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The role of the Registered Nurse or Newborn Care Provider is to feed, soothe, bathe, change & provide all other gentle care to baby through the night.

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How to Pay for a Postpartum Doula

Yep, we wish postpartum care was universally covered by insurance too. We’re getting there, but the cost is still out of pocket for most parents, even though the need is there. Until newborn care is accessible to everyone through insurance, we’ve got options of How to Pay for a Postpartum Doula below.

How to Pay for a Postpartum Doula
How to Pay for a Postpartum Doula

Be Her Village

Be Her Village is a cash registry expecting parents can use to adds funds for newborn and postpartum care services. Parents-to-be add Let Mommy Sleep to their registry. Loved ones then send money directly to the new parents’ registry. Instead of a baby registry full of “stuff,” parents opt for overnight newborn care support! This is especially helpful for parents of newborn twins.

Creating your registry is free and you get your FULL gift everytime, with no fees taken out. If your family member sends you $100, you get the full $100 every single time. The beauty of Be Her Village is that you can spend the money you receive from your loved ones however you see fit.

Choose your location to start your Baby Registry here!

Boca RatonBoiseCharlotteChicagoHoustonSan AntonioWashington DCWichita

Night Nanny and Postpartum Doula Baby Registry
Postpartum Doula services

How to Pay for a Postpartum Doula – Employer Benefits

There are corporate benefit programs which pay for overnight postpartum doulas. The most widely known is called Carrot Fertility. In addition to night nanny care, Carrot helps cover fertility treatments, adoption and more. Private companies can also offer Let Mommy Sleep Night Nanny care or postpartum check-ups for a fraction of the cost it takes to implement them.

Private Insurance

While pediatric care is covered in the home when a newborn has medical need, it’s not as common for private insurers to cover night nurses for a parents medical need. However, when coverage is doctor directed, insurance must cover the cost. The parent’s physician usually needs to write a letter attesting that the parents health will be positively impacted by getting sleep.

Medicaid

Medicaid offers postpartum benefits varying by state. If you are eligible for Medicaid, coverage typically includes pregnancy and delivery. But you can check online if your state includes postpartum visits and breastfeeding support.

Free Baby Sleep Schedules by Age

People ask us all the time if we can help their babies and twins sleep through the night. And we say no. The facts are that we don’t have access to any fancy information that you don’t already have. You can do this! A sleep plan can absolutely be helpful if you want to be sure you’re on the right track with baby sleep but your own instinct as a parent in knowing what’s best for your family is also a vital tool. This blog, Free Baby Sleep Schedules by Age links to the real sleep plans we’ve done over the years. We hope it helps!

Free Baby Sleep Schedules by Age – What We Know

We’ve learned that when it comes to infant sleep, two things are true:

1. all babies are different but also,

2. all babies are the same!

Personalities and dispositions differ; some (many!) babies naturally fight sleep, while others happily switch gears to rest time. The blueprint of sleeping through the night is almost always the same though, because biologically we all follow the natural cycles of circadian rhythm. Because newborns physically mature differently and they might mentally fight sleep, it can be hard to know when they’re developmentally ready to sleep uninterrupted. For this reason we recommend a gradual transition to sleeping through the night. Also have this conversation with the pediatrician at the 4 month well check.

Here are the Free Baby Sleep Schedules by Age

–> Free Baby Sleep Schedules, Sleep Training FAQ’s and Actual Sleep Consults <–

When it comes to helping infants sleep through the night, one of the biggest challenges is wondering if your child is physically ready. What if they’re hungry? Are they starting to get sick? Do they feel abandoned? Even with all the data out there, these are all valid worries! For parents that would like a guideline to beginning a gradual change from waking through the night to sleeping through the night, here are all the Free Baby Sleep Schedules by Age. We also include the actual consults we’ve conducted over the years so you can read more in depth about specific issues you may have questions about.

Free Baby Sleep Schedules by Age

Things to Remember

Twins and More – To help infant twins, triplets and higher order multiples to sleep through the night, follow the same method you would use for a singleton. It may be helpful not to intervene at all overnight so they learn to sleep through each others wake-ups when they share a room.

What if I’m Nursing? – Remember that your body needs a gradual step-down from waking overnight too. Slow, gradual weaning is recommended for your own comfort and health. It’s always best to consult with a lactation consultant. They can help make the process gentle for baby and you.

But I can’t stand to hear the crying! – Please know this is normal! Even with the best lead up to sleep training, babies cry! Some even do it as a normal part of their bedtime routine. And if you don’t want to sleep train, or want to wait til they are older that is perfectly fine!

Free Baby Sleep Schedules by Age
this photo courtesy of Cribs for Kids

All the Infant Sleep Schedules in One Place

You might be highly respected in your career, an organizational whiz everywhere else in your life, or a Type-A genius. Your baby does not care! Because these babies do whatever they please, new parents often seek routines and schedules; humans love predictability! So our team of Night Nannies and Baby Nurses made these Infant Sleep Schedules to help. Of course these are just examples of typical infant sleep, but if you need a starting point, All the Infant Sleep Schedules in One Place is for you.

All the Infant Sleep Schedules in One Place – Expectations

While sleep schedules can be helpful, we all know that every baby is different and there are so many things that can affect infant sleep and feeding. Illness, growth spurts and older siblings’ activities are just 3 examples of instances why we can’t expect an exact schedule everyday. Babies also grow into their next daily routine gradually over the course of weeks and sometimes months. Your baby will show you when they’re ready for a change in nap or sleep schedule.

When your baby is ready to sleep through the night, a step by step guide can help.

Til then, use the schedules below to help!

Why Not Before Four Months Old?

Before 4 months of age (16 weeks!), infants have not yet developed a mature circadian rhythm, which regulates their sleep and wake cycle. Their sleep patterns are still evolving. They’re also still very little! So the need to wake up during the night for feeding and other essential needs is normal and healthy. Please do not try to sleep train a newborn, we can’t coach them not to be hungry or need a diaper change.

And of course if you’re breastfeeding, your own body will still wake you in the night. It’s perfectly normal for baby to nurse through the night for nutrition and comfort well after 4 months old. This is true of formula fed babies as well but it’s important to note that breastfeeding doesn’t just “stop” cold-turkey. La Leche League talks about weaning much better than we ever could here. You can begin the discussion about sleep training and sleep expectations at the 4 month pediatrician visit.

Simply put, newborns can’t be taught to not feel hunger, need a diaper change or need to be held by a trusted adult.

All the Infant Sleep Schedules in One Place
All the Infant Sleep Schedules in One Place photo courtesy of Cribs for Kids

All the Infant Sleep Schedules in One Place – What About Toddler Sleep?

Allowing your toddler to sleep through the night is easier -but also harder!)- than helping your infant sleep without interruption. It’s easier because you can talk about sleep expectations and your child will understand! It’s harder because it can be uncomfortable and even scary for them to sleep in a whole new way, without visits from you or being in the big bed through the night.

Patience is the key here. There are 4 basic steps to allowing toddlers to sleep through the night and repetition and consistency is key. There are many variation of sleep training toddlers and you can search for the one that feels right for your family, but the 4 basic steps are almost always:

  1. Talk about the expectation of sleep before the formal sleep training begins.
  2. During the first few nights, stay next to the bed until your toddler is sleepy. If toddler is standing up, gently place them back in a laying down position.  Yes, you will most likely have to place them back into bed several times. Stay patient and calm, you’re there so they can feel safe and secure.
  3. Continue to stay with them but for less and less time.
  4. If your child wakes in the night, you can bring them back to their bed or stay with them in their room until they are asleep.

One note, even if your toddler sleeps in the bed with you try to remember it won’t be forever. You are their favorite person so of course they want to be near you. It’s comforting in the big bed.

Your First Week Home with Baby: Ultimate Q&A

With all the information overload out there for expecting and new parents, our team of Baby Nurses & Night Nannies created this blog, Your First Week Home with Baby: Ultimate Q&A. Bookmark this article for evidence-based answers to frequently asked questions about postpartum and newborn care. #WeAreYourVillage

Your First Week Home with Baby: Ultimate Q&A

Your First Week Home with Baby: the Ultimate Q&A about Parent Health

What can I do to help myself heal after giving birth?

An abdominal binder is a postpartum must-have. Social media would have us believe it’s to get back your “pre-baby body,” but there are actually several important health reasons to use a binder. As Bridgett Miller Dixon, NP notes, In addition to helping with pain -particularly after cesarean birth- they help with internal and external healing by adding compression to the abdomen while improving blood circulation and oxygen levels. Binders also keep c-section stitches covered, protecting the area while it heals.  They’re easy to find at your local drug store or Amazon and are priced at about $20-$30.

Some manufacturers of binders may claim that the products help a postpartum tummy go back to its pre-pregnancy shape, but there’s no evidence to support this claim.  While an abdominal binder will help support your lower back and keep you comfortable, exercise and diet are the only ways to get stronger abs…if that’s your goal!

What About Mental Health?

“Baby blues” or feelings or sadness, irritability, fatigue and tearfulness are normal and typical for about a week or 2 after giving birth. It’s important to know that mild depression can also happen to non-birthing parents. If symptoms persist after 2 weeks or progress into feelings that scare you, it’s time to ask your OB for help. You can also contact the National Maternal Mental Health Hotline for help by calling/texting 833-TLC-MAMA (833-852-6262).

The good news about postpartum anxiety and mood disorders (PMADs) is they are 100% treatable with proper support and medication. Learn the difference between Baby Blues and PPD here.

How Am I Supposed to Sleep?

The link between sleep deprivation and postpartum depression has been seen over and over. Sleep is also recommended to help with post-birth healing, increasing milk production and following safe sleep guidelines for baby. But how the heck are you supposed to get real blocks of sleep when your baby is up every 2-3 hours to feed?

Here are 3 ways to get more sleep:

  1. Swap blocks of time or entire nights with your partner – Each parent is in charge of baby’s feeding, diapering and soothing back to sleep for half the night. This ensures that you each get at least 5 hours of uninterrupted sleep. If possible, do 2 nights on and 2 nights off to get the deep, restorative sleep that keeps our immune systems strong. If you’re exclusively breastfeeding, simply stay in bed to nurse while your partner does all other care on your “off” night.
  2. Accept Help – This should be obvious but there’s sometimes a guilt factor in accepting help when caring for our newborns. Now is the time to call on your village for a few hours so you can sleep! If your village is too far away or you don’t have one, you can call night nanny services like ours.
  3. Be ready to sleep when it’s time – Resist the urge to scroll! Practice deep breathing if you find it hard to switch off when it’s time to sleep. A dark room that is always used for sleep and white noise can also help you make the transition from awake to asleep.

Your First Week Home with Baby: Ultimate Q&A about Feeding

Is My Baby Eating Enough?

Your newborn’s stomach is only between the size of a walnut and an apricot in the first week of life.  Understanding this helps both breast and bottle-feeding parents understand feeding expectations.

Here’s why:

  • If you’re nursing and it seems like baby is always on the breast, that’s perfectly normal! As long as babies are producing wet and soiled diapers, that means they’re getting enough to eat. Remember that skin-to-skin contact is crucial in establishing milk supply too so if it feels like baby is attached to you, that’s not only healthy, it’s helpful!
  • Formula feeding parents: don’t let even the tiniest bottle of pre-made formula fool you! Even the 2 ounce bottles the hospital gives away are usually way too big for at least the first week of your newborn’s life. Babies will continue drinking even if they’re full. Like adults, their tummies don’t receive the signal to stop until our stomachs hurt. 
  • Slow, patient feeding, with lots of time to burp is key.  Like babies who are fed from the breast, small, slow and frequent feeds are the norm when bottle feeding.
Newborn Diaper output

What do I need to know about Infant Weight Loss?

Now that we’ve talked about how very small, frequent feeds are the norm for newborns, we should note that even with all that eating, it’s actually expected for babies to lose weight in the first few days of life.  Babies are born with some extra fluid, so a healthy newborn is expected to lose 7% to 10% of the birth weight.

So if it seems like your baby is eating all the time but losing weight, don’t worry because that weight will come back on within about the first 2 weeks after being born. Of course you should always drop by your pediatrician for a weight check if you want to be sure baby is developing normally.

I’m breastfeeding…when will my milk come in?

It can take 3-5 days for your milk to come in and these days are usually the hardest because your newborn is waking up and hungry. Common -but not always- reasons for a delay in milk production are c-section, complicated delivery or obesity.

Here are tips to help stimulate milk production:

  • Have friends and family take care of you, so you can feed the baby. Stress, hunger and sleep deprivation can delay lactation. Friends and family can be overwhelming, but it’s important to have someone whose job is to look after you. They need to be sure you’re eating, drinking and resting. (Not adding more work!)
  • No time at the breast is wasted time. Even if it’s just a little bit at a time, breast milk can be transferred to baby drop by drop, even if the baby is primarily getting nutrition from formula.
  • Don’t wait until baby is screaming to nurse – Allowing baby to be skin to skin with you before latching can make nursing calm and give your body a chance to get ready for feeding. Non-feeding caregivers should also learn the signs of hunger to be ready to hand baby over!
  • Skin to skin –  You and your baby are literally a feeding dyad…skin to skin works when increasing milk supply.
  • Check your latch– Nursing should never hurt. If it’s painful for you, contact La Leche League, your pediatrician or a lactation counselor who can check baby’s latch.
  • Hand express or pump –  Pumping both breasts after baby has finished nursing can help stimulate milk.

Your First Week Home with Baby: the Ultimate Q&A on Newborn and Infant Sleep

Is my newborn sleeping too much?

There is a wide range of “normal” when it comes to infant sleep. Babies don’t develop regular sleep cycles until about 6 months of age. There may be a few long stretches of sleep while baby is still in the sleepy newborn stage but they typically wake up every 2-3 hours because they’re hungry.

Babies of healthy weight don’t usually need to be woken up to feed. Unless you have specific directions from the hospital or doctor to wake your newborn, it’s okay to allow them to feed on demand. They will typically make up for a “lost” feed with cluster feeds later.

Where should my baby sleep?  

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends room-sharing but not bed-sharing for the first 6 months. This means that your baby is sleeping in the same room as you, but not in the same bed. A flat bassinet next to your bed is an ideal set-up. Baby should be alone (no blankets or stuffed animals), on a flat, firm mattress and flat on their back to adhere to safe sleep recommendations.

safe sleep for newborns and infants

What should my baby wear to sleep?

The rule of thumb is that baby should wear what you would be comfortable in, plus 1 layer.  For example, a recommended outfit for baby to sleep in would be a onesie, footed pajamas and a snug swaddle. At this age baby’s movements are not always purposeful and the reflexive movements they have can keep them awake. A snug swaddle will help.

We always like to remind parents of what RN Rachelle said in this Mom.com article about baby hats. I see hats move a lot while babies are sleeping! Take them off if you’re both going to sleep.

Your First Week Home with Baby: the Ultimate Q&A about Soothing Your Baby

Whoa, this child is LOUD…is it normal for my baby to make this much noise?!

Yes! Grunting and newborn “squawks” are perfectly normal during sleep. Babies typically make these noises because their bodies are getting used to digesting milk or formula…something they never had while in the womb! To put it another way, your baby is having bowel movements for the first time in their life and that can cause them to strain. Of course if you are ever worried or something doesn’t feel right, contact your pediatrician.

How do I swaddle?

There’s a reason every baby looks like a little burrito in the hospital- swaddling is very soothing and comforting to them. Swaddling mimics the feeling of the womb and also keeps babies from waking themselves as their arms and legs experience unintentional reflexes. Here’s how to do it!

Remember to use an actual swaddle blanket, which is larger than the towels and baby blankets we typically see for sale. Swaddle blankets also have a bit more stretch in the fabrics to keep babies snug. Do not use a weighted swaddle blanket as they are not proven safe for sleep.

I’ve tried everything and my newborn is still crying! What should I do?

First, trust your instincts. Remember that you are your baby’s primary caregiver and the expert in your baby. If something doesn’t feel right or if you have concerns, don’t hesitate to contact your pediatrician or primary care provider.

Second, be sure your baby isn’t hungry. Since newborns can only eat less than an ounce at a time, they might be hungry even though they just ate a little while ago. If they’re not hungry there are soothing methods you can try!

There are lots of newborn care experts out there but you are the expert in YOUR baby. If you feel that something isn’t right, contact your pediatrician. Newborns are typically “sleepy” for several weeks so if your baby is crying and inconsolable it’s best to rule out any medical issues. And if baby is crying and you feel like you’re losing your patience, it is okay to place them safely in a crib while you contact the doctor or regain your patience.

You Should Know: Blue Light, Screen Time and Babies

Recent studies show that screen time should be avoided for newborns, infants and toddlers. The major reasons are because screen use can be associated with atypical development, and blue light impedes sleep and natural cycles. This blog, You Should Know: Blue Light, Screen Time and Babies goes into more detail about each.

You Should Know: Blue Light, Screen Time and Babies- Why it Matters

Screen use effects all of us really, but newborns, infants and toddlers and particularly vulnerable to the negative effects of screen time. Their systems are still immature so screens and blue light may take a greater toll.

  • Potential Aggression and Behavioral Issues – Early screen use is associated with more aggressive behaviors.
  • Possible Delayed Speech and Sensory Processing – When computers or TV’s are on adults say fewer words, giving infants less chance to learn speech.
  • Developing Circadian Rhythm Disruption – Blue light exposure in the evening leads to confusion between day and night.
  • Melatonin Suppression – Prolonged exposure to blue light after the sun goes down may interfere with the natural increase in melatonin levels, making it harder for infants and toddlers to fall asleep.
  • Fatigue and Increased Potential for Retinal Damage – Visible blue light may potentially be harmful to the human retina as it puts increased stress on the receptors in the eye.
You Should Know: Blue Light, Screen Time and Babies

Infants and Screen Time

While your child may be just fine, it’s important to know that all major pediatric health organizations agree that newborns and young toddlers, babies age 0-2 years old, should not be exposed to screens. Behavioral issues, communication delays and atypical sensory processing are connected to early screen use. This is not to say screens cause these issues, just that they are associated.

As Pediatrician David L. Hill, MD, FAAP says: I hear a lot of parents say, ‘But my baby likes it!’ Infants may stare at the bright colors and motion on a screen, but their brains are incapable of making sense or meaning out of all those bizarre pictures. Babies learn to speak by watching us. So in addition to confusion at what they’re seeing on screen, the amount of words they’re hearing from us drops as well (AAP).

It can be so hard to keep your infant and toddler occupied though! Especially when we have other kids to care for, are working from home and have little to know family support. And how can we (and should we?) control what grandparents or other helpful caregivers are doing? While it sounds hard, the easiest way to limit screens may be to avoid them altogether; taking screens off the table means we have to find other options.

A Deeper Look at the Effects of Blue Light

Blue light is present in sunlight and is a natural component of the light spectrum. If blue light is already present in just about everything we see, why should we worry about limiting exposure in infants? The answer is because artificial exposure to blue light confuses infants’ immature systems.

Developing Circadian Rhythm Disruption – Blue light plays a significant role in regulating the body’s internal clock. We know this as the circadian rhythm. Like adults, newborns and infants rely on a stable circadian rhythm to promote healthy sleep-wake cycles every 24 hours, but babies’ little systems can easily be confused. Any overnight nanny will tell you it’s difficult to flip your sleep schedule because of the strong pull of our natural circadian rhythm!

Melatonin Suppression – Melatonin is the hormone that promotes sleep. Our bodies begin to produce it as a reaction to darkness at night.  Because they are still developing, a child’s melatonin production is sensitive to blue light exposure and blue light, in particular, has been shown to suppress melatonin more effectively than other wavelengths.  Prolonged exposure to blue light in the evening may interfere with the natural increase in melatonin levels. We see this as adults as well!

Poor Sleep Quality and Sleep Disruption – Melatonin suppresion delays the onset of sleep. This delay has a second effect of inhibiting the increase in sleepiness during night. In other words, babies have less restorative sleep.

Fatigue and Increased Potential for Retinal Damage – Babies’ eyes are still developing. Prolonged exposure to blue light from screens at a young age could potentially contribute to eye strain and discomfort. More research is needed to fully understand the long-term effects of blue light exposure on infants’ eye health but we do know it effects the retina in particular.

You Should Know: Blue Light, Screen Time and Babies – The Takeaway and What You Can Do

Screens are everywhere. While it’s difficult to eliminate them altogether, being aware of their negative effects can help parents make the right decisions for their family. Infants and toddlers have sensitive developing minds and bodies that are easily influenced, and as children get older monitoring the actual content becomes more important. Thinking about screen time will be part of your parenting for years to come.

Products are available to minimize blue light as well. Blue light blocking glasses can be used when working on the computer or phone. Screens which block blue light emission can also be placed on your device screens. There are lots of these on Amazon and they are very easy to use.

no need to give screens to newborn twins