For parents of newborns, a night of uninterrupted sleep often is a precious luxury. But for those who work odd hours, are worn out or suffer from certain medical conditions, it is a necessity. That’s the key premise behind Let Mommy Sleep, a Washington, D.C.–based business providing overnight care and postpartum visits to families with newborns.
The company, which opened a Las Vegas location during Labor Day weekend last year—yes, the date was intentional—hopes to help normalize baby help for tired and busy families.
“It’s just not the social norm, but we want to make it the social norm,” says registered nurse Sasha Thaler, who, along with her husband, Scott, owns the franchise serving local families. “The overall comment that I get is they don’t know what they’d do without us.”
The Thalers, whose business serves about 10 to 20 families a month, say what makes the company unique is its staff, which consists of registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, certified nursing assistants and professional nannies.
Sasha, who has been a pediatric intensive care unit nurse and currently works in postpartum care, says she routinely had families at the hospital jokingly ask if they could take her home.
Generally, if a baby suffers from a serious medical condition, parents can qualify for assistance through their insurance. But for parents of newborns who are not seriously ill or for guardians who simply need rest, there is little help, says Let Mommy Sleep Founder and CEO Denise Stern. Stern knows from experience.
She formulated the idea for the company during a particularly challenging pregnancy with twins about a decade ago. Without immediate family help nearby and with her husband’s lack of paternity leave from work, having a well-trained professional care for her baby overnight while she rested seemed like an ideal solution.
“We are all fine since then,” she says, “but I thought, ‘I wonder if there are other people like me. I wonder if there’s a need for this.'”
It turns out there was, she adds.
Allison Box, a registered nursing student and newborn care provider with the Las Vegas location, has long helped to take care of babies in her family, and she is now caring for other people’s newborns. “It kind of feels natural to me. I feel like it’s my calling,” she says.
Box provides overnight care, which begins at about $30 per hour in Las Vegas. Care from a registered nurse begins at $40 an hour.
The company also offers two-hour postpartum visits, during which a registered nurse will come to a client’s home and answer questions about breastfeeding, safe sleeping practices and seemingly everything in between. Those sessions cost about $200.
Stern says she understands costs can be limiting, but for many parents, the experience has been paid for many times over with peace of mind and a good night’s rest.
“It’s a very moving thing,” she says. “Parents say things like, ‘This is a transformative experience.'”