Night / Day Nurse for Newborns

Hi, we're relatively new to the Berkeley area and first time parents to be (June 2020). Trying to navigate the prep and resources we might need when baby gets here. Would appreciate people's advice on the following!

- Do you have any night / day time nurse recommendations and insights on what we should explore, given we don't know how difficult of a sleeper our baby is? I am leaning towards finding a day-time nurse for the first few weeks since 1) we are pretty clueless 2) I'll have maternity leave for 4 months so less concerned about my sleep.

- Are there any essential classes to help us prep for the baby (besides the standard breastfeeding and CPR classes we are already signed up for)? We're into the less is more approach:)

- Can we wait till baby gets here to start interviewing nannies/nanny shares for when I get back to work or is that also something I should secure now?

Thank you so much!

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Hi there, 

I am a birth and postpartum doula and I work with new parents all the time who are in your exact position! There are a ton of resources for new parents here in the Bay area. I would recommend getting connected with a postpartum doula or agency depending on your needs and budget and setting up support for the first 2-4 weeks. They will help you adjust to your new role as parents and give you specific tools and education and emotional support that is unique to your situation.

Often the families that I work with don't know their exact support needs after their maternity leave ends. For example, they may have intended on going back to work full-time and then decide they want to do part-time or are offered the option to work for home part-time. This changes their nanny support needs and can be hard if you have already committed to a nanny who depends on the hours you originally agreed to. So, you might want to wait to secure a nanny or at least interview people that are open to being flexible. Some parents want to interview the nanny and see how they engage with their baby, so that is one consideration. 

Hope this helps, 

Lily

If I have any advice for you:  get the night nurse.  I waited 2 months to do this, and even had my mom staying with me (I'm a single mom), and I can't believe I waited.  I had 6 months maternity leave, and the sleeplessness is what everyone talks about.  Unless you're expecting a 10lb baby that can sleep well from day 1, the break the night nurse gives you at night is well worth the $$$$.

If you can find a nanny early, I would recommend having them come 2x per week.  That way they get used to you, you get a much needed break, and the baby learns the new person.  Also did this, and it was a great idea.

Night nanny is so so worth it for sanity.  Most night nannies that you talk to will be understanding that you don't yet know what you'll need in terms of coverage and you'll set an expectation on how many days per week to start, then wind that down as you need less.  I personally would recommend Blandina Masalu and Linda Bradley, both are exceptional night nannies and a wonderful calm presence to have in your house at a time when everything feels so vulnerable. They know a ton and have so much baby experience.

For day nanny, I did find it helpful to have someone come twice a week for a few hours.  I only arranged this after the baby was a month old, so you can wait on this to see how you feel about what daytime support you need.  I recommend Masako Yura, macoizydoula [at] gmail.com and she impressed me right away with how much she knew about how to engage with a very young baby. She'll also cook nourishing Japanese food for you if you are interested! 

No need for classes. Before you go to the hospital, try to learn how to swaddle. 

Last -  interviewing nannies for return to work would mostly likely happen in the 2-3 months before you return to work.