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One of the many services Motherhood Center is known for are our night nannies. In fact, Motherhood Center is the number one agency for night nannies, baby doulas, nannies, and babysitters. We often get questions about our night nannies and the service we offer, so we interviewed the head of our night nanny department and asked her some questions for those of you who aren’t familiar with this service.

Night Nanny Q&A

What exactly is a ​night nanny​ and what are the qualifications? What are the differences between a night nanny, baby doula, postpartum doula, night nurse, overnight nurse and newborn care specialist?

A night nanny is a person that comes into your home to be the extra support you need to take care of your baby. A night nanny should be non-judgmental, patient, caring, and knowledgeable about newborn care. ​ ​There are many synonymous terms for night nannies, but Motherhood Center provides high-quality care for families and their babies, regardless of the term used.

If you would like to learn the differences in caregiver terms, please take a look at our dictionary of caregivers.

Is there a typical family that hires a night nanny? For example, double-income families, SAHMS, single parents, C-section moms, parents of preemies, multiples, or special needs babies? ​

We have clients from all walks of life. Some clients plan ahead of time knowing they would like help. It may be that this is their second child and they learned from the first time around. There is no stereotypical family that hires a night nanny.  Double-income households, single parents, and parents with no family support nearby have called upon us for support. We often have received last-minute calls from parents that need guidance on the care of their premature baby, or after mom has had an unplanned c-section and needs extra physical support to recover. Many of our clients are first-time parents who are simply overwhelmed, need guidance, and extra sleep.

What might a 24-hour period look like for a new mom who has hired a night nanny? Are there set hours? And who sets those hours?

A mom who has hired a night nanny will wake up well rested and have time to prepare herself for the day.  She will be able to continue a family routine smoothly because both mom and baby have rested during the night. We listen to our clients’ needs as they may vary from one week to another. We can arrange 24-hour coverage, strictly day or nighttime shifts, or a combination of both. We are stepping in to assist with whatever is needed. Educating mom, allowing her to rest, showing her how to bathe the baby, helping with breastfeeding, creating a sleep routine, or making meals for mom. Truly, each day can be very different based on what is needed.

When do most new parents bring in a night nanny? When the baby comes home? Prior to the mom returning to work? And how long does the night nanny stay with the family?

Most families decide to bring in a night nanny once mom and baby are back home. A night nanny can stay with the family anywhere from 2-12weeks or even during the time mom goes back to work.

What should a new mom look for in a night nanny in terms of personal characteristics, experience, and professional qualifications?

It is important for parents to feel compatible with their caregiver. A new mom should look for a night nanny that listens and understands her family expectations and goals. Parents should observe how the caregiver interacts with the baby and communicates with them. A night nanny should have knowledge of proper infant care, a CPR certification, and have the initiative to continue with further education to ensure she is up to date with recommended techniques.

Let’s discuss some main areas of newborn care and new motherhood a night nanny can help with — overnight care, household help, education and training, and emotional and physical nurturing.

Overnight care —The primary task for night nannies is to make sure parents and baby are getting much needed sleep. Waking every 2-3 hours is tiresome, and a night nanny is there to ease the process. A night nanny can help a new mom by making sure baby’s diaper is changed, complete any baby-related tasks, bring baby to mom when baby needs to be fed, or she can handle the feedings to allow mom extra rest. When parents and baby are well rested, the parents will have the energy to bond with their baby during the day.

Household help — A caregiver should always be productive and proactive. There is always something to do while baby and mom are napping​. ​For example, baby laundry, reorganizing, tidying up the kitchen, running errands, washing bottles or pump attachments, or making mom a snack. Our night nannies always try to go the extra mile for our families to ease the stress of light household chores.

Education and training — Motherhood can have a steep learning curve. A night nanny is a source of educational guidance. They are knowledgeable in various breastfeeding and bottle-feeding techniques. They are there to demonstrate swaddling styles, how to clean/bathe baby, as well as providing an outline on how to establish a good nighttime routine.

Emotional & physical support — A night nanny can offer emotional and physical support with things like postpartum depression and anxiety, C-section care, postpartum health, and sleep deprivation. A night nanny’s physical support can range from simply changing a diaper to letting mom rest or taking care of the baby so mom can have time to get ready for the day. Recovering after a birth (c-section/induced/natural) is as crucial as getting baby adjusted to their new home. Night nannies also provide emotional support by listening to mom as she speaks about her concerns and her activity during the day. Night nannies can also be one of the first to spot the signs of postpartum depression or anxiety. She is there to suggest resources that can help mom through this time period.

Let’s talk a little bit about the night nanny services at Motherhood Center.

Motherhood Center prides itself on having wonderful and nurturing caregivers. We always try to be as flexible as possible regarding our clients’ needs. Whenever they need daytime or nighttime help, we are there to assist in educating as well as providing emotional and physical support. We adjust our services based on what each family needs. We offer eight hours of minimum care during the night and six hours minimum care during the day with no minimum nights of the week. Our approach is to provide unbiased and non-judgmental, nurturing support for the whole family. We have provided exceptional care to thousands of Houston families based on their individual needs.

If you are looking for a night nanny and would like to speak further, please give us a call at 713-963-8880 or visit us online at