Sleep is such a necessity to maintaining our mental health, that sometimes it DOES make sense to bring in some professional support in the early days, especially if you don’t have local support that can help you overnight.
Carole was the perfect person to talk to about this because she is a board-certified lactation consultant, parent educator, and registered nurse. She worked at the bedside with postpartum mamas after they gave birth, and when she continuously heard them say “I wish I could bring you home with me!” her idea to start Boston Baby Nurse and Nanny was born!
In this episode, you’ll learn about what a newborn care specialist is, what overnight newborn services are like, and how they can support you in getting more sleep and helping your baby establish good sleep foundations – even if you plan to breastfeed.
We also talk about newborn care and sleep tips in general, so there is something for everyone in here!
Here’s a little bit from our conversation:
Who are newborn care services for? (7:59)
Babies bring so much joy into our lives, but the first few weeks at home can be stressful. An overnight newborn care specialist can help parents, especially new moms, navigate those early weeks with their newborn.
Carole explains that there are many benefits from hiring help for overnight, but the biggest one is allowing parents to catch up on sleep. She believes (as do I!) that sleep is not a luxury but a necessity that parents need in order to function and be the best parent possible.
She talks about how a lot of moms will call them and arrange for help who are at-risk for perinatal mood disorders, or when mama is diagnosed with PPD or PPA. Sleep deprivation does increase our risk for these challenges, and sleep deprivation and mood disorders often go hand in hand! So support in your overnight parenting can help SO much.
Related: Newborn Sleep Tips to Try Tonight!
Is having an overnight newborn care specialist breastfeeding-friendly? (12:00)
I know that this HAS to be a common question for moms that are considering hiring overnight help (or even just asking a loved one to help overnight!) because a lot of us feel like, if we have to feed baby anyway, what’s the point?
Carole was the perfect person to ask about this because she is a certified lactation consultant, and totally understands this mindset – it’s a question her company gets asked all the time! And the short of it is that a well-trained overnight newborn specialist WILL help you get more sleep while still breastfeeding baby overnight.
Here’s a bit of her answer,
“If breastfeeding is the goal, then we will do everything we can to provide support to the mother. And one of the things that makes Boston Baby Nurse a little bit different is that I created a training platform based on IBCLC standards.
The nice thing about having the overnight support is that the newborn care expert will come in, and the only thing mom has to do is give us access to your breast. That’s it! And like you can be half asleep, we dim the lights and that’s all you have to do. And then we just make sure she goes back to bed and then the newborn person does everything else.”
When you tune in you’ll hear her talk more about the way a newborn specialist can help lay healthy sleep foundations and encourage longer stretches of sleep in breastfed babies!
If I have multiples, would you recommend overnight services? (18:00)
Carole talks about how parents of multiples absolutely LOVE having overnight support, and that she highly recommends it if you have twins or triplets (or more!). They have many twin parent clients that they serve at Boston Baby Nurse, and even one set of triplets.
Tune in to hear about how multiple-care works overnight, and again, how a newborn specialist can really help promote healthy sleep habits and help your babies get on a similar schedule.
Related: A Super Unique Twin Birth Story!
In regards to newborn sleep – what are some tips that parents can learn when it comes to setting a healthy foundation for sleep for baby?
In this part of the episode, Carole talks about just how big sleep training and sleep coaches are right now – but that you have to be careful because anyone can call themselves that!
Her company and all of her care providers are trained and affiliated with the American Association of Sleep Medicine. They regularly attend sleep clinics and attend trainings with well-respected institutions to make sure their knowledge surrounding healthy sleep habits are up to date and evidence-based.
She shares her number one piece of advice for new and expecting moms,
“We have sort of one guideline and one practice and it’s just, you know, giving the baby the opportunity to fall asleep. My number one suggestion if someone said, ‘What would you tell a new mom, if you could only tell her one thing?’
My biggest advice would be put your baby down awake or drowsy, but not totally asleep. And that’s sort of what our sleep coaching philosophy is just so that parents understand the reasoning, the science behind sleep, and why it’s important that babies learn how to fall asleep [independently].”
I see that you offer daytime support as well, what is that like?
Carole talks about how a newborn care specialist is there to support the whole family, but will focus mostly on baby and helping mom learn and feel confident in caring for her baby.
A newborn specialist can stay with baby while mom goes out to appointments or the store, but they can also go WITH mom to help her learn and feel more comfortable bringing their newborn out and about.
Newborn care specialists can help train your nanny or babysitter in newborn care, which is something she says her clients love!
Tune in to learn more about this!
Related: Learn About Postpartum Doulas
Carole Kramer Arsenault is a registered nurse, national newborn expert, and author. Her latest book, Newborn 101, has won the National Parenting Award two years in a row.
She is the founder of Boston Baby Nurse and Nanny, one of New England’s most trusted & sought-after childcare resources, providing families with newborn support, overnight care, sleep coaching, and an award-winning nanny placement service.
You can learn more: