All parents know that sleep is a precious commodity when you have young children, and getting babies to sleep through the night is one of the biggest challenges in those first few months of parenting. So this is where the role of the night nannies comes in. Night nannies are one of the biggest trends in the nannying community right now, with good reason: they're effective.
A night nanny is exactly what she sounds like: a nanny that works the night shift only, and is generally trained in infant sleep scheduling and parental counseling. She's there during the night, both to calm and comfort baby, and to try and get baby into a regular sleep pattern. But she's there to help parents too, and will advise and counsel you about your baby's early months. Night nannies aren't generally meant to be used for the long-term, since, if she's doing her job properly, within a short period of time your baby should be on a normal sleep schedule therefore you won't need her services for long.
Why use one? Well, firstly, she's experienced. She knows how to train your baby to sleep, which you don’t. But more importantly your night nanny has the energy and patience at 2 a.m. that you don't have after a long day at work. This is one of the reasons why night nannies are so effective. Obviously, relaxed babies sleep more easily. The problem is, after a long day at work, by the time you get to the second or third wake up of the night, parental frustration is at its highest level, and this will be communicated to your baby. Having someone there to take over the night shift can really help settle baby down into a calm, relaxed schedule.
Having a night nanny doesn't come cheap. But they are only around for a short amount of time. And as a parent, you will be expected to do your part too. Most night nannies will require that parents keep close track of their baby's daytime schedule (things such as nap times, eating times, distressing incidents, anything that could effect baby's night schedule), and report in. This information helps nanny both to design a sleep schedule that fits your baby best, and to know what to expect during her night shift. But for an increasing number of parents, the cost of having a night nanny is more than worth it. After all, can you put a price on a good night's sleep?