A Newborn Care Specialist (NCS)– formerly called a “baby nurse,” and in some countries referred to as a maternity or nursery nurse – is a highly and specially trained in home child care provider that possesses a unique expertise on all aspects of newborn care. She is there to nurture and care for the newborn as well as educate and assist the parents in the first 12 to 16 weeks of life. An NCS is generally hired to care for newborns either overnight or around the clock, and works independently with minimal guidance from parents. They are familiar with all of the “normal” appearances and behaviours of a newborn, and can help families determine when something is outside of that range of normal in order for parents to have peace of mind that their newborn is developing appropriately. An NCS often has extensive knowledge in caring for multiples or premature infants, and is well versed in establishing good eating and sleeping habits to set the optimal stage for sleep conditioning, with the goal of getting the newborn to sleep through the night and take age appropriate naps as soon as is healthy and possible for that individual newborn. An NCS is also well versed in supporting family values and understands the importance of a child having healthy, educated, and empowered parents. An NCS will understand the value of and will support a breastfeeding/chestfeeding parent, and will also understand and support without judgment a parent who chooses to formula feed, no matter the reason. They will also have a basic understanding of Postpartum Mood Disorders, and can help keep the entire family healthy by knowing when to suggest outside help. The most recent information on optimal newborn care is something that the NCS keeps up with, and those resources are shared with families in order for parents to make educated decisions based on current research and what works best for their family dynamic and values. The NCS fully understands the scope of practice they should work within at all times.
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.
General duties of the Newborn Care Specialist:
- Educate & assist the parents
- Help create a smooth transition for the family after baby comes home from the hospital
- Breastfeeding/ Chestfeeding education & support
- Maintain an infant sleep, feed & behavior log
- Soothe the infant using skilled and proven techniques
- To provide care for the newborn by performing some of the following tasks:
- Help establish healthy sleep habits, sleep training when requested
- Maintain infant log
- Organization and maintenance of the nursery
- Bottle prep, cleaning & sterilization
- Take over complete care of the infant at night
- Create an appropriate feeding schedule
- Circumcision care
- Umbilical cord care
Are there Newborn Care Specialists with advanced training?
Some individuals choose to go through additional training to offer greater assistance to families. Some specialists have been trained to assist with sleep training beyond the age of 3 months and are able to provide information on colic/reflux in infants and are available to provide consultations on other issues that arise with newborns. Many Newborn Care Specialists have undergone advanced training on caring for premature babies or multiple newborns including twins, triplets, and quadruplets.
Do I have to be certified to work as an NCS?
No. There are currently no regulations within the US to work as an NCS. Other countries may have other requirements. Many agencies and families are starting to require this to apply.
Is Newborn Care Solutions certification recognized elsewhere?
Yes! CACHE has been established since 1945 and is recognized around the world as the Gold Standard for child care course certification. It is recognized in several countries around the world and this certification may help open many doors of opportunity for you!
Who is CACHE?
The Council for Awards in Care, Health & Education (CACHE) was formerly known as the famed National Nursery Examinations Board (NNEB) in the U.K. They provide fully independent third-party-verified accreditation and certification for educators and caregivers, setting the standards for the fields of “Care, Health & Education.”
CACHE is recognized worldwide as a legitimate authority with a longstanding reputation for having the highest expectations for their students. Their accreditation and certification programs “have helped millions of learners across the world to raise professional standards, earning [CACHE] a reputation for excellence and leadership across the sector”. Learn more about CACHE here.