- Shutterstock/Alina Demidenko
- A baby nurse who teaches babies of wealthy Manhattan families to sleep through the night spoke to The Cut about what her unconventional job is like.
- She said she books jobs a year in advance, never gets more than two hours of sleep in a night, and once quit a job after just 48 hours because of how she was treated.
- Baby nurses are in higher demand now than ever and can make up to $800 a day, Seth Norman Greenberg, vice president of domestic staffing firm Pavillion Agency, told Business Insider.
Baby nurses, who care for wealthy families’ newborn babies and teach them to sleep through the night, are in high demand these days.
As Business Insider previously reported, wealthy families are increasingly hiring baby nurses to care for their newborns – and they’re keeping them longer and paying them more than ever before.
A baby nurse in Manhattan who spoke to The Cut about her job, remaining anonymous so she could speak freely, said when she started out as a baby nurse almost 20 years ago, she was making $135 for 24 hours of work a day.
Now, some baby nurses can make up to $800 a day, Seth Norman Greenberg, vice president of domestic staffing firm Pavillion Agency, told Business Insider. But their job isn’t easy. Many work 22-hour days and don’t take a day off until three or four weeks after the baby is born, Greenberg said. Most baby nurses start out as either nannies, RNs, or LPNs and they’re often mothers themselves.
The baby nurse who spoke to The Cut said she has jobs booked out a year in advance and barely gets any sleep when she’s working.
“If the jobs keep flowing, I can make a living,” she said. “But you have to work really, really hard in this field to make a living. You hardly ever get more than two hours of sleep a night.”
Baby nurses develop a bond with their families very quickly because couples who’ve just had a baby are so vulnerable, she said.
“Often the mother’s body is exposed all the time because she’s breastfeeding,” she said. “There’s an intimacy that arises and you become like a confidant. In this short period of time you go from hardly knowing them to forming this strong bond.”
But that doesn’t mean the relationships between baby nurses and families are always good ones.
“Taking any job is a gamble because you don’t really know what kind of people you are dealing with until you get into their home,” she said. “That is when their personality really starts to show. “
Once, the baby nurse had to leave a family that lived on New York’s Upper East Side after only 48 hours.
“They asked me to wash the floor, cook them meals, and serve them,” she said. “I stayed for two days and then I just packed my bags and left.”
The baby nurse said that where she comes from in the Caribbean, people think it’s odd that New Yorkers don’t take care of their own babies. But for Greenberg, who helps match baby nurses to “ultra-wealthy” families who work in business, finances, tech, and other industries, baby nurses are essential to their success, he told Business Insider.
“All of these very successful people are able to be successful because their homes are run,” he said.