When I found out I was having twins, I was on a mission to seek out advice from other moms of twins. Enter Charlotte Mothers of Multiples. This wonderful support organization directed me to a night “nurse” (nurse is a very loose term in this industry – most of them are not RN’s). Actually in the beginning, I didn’t think I needed a night nurse at all. I was focused on day help and was convinced that I didn’t need anyone at night. Or so I thought!
So what is a night nurse? They are not much different than a nanny, except they come in at night. Their shift starts at 10pm and ends at 6am. They feed your baby(s), change diapers, swaddle and put them to sleep. They try to encourage a consistent nighttime routine so you can get a head start at getting your child to sleep through the night and you can get a good night’s sleep. They introduced me to the importance of swaddling. I never did that much with my first two since they were born in the summertime. But let me tell you, I’m a believer now and forever! As soon as we swaddled those twins, I mean really swaddled them (yes, there is a special technique!), I could see my babies almost sigh in contentment. It was such an obvious change. Not to mention, their sleeping patterns improved drastically.
I had never really considered hiring a night nurse prior to the twins pregnancy because I always breastfeed my babies and didn’t think it was worth the extra $ when I already had to get up and feed the baby. But when I was having two, I was told time after time, “you absolutely need a night nurse!” Of course I didn’t listen until it was almost too late. Story of my life! Don’t think you need to have twins to enjoy the benefits of a night nurse and a night of sleep every once in a while. I’ve heard of more and more mothers of singletons (that’s twins language for “one baby, not two!”) hiring night nurses, even when they are breastfeeding. You just can’t put a dollar amount to 5 hours of sleep in a row! So I didn’t start my night nurse search until I came home from the hospital the second time (twins had jaundice) so they were a week or so old. My whole family was sick with the flu or some random fever virus. Actually, my husband had to leave the hospital the night I gave birth to the twins because he had a fever of 104. That is a whole separate story – let’s just say, lucky for me I have great girlfriends:-) So after interviewing two different baby nurse companies (there were only two that I knew of), I was thinking that I wasn’t sure I liked any of the candidates who walked through my door. In fact, I was pretty certain I had recently seen one of them on America’s Most Wanted – again, I’m going off on a random tangent that we could definitely discuss over a bottle of wine! But in walked Jeannette Gregory, founder of Grandma’s Porch, and I truly believe she was my guardian angel sent from above.
Looking back, I think Jeannette had a certain glow about her, a sense of calmness and poise and my whole family immediately took to her. When you get that feeling, then this is the person you hire on the spot! We were her first case but she had a list of references that were incredible. She is a published author, publisher, runs Grandma’s Porch which now takes on night sitting cases, she has been on News 14 Carolinas because she is such an accomplished author. The list goes on. I mean, it just doesn’t get any better than this! Thanks to Jeannette, my twins were sleeping through the night (10p-6a) at 5 1/2 weeks. My girls never slept that long and that early on in their lives and probably still don’t!
If you’re looking for night time help, I would obviously highly recommend Jeannette and crew. You can also try to find nursing students at the local colleges. They are often looking to pick up hours and they are medically trained. But let me give you one very important piece of advice. No matter who you hire and no matter who recommends this person, make sure you always check references and most importantly, conduct a criminal background check through the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department. It will be the best $25 you’ll ever spend.
Have you ever used a night nurse? Do you have any recommendations to share?