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If you’re a new or expecting parent in Connecticut, you may be wondering about the cost of hiring a night nurse. A night nurse can be of great benefit for parents who are struggling with sleep deprivation, are looking for support, or are just wanting to learn more about their newborn!
Qualifications of a Night Nurse
In Connecticut, there are several options for newborn care services. It can be confusing for new parents who don’t understand the distinction between different forms of overnight support. We want to spend some time explaining the difference in overnight support, so the cost of a night nurse in Connecticut can be better understood. If you’re just looking for numbers, scroll on down to the bottom!
A True Night Nurse
Someone calling themselves a night nurse should legally be an RN or an LPN; Someone with a medical license. These Night Nurses can provide care for babies with medical needs. They are more likely to provide true awake care to monitor the health and safety of babies that are at a high risk.
This is a higher cost service than most other in-home care options. Nightingales offers RN/LPN support, but typically reserves these team members for our newborns that come home needing medical support.
The Traditional Night Nurse/Baby Nurse
A night nurse or baby nurse is a person hired to take care of an infant. This person may have little to no formal training. They may not be up to speed with AAP guidelines and safe sleep and feeding practices. At the end of your time with them your baby will likely not be sleeping longer stretches. Night nurses are still commonly utilized in New York and bordering Connecticut.
A night nurse might do 24/7 live-in care or 8-12 hour overnights at a lower flat rate than other options. We urge parents to think about their newborn’s safety and their goals for the service. If you are considering a traditional baby nurse, we urge parents to do the following:
- Ask them the hard hitting questions about their background and philosophy.
- Talk to references.
- Get a background check.
- Confirm if they can be paid legally.
Night nurse is a completely unregulated term, but it’s what parents understand as the term for overnight newborn support. We try to be clear when we talk to parents about the distinction between the types of in-home newborn care. For the purposes of being consistent in this article, we will sometimes refer to overnight support as night nurses.
The majority of our team at Nightingales are Newborn Care Specialists or Postpartum Doulas.
Newborn Care Specialist
A newborn care specialist is a trained professional who specializes in the care of a newborn baby from birth to three months old. We require our newborn care specialists to take trainings that are accredited by the NCSA [Newborn Care Specialist Organization.] It’s important to us that all of our team has the same base level of knowledge on all things newborn care.
A newborn care specialist should be up to date on all safe recommendations for newborn care. Some examples of ways parents may benefit from a newborn care specialist:
- A newborn care specialist can help establish a sleep and feeding routine that enables the family to have a workable rhythm during the day, and longer stretches of rest overnight.
- A newborn care specialist may teach parents different soothing techniques to calm a fussy baby.
- A newborn care specialist will educate new parents on all aspects of newborn care and help them feel confident in their ability to care for their own newborn.
- Assist with newborn care, including diapering, bathing, and soothing. [A newborn care specialist is more likely to complete these tasks independently.]
- They are familiar with common newborn issues such as reflux, colic and food intolerances and can offer proven solutions to help.
- A newborn care specialist will often have experience with multiples, premature babies or other specialities.
- They have vast and varied experience with typical newborns, and have the education and training to notice and flag when something may be outside of the norm.
A postpartum doula is a trained professional who provides support to new parents and their families during the postpartum period. [Not to be mistaken with a birth doula, who provides support during labor and delivery.] A postpartum doula offers holistic support to a family and their newborn.
Here are some of the examples that a postpartum doula might do:
- Provide evidenced-based information and support on things such as emotional and physical recovery from birth, breastfeeding and mother-baby bonding
- Help with light housework, fix a meal, and help incorporate an older child.
- Assist with newborn care, including diapering, bathing, and soothing. [A postpartum doula is more likely to complete these tasks with the parents.]
- Help parents get rest and take care of themselves.
- They have vast and varied experiences supporting new families and navigating the challenges that might occur during this transition.
We have laid out the very traditional role of a NCS and a PPD. However, a Newborn Care Specialist and a Postpartum Doula have a lot of overlap! We prefer our team to have qualities of both to support the dynamic needs of new families. Whoever we match families with is based on the best fit of experience, training, personality, location and schedule to perfectly line up with the goals, preferences and expectations of the family that they are matched with.
We are more likely to provide “postpartum doula care” on daytime shifts and “newborn care specialist care” on overnight shifts.
Agency VS Individual Night Nurse
Another thing to consider is whether you are hiring your Connecticut overnight support through an agency or individually.
With an individual, the price may be lower- but the parent has to do the leg work in vetting the individual to make sure that they are safe and qualified. There is also no back up option if the night nurse is sick, injured or double-books themselves. An individual may not have a clear contract or may not have the capabilities to handle unique issues that may arise.
A quality agency that represents newborn care specialists, postpartum doulas, and/or RNS and LPNS should be verifying qualified trainings, doing multiple reference checks and performing an extensive background check. As well as requiring their team to stay up to date on CPR certifications, liability insurance and the most up to date AAP guidelines.
Recap of Night Nurse Cost in Connecticut from lowest to highest
- Traditional night nurse/baby nurse. [May be a flat rate/lower cost]
- Independent Newborn care specialist/postpartum doula.
- Agency Newborn care specialist/postpartum doula.
Final answer, the cost can vary depending on a variety of factors. We’ve heard of some NY baby nurses that charge $400 to live-in, and there are some individuals/agencies out there that charge $60 an hour. RNs can charge even $100 an hour for specialized care. At Nightingales we try to balance paying our team a livable rate, with also respecting the investment from new families and staying comparable to the local market. Please feel free to contact us if you are interested in learning about our most recent rates.