Newborn specialists help provide all the basic care that babies require during the first few months of life, such as feeding, changing diapers, and keeping the baby clean. They also share their expertise to help parents develop routines and create safe environments for their babies. The job usually requires you to work overnight, as that is when many parents need the most help. While you can become a newborn specialist without special training, you will need to be very familiar with all the elements of caring for a newborn.
Although newborn specialists were once called “baby nurses,” they are not nurses in the medical sense. You don’t need advanced medical training to become a newborn specialist, but taking a basic first aid course is a good idea. Look for one that teaches newborn cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and how to handle emergencies and medical challenges. Even if you’ve taken adult CPR and life-saving courses in the past, you can benefit from these courses; the procedures for dealing with newborns are completely different. Knowing that you have the tools to handle an emergency can help you feel more confident and give you an edge when applying for positions to become a newborn specialist.
Certification is usually not required, but you may want to take a few classes before you become a newborn specialist just to make sure you understand all the basics of caring for newborns. Online courses are available and usually require reading material and taking a proficiency test. These classes are great if you just want to expand your own knowledge, but because they don’t have a verification process to ensure that you are the one taking the test, they may not carry much weight in the field. Check with your community college or local vocational career training school to find out if they offer classes in caring for newborns, as these institutions generally provide certificates for individuals who have completed such courses. Nanny agencies may also offer training.
Once you feel you are ready to start applying for positions to become a newborn specialist, you can either try to market yourself or sign up with an agency. If you want to do it on your own, putting an ad in the newspaper or advertising on bulletin boards in areas frequented by pregnant women and new moms is a good idea. Just make sure you have permission to post a flyer on a bulletin board. Agencies are good options if you want someone else to do the marketing for you. Once you are accepted into an agency, they’ll help you find job placement.