Modern Baby Nurse FAQ

What’s the difference between a baby nurse (or night nurse) and a newborn care specialist?

A night nurse is an older term used to describe a baby nurse who works overnight. The old school baby nurses often had very little, if any, formal education or training. In the early 2000’s several of the most professional and highly sought after baby nurses banded together with the common goal of bringing more standardization and professionalism to the industry. One of their concerns was the use of the term “nurse” when they are not medically trained. The decision was made to change their professional title to newborn care specialist. Additionally, a national organization was formed to regulate and train newborn care specialists. Today, while many of our clients still use the term ‘night nurse’ we are trying to educate the public that the modern term for a night nurse is a newborn care specialist or postpartum doula.

What is the difference between a postpartum doula and a newborn care specialist?

At Modern Baby Nurse we are all trained as both newborn care specialists and postpartum doulas. We use the term ‘doula’ because it’s less wordy and frankly, we like the term better than newborn care specialist. Our goal is to walk the line between both professions being skilled enough to tailor our service to each individual client’s needs.

The role of a postpartum doula has more to do with attuning to each family, being with Mom and Dad for support but not necessarily taking over care of the baby for you. So in a doula role you might be doing the first bath and your doula would be right there by your side to help. As a newborn care specialist you may ask us to actually bathe the infant for you while you watch and ask questions, or you may simply say at the beginning of the shift, can you give the baby a bath tonight? Whichever way you choose works for us. It’s your preference and we are here to support you in whatever way feels right to you.

Traditionally, night nurses are more accustomed to taking over care of your newborn while both parents sleep. They arrive at night right before bedtime, hear how your day went, discuss anything new and then Mom and Dad are off to bed while the night nurse attends to your little bundle. In the morning you wake up having your coffee and breakfast at leisure, then we hand your baby off into your well rested arms. A more traditional doula role at night may include getting up with you while you nurse, bringing you a glass of cold water to sip, and offering encouragement as you navigate through those 3am feedings.

During the day our doulas focus on support. Whether that’s emotional support as we talk and connect with you or more hands-on support as we prep a meal, toss in a load of laundry or pick up the toys your toddler dumped all over the family room floor. We may be holding, feeding or soothing your newborn, or you may be doing that. We help in whatever way you need us and we know that may change from moment to moment and day to day.

What is covered in newborn care specialists training

Newborn specialist training includes topics such as:

  • Physical characteristics of a newborn from head-to-toe
  • Umbilical Cord Care
  • Circumcision Care
  • Types of diaper rashes and common treatments
  • How to take the temperature of a newborn
  • Diapering
  • Swaddling
  • Breastfeeding basics and how to troubleshoot more advanced breastfeeding issues
  • Bottle feeding
  • Formula feeding: an in-depth look at all formula options including mainstream commercial options, hypoallergenic, organic, non gmo, european formulas, goats milk based and homemade. Discussion of indications to use different formulas.
  • Suggested Supplies for the Nursery
  • Safe Sleep
  • Care of special needs babies and preemies
  • Care of Multiples
  • Recognizing the signs of feeding issues and food allergies
  • Methods of Sleep Training
  • Environmentally/eco friendly products and practices
  • Supporting a Postpartum Mom
  • Postpartum Mood Disorders
  • The Business Side: professional ethics, contracts, insurance, getting hired, taxes


What is covered in postpartum doula training?

  • Listening Styles
  • Birth Recovery
  • Breastfeeding
  • Newborn Care
  • Emotional Support
  • Parenting Philosophies
  • Sibling Care
  • Multiples
  • Postpartum Depression
  • Meal Prep and Household Support
  • Business Strategies

Does sleep training mean my baby will have to cry it out?

There are several different methods of sleep training. Our favorite method is a gentle, no cry method that is started from birth or within the first 6-8 weeks of life. If we miss this window and you decide to sleep train there may be crying involved. We come prepared with the knowledge of which sleep training method will work the best for you and your baby. We will teach you how to achieve longer stretches of sleep with the least amount of crying possible!