Jeff Gordon talks about surviving his first night without Ella's nurse

07/18/2007 at 04:19 PM ET

Although they have been assisted by a baby nurse since welcoming Ella Sofia, 4-weeks, NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon says that he and wife Ingrid Vandebosch recently decided to give it a go on their own.  Talking to reporters on Tuesday, Jeff admitted to being slightly sleep-deprived courtesy of his daughter but nonetheless described the night before — their first ‘nurse-free’ — as "great." 

We were giving [the baby] a bath, and you know, changing diapers and burping and feeding and all the normal things that we do.  But we just didn’t have that, I guess, security blanket [of a nurse]…It was fun and exciting and also a huge learning curve to go through, you know, and having to do everything on our own.

Jeff — who says he now sleeps at the racetrack instead of at home — added that the nurse has proved to be beneficial for he and Ingrid, who are both first-time parents.

[She]’s teaching us some things, which has been very nice to have an introduction into it all.

Source:  People



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Heather on

Wait…a baby nurse? Does this mother have a job? If not, then why can’t she just take care of the baby on her own. Everyone else does it. Unless they’re really needed, celebrities need to chill on the nanny/nurse thing. Angelina has four kids and only recently got ONE nanny. She’s still more hands on than many I’ve seen in photos. Of course, they’re only photos.

Astrid on

I absolutely hate it when celebrities pride themselves for not having live-in, full time nannies raise their children for them. And especially- give me a break about the “sleepless nights”. I highly doubt these celebrities are getting out of bed themselves to calm or feed the baby. Unimpressed.

preesi on


Where are the Grandparents?

Why a nurse?

Did they read any books before she had the baby?


(I have so much more to say but it wont get posted!)

erika on

i’m just going to roll my eyes at this one….

Kati on

I can’t believe they’d miss out on the critical bonding that happens during the first few weeks of life for the luxury of not having to get up when their daughter cries. I think it is so sad and selfish. Don’t get me wrong, there have been many a night/morning when I had a momentary wish that I didn’t have to get up to tend to my daughter, but once I arrive in her room and pick her up all I can think about is how lucky I am to have her in my life. I’d never let a stranger raise my child.

Val on

Why is he sleeping at the racetrack? Maybe he needs rest if he is currently training/working that he is unable to get at home because of the new baby? If she is home alone, I’m sure that she probably has the nurse/nanny again. Those first few weeks can be exhausting, but we’ve all done it!! I know that there were times that I wished I had a nanny just so I could sleep for a few hours. But, I’m not rich!

Fortunately, I had my mother to help in the first 2 weeks after my baby was born, it was more of 10-5pm job (she mostly helped with housekeeping and dinner). I was breastfeeding so she really couldn’t help me with feeding the baby (I didn’t start to express my milk until 3 weeks). She helped us with bathing, changing diapers, etc. As a new parent, its great to get all the help you can get! I definitely I appreciated it!

tine on

“the first night without a nurse..”
well, congratulations, not everyone can manage that ‘sarcasm off’

I don’t get this nanny/nurse thing either. I can totally understand that you might need help with your household or someone to look after your newborn while you take a shower or eat something, but excuse me, a NIGHT NURSE?
It seems to be all about the oh so beautiful photoshoots and the stylish baby gear but when it comes to dirty diapers and nightfeedings – nanny, please.

The other thing I don’t understand, why is the father sleep-deprived? Is he breastfeeding the baby or what?

tine on

Kati, I agree about strangers raising your baby.
And I’m too selfish to let anyone else have the joy of caring for my precious baby ;o)
About the nights, you don’t even have to get up, just let the baby sleep in your bed and everything is soo much easier…

Christine on

this is my thing, I’m 26, have 2 kids, 3 years and 5 months and I would not for one second even think about having a baby nurse/nanny.. these are my kids. My husband and I should be the ones to wake up for night feedings, change the diapers, etc. etc. I just don’t understand some people… why have kids if you are just gonna have someone else raise them and miss out on all of those precious milestones. Family is the most important thing in this world, because you know what, in the end, that fancy career you may have isn’t going to be by your side when you are on your death bed.

ok, rant is over. sorry about that

Renee on

I don’t get where his parents or hers for that matter were.I can understand a nurse if you have three children under five aka Heidi Klum or twins but just for one baby?? I know babies especially newborns are hard to take care of but to have it tough the first night after the nurse leaves??? How did people survive those early days without nannies

Dawna on

Wow, everyone is so negative about the Gordons having a baby nurse. Who cares if celebrities have nannies or nurses? If they want one and can afford one, good on them!

Anyone think that maybe they do not have an extended family or “free help” readily available, so they chose this route?

Also, have any of you seen what Jeff does for a living? He’s doing what he can to ensure he doesn’t kill himself or someone else in a race because he’s a wee bit tired. It is not like he sleeps at the racetrack all the time, most likely the first few days before a race.

brannon on

Sorry. No sympathy here either. As a single mother, I have had many sleepless nights as well AND still had to get up and go to my JUST as important job. And I wouldn’t have missed any of those nights for anything now that my son is 15 months. I’d give anything to have them back (sometimes 🙂 I don’t have a problem with nurses and nannies (I admit to using a nanny for my son when I am at work) but when you are home or don’t have to work – cherish those moments! And please don’t complain about ONE night without a nanny to some of the most tired people in the world … 🙂

Alycia on

Ladies, I’m going to put it out there, and I’ll know I’ll catch flack for it. I personally loathed waking up with my son when he was an infant. I knew even before getting pregnant that giving up sleep was going to be a big issue for me. Mainly, because it’s one of the few things in life I’m selfish about, and second, because I can barely function on less than 8 hours of sleep. My husband and I had discussed it prior to me getting pregnant, and he volunteered to take over nighttime duty so I could get my sleep. I did manage to get by on about 6 hours of sleep for the first 3 months after my son was born, and was able to give my husband frequent nighttime breaks, which made him pleasantly surprised. Once my son was only getting up one time during the night, my husband became the only one of us to get up with our son. Now, I’m back to sleeping with ear plugs every night (because my husband and my dogs all snore), so I rarely hear my son if he wakes up; my husband automatically takes care of him. This all probably makes me a bad mommy. But, I’m a well-rested mommy, and that makes me a more fun and happy mommy to be around.

Emma on

Yeah – my heart bleeds for them!! What a complete joke. Like most mums, I was waking in the night everytime my babies cried from the moment they were born. Once we got home from the hospital each time, my husband would help me – but that’s it. No nanny, no nurse, no days or nights off! It does make me cross when celebs seem to want praise or recognition for doing something that the rest of us do day in, day out without question. Grrr.

Rachael on

First off, I’m a big Jeff Gordon fan and will admit this caught me by surprise also! I really thought they would have family help them out, especially since his wife is a model and currently isn’t working, but it’s their choice and nothing we can do about it, besides rant a little.

Yes, Jeff does put his life on the line every time he steps into that race car, and it’s also his choice to do that every weekend. I highly doubt he sleeps at the track AFTER the races, most drivers spend the days before the race at the track, he more than likely flies right home after the race is finished.

This is obviously what works best for them, I’m sure they will find life getting much easier as the baby grows. I know I’d love to be in their shoes for even a day or two and not have to worry about buying groceries or putting gas in the car! 🙂

Carol on

My people are quite judgemental aren’t they? Hiring a nanny doesn’t make you a bad parent, and going without doesn’t necessarily make you a good one. I’ll admit that ONE article does make it sound like they expect the nurse to do everything at night, but for those who follow Jeff Gordon and have seen the MANY interviews he has given since Ella’s birth, you would know that in no way are they just passing the kid off to the nurse and sleeping the night away. Jeff has mentioned in every interview that he gets up with Ella at night, brings her to Ingrid, burps her, changes her, puts her to bed.

Sounded more to me like the baby nurse was there to help and instruct, not do. I know if I could have afforded to have someone helping me, I sure would have had it.

I noticed several of you questioned where the grandparents were? What is the difference between having a nanny and expecting the grandparents to come rushing from all over the world to care for the baby? What is the difference as long as the baby is loved and taken care of?

BTW…Ingrid is from Belgium, her parents still live there. Perhaps they aren’t comfortable coming here, since they don’t speak English.

Carol on

I wanted to add to the person who asked didn’t they read any books? Well, I read all the books I could get my hands on before having my first, and can tell you that at 3 a.m. with a crying baby, and after going days without much sleep, those books aren’t worth a darn.

Sabina on

They’ve had their baby for 4 weeks and hadn’t yet spent a single night alone with her?? That is possibly the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard in my life! If you’re not mature enough to a. overcome your selfishness and make the necessary changes to your life in order to be able to take care of your baby even one night a week or b. face up to your fears and care for your baby as a responsible adult, not pay someone else to do it because you don’t think you’re capable/are scared, then you shouldn’t have children!! Who are they going to pay to handle things when their kid is a teenager and needs a loving parent to talk to and spend time with? A therapist?

Jillian on

I am a little disappointed at the way the People article is made to sound. The quote about the nurse leaving in the people article is dated the 18th, but if you go to his website, that quote was taken from the transcript for a Nascar teleconference on the 11th.

If you read the quote he also says that they were doing all of the things they normally do, just without the nurse as a safety net. To me they sound like nervous first time parents who want to do everything right for their daughter so they hired a professional to help teach them, not do it for them. If they have the money, then why not.

I was also not impressed with how they titled the article “I Sleep at the Racetrack” like he is avoiding responsibility. That quote came from the very end of the comment, and all he was saying was that when he sleeps at the track each week (like all drivers do, unless close to home) that he is getting the better sleep. The Nascar weekend starts on Thursday with practices, then qualifying on Friday, the Busch race on Saturday, and the race on Sunday with loads of press events throughout, and is located at a different track all over the US each weekend. If they can’t chopper home on the brakes they sleep at the track in their motor homes. When Ella is older, her and Ingrid will probably be there too.

I think People did a really poor article and wanted to make it as malicious as possible…
If you read further down the actual article (from the transcript) he also states that the nurse is temporary and they are tapering off the visits. Maybe next time they could take some of his other quotes like when he said he wanted to get the race over as quick as possible to get home to his wife and daughter!!!

Theresa on

Oh Boy. It’s hard to believe how delighted people are to criticize without bothering to read! Jeff said the nurse was a “security blanket”. First time parents with any sense are terrified to be alone with such a small being that looks so fragile. I was, my children were when they became parents, and from working in the nursery of hospitals, I know most parents are. Also the ‘sleeping at the racetrack’ remark was a joke he made during a post-race interview. Lighten up people, and try not to get so much joy in cutting down a celebrity. Just because they can afford ‘security’ to ease them thru the learning process.

Karen on

Wow I never thought I would see the day when I was defending Jeff Gordon but here I go!

If you read carefully he says that once the baby nurse was gone they did all the things they normally did, they just didn’t have that security blanket (of the baby nurse) to fall back on. So that means that even with the baby nurse there with them they still fed her, changed her, put her to bed, everything and she was just there to help them. It is no different then if they had a family member or close friend to help them, but they can afford to pay somebody so why not.

As for the sleep-deprived comments all Jeff said is that he is getting more sleep when he is at the racetrack then he is when he is at home, that seems like common sense to me. When he is at home he is taking care of his daughter so he is not getting as much sleep as he was before she was born. But on the weekends he goes to the racetrack (for his job) while his wife and daughter stay home, and no baby means no getting up in the middle of the night so he is getting more sleep. I fail to see where he his complaining about having to get up in the middle of the night or of being sleep-deprived.

Bella on

Perhaps the nurse is just there to give advice and does not actually take over… I sure could have used the help and advice of a nurse with mine! I don’t think I actually figured out what I was doing until about 4 months 🙂

If the nurse does take main care of the baby that is just sad for the parents – they don’t know what they are missing out on.

@ Emma

I totally agree as far as celebs seeming to seek praise or recognition for what most people handle day to day. I also had no help from relatives or a nurse/nanny after our baby was born and my husband just slept on through so I had eight months of waking up at least once a night. But it seems unusual now for celebs NOT to have a nanny of some sort. They’d get a shock in the ‘real world’.

Bev on

I wish I had a night nanny when I had my kids. I think the venom people are spewing is because they are jealous….they wish they could have afforded to have the same thing.

50 years ago women stayed in the hospital for a week and were taught how to take care of a baby…if they had a c-section it was more like 2 weeks. Now, they kick you to the curb the day after you give birth…3 days after a c-section.

Ingrid had a c-section and was home 3 days later. For those of you that have had a c-section you know that 3 days is not long enough, heck even for a normal delivery 3 days isn’t long enough.

Who cares if they have a nanny…it is there choice. As for the grandparents, they can’t stay forever, most only stay for two weeks. I would much rather they have the “support system” of the night nurse then a mom that doesn’t ask for help at all and ends up resenting her kids and doing something stupid(Not saying that would have happened)

amelia on

She does not know tired until she has triplets! I was so exhausted and did not have a nanny nor would I want to. Its really hard but to know I did it made me feel good. I guess its her choice but she is really missing some good times and great memories of the midnight exhausted feeds!

Shmoo on

I guess I can’t relate to a few stories that are up here time to time. Maybe I was just lucky, but I don’t understand the big deal people make out of babies. Electronic monitor things for breasteeding and diapers, prefessional assistants,endless battery operated vibraty containers to put the kid in, blah blah. It just didn’t seem that hard. Baby wakes up, roll over and nurse baby. Baby’s wet, change diaper. Baby’s are so natural, and for thousands of years women have popped them out, and carried them around in the fields while they worked, but now everything is such a big hardship. Humans have gotten all wimpy. We need to go back to the cave and get it together.

gordongirl24 on

Ya know what? Who cares what other parents do?! If you are able to afford the help, then more power to you… it doesn’t necessarily mean that you are bad parents. There are several different parenting styles and apparently they have chosen their own… let it be and worry about yourselves!!!

mj on

hey i love the baby she is so cute and the nanny thing is a real good idea!