‘Baby Night Nurses’ Are Making $800 a Day Working For Rich Families! Is It Worth It?
By: Brittany Hamstra, BSN, RN
There’s a trend in the world of childcare that’s taking wealthy, metropolitan areas by storm: hiring baby night nurses. Highlighted recently in an article by Business Insider, baby night nurses are qualified individuals hired privately by families to take care of newborns through the first 6 to 9 months of life.
Exemplified in the 2018 film Tully starring Charlize Theron, a night nurse can drastically help mothers and families to cope with the stresses of caring for a newborn in the earliest months of life.
So, what exactly does a baby night nurse do?
Don’t let the name fool you, the job entails caring for the newborn around-the-clock, not just during evening hours. Typical roles and responsibilities of baby nurses include feeding, bathing, bedtime routines, diaper changes, dressing, laundry, maintaining the nursery, helping breastfeeding mothers with lactation, and calming a colicky baby. The baby nurse will not only care for the newborn but also teach the new mom and dad parenting techniques. The baby night nurse works throughout the months to get the baby on a schedule, and therefore establishing sleeping patterns that will transition beyond their time of care.
Night Baby Nursing = NightShift?
You might be thinking, caring for a baby full-time seems like more than a typical nursing shift…it is. A typical shift for a baby nurse is actually 22 hours straight. Most baby nurses work 22 hour days, without any days off until the baby is at least 3-4 weeks old. Even then, the nurse may take a few days off, and then start again on a 22-hour daily schedule for another 3-4 weeks, then with a few more days off. This rotation will continue as long as the baby nurse is working for the family, typically until the infant grows to be 6 months old, but in some cases, until 9 months of age.
Working day in and day out for the same family obviously comes with logistical consequences for the nurse – he or she will almost always live at the residence of the family for those months. Each arrangement is a little difference, but usually, the parents who hire the night nurse become like family from spending so many hours together during such a formative time. So, when being hired as a baby nurse, it’s not uncommon to accompany the parents to OBGYN appointments and to be present during labor in the hospital. The baby nurse will help the parents to ready the newborn nursery among other preparations in anticipation of the baby’s birth.
What are the typical qualifications to be a baby nurse?
Baby nurses are typically RNs, LPNs, or nannies. Sought-after candidates will be CPR and first-aid certified, as well as experienced with advanced parenting techniques.
What is the typical salary or pay for baby night nurses?
Nurses are typically staffed through agencies and are paid on a per shift basis. After taxes, baby nurses can expect to make between $600-$700 per day, in some cases up to $800 per day! The rate is adjusted based on a single baby or twins, triplets, etc. A pretty penny to pay, but the majority of families who hire baby nurses are high-profile (celebrities, business moguls, politicians), and often in the wealthiest areas of the US. The cities with the most demand are New York, Miami, Washington DC, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Dallas, and neighborhoods within Greenwich and the Hamptons.
What’s the job application process like?
Most baby nurses go through a third party staffing firm, like Pavillion Agency Inc. based in New York. The potential candidates complete profiles online and upload work experience, resumes, references, etc. The matching service allows families to search and interview candidates of interest. Most interviews are face-to-face since it is so important to find the perfect match for families and nurses. Parents usually start the hiring process as early as the mother’s first trimester of pregnancy. After being hired, the baby nurse will start work through preparation and teaching immediately.
Contemplating if 2 hours of sleep a day is worth it? Let’s review some pros and cons:
Pros - Perks of working for high-profile families like celebrities, professional athletes, and business moguls - Great pay that can average $200,000+ annually and without the expense of renting your own living space while residing with the family - Reward of raising a child and helping a family transition into parenthood
Cons - Crazy hours working: 22 hours/day for weeks at a time with few days off - Sporadic employment in-between assignments, may be stressful to maintain contiguous employment - Not much time for a social/personal life outside of your working hours - Caring for an infant full-time can be stressful!
Still seeing nothing but dollar signs? And the hope of raising the next Blue Ivy? Maybe baby nursing is the next career move for you!