Can you hire a nanny to help you sleep train your baby? Top tips for hiring the right nanny for you
It is important to understand how sleep works before you can adopt a routine - understand sleep problems and know how much sleep a child should get. Sleep problems can be created by not fully understanding how a baby's or a child's sleep works.
Giving parents this basic knowledge means that they can lay down the foundation of good and healthy sleep associations and teach their baby to learn how to settle, which will help link sleep cycles early on to then create better sleep.
When will my child sleep through the night? Unfortunately, parents have high expectations of their babies and children, especially when it comes to sleep. Add in the competition most parents have with each other and it is not surprising that some parents feel lost about what the reality of a child's sleep is supposed to be.
Parents need to know what a sleep cycle is, because a moan, cry or movement can be a signal that a baby is moving from one cycle to the next. If a parent does not understand this, then they could easily rush to their baby's side or pick them up assuming they are unsettled or hungry, often creating sleep problems without realising.
Babies need to sleep through more than one sleep cycle at a time to help get into good sleep habits, grow, develop and help establish a good routine. A baby who does not sleep through more than one cycle will have difficulties not only with weight gain and growth, but will also become irritable, often struggling to settle and to feed. This will have a knock-on effect and be an on-going problem throughout their childhood, creating sleep problems and the need to sleep train.
How will hiring a Nanny help my baby to sleep better?
Transitions, or changes that happen in a child's life, play a crucial role in their everyday routines and sleep. A change in a service (such as going to nursery for the first time, or moving schools), life (potty training, moving to a bed from a cot, puberty) or personal (divorce, new sibling) situation can have a major impact on a child's sleep, due to the extra stresses it can give them.
The key here is to prepare the child as much as possible for these changes as a way to ease their anxiety around it. Reading books and talking about the positive effects it will have on them will be a good start. When the transition is happening, the child will usually need additional reassurance and may need some extra settling at bedtimes, or during the night.
The Role of a Sleep Trainer
Hiring a maternity nurse, night nanny or nanny with baby, toddlers experience will help parents to understand more easily the sleep routine of their children. A professional nanny knows how to work with parents and children as a team, setting routines and ideas based on each family's unique needs and situation.
Sleep training is the process where you will help your baby to learn how to fall asleep. Some babies won't have any problem learning this, but others will struggle through the routine and will need help.
A sleep trainer is a specialist who is employed by a family to come into their home and help find strategies based on a number of different theories and techniques to assist with their child's sleep. Each role will be different and the needs of each child must be met, taking into account how a parent feels about the various techniques that could be used.
A sleep trainer will usually be expected to resolve sleep problems within a week, especially when using stricter techniques. Gentler techniques may take longer, although if put into place and taught to the parents, they should be able to continue with these techniques without much input from the sleep trainer, with just follow on appointments required.
Below are some questions that the nanny who will help the family should be asking themselves to be able to help the parents with the routine will fit them values and beliefs.
What is the goal? What are parents hoping for you to achieve by sleep training their child? Could it be dropping/reducing night-time feeds; getting a child to sleep through the night; assisting with night disturbances, such as nightmares/terrors/bedwetting, etc; helping establish a bedtime routine; helping them get out of bad night time bed/sleep habits?
What are the parents' thoughts on strict vs gentle techniques? The nanny should ask them what their everyday parenting skills are and use that as a base. Always look at the full day before pinning down the problem at night. Every child's routine is based around 24 hours, not 12. With this in mind, the parents will need to keep a diary of at least 3 days before you would go into sleep train so that you can pin-point anything that needs changing.
There is nothing better than having a diary where parents write down their baby's sleep routine, including how long it took to go to sleep and how long they slept for and how they got to sleep (self settled/rocked to sleep/other sleep assistance), night time waking - how were they dealt with, what time and how long was the child awake, food - what they ate, how much and when, activities and stimulation, what time and how long is each activity?, behaviour and mood throughout the day
The nanny, to keep helping the baby, will need to check for any new changes or transitions happening in the child's life like:
- Have they started eating any new foods?
- Is there a new sibling?
- A new bed/room?
- Have they started nursery/school or have a new childcare setting?
Most professional will only recommend sleep training when the child is over the age of 6 months; it should also only happen when the child is well - consult a doctor first to get the go-ahead. It is also worth checking they don't have a condition, such as sleep apnoea, or an allergy or intolerance first in case these are the reasons the child is not sleeping well. Everything needs to be consistent, whether it is you, a parent or another carer putting the child to bed or tending to them at night. Everyone must work the same way.
The nanny should always have a chat with the parents before starting the training to understand these basics. Follow on with another one 3 days later to offer ideas and advice and a plan of action that can be put into place. A parent can then either take the nanny's ideas on board and choose to put them into place themselves, or the nanny can set a time frame where they will go in and follow through with the ideas and techniques, teaching the parents and guiding them.
Where to get a Night Nurse or Maternity Nurse?
Finding the perfect night nurse has never been easy. While directly recruiting candidates gives you flexibility and control, it can be a daunting task, as sifting through the candidate applications will take up too much of your time. What's even more stressful is that most of these applicants do not have the necessary qualifications that you are looking for. This is why most families decide to use a premium and experienced agency to do this for them.
Doing so could reassure you that the candidates that will be presented to you have undergone a strict and very thorough screening and vetting process, something that an online job site will not be able to offer you. After getting all the requirements you want in a night nurse, instead of putting forth a single candidate, a placement agency will instead provide you with a list of candidates that are suitable to your needs and preferred schedule as well. This way you can explore all your options to find the best childcare solution for your family.
With 15 years of experience,Little Ones is among the UAE's esteemed private household agencies specializing in giving families and clients top-notch services they deserve. Equipped with the proper expertise in outsourcing domestic staff, we can ensure to provide the most suitable candidates for your specific needs. Our top-of-the-line services offer a one-to-one basis with the clients and candidates, which enables us to find the precise night nurse that will match your requirements, needs, and values.
Member Since: Aug 27, 2017