, answer any questions parents may have or give advice if needed.
- The baby is then left in the nurse’s care for the night, the role includes: bottle feeds (or if the mother is breastfeeding then the maternity nurse can wind and settle baby after the feed), nappy changes, and can prepare feeds for the following day.
- The nurse will then sit up reading a book for the night while baby sleeps and whenever baby wakes up, they take care of the baby.
- In the morning the night nurse hands the baby back to the refreshed and replenished parents.
- Night/Day cover is usually around €18/hr for single babies or €22/hr for multiple births.
- There can also be a registration and placement fee, depending on the agency.
- 24hr cover up to 6 days per week could range in around €275 – €300 gross per 24 hours.
- Contracts usually last between 3–12 weeks’ duration
- Maternity Nurses are available from 1–6 nights per week
- Advance booking is advisable