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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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The Best Newborn Care Websites You’ve Never Heard Of

Updated February, 26, 2023 – Evidence-based websites can be hard to find, especially for expecting and new parents inundated with opinions and advice on “What’s Best for Your Baby.”  Add in a pandemic and constantly evolving news, and parents can access thousands of websites with conflicting information.  Below are The Best Newborn Care Websites You’ve Never Heard Of. These are our night nurses’ favorite evidence-based sites for newborn and postpartum care to help parents separate baby care fact from fiction.

The Best Newborn Care Websites You've Never Heard Of
The Best Newborn Care Websites You’ve Never Heard Of

The Best Newborn Care Websites You’ve Never Heard Of

For Your First Week Home

  • Newt – The Newborn Weight Tool is an online calculator that “allows pediatric healthcare providers and parents to see how a newborn’s weight during the first days and weeks following childbirth.” If you’re concerned about your newborn’s weight loss this tools tracks growth to identify weight loss or weight gain issues.
  • The National Perinatal Association has compiled essential information and resources for use during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Info is for parents, healthcare providers and educators in the perinatal space.  COVID19 information is continually updated, as well as listings of medical help, community assistance, and mental health resources. 
  • LactMed Database – Searchable database of medications that are safe to take while pregnant or nursing. If a medicine is deemed unsafe, the site suggests alternatives. All data are derived and updated from scientific literature and fully referenced.
  • From seasonal allergy meds to depression and anxiety medications, the answer to if your medicine is safe is usually yes. But the National Institute for Health’s LactMed Database tells exactly medications are safe to take while breastfeeding and which are not. For medications which may be contraindicated during nursing, LactMed names safe alternatives.  
  • Postpartum Support International trains and connects mental health professionals to those in need of postnatal mental health support. Use these resources for dads and partners and non-binary parents, as well as moms. You can receive support online or in person.
  • Getting Ready to Go Home from the NICU– While it’s not uncommon for some babies to need of a little extra time in the hospital, having your baby stay in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) means needing extra support and information. The March of Dimes website provides step by step information so parents know exactly what they can expect when transitioning from hospital to home.
Newborn Weight tool is at newbornweight.org
Our Night Nurses Top Newborn and Postpartum Care Websites

The Best Newborn Care Websites You’ve Never Heard Of: Breastfeeding

It’s hard to pick one breastfeeding resource when there are so many wonderful sites out there. Two of the most highly respected and comprehensive are KellyMom.com and La Leche League.

However, there’s a lesser known site that is all about the “how-to’s” of nursing – The International Breastfeeding Centre’s Breastfeeding Videos. These are real-life, instructional videos to help with breastfeeding. Demonstrations of what good drinking looks like and how to distinguish “nibbling” from efficient nursing are just 2 examples.

The Best Newborn Care Websites You’ve Never Heard Of: Soothing and Sleeping

  • Soothing: This list of 12 Soothing Techniques can help you find the perfect way to help baby feel comfortable, pass gas or get lulled to sleep. Even when attempting every soothing method, sometimes babies just cry. Remember that your baby’s preferences may change so a checklist can help when a method that used to work, doesn’t anymore.
  • Sleep: The Baby Sleep category on the LMS website contains age-appropriate sleep schedules and a step by step outline for babies to sleep through the night. We also have answers to frequently asked questions about napping, sleep cycles and more.
  • Colic and Crying: PurpleCrying.Info helps parents understand that “colic” is actually a very normal developmental phase. Knowing that the crying can be somewhat predictable can help ease frustration. This site also has tools to help if you’re having extreme frustration or thoughts that scare you.

In addition to these websites, you can always visit our Newborn and Postpartum Care Resource Center. This is our continually updated guide to answer new parents’ frequently asked questions. You can also sign up for personal support. We’re here for you in-home or virtually.

NAPS certified newborn care provider holding newborn with mom and aunt on her side
The Best Newborn Care Websites You’ve Never Heard Of

Crying it Out: Parents Edition

One of the questions every parent of multiples gets asked is: “What do you do when the babies cry at the same time?” Below is, Crying it Out: Parents Edition, a real answer from Denise Iacona Stern. Denise’s newborn twins arrived when her baby boy was just 17 months old.

Crying it Out: Parents Edition

I will never forget when my sweet-natured 22 month- old son had night terrors and my twins were 4 months old; still teeny girls getting up overnight to eat. One night after soothing my son back to sleep, he got out of his toddler bed and inadvertently locked himself in his room. When he realized what had happened, he started screaming with fright. Naturally, this was the exact moment the twins loudly awakened for their 1am feeding.

And of course, the little key we use to pop open locked doors had fallen behind the doorframe.

And of course, the back-up key fell behind the other doorframe.

And of course, my husband was traveling for work.

Now – all three of my babies were screaming and crying. Screaming from fright, from hunger, from confusion. They were screaming from not knowing where mom was or if I would ever come to comfort them. Then, they realized their siblings were screaming which led to more hysteria. Three children in a red alert screaming panic in the middle of the night is a very special brand of parental torture I don’t wish anyone to know.

So what door do you choose?

Help the anxiety-riddled toddler with no quick way to get him out of his room? Or begin the hour long cycle of feeding the frantic infant twins?

I chose to run to the garage and dump random drawers until I found something to break my son out of his room. Then, I held him as tightly as I could while I did the world’s worst job of preparing two bottles for two babies with one hand. I am not sure how long the house resonated with screams at 1 am. But I do know that if anyone’s brain cells were destroyed from excessive crying, they were all surely mine.

I share this with you because the “crying it out” decision is one most parents struggle with at some point. It is a completely personal choice. But for parents with multiple children, the decision is sometimes made for us because we have more kids than hands. Despite our best efforts, crying it out happens at night and during the day, and our kids are just as loved and well-adjusted as everyone else’s.

So you’re saying they should cry it out?

This is not to say “Yay for crying it out!”  It’s to tell moms, that for every handful of times baby has to cry because you are having a crisis with another child or you yourself are in crisis, you should not negate the 40 million other times you respond swiftly and efficiently. Otherwise every mother of multiples, every parent with 5 or 6 kids, and every mom that has to use the bathroom occasionally would be raising emotionally damaged children.

A six-year study published in the American Academy of Pediatrics Journal  states, “There was no evidence of differences between intervention and control families for any outcome.” NPR also cited this study and other science based information in 2019. Guess what this means? Whatever you choose for your family is the RIGHT decision. While the data shows that crying it out does not cause harm to developmentally ready babies, I think we can all agree this doesn’t mean we dump the child in the crib unprepared for sleep and walk out.

So, what’s the best way to teach a child to sleep through the night? By making educated decisions that parents feel are right for their baby and their family. Trust your intuition and do what feels right because that is really all we parents have. Even science proves it.

Crying it Out: Parents Edition
3 under 2

it Out: Parents Edition – Sleep Training Do’s and Don’ts

If you do choose to sleep train, there are step-by step guides and schedules. As a general rule of thumb here are some do’s and don’ts:

DO:

  1. Get Pediatrician’s Input: Consult with your pediatrician during your baby’s 4-month well-check to discuss their readiness for sleep training. It’s essential to have professional guidance and ensure that your baby is developmentally ready for any changes in their sleep habits. It’s also crucial to be assured your baby doesn’t to wake to east for at least 6-8 hours.
  2. Make Gradual Changes: Once you’ve gotten approval from your pediatrician, a gradual approach to sleep training is often recommended. This means gradually weaning off overnight feeds and establishing distinct daytime and nighttime sleep routines over 7-10 days. Longer is fine too. The point of gradual change is to make adjustment from eating over the course of the night, to stopping feeds less shocking.
  3. Follow Baby’s Cues: Your child doesn’t care about The Schedule. If they are hungry or uncomfortable, it’s perfectly fine to feed and soothe them.

DON’T

  1. Use this or other blogs as Medical Advice: Your child’s primary care physician needs to be part of any decisions regarding sleep training or changes to their feeding and sleep habits.
  2. Make Quick Changes: While some people opt for “cold turkey”, it is generally recommended to follow a gradual plan that takes about 10-14 days. Gradual transitions can be gentler on both parents and babies.
  3. Force Rigid Routines: If napping or feeding becomes a constant struggle or fight, it’s time to explore alternative approaches. Be flexible and responsive and don’t rule out illness, teething or other physical needs that are out of your baby’s control.
Baby Nurse Joy showing that night nurses help you sleep
Baby Nurse Joy with quadruplet dolls

Night Nurses Answer Your Infant Sleep Questions

Updated, March, 13, 2023 – There are books, sleep consultants and time-worn advice out there to help babies sleep through the night. But the same questions still keep coming up over and over! Most of this is because, humans are all different but in this blog, Night Nurses Answer Your Infant Sleep Questions, we’ll do our best to give you concrete answers.

happy mom looking at sleeping newborn in the morning
well rested mom and baby

 Night Nurses Answer Your Infant Sleep Questions  

1. Why does my baby wake through the night when I know s/he’s not hungry?

All humans wake through the night and babies are no different! While there are many reasons to awaken, wake-ups usually fall into 1 of 2 categories: physical and habitual. Again, this is the same for newborns and infants.

  • Physical Discomfort: Illness, teething, heavy diaper or tummy pain.
    • When physical things happen outside of baby’s control parents need to step in to help.  For example, if baby has congestion or ear infection, laying horizontally makes fluid in the inner ear or chest settle. This makes getting comfortable very difficult for baby.  Responding to baby quickly, and for as long as baby needs is recommended for any wake ups due to pain or discomfort. Physical wake-ups are part of parenting and any kind of sleep training needs to wait until baby is in healthy place. 
  • Hunger (also physical):
    • We cannot “train” a baby not to feel hunger. For this reason, it’s vital that parents know how much their baby has eaten during the day. Parents need to know how many ounces of milk/food baby has had between waking for the day and one last small feed at 10pm. If the amount of ounces is the same or more than what’s recommended by the pediatrician than it’s okay not to feed. If the amount is less, than baby of course needs to be fed.
  • Habit:
    • For healthy babies who have never slept through the night (and we are not saying whether they should or shouldn’t) wakefulness overnight usually means they are simply repeating their 3-4 hour daytime schedule. The daytime schedule of being awake for a few hours and then going to sleep for a few hours simply keeps repeating.  For parents wishing to increase baby’s sleep time in this case, gently weaning overnight feeds and increasing daytime feeds can help.  More on that below:

Night Nurses Answer Your Infant Sleep Questions – Overnights

2. How do I know when to get rid of the swaddle?

When baby is rolling onto her stomach, the swaddle becomes a hazard. As the AAP and other authorities say, in order to be sure baby is sleeping safely, Stop swaddling as soon as your baby shows any signs of trying to roll over. For many babies this can be as early as 2 months old.

Additionally, when baby is consistently “busting out” in the late 3rd month or month 4, he’s telling you he does not need the swaddle anymore.  To eliminate the swaddle parents can simply go cold turkey or take a gradual step-down approach where we allow one arm out for several nights, then both arms and then eventually no swaddle at all.

Eliminating the swaddle -like all changes – can happen in 1 of 2 ways, cold turkey or by gradual removal. Cold turkey needs no explanation but gradual removal works like this:

You can “wean” the swaddle by allowing one arm out for a few nights. Then wrap baby with both arms out but with gentle pressure remaining on the abdomen. After a few nights of that, baby will not need the swaddle at all.

One note- Weighted sleep sacs are often sold as a comfort item for baby sleep after getting rid of the swaddle. You should note that weight sleep sacs are not recommended. They have not been tested for safety and inhibit babies’ natural movements.

eliminate infant swaddle once baby is trying to roll over
How to wean the swaddle!

3. How do I eliminate overnight feeds?

Anytime we’re helping baby -and well, anyone really- learn a new way to do things, we have two choices: cold turkey or gradual removal.  Cold turkey certainly cuts to the chase, but the gradual approach can be much more gentle and less jarring for baby.

With feeding, this means that we can eliminate milk/formula altogether between certain hours. Or we can gradually wean the amount taken in during these hours. For nursing moms, gradual weaning is essential…it’s more gentle for baby and also gives mom’s body time to adjust to needing to produce less milk overnight.

To wean feeds overnight, simply give ½ ounce less in his bottle over the course of 2-3 nights. 

If breastfeeding weaning should start during the day. Our RN Cathy advises: “Start weaning with the second feeding of the day since your breasts will be pretty full first thing in the morning. Then stop a feeding every couple of days and give a bottle until the last feeding was at night. Once you notice no milk in their mouth after feeding, that’s it.”

Weaning will not be a perfectly linear process but to begin, you can stop the nursing session once baby has finished consistently sucking. This will most likely be trial and error and not perfect but that is normal.

4. What about the pacifier? How do I get rid of that?

When it comes to the pacifier we can “cold turkey” it or gradually remove the pacifier after less and less time per pacifier “session”.  For sleep training, it’s typically recommended to remove pacifier when baby stops sucking for a few moments. You can then repeat the removal for a few minutes until the pacifier is eventually not needed.    

5. My pediatrician said baby is ready to sleep 6-8 hours without feeding. How do I get my baby to sleep through the night?

First- this is our step-by-step plan for sleeping through the night.

Second, here is the abbreviated version of helping a baby sleep through the night independently:

  1. Give consistent daytime feeding of 4 larger feeding sessions during the day of 6-7 oz per feed, plus a dreamfeed of 2-3 oz = 28oz. This is usually enough to fill baby’s belly to sleep through the night. But again, the decision really depends on your own baby.
  2. Wean overnight feeds while increasing daytime feeds.
  3. Implement formal sleep training method (described in the linked blog above)

Once again, sleeping through the night can be a biiiiig subject. If you would like help talking through what’s happening with your baby specifically, you can always contact us as a sounding board!

 Night Nurses Answer Your Infant Sleep Questions, But You’re the Expert on Your Baby

There are a LOT of right answers to what works to make a happy and peaceful family! If your family is happy and safe, then you’re doing it right!

Night Nurses Answer Your Infant Sleep Questions
Infant Sleep Questions answered

Sleep Hacks: 4 Tips to Maximize New Parents’ Sleep

updated Feb 28, 2023 – Is “sleep when the baby sleeps” a myth in your house? It is for most of us! Here are our tips to maximize parents’ own amount of sleep in Sleep Hacks: 4 Tips to Maximize New Parents’ Sleep.

Sleep Hacks: 4 Tips to Maximize New Parents' Sleep
Denise Iacona Stern on ABC7

Sleep Hacks: 4 Tips to Maximize New Parents’ Sleep:

You might be able to catch a nap when your baby is asleep during the day, but it’s unrealistic for many. Caring for older children in addition to the newborn, limited time off work, having twins or higher order multiples and babies who have unpredictable and short nap schedules are just a few instances that make daytime sleep impossible.  When you do manage to get a nap, these shorts bits of sleep do help. But naps don’t take the place of the deep, restorative sleep that keeps parents healthy. In other words, parents need to maximize the stretches of sleep we can get.

TIP #1 – Breathing Exercises to Help Your Body Switch Gears

For many new parents, one of the frustrating things about sleep is that we’re running on so much adrenaline that we can’t sleep when we’re supposed to. Controlled breathing can help your body make the switch from wakeful to sleepy. Here are 2 methods:

  • The 4:7:8 Technique

This simple meditation popularized by Dr. Andrew Weil is a “natural tranquilizer for the nervous system” and is based in the yogic philosophy of controlled breathing. While all evidence seems to be anecdotal, we do know that conscious breathing has health benefits. It also allows the brain and nervous system to become calm. Here’s how to do 4:7:8:

  1. Place the tip of your tongue against the ridge of tissue just behind your upper front teeth, and keep it there through the entire exercise. You will be exhaling through your mouth around your tongue, 
  2. Exhale completely through your mouth, making a “whoosh” sound.
  3. Close your mouth and inhale through your nose to a mental count of four.
  4. Hold your breath for a count of seven.
  5. Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound to a count of eight.
  6. Now inhale again repeating the cycle three more times for a total of four breaths.
  • Tactical Breathing

As noted in a 2021 NIH study, tactical breathing is used by military and law enforcement personnel to reduce stress and maintain psychomotor and cognitive performance in dangerous situations. This of course is more than parents need, but the principle is the same…get yourself calm! One method of tactical breathing is:

  1. Breathe in through your nose for a count of 4
  2. Hold your breath for 4
  3. Exhale through your mouth for a count of 4
  4. Hold your breath at the bottom of the exhale for a count of 4

Repeat step 1-4 as much as feels good to you.

  • Meditation Apps – Free and paid meditation Apps can allow new parents to fall into a relaxed, hypnotic state. Sometimes you can fall completely asleep.  

Calm is a 5 star rated free App (with some purchasing options) noted for its ease of use.  Headspace has an associated cost of $70 but is known for it’s productive 10-minute sessions; a very useful 10 minutes for a sleep deprived parent. 

TIP #2Ease up on the caffeine – I know. Ridiculous suggestion, right?  While we often see caffeine as vital, it’s been proven to keep us up even when we don’t want to be.  Try these natural energy boosters instead:

  1. Increase Magnesium – Magnesium in the form of whole grains and fish is one of  WebMD’s top suggestions to fight fatigue.
  2. Decrease Sugar – As our own head nurse Joy Becker tells EveryNurse.org, make healthier snack choices such as dried fruit or green-smoothies for a sweet and natural energy boost.
  3. Drink Water – To keep your energy up when you actually want to without the caffeine side effects drink lots of water. According to WebMD nutritionist Keith Ayoob, EdD, RD, “Sometimes, even slight dehydration can leave you feeling tired and lethargic.” 

TIP #3 – Divide and Conquer

Swap nights, or even 1/2 nights, caring for baby with your partner even if it means sleeping in separate bedrooms.  Being “off” from 10pm – 6am a few nights per week allows your body the deep, restorative sleep it needs. It also give you a mental boost knowing that there is a definite break in sight.

For breastfeeding moms who are nursing throughout the night, simply stay in bed to nurse while your partner bringy s the baby to you. Partner also does all other care like diaper changes and soothing in another room.    

TIP #4 – Get Outside Help

Allow friends and family to provide child care relief. Whether they act as a night nurse, or even if it’s just for an hour or 2 take everyone up on their offers to help! Even 1-2 hours or uninterrupted time alone can help. Of course you can always call our night nannies if professional help is needed as well.

Bonus TIP – Help You Newborn Sleep Soundly too!

Swaddles, pacifiers and white noise machines are all tried and true methods to help infants sleep longer and more peacefully. These items each offer something comforting. Experiment with these to find what works best for your baby and helps them sleep more soundly.

Sleep deprivation is a right of passage for brand new parents but having a plan can ease its effects. There’s no award for suffering and you can try to make those first months with baby easier on your health.  

If you feel that anxiety, depression or sleep deprivation is affecting you more than just the “baby blues,” there is help. Contact Postpartum.Net or call/text 833- TLC-MAMA (1-833-852-6262)  for help.

Dad putting newborn safely to sleep in crib.
Maximize Sleep by taking turns

Postpartum Employee Benefits: Positive Disruption at Work

With the passing of the Providing Urgent Maternal Protections (PUMP) For Nursing Mothers Act in December, workplaces must comply with stricter laws to allow breastfeeding workers time and a dedicated space to pump (not a bathroom!). Companies have an opportunity right now to not just comply with the law, but overdeliver on its purpose! We tell you how in Postpartum Employee Benefits: Positive Disruption at Work.

Postpartum Employee Benefits: Positive Disruption at Work
Postpartum Employee Benefits Positive Disruption at Work

Offering In-Home Visits by a Nurse after baby is born or Overnight Newborn Care when employees return to work, shows that a business does more than just offer “perks,” they actively prioritize employee welfare.

Denise Iacona Stern, Let Mommy Sleep

What do you mean by Postpartum Employee Benefits: Positive Disruption at Work?

While large companies try to outdo each other with a week or 2 more of maternity leave, a nursing pod or a gym membership, Postpartum Benefits are an innovation that actually sets a company apart. These benefits make a true impact on the lives of employees.

Here’s what we mean:

Home Visits by a Registered Nurse – Newborns have well-visits with a pediatrician many times in their first months home. Did you know some new parents often don’t have any?! Postpartum Visits are just what they sound like – a Registered Nurse visits the family home to provide head to toe assessments, education and breast or bottle feeding support to brand new parents. Visits occur during the vulnerable first week home with baby.

Why Home Visits?

  • Education and clinical assessment in the early days home with newborns equates to better breastfeeding outcomes, lowered hospital readmissions and better mental health outcomes. These are health benefits for the whole family recommended by many organizations including The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists in 2016 and reaffirmed in 2021.
  • Postpartum visits bridge the month-and-a-half gap in care for birthing parents to see a physician for their own health.
  • Visits are the only opportunity for non-birthing parents to receive a formal health assessment and education.
  • Postpartum mood and anxiety disorders (PMAD’s) are the most common complication of pregnancy for both parents but are also 100% treatable. Early intervention is a key solution.

Overnight Newborn Care – happens when the employee arrives home with baby or during the week an employee returns to work, usually between the hours of 10pm and 6am. A certified Newborn Care Provider (NCP), also called a postpartum doula or night nanny feeds, monitors and cares for babies through the night.

Why Overnight Care?  Postpartum Employee Benefits: Positive Disruption at Work

  • Allows for proper recuperation after birth and continued monitoring of parents.
  • Caregivers provide responsive care and monitoring of baby through the night ensuring proper feeding, safety and safe sleep.
  • Employees receive the deep, restorative sleep that keep mind and body healthy upon returning to work.

These simple services positively affect the health and wellbeing of employees, but they also provide impactful, cost effective and measurable solutions to companies in the following ways:

Recruiting: 

  • Corporations are typically competing to hire from the same pool of elite applicants. Salary and traditional benefits are of course huge factors in a potential hire’s decision but increasingly, so is the feeling that companies actually care about their employees’ well-being. (Gallup, 2021)

Retention:

  • How a woman is treated in the months leading up to her maternity leave and then during leave and shortly thereafter when she returns to work will determine whether or not a company will be able to retain her.”– Asha Santos, partner at Littler Mendelson P.C., who advises U.S. companies on employment law and how to build respect in the workplace.”
  • Parents receive the tools that are lacking in traditional healthcare to stay mentally and physically healthy, increase breastfeeding rates and be ready to return to the workplace.

Cost Effective:

  • Using a salary of $100,000 for easy math, the amount of lost productivity per employee in 2018 was about $4300.   Cost of the postpartum care program is only $100 – $1440 per employee welcoming a child.
  • Cost only occurs for those becoming parents, not for the entire workforce. Among adults, it’s estimated that less than 2% of the population is pregnant at any given time (CDC data: 11 births per 1000 population). Extending benefits to both spouses means that only 4% of the workforce will use postpartum benefits in any given year.
  • Benefits become more cost effective, the higher the salary of the employee. Because the rate for postpartum care doesn’t change, the cost benefit becomes greater.

Five women and newborn during maternity leave
Postpartum benefits actively prioritize employee welfare

Postpartum Employee Benefits: Positive Disruption at Work – How Does It Work?

It’s so easy!

  1. Employee visits their custom company portal to request service.
  2. Care is coordinated within 24 hours, so the employee receives their postpartum doula profile and then service occurs when it is requested.
  3. The company is billed after service has occurred.

Why Let Mommy Sleep Postpartum Benefits?

We’ve been at this since 2010 and have since replicated our model all over the United States! Our corporate care program has been profiled on TODAY and in Parents Magazine. It was also used by INOVA EAP, serving over 200 locations across the country for 3 years. We’re widely considered the Industry Leaders in newborn and postpartum doula care.

Here’s why:

  • Awarded a local government contract to teach Newborn & Postpartum Care from 2015-2021 (ended due to covid)
  • Provided almost 1 million hours of exemplary care
  • 13 locations nationwide with 2 more due to open in 2023
  • Our teaching and experts have been cited in healthcare and pediatric journals, as well as local and national press.
  • Licensure and certification is required for all caregivers, attracting the highest level of candidate and greatest level of accountability.
  • We proudly serve military & first responder families whose babies arrive when a parent is deployed, wounded or deceased through our 501c3, Mission: Sleep.

Want to Enroll? Contact your local office today!

Would you like to learn more about Let Mommy Sleep and our franchises? We have a dedicated website for that!