What is a Baby Nurse?
A Baby Nurse is a non-medical professional who comes into the home when the baby comes home from the hospital. They generally assist parents with the day-to-day care of their new baby for a few weeks up to several months. They can provide overnight (10-12 hours), daytime hours, and 24-hour care. A Baby Nurse is experienced/trained and/or has a certification. Many Baby Nurses will have additional certifications like: HHAs, CNAs or LPNs. Most Baby Nurses also have their CPR certification.
Every Baby Nurse is different and has a range of newborn and infant care experience. In general, she will have extensive practical experience with newborns, and current knowledge of accepted practices in newborn care, including lactation support, Infant CPR & First Aid, and knowledge of early childhood development.
Other skills include:
• Will be attentive, focused and alert in caring for the baby
• Can teach you to change diapers, bathe and feed the baby, or do it all for you
• Will communicate to the parents the baby’s daily and/or nightly routines including feeding, sleep and behavior patterns
• Educates and teaches parents to understand their newborn in terms of his or her development and idiosyncrasies
• Assists parents with developing a schedule/routine with the baby
• Makes recommendations if requested
• Will give the baby a sponge and tub bath
• Understands the newborn’s needs and care routines
• Gets up for nighttime feedings while the new mother gets her much needed rest
• Burping techniques
• Lactation support to breastfeeding mothers
• Bottle preparation & cleaning
• Comforting measures such as swaddling & rocking
• Umbilical and circumcision care
• Sleep training
The Baby Nurse is generally not responsible for household duties unrelated to the new baby or for the care of other children in the household. Please discuss your expectations and understand her comfort level regarding additional duties.
Here are some helpful Baby Nurse FAQ’s:
1. What is the typical length of stay for a Baby Nurse?
The duration of the Baby Nurse’s time in your home will be your decision. The position of Baby Nurse is temporary in nature. A typical assignment will range between 2 – 12 weeks, longer for preemies, multiples and special needs infants.
2. Will the Baby Nurse put my baby on a schedule?
The Baby Nurse can put your baby on a schedule if this is something you prefer. However, if you prefer to not work with a schedule, the Baby Nurse will fit into the plan that you want for your baby. When we are in the process matching you with a Baby Nurse, we will discuss the type of Baby Nurse that will be the best match for your family.
3. When I’m using 24-hour care when does the Baby Nurse sleep?
The Baby Nurse will sleep when the baby is sleeping. It is customary that she be allowed a 4-5 hour break per each 24-hour period in which she can decide to sleep or leave the premises.
4. What accommodations are required for the Baby Nurse?
For 24-hour care the Baby Nurse will sleep when the baby is sleeping. It is customary to provide a suitable couch or bed for the Baby Nurse (We advise against using an Air Mattress). It is your choice to have the Baby Nurse sleep in the room with the baby or in a separate living space with a baby monitor. For overnight shifts you can request the Baby Nurse to stay in the baby’s room or you can choose to provide the Baby Nurse with a separate living space with a baby monitor where she can read, work on the computer, or watch TV after her other duties are finished and the baby is sleeping.
5. Am I required to provide the Baby Nurse with meals?
With 24-hour care it is customary to provide the Baby Nurse with food. For overnight care, it is not required, but if you would like, you can have snacks and drinks available for the Baby Nurse or give her permission to bring foods or drinks she likes. Please be sure to discuss all kitchen rules.
6. Can I have the Baby Nurse travel with our family on vacation?
Yes, make sure that is agreed upon prior to hire. All expenses for the Baby Nurse’s food, travel, etc. are the responsibility of the family.
7. How is the Baby Nurse paid?
The family is responsible for paying the Baby Nurse directly at the end of each week based on the amount of hours and the agreed upon salary.
8. Do Baby Nurses work on holidays?
Some Baby Nurses will work on holidays. This needs to be discussed prior to hire.
9. When Baby Nurses work on holidays, do they get paid time and a half?
Yes, the Baby Nurse should be paid time and a half for the following holidays: Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Friday after Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day, Memorial Day and July 4th.
10. Do I need to pay taxes on my Baby Nurse?
For all tax and payroll matters the family should consult their accountant. We can recommend a Payroll provider to speak to and they can guide you through the process via free phone consult.
11. Is tipping the Baby Nurse required?
Tipping your Baby Nurse is customary but not required. Between 10%-15% of the total job assignment is standard.
12. What is the going rate for a Baby Nurse in the Greater New York Area?
The range will vary based on your family’s needs and the Baby Nurse’s experience and salary expectations. These are not set rates, but are reflective of current industry standards. The rate will be determined between the family and the Baby Nurse.
• Overnight Care (10-12 hours): $180-$300-typical hours are 7pm-7am or 10pm-8am.
• 24 hour Care: $200-$375
• Hourly Day Time Care: $15-$35/hour