More parents are using "Night Nannies" according to a recent NYT article. I must be hopelessly out of touch since I didn't even know there was such a thing. Turns out I could have had a night nanny and made my super stressful daytime Wall Street type job easier. Is this a good trend? I can understand some parents having trouble with special needs children, but what happened to simply sleep training the kids at an early age?
Truth be told, even if I had known about night nannies I would not have wanted to spend the money on such a seemingly silly thing. More importantly, I would not have wanted to miss the fantastic bonding with my kids that go on during sleepless nights. One sleepless night equals 50 excursion to the park. It can be very hard work but also rewarding when things finally fall into place.
Demand for overnight nannies — also known as newborn specialists — has been growing, especially in the last five years and largely in major metropolitan areas, said Wendy Sachs, the co-president of the International Nanny Association and the founder of the Philadelphia Nanny Network. “People have moved away from the places they grew up, and they don’t have family down the street to help them out,” she said.
Are sleepless nights really a problem today? There are countless books, forums, and other internet resources full of tips for any struggling parent. Should we not be better at teaching kids how to sleep?
My kids were never any miracle sleepers but we used some basic commons sense and gave them good habits early on. The kids didn't sleep through the night early on but it was mostly because of breastfeeding and hunger. I would estimate the total amount of sleepless nights during my five years as a parent being around 5 nights. That includes both me and the wife, and only nights when we barely slept. There were many nights when the kids were awake for an hour or two but that's hardly unexpected. Are parents today having unrealistic expectations? Is being awake an hour or two during the night every now and then such a big deal?
Most children in the developed world are born healthy, which is why I'm a bit puzzled over the night nanny phenomenon. It doesn't take much to teach an infant to sleep decently during the night. But perhaps parents are expecting their 3 week old to sleep 12 hour in a row without breastfeeding or formula?
It would seem weird to hearing my baby wake up during the night and let someone else than my wife or myself take care of the situation. Seems like a lot of bonding and problem solving is being lost. This might have something to do with an issue I encounter more often today among older first time parents, they expect everything to be like pre-kids except they still want a full baby experience. Sorry, but that's impossible.
To get close to the kids and really understand them, hard work must be done. There are no shortcuts. I've seen this first hand among my Mexican BIL's, who rather stick their male organ in a sharp blender running at full speed than take care of the baby. No hard work with the baby also means no bonding and absolutely no clue of how to handle the little ones. Take my advice, you never want to end up in those embarrassing, frustrating, and hopeless situations.
If you're considering a night nanny way ahead of having a baby, I would sit down and talk seriously if a cute little infant really is a good idea. Maybe it's too early, or perhaps too late? Having someone else take care of the baby during lots of hours seem to do little more than decrease parental involvement and lead to more problems handling the kids. And if you think handling the kids at two months is difficult, just wait until they are teenagers. But by then there are probably "Day Nannies" as well to solve silly things like raising your own children and teaching them about life.
Maybe I'm being too harsh. I don't doubt nannies work hard and often are capable but I've always felt like why have a child if someone else should take care of her/him all the time?
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