- 1)What is a Newborn Care Specialist?
A Newborn Care Specialist is an individual trained and skilled in newborn care. They provide unique expertise in all aspects of newborn care, parental education and support. Their job is to help nurture and care for newborns while providing guidance and education for the parents.
- 2) What services does a Newborn Care Specialist provide?
The primary role of a Newborn Care Specialist is to provide assistance and education after the parents bring the baby home from the hospital. Many times this help will include scheduling, feeding, sleep training, help with breast feeding and more.
Newborn Care Specialists will generally work night shifts managing the baby’s care while the parents sleep restfully. When the baby wakes up, the Newborn Care Specialist feeds by bottle or brings the baby to the mom for nursing.
During the daytime a Newborn Care Specialist will provide similar care and also strive to create a nurturing and stimulating environment for the baby during waking hours. Both day and night Newborn Care Specialists document the baby’s patterns and keep a log of sleeping, feeding and changing times to assist in transitioning the baby to a regular schedule.
Newborn Care Specialists are generally not responsible for household duties unrelated to the new baby or for the care of other children in the household.
- 3) What are the general duties of a NCS?
A Newborn Care Specialist will typically perform the following duties:
• Educate and support parents.
• Create a smooth transition for family during the newborn stage.
• Troubleshoot potential issues of concern with the newborn and offer professional options to resolve them.
• Maintain a thorough log of infant feeding and sleep patterns.
• Assist the family with any feeding issues they may have, including formula feeding and the facilitation of breastfeeding and be knowledgeable in answering breastfeeding related questions.
• Soothes babies using skills and proven techniques that help calm newborns.
• To provide care for the newborn and perform some or all of the following tasks:
• Circumcision Care
• Bottle Preparation (Breastmilk & Formula)
• Bottle Cleaning
• Organization & Maintenance of Nursery
• Create a regular feeding schedule
• Assist in establishing healthy sleep habits
• Maintain a thorough log of eating, sleeping and behavioral patterns
• Take over complete care of newborn at night to provide parents time to sleep
- 4) What are some advanced duties of a Newborn Care Specialist?
• To provide assistance with Sleep Conditioning beyond 3 months and assist parents with helping infants and toddlers sleep through the night.
• Knowledgeable in Reflux/Colic and available to provide helpful solutions caring for babies with GER/GERD.
• Experienced in working with multiples and effectively teaching parents how to care for more than one baby at a time. Their knowledge includes how to effectively set up the nursery and a routine to accommodate twins, triplets and quadruplets.
• Doing consultations regarding any newborn issues that may arise.
• Knowledgeable in working with premature babies and understanding how to care and address their special and unique needs.
- 5) What is the typical work schedule for a Newborn Care Specialist?
As a full time Newborn Care Specialist your schedule is usually in 8-10 hour shifts, day or night, or you may also be requested to work 24-hour shifts, either 5 or 7 days a week. There are also some families that require assistance on a part-time basis and that can include 5 days a week for a minimum of 4 hours or more, or a full 8 hour day or night shift for 2, 3 or 4 days a week. Newborn Care Specialists usually work a minimum of 2 weeks and have been known to stay on positions for as long as 6 months. Each family will have it’s own unique support needs and requirements.
Salary is usually based on two factors: the amount of experience the candidate brings to the position and the number of infants involved (singleton, twins, triplets, quads or more.) Each region has set standards for what the average rate. Please check your local city and state for verification of standard rates.
The average hourly rate for a Newborn Care Specialist is $18-$60 based on the number of children and region.
A typical daily rate is $360 – $800 again based on each family’s requirements and region.
Since Newborn Care Specialists typically work as temporary employees, they usually receive no benefits.
- 7) What kind of background do I have to have to become a Newborn Care Specialist?
To become a Newborn Care Specialist you basically need to possess an unconditional love for babies. Some typical backgrounds of those working in the profession include:
• Medical professionals (nurses, emt’s, medical assistants, etc.)
• Preschool teachers
• Daycare providers
• Individuals with a background in child development
• Postpartum Doulas
- 8) Why is training and/or certification necessary?
In order to provide exemplary care to families during the postpartum phase, it is essential that you seek comprehensive training. You must be knowledgeable in all areas of basic newborn care and understand the importance of feeding, sleeping, caring and supporting families during this time. Those without training and proper skills can risk conditioning babies to establish poor eating and sleeping patterns and increase the probability of developing hard to break habits. More importantly, basic requirements such as feeding or basic care can put babies health at risk if individuals are not properly trained in how to appropriately handle these tasks.
- 9) Where can I find comprehensive training programs?
Please see our Training Page for a full list of those programs NCSA has recognized and approved as reputable training programs. Our site is updated regularly and will only include programs that satisfactorily meet our requirements.
- 10) Can I still benefit from training if I am already working in the field?
Many of those with backgrounds in caring for babies have benefited greatly from attending a well rounded training program. Even those with several years of including RV and LPN’s have learned new skills and acquired indispensable knowledge in newborn care. These tools can be implemented immediately into your general service and elevate your expertise level to that of a specialist.
- 11) What is the difference between a Baby Nurse and Newborn Care Specialist?
A Baby Nurse by today’s standards is a Registered Nurse (RN), Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN). Individuals with this type of background are available to work with families who have babies dealing with medical challenges including prematurity, genetic disorders or other medical conditions that present life-threatening risks to the infant. Many of these newborns require close monitoring and care by a knowledgeable, trained and experienced Baby Nurse when discharged home from the hospital.
*Please be aware that based on certain law requirements set in each state – the term “Baby Nurse” can only apply to those carrying a valid nursing license. Please check your local state for further verification on the use of this title.*
- 12) What is the difference between a Postpartum Doula and Newborn Care Specialist?
A postpartum doula’s role is to “mother the mother”. A trained postpartum doula is also an educator but primarily focuses on the needs of the mother. She is available to provide care during the postpartum period and will assist with duties such as laundry, cooking, running errands and nurturing the family in whatever their needs dictate. She offers support with both parents, siblings and family members and is well rounded in her knowledge of baby care. There are several Newborn Care Specialists who are trained in both aspects and it is a perfect complement to the profession.
- 13) What is a Newborn Nanny?
A Newborn Nanny is a nanny trained and skilled in basic baby care and development from birth to 6 months old. She works with families of newborns and infants and is knowledgeable in newborn care, infant development and basic eating, sleeping and age appropriate activities.
- 14) I am a Newborn Care Specialist, Baby Nurse, Nanny or Postpartum Doula. Where can I find advanced training?
Please check our training page for information regarding advanced training classes that are offered. These programs have been reviewed and approved by NCSA and met their standard requirements.