How can a night nanny help?
A night nanny can help with a wide range of tasks related to the care of your baby overnight. These include:
Soothing your baby to sleep
Establishing an effective sleep routine
Sterilising and preparing bottles
Washing and dressing the baby in the morning
If you are breast feeding, your night nanny will bring the baby to you and settle them again afterwards, minimising the disruption to your own sleep. They can also offer advice if you are struggling with breast feeding.
Based on their extensive experience, a night nanny can also offer helpful advice on coping with post natal depression, as well a wide range of other child related issues.
When does a night nanny work?
A night nanny will usually arrive around 9pm and stay until around 7am. However, you can negotiate your own hours to suit your schedule, along with occasional extensions when you want to treat yourself to a lie in.
You can arrange night nanny services for as many or as few nights as you need, from one night a week to all seven. Many people find alternate nights give them the balance between hands on care and getting the sleep they need.
Where can I find a night nanny?
Most people find their night nanny through an agency, however, you may find that friends can recommend someone and save you the extra fee.
The advantage of using an agency is that they will do all the background checks and verification of qualifications and references for you, providing you with an experienced night nanny that you know you can trust.
If you are sourcing your own night nanny, you should make sure that they have an appropriate qualification, such as NNEB, NVQ Level 3 or BTec, or be a registered Paediatric nurse. They should also hold a current certificate in paediatric first aid and preferably have experience in the field with references you can check on. A Criminal Records Bureau check is also essential.
Whether you are using an agency or sourcing your night nanny yourself, perhaps the most important factor is how you feel about the candidate. If you do not have faith and trust in your night nanny, you probably won’t sleep much anyway.
What will a night nanny cost?
Fees will vary from region to region, with popular services in central London carrying a premium. However, you should expect to pay between £80 and £100 per night for the service, plus an additional fee if you have sourced your night nanny through an agency.
So should you hire a night nanny?
As discussed above, there are many advantages to hiring a night nanny, and if you can afford it, it makes sense to take advantage of the service. Asking for help does not make you a neglectful parent. If anything, a good night’s sleep will enable you to give your baby much more attention and a better quality of care through the day than you ever would after being up all night.
Profile of the author
Dr Kathryn Senior is an acclaimed medical journalist who has written over 500 feature articles for leading international journals within The Lancet group. As Senior Writer at Freelance Copy she produces high quality scientific and medical content for websites and printed publications for companies and organisations in the health, medical and pharmaceutical sectors.