By "nurse" I am wondering if, for example, Narcissa was the one who was taking care of Draco when he was a baby, or was Dobby the one who changed his diaper and fed him at night?

I can't imagine them trusting the house-elves with their heirs, but also pure-bloods look like the kind of people to have a nurse to take care of their children.

  • 3
    Related, not dupe: we know that there are midwives, there may be nurses/nannies as well. Not sure if the Malfoys would use Dobby as one, though.
    – Jenayah
    Aug 30, 2018 at 12:08
  • 2
    Oh dear. I now have a seemingly unremovable (Permanent Sticking Charm?) image in my head of Kreacher acting as a wet nurse to Sirius. Aug 30, 2018 at 15:06
  • Who else is going to do it? If you're wealthy enough to own a servant are you really going to get your hands dirty with the messy practicalities of childcare? Aug 31, 2018 at 14:58

2 Answers 2


House-elves can be ‘carers’, but we don’t know how typical it is.

When Barty Crouch Jr. is broken out of Azkaban, the Crouches’ house-elf Winky takes care of him. She nurses him back to health, and then takes care of him after that as well.

“That grave is empty. The house-elf nursed me back to health. Then I had to be concealed. I had to be controlled.”
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, (Chapter 35)

Winky was his carer, with him all the time, and was responsible for tending to him.

“I was always with the house-elf. She was my keeper and carer. She pitied me. She persuaded my father to give me occasional treats. Rewards for my good behaviour.”
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, (Chapter 35)

Barty Crouch Jr. was an adult at the time, not a child, and an unusual case because he was supposed to be in Azkaban, but this does show that house-elves can be used as carers. It’s unclear whether most pure-bloods have their house-elves tend to any children, but it’s possible.


I think it is likely Winky had some part in raising Barty Crouch Jr. because she seems to care for him even more than his father. And she feels she has enough authority to tell him:

"Master Barty, you bad boy!" whispered Winky

And also I think it is likely that most purebloods who trusted their house-elves would let them take care of the baby instead of doing it themselves.

  • sorry. I use an American grammar checker so it changed the spellings.
    – user103390
    Sep 2, 2018 at 21:11

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