It can be hard for parents to admit they might need help, but there’s no shame in accepting some support during the exciting early days with a newborn. And if you’re sleep-deprived and constantly wondering if there is a better way you could be sleep training and swaddling, there’s someone you should get to know: a newborn care specialist.
What’s a Newborn Care Specialist?
You can think of a newborn care specialist (NCS) as an extension of the most important people in a baby’s life: the parents. They often fill in on infant care during a nighttime shift, allowing parents time to rest and recover while learning tips and tricks from someone who’s cared for tons of babies over their career. You may also have heard the term “night nurse,” which is not always used accurately—it is supposed to be used only for an NCS who has medical certification and is considered outdated—but hints at the role that many of these professionals play, assisting with care in the wee hours to let parents get a good night’s sleep!
An NCS is distinct from a nanny in that they are specifically certified in newborn care, so they are extremely knowledgeable about feeding, diapering, swaddling, sleep training, attachment, and any infant-specific challenges that may come up like rashes, reflux, and colic. Many also have specific experience with infants who have special medical needs, twins, triplets, and preemies. Essentially, they come to your home immediately ready to take over whenever needed and provide an excellent, personalized care so the baby’s needs are always being met.
How Parents Can Benefit from an NCS
It’s not hard to see how an infant can benefit from an extra pair of caring hands, but new parents may be surprised at just how much an NCS can do to smooth the transition into this exciting new life. An NCS can answer any questions that come up about breastfeeding, getting the baby on a good schedule, and changes or developments to look out for. Especially in a time when there is an overwhelming amount of information on how to raise a child, having one person to turn to when you’re feeling uncertain can be just what you need to feel more confident as a parent. Many newborn care specialists will also pitch in on light housework so that new parents don’t have to constantly keep up with dishes and bottle sterilizing, and cook meals to make sure parents themselves are staying well-fed along with their baby! And of course, the benefits of a full night’s sleep for a new parent? Absolutely priceless.
How to Hire and Work with an NCS
Perhaps the hardest part of finding a great NCS is figuring out your own needs: would you prefer someone who can help out at night, be around during the day, or live in and work around a varying schedule? Give yourself a little grace as this is a time when you’re likely feeling so many positive feelings alongside strong emotions like stress, sensitivity, and anxiety about giving your baby the best care possible. Is there any special knowledge or approach you’d look for in an NCS that would put you at ease? How would you like to work with an NCS as a team to make sure everyone is happy and communicating well? Once you’ve thought a bit more about your specific needs, get to know some newborn care specialists who are certified through accredited organizations like Newborn Care Solutions. A great newborn care specialist will be eager to have a conversation about how they might best fit into your lifestyle and parenting approach, and excited to bring a non-judgmental attitude toward helping you build confidence as a parent. Though an NCS will usually only be with families for a temporary period of time, perhaps a few months, many families and newborn care specialists report feeling sad to say goodbye at the end!