How to manage child care during the holidays.

Posted: September 19, 2016
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According to the Economic Policy Institute, at least 17 percent of the U.S. workforce has non-standard schedules, which means not every parent has the luxury of working 9 to 5, or even 8 to 6. Doctors, military personnel, police officers, firefighters, retail and restaurant employees, and even IT professionals often face a childcare dilemma during hours that fall outside of typical daycare drop-off and pick-up times. But work schedules aren’t the only issue, and there plenty of other reasons families seek overnight childcare. Is hiring an overnight nanny right for your family? Here’s what you should consider:

Is hiring an overnight nanny right for your family? Here’s what you should consider:

Non-standard Work Schedules

Routines are incredibly important for young children. Not only can irregular work schedules throw off meal times and bedtimes, they also can mean parents are unable to regularly engage children in important developmental activities, like reading, singing songs and recalling the day’s events. For families who are employed or on-call at night, hiring an overnight nanny can mean a child’s routine stays the same, even if mom’s or dad’s doesn’t.

Business Trips

Business trips are a normal part of many jobs, and typically they happen with enough time to plan for a short interruption in a family’s schedule. Other jobs require extensive travel or travel that is less predictable. Either way, even if one parent is home to care for the kids, having an extra set of hands in the evenings and mornings can help families better manage during these periods.

Health and Wellness

Sleep is a huge concern for all new parents, but if mom is at higher risk for postpartum depression, had a complicated pregnancy or delivery, or has other health and wellness concerns, a nanny to help with the overnight needs of an infant may be well worth the investment. Even without a specific need, some families with newborns opt to have nighttime help for the added security of a knowledgeable professional who can support them as they navigate new parenthood.

Other Special Circumstances

There are plenty of special circumstances that can lead families to seek childcare at irregular hours. Overnight nannies can help parents manage multiples, children with special needs or newborns who spent time in neonatal care.

Just because the nanny lives with you doesn’t mean she is available at all hours.

Space in Your Home

If you’re planning to hire a nanny to be in your home overnight, you’ll want to consider the space needs of an extra person. Overnight nannies require their own bedroom, and providing a nanny with use of a private bathroom, while not necessary, can go a long way toward making everyone in the house more comfortable.