by Denise Stern, CEO of Let Mommy Sleep
Denise Stern is a mom of 3 and the CEO of the world’s most ironically named business, Let Mommy Sleep. Her team of night nannies and nurses have been helping newborns and their families since 2010.
What Questions to Ask a Night Nanny or Newborn Care Provider
Newborns and infants have specific needs. These needs are different than older kids, so it can be hard to know what questions to ask when considering a nanny for the first time.
So, whether you’re a first time parent wanting newborn care education, you’re hiring a night nanny or postpartum help, or you’re in need of daytime support, these questions will help you decide which candidate is the best caregiver for your new baby.
Do you have your COVID19 and other updated vaccinations?
Babies have naturally immature immune systems. So, babies cannot receive vaccinations before 6 months of age. This means they’re especially vulnerable to illnesses and the flu. Though it’s rare, complications from contracting COVID19 can also occur. For these reasons, nannies caring for babies under 6 months should have documented immunizations and boosters.
Here is the list of vaccines and boosters recommended for those in close contact with newborns and infants:
- TDaP (Tetanus, Diphtheria and Pertussis, also known as Whooping Cough) f
- Hepatitis B
- MMR (Measles, Mumps and Rubella)
Infant caregivers should also practice good hygiene with proper handwashing, continuous sanitizing and hair pulled back.
How can you help with feeding baby?
Feeding is one of your baby’s main activities in the early months, so it’s important that you feel supported in breast or bottle feeding by a newborn care provider who can assist with either option (or both!).
If breastfeeding is a priority, a nanny who is comfortable supporting you through potential challenges and understands how to clean and sterilize the breast pump and store pumped milk will be a huge help. If you’re formula feeding, the provider should understand safe formula prep and storage, and how much formula to give at each feeding.
Infant feeding support options are a great conversation to have before care begins to be sure you’re all on the same page, and that parents aren’t feeling pressured either way. Remember that while your postpartum support person may be very experienced, you are the expert on what’s best for your family.
What kind of experience do you have?
This is a question you already know to ask of course but digging a little deeper into the answers can be helpful. For example, the newborn nanny may be certified in CPR but it’s important that they’ve successfully completed the Infant First Aid/CPR Certification as this class addresses choking, safety and CPR techniques specific to infants.
Ask nanny candidates to share examples of challenging or memorable times they had caring for babies. This will help you learn more about their knowledge and style.
What’s your approach to sleeping through the night?
Is getting baby on a schedule and sleeping through the night important to you? Or is a baby-led approach to sleep and routine a better fit for your family?
Choosing a nanny who understands and supports your philosophy means consistency of care for baby and a calm partnership in the home. At the same time, a caregiver who can provide tips from all over the baby care spectrum is helpful as babies needs might change as they get older.
These questions will help you get to know your applicants. You can also use background checks, references and your gut instinct as a part of the interview process. Good luck finding the perfect newborn nanny for your family!