How to Afford a Baby Nurse
“Baby nurses are for the rich and famous.”
“There is no way I could afford a baby nurse.”
“Wow, you have a baby nurse, you and your husband must be doing well.”
We have heard these quotes frequently, and we mean frequently. How true is this? Are baby nurses just for the wealthy, or are there ways to afford it? Fortunately, there are ways to be creative.
First, lets break down the cost.
As we have written about before, a baby nurse has the intention of staying only a few weeks after the baby’s birth. The average stay is 2-3 weeks. For sake of real-life examples, we will say you want a full time live-in baby nurse for 2 weeks post-partum. Adding the placement fee plus two weeks of baby nurse fee, a very rough estimate is $8,000. Many other factors can change this quote, but we want to help put this into perspective. Part-time fees will be less. Sticker shock? Take a breath and read on.
1. Human Resources Options
Talking to your Human Resources (HR) representative can surprisingly lead to several options. While paternity leave would be the best option, many places of employment are far from implementing this. Several clients have worked with their HR department to work out a “paternity leave substitution” (i.e, extra money). Even if your company does not offer up money as substitution for a paternity leave, HR may still have other options to explore. It is worth looking into.
2. Dependent Care Flexible Savings Account (DCFSA)
A DCFSA is an employee benefit that covers expenses related to the care of children, a disabled spouse, elderly parent or other dependent incapable of self-care. DCFSA money is deducted pre-tax and is contingent on the employee or his/her spouse working full-time, looking for work or attending school full-time. Expenses from a baby nurse, au pair, nanny, etc, fall under this umbrella. For more detailed information, visit here.
3. The Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit
This tax credit can get you 20-35% of up to $3,000 of childcare tax credit per dependent. This can vary by state, so make sure to check your state laws. This tax credit is in addition to the regular child and dependent tax credit. For more information visit here.
4. Ask for a Baby Nurse as a Gift
In lieu of many unnecessary baby shower gifts, ask your close friends and loved ones to gift money towards a baby nurse. We have had clients in the past use this option. While you still can have a traditional shower and registry, you can “tone down” the unnecessary items on the list and ask for money instead. Families can be especially generous during this time, so you might as well use the generosity towards something very useful. Even if friends and family cannot cover the entire cost, they can help cover a large chunk.
5. Save Up
Easier said than done, right? If you know a baby nurse is something you really want for your sanity after the baby is born, preparation is key. Taking nine months to save up for this would mean saving approximately $444 per paycheck, assuming you get paid every two weeks. Michelle Brown, Founder and CEO of iHelpMoms, has taken advantage of using a baby nurse. How did she afford it? Good, old-fashioned saving.
Just like any service, baby nurses aren’t practical for everyone. However, we hope this article showed some options available. After all, you cannot put a price on peace of mind, and hiring a Baby Whisperer is well worth it.
If you have questions or comments, feel free to leave them below or e-mail us directly. We would love to hear from you!
Jeri Ford, RN, BSN, CPN