Types of in-home newborn support

Types of in-home newborn support available, explained

As beautiful as newborns are, the postpartum period can be challenging, exhausting, and all-consuming. Even if you have plenty of help from loving family and friends, you can benefit immensely from additional outside professional support. There’s nothing wrong with asking for help, particularly if you consider that it takes a village to raise a baby. Here’s our list of the types of in-home support that’s available, and how each professional can help you.

Mother’s Helper

Think of her as an extra pair of hands. A mother’s helper could do your baby’s laundry, entertain older siblings, or hold your baby while you take a nap or a shower. She’s not as experienced as a nanny, but is perfect for when you just need a few hours of support in the home each week. 

Night Nanny

Book in a few nights of respite and sleep guidance. A night nanny will come and stay overnight (usually for a minimum of two consecutive nights) and either bottle feed or bring your baby to you for a feed, and then burp and resettle your baby. You deserve some sleep! It’s generally not recommended that newborns are sleep-trained but a night nanny can suggest some gentle settling techniques, as well as give you a break. 

Postpartum Doula

A postpartum doula’s experienced approach is to support and nurture the birth mother, offering emotional support and reassurance, newborn care, nourishing meals, breastfeeding guidance, and help you to get on top of the household maintenance.

Maternity Nanny

If you’re returning to work or study when your baby is under 12 months, you can hire a maternity nanny. It’s quite different caring for an infant compared to a toddler, so you want your child’s carer to have plenty of experience with babies.


If you can find the energy to get out in the evening, book a trustworthy babysitter who has infant experience. You deserve to feel like yourself now and again. 

Things to consider when you search for in-home support

  • Ensure that the childhood professional holds a current pediatric first-aid certificate. 
  • Ask for their current Working with Children Check (your state of Australia may have a different name for it) or insist that they apply for one first.
  • You can also ask for a current Police Check.
  • Some professionals may have insurance cover, such as NannySure, so you might like to explore whether you’re both covered, for example, if they break a household object accidentally.
  • Ask for at least two verbal references and two written ones, and ideally you’d like someone to have at least 1-2 years of experience with babies. 
  • You can always suggest a trial period for a week or two before signing a contract. 
  • Ask friends, neighbours, or local Facebook groups for referrals.
  • Rates vary from $20-$40 per hour (and upwards) depending on experience. 

Other Practical Services

In addition to professional in-home help with your newborn, try to outsource as much as your budget will allow. It’s a short stage that will pass, but for now it’s hard!

  1. When you’re exhausted, it feels like you’re never going to get on top of the housework again. Hire a cleaner, even once a fortnight or as a once-off.
  2. It’s incredibly important to eat nutritious meals during this stage, but finding the motivation to cook or grocery shop can be too much. Get your meals delivered, even just so you have back-up meals in the freezer for the days (weeks!) that don’t go to plan.
  3. Hire a gardener or dog walker, if you feel that either of them are a little neglected right now.
  4. Find a hairdresser that does home visits if you struggle to find the perfect time to get out for a haircut. 
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