IS A MATERNITY NURSE OR NIGHT NANNY RIGHT FOR YOU AND YOUR FAMILY?

Pretty much any parent! A maternity nurse or night nanny is there to support your family both emotionally and practically during the first few months of bringing a newborn home.  Not all families have the benefit of close family to help and so an expert in the field can be an invaluable pillar of support. A maternity nurse or night nanny can be of great benefit to the following families:

 

  • Labour has been complicated or long, so mum (and dad) need extra rest
  • Baby was delivered through c-section
  • In the case of twins or triplets
  • Families with existing children who need an extra pair of hands
  • Where one or both parents work nights
  • When one or both parents travel (for work or otherwise)
  • When baby has some health issues such as colic or reflux
  • If one or both parents need to get sufficient rest for work
  • Where establishing a routine as early as possible is important
  • When family support isn’t close by
  • Where mum needs to return to work quickly
  • If mum is struggling with breastfeeding
  • When parents are so tired that they can hardly enjoy their baby (and each other)

Maternity nurses and night nannies are trained specifically to care for new born babies and mums, and can help families learn how to care for their new arrival and establish routines and feeding schedules that fit your family dynamic. A maternity nurse or night nanny can also help teach your baby how to sleep through the night which is a challenge faced by most parents. But please be realistic, most babies won’t sleep through the night for several weeks or even months after they are born. With the help of a maternity nurse or night nanny, they will accomplish this important milestone much faster though.

THE BENEFITS OF HIRING A MATERNITY NURSE OR NIGHT NANNY

Yes. Maternity nurses and night nannies aren’t meant to benefit just the parents, but also the babies. In fact, your baby can benefit tremendously, as they can aid their healthy development and teach them good (sleeping) habit for life:

 

  • Your baby will be sleeping better and longer. As a result, your baby will be stronger and healthier. Sleep is the second most important factor for baby development, after food, but is often neglected.

 

  • Your baby will be in a better routine. Like adults, babies benefit from a predictable schedule. (Note: The exact routine, should match the family needs and preferences. Maternity nurses and night nannies can easily adjust the routine so that it works for the parents and the babies.)

 

  • Due to better rest and better routine, your baby will be in a better mood during the days, more active and happier.

 

  • You baby will feed fewer times a night. Night nannies and maternity nurses can read baby cues much better than parents. More often than not, babies wake up because they have a tummy pain or simply because they don’t know how to fall back asleep. When this is the case, a night nanny or maternity nurse can resettle baby back to sleep.

 

  • Your baby will learn how to self-settle to fall asleep on their own, not needing much comforting or a sleep aid. Babies actually need to be taught how to sleep; night nannies and maternity nurses can teach them this important skill.

The main benefit of hiring a maternity nurse or night nanny is the ability for mum (and dad) to rest and recuperate after the birth, as well as to teach them how to take care of their newborn baby, especially if they are first time parents. Specifically:

 

  • You will gain confidence as a parent!

 

  • You will be waking up feeling refreshed and energetic.

 

  • More rested and relaxed, you will be enjoying time with your baby much more.

 

  • You will have more quality time for the rest of the family, work or social commitments.

 

  • You will be assured that your baby is getting enough quality sleep which is so important for their development.

 

  • Your immune system will be stronger, and hence your baby’s if you’re breastfeeding.

 

  • If you’re breastfeeding, your milk supply will improve. The more you rest, the more (quality) milk your body can produce.

 

Additionally, your maternity nurse or night nanny can also keep everything related to your baby clean, tidy, and washed, and also assist with preparing feeds and sterilising equipment, allowing mum to spend quality time with her baby or resting. She can typically also provide one-on-one support with breast-feeding.

 

WHO ARE MATERNITY NURSES AND NIGHT NANNIES?

A maternity nurse will build your confidence as parents. Also called a post-natal carer or baby nurse, maternity nurses are childcare professionals who are specialised in helping parents with their newborns or young babies.

 

It can be a wonderful yet overwhelming time settling into a routine with a new baby. A maternity nurse will listen to your requirements and provide you with a bespoke service aimed at supporting you and your newborn at a time when you need help most. Maternity nurses have a wealth of experience to offer, and can help with feeding (either breastfeeding or bottle feeding), bathing, changing and settling the baby, and taking care of the baby’s laundry and nursery.

 

A full-time maternity nurse works on a 24-hour basis and lives with you. If you don’t wish to have someone living in your home, but still want support with your newborn, a daily maternity nurse is the ideal solution. A daily maternity nurse typically works 12 hours day (or as you agree).

 

The terms maternity nanny and maternity nurse are more or less interchangeable. However, sometimes a maternity nanny designation will be used to designate a less experienced or newly qualifies maternity nurse.

 

A night nanny or a night nurse is a childcare professional who is specialised in helping parents with newborn and young babies during the nights. Nothing prepares parents for the incredible fatigue and drop in energy following lack of sleep. However hiring a night nanny may be the answer – not just as a short-term fix, but also a longer-term investment in family well-being.

A maternity nurse provides support on an almost 24-hour basis (with some time during the day to rest) and is there to help establish routines and enable mum to rest and recuperate.

 

A night nanny provides support from evening until morning and enables parents to rest while teaching baby good sleeping habits. If you’re breast-feeding, your night nanny can bring baby to mum for a feed and then settle the baby back to sleep.

 

Often, first time-parents will hire a maternity nurse, and for any later babies, they will hire a night nanny.

Typically not, as their primary responsibility is your baby. However they will make sure that any other child(ren) feel included, as well as bond with their younger siblings.

Typically not, as their primary responsibility is your baby. They may however run an occasional errand (e.g. pick up staples while out with the baby) and they will of course clean up after themselves.

Typically not, as their primary responsibility is your baby. However, especially if mum is breastfeeding, they may prepare some toast and tea for mum while she is feeding.

HOW DO MATERNITY NURSES AND NIGHT NANNIES WORK?

Typically, maternity nurses work on a 24-hour basis, 4-6 days a week. They are considered full-time maternity nurses and are therefore a “live-in”. A daily maternity nurse will work during the day only, typically 12 hours a day, or as agreed with you.

It’s only human to need a little bit of break when working with newborns and young babies. Typically, full-time maternity nurses will need a couple of hours a day for themselves. It’s up to you how you structure and agree their break. For example, they could take a break while the baby is sleeping, while you are breastfeeding, when you go out for a stroll, or have family and friends come visit you.

Typically, night nannies work from 9pm to 7am. However, you can agree a later start, and possibly an earlier or later finish. Eight hours it often the minimum they will do a night.

TIMING OF HIRING A MATERNITY NURSE OR NIGHT NANNY

For the peace of mind, a lot of parents start the process during the pregnancy, typically after the first trimester. We have many clients who book toward the end of their pregnancy, as well as those who book after birth.  

Absolutely. We do our best to match you with exactly the right person, whether you’re hiring months in advance, or for tonight! (It goes without saying though, that there will likely be fewer candidates to choose from if you’re looking for help on a short notice.)

We sure do. If you fall sick or for any other reason you need help asap, we will do everything in our power to get you the help you need, as quickly as possible. We’ve had several successful placements with just a few-hour notice.  

It depends! Some parents know they will need help for longer, so they book them for several months, up to when their baby turns six months (at which point they hope baby will sleep through the night), and some will book them for the full first year. At the same time, we have many clients who book just for a few weeks, which is absolutely fine. On average, parents from maternity nurses for 4-10 weeks, and night nannies for the first three months, or after they’ve already had a maternity nurse.  

Maternity nurses typically work 4-6 days and nights a week. If they live nearby, they may be more flexible and may agree to fewer days / nights a week. It is rare for them to work 7 days a week, but that too can be arranged. If you need coverage around the clock, we suggest hiring two maternity nurses, one for weekdays and one for weekends. 

It’s really up to you. Some parents do one to two nights a week, so they can catch up on sleep. If you’d like your baby to get into a good sleeping routine, we suggest doing four to six nights a week, for the first three to four months. Some night nannies will work seven nights a week, often however they will do up to six nights a week. Whenever possible, we suggest you book a block of nights (i.e. consecutive nights) as it helps babies recognise and internalise new sleeping patterns. 

As soon as possible, really. The earlier you start, the sooner you can teach your baby good habits, and the more you will benefit from help. That said, you can hire them at any point later too as we know parenting is hard, and sleep deprivation can accumulate!

THE LOGISTICS OF HAVING A MATERNITY NURSE OR NIGHT NANNY IN YOUR HOME

Maternity nurses are typically ‘live-in’ and will normally need a separate room and a bathroom (that can be shared with the family if needed). Often, they stay in baby’s nursery, your guest room, or an office with a comfortable sofa. Depending on how far away they live, they may go home on their days off.

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They need a bed, or a comfortable sofa, typically in the same room as your baby. If space is tight, they can also be accommodated in your living room.

Your baby can be with you as much as you want! We recommend, however, that your baby sleeps in their nursery, which is often where maternity nurse / night nanny will sleep as well. When babies sleep in their parents’ bedrooms, the benefit of having a maternity nurse or night nanny is much smaller. That said, if you have any concerns, your nurse can talk your through various other options.

You should typically provide food for your maternity nurse as she will be living with you.

Maternity nurses are happy to do their own laundry themselves, but will appreciate using your laundry room. If they live nearby, or go home for a day or two a week, they will often do laundry at home.   

WHAT SHOULD I DO BEFORE A NIGHT NANNY OR MATERNITY NURSE STARTS WORKING FOR US?

1) Duration: how many weeks do you need them for (for example, 3 months)

2) Days / nights of work: maternity nurses typically work on a 24/6 or 24/5 basis, which means they get one or two days / nights a week off (for example, Sundays including nights is when the nurse is not on duty)

3) Breaks: maternity nurse will need a couple of hours off every day and you should agree which times suit you both

4) Type of feeding: do you plan to breastfeed, formula feed or bottle feed expressed milk

5) Approach to routine: would you like to keep you baby on a strict routine, flexible routine or follow the baby’s lead

6) Any other specifics: does your baby have any special needs or conditions; do you intend to go out while the nurse look after the baby and similar

7) What would you like to get out of their help: are you looking to get more rest, get your baby into a (better) routine, or want them to teach you something specifically

WORKING WITH NIGHT NANNIES AND MATERNITY NURSES WHILE BREASTFEEDING

Whether you opt for breastfeeding or bottle feeding, a maternity nurse will support your choices. Breastfeeding mums can benefit tremendously from hiring a night nanny or maternity nurse. First, it's incredibly important to get a good rest especially for mothers who are nursing, so that their bodies can produce enough milk for their babies. Second, a well rested mum (or at least, a less tired mum!) will have a better time looking after her baby and enjoying precious time with her. Finally, night nannies and maternity nurses can often help troubleshooting breastfeeding challenges.

Absolutely. Night nannies and maternity nurses are trained to support mothers with any feeding choice they make. 

 

There are several arrangements you could agree:

 

1) Your night nanny or maternity nurse will bring your baby to you whenever they are due for a feed. The big benefit of a night nannies and maternity nurses is that they will settle the baby afterwards, which often can take as long as the feed, while you can tuck in and relax until the next feed. Perhaps even more importantly, night nannies and maternity nurses are trained to differentiate between true hunger and any other reason that may wake a baby. And if your baby needs just a bit of soothing, or to pass gas, you won't even know it.

 

2) You can express milk beforehand (or during the night), and they will feed the baby your milk with a bottle. What's really nice about this arrangement is that you may not even have to wake up during the night, or if you do have to express during the night (for example when you baby is still relatively young and your body produces a considerable amount of milk during the night) – the time awake for you will typically be shorter and/or less frequent than if the baby was feeding from your breast. That's because babies are naturally sleepier during the nights, and only take so much milk to take the hunger off, leading to frequent feedings at nights. Whereas with a bottle, your night nurse will make sure the baby takes as much as needed given their weight and age. Most night nannies and maternity nurses will be happy to help with washing up and tidying up your pumping equipment and bottles.

 

3) You can use formula milk during the nights. Many mothers opt for the combination of breastfeeding during the days and formula feeding during the nights. Not only that allows them a good and uninterrupted rest, but also makes it much easier to involve fathers and other members of the family, who can help with night feeds when a night nanny or maternity nurses is not around. 

 

4) Eventually, your baby won't need to feed during the night at all. They may still wake up, but night nannies and maternity nurses know when they are not hungry and can soothe them back into sleep without any milk. 

myTAMARIN CHILDCARE MATCHMAKING

Just to clarify, this is not romantic matchmaking! However, you’re about the form a very special relationship with someone who will look after your pride and joy, and spend considerable amount of time in your home. Hence, it’s really important that you match with your maternity nurse or night nanny.

Because every parent and every baby deserve the support that is exactly right for them. We’ve given this a lot of thought, spent months researching the most important elements for newborn childcare matchmaking, tested various types of assessment with both parents and nurses, and developed our special matchmaking algorithm. Bottom line is, our parents and our nurses are much happier! 

In short, based on your parenting style. We’ve identified the most important elements of newborn childcare matchmaking, and we ask both parents (typically mums) and nurses to share their views and preferences on those important elements. For example, their views on baby routines and baby feeding, and also whether they are more chatty or prefer their own peace and quiet. Overall, it’s quite comprehensive!    

Parents are invited to take our matchmaking survey, which will only take 20 minutes, and we promise you will have some fun doing it! Every maternity nurse and night nanny also goes through a similar survey, and we also have feedback from previous clients, so we know them really well. Based on your parenting style, preferences, values and beliefs we then match you with a maternity nurse or night nanny that best matches your parenting style, preferences and personality. Typically, we suggest one to three nurses for whom we are confident will work well for you. You then talk to them to confirm you’re happy with them. (And we promise, you will be!)

We recognise that on a rare occasion the matching won’t work out, for whatever reason. If you’re not happy with nurses that we initially suggest, we’re happy to suggest more candidates for you. Also, if you think you’ve found your match but you later realise it’s not working, you can always get back to us and we’ll reassess, and find new candidates if needed.   

It’s simple – happier parents, happier babies and happier nurses.

It’s completely free! You only pay our fees after you’ve determined a good match has been made and only for as long as you it works. Read more about our fees in the pricing section.

That’s fine! In which case, just give us a call or email us, and we’ll find the right maternity nurse or night nanny for you in a more traditional way.

At the moment yes, but let us know if you’re after other types of childcare as we may be able to help. 

No. And that is the reason why we started myTamarin. Other agencies typically suggest candidates based on impersonal criteria only, e.g. availability and geographic proximity, completely ignoring how delicate and intimate is the relationship between parents and their maternity nurse or night nanny. As a result, our placements are much more successful and happier for everyone involved – parents, nurses and babies!

myTAMARIN NIGHT NANNIES AND MATERNITY NURSES

We are very selective and have very high standards that night nannies and maternity nurses have to pass. Based on our experience, those who are the best in their profession are repeatedly and continuously recommended by their clients. So we find our maternity nurses and night nannies through word of mouth. We only take recommendations from parents we know or otherwise trust, so we can be certain their recommendations are genuine.

All our maternity nurses and night nannies are experienced with newborn babies. Most will have qualifications such as the MNT or NEST certificates. Often they will have other nanny, nursing or midwifery qualifications as well. Some of our more experienced maternity nurses and night nannies come with no formal qualifications but have additional childcare experience to offer, often first-hand as mums and grandmothers. We also have paediatric nurses, neonatal nurses, community midwives, health visitors and hospital based midwives who work through us as maternity nurses and night nannies.

All candidates will have a paediatric first aid certificate and a DBS disclosure. In addition, we religiously vet all their references and continuously check with our clients the quality of their service. Only the best stay on our team.  

We started out in Hampstead, London, and soon expanded throughout the greater London area. Importantly, there are no geographic restriction either for parents or night nannies. As long as parents are within maternity nurse or night nanny’s commute, they can make a booking. If you’re outside the London area, give us a ring or drop as a line as we may still be able to help you, depending on your specific location.

PRICING AND PAYMENTS

The total cost consist of what you pay to your maternity nurse or night nanny, and a small fee charged by myTamarin.

Maternity nurses usually charge between £160 – £220 per 24 hours gross (for singles) and more for twins or triplets. Daily maternity nurses typically charge £12-£15 gross per hour for single babies, and more for twins and triplets.

Night nannies charge £12-15 gross per hour for singles, and more for twins and triplets.

You pay them directly. Usually, they will request payments on a weekly basis, or daily if you book for them for occasional day/night only. Sometimes they ask for a week-worth deposit to secure the booking.

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Not necessarily. First of all, maternity nurses and night nannies sometimes change their own rates through the year, depending on how much they want to work. Secondly, and more importantly, we only match you with those maternity nurses and night nannies that would be a good match for you and your family, based on your parenting style and preferences, and their working style and experience. Our promise is that every placement is done so that you get the best possible support for you and your family.

It means this is the total cost to you. Full-time nanny rates are often expressed on a net basis, which means their employer has to pay taxes and national insurance on top of that rate. Maternity nurses and night nannies are self-employed though, and hence responsible for their own taxes and other contributions.

We have a very simple fee structure. We charge 5% on top of what you pay to your night nanny or maternity nurse. Agencies charge at least twice as much by charging you £100+ a week or £20+ a day/night.

 

Also, our match assessment is completely free with no strings attached, and we have no sign-up fee, no upfront fees, no subscription fees, no hidden fees.

We invoice you twice a month. Unlike other agencies we don’t charge you upfront, you only pay after the service and value have been delivered to you. Importantly, if you change your mind, we won’t charge you for any “unused” weeks or days, which is what other agencies do.