Overnight care is one of the most popular services a Newborn Care Specialist offers. Overnights can be exhausting with a brand new tiny human in your home, I am here to help new parents through these early weeks, reducing the sleep deprivation that so many new parents feel. But what does an overnight shift look like? What happens when your NCS arrives? Can I hire an overnight NCS if I am breastfeeding? These are just some of the questions I have been asked about overnight services. While every family’s needs are unique, and every position is a bit different, here is a look at an average overnight as a Newborn Care Specialist.
9:00pm: I arrive at your home, ready for an overnight shift with your new little one. We sit down and chat for a few, go through a rundown of the day. We talk about the daytime routine, any troubles that have come up during the day. I am happy to answer any questions you may have or make suggestions for the day ahead. We can work on swaddling techniques, I can help you get comfortable in your new Tula or ring sling, we may even give baby his or her first few baths together.
10:00pm: Time for you to get some sleep! While parents get some much needed rest, I prepare for my night ahead. I check and restock the diapering stations, I fold and put away some of the copious amounts of newborn laundry, I organize pumped breast milk for storage, and I wash, sanitize, and prepare all bottles and pump parts we will need for the overnight hours.
11:00pm: When it is time or your baby’s feeding, I change your little one and get him or her ready to eat. If bottle fed; I feed, burp, re-swaddle, and get back baby down to sleep. For breastfeeding moms, we will have a pre-discussed plan for each feed. For some moms, this means a text to let you know baby is up with a loud alert text tone so mom can join us in the nursery. For some moms, this means I bring your baby to your room for a quick and comfortable feeding in bed. Other moms chose to pump at specific times during the night instead of waking to breastfeed on demand. In this case, you set your alarm and pump at these planned times. I retrieve the milk and pump parts outside your bedroom door, storing the milk and sanitizing the pump parts, having them ready for their next use. There is no one way for overnight feedings to work best, feeding your baby in the way that is most comfortable for parents and baby is the best choice for your family!
We keep each feeding quiet and dark, establishing healthy sleep habits and solid night sleep from day one. After each feeding, you go right back to bed, getting as much sleep as possible during these nighttime hours. I get baby settled and back to sleep. We will follow a great sleep routine, helping your little one to sleep longer stretches of time each night. I stay in the guest room or nursery with baby throughout the night. I will close my eyes and rest while baby rests for remainder of the night, but will be ready to jump up and care for baby if he or she needs me. Having been trained and having years of experience working with newborns with severe reflux, colic, and a myriad of other issues and ailments, I will be up with your little one through any challenges your family may face while you get some much needed sleep, allowing you to be at your best the following day.
5:30am: I wash and sanitize all bottles and pump parts used during the night before getting ready to leave in the morning. I update the log with any notes about diaper changes, feedings, and sleep during the overnight hours. We will have a pre-planned system for our handoff each morning just before 6:00am. For some families, I bring baby into the parents’ room so everyone can continue sleeping until baby’s next feeding time. For some families, I bring the baby monitor to the parents and they listen in while baby continues sleeping in his or her crib. Some parents are ready to wake and start their day at 6:00 and meet for hand off. At 6:00am, I head out and will see you again at 9:00pm.
The most important thing to remember is that a Newborn Care Specialist here for your family and your family’s specific needs! Still have questions? Please reach out, I would love to answer them for you!