So often I get asked, “I am a nanny and have no plans to become a newborn care specialist, so would your training even benefit me?” And the answer to that question is a resounding “Yes, newborn care specialist training will benefit you as a nanny.” While some reasons as to why this is true may be obvious, others may be less so. Let’s look at the top ten reasons why nannies can benefit from newborn care specialist training.
- Information and Resources Change
Even with tons of newborn experience as a parent, a day care provider, or nanny working with parents who have a new baby, it is nearly impossible to keep current on everything all the time. A quality NCS training company takes the responsibility of keeping current very seriously and provides ongoing access to that updated information for their students. Ideally, in addition to making updates to online and in-person content, a training company also notifies their students of updates via email, social media, and student advisory groups to ensure the best possible chance that students will see it and stay up-to-date. For example, as this article was being written,
BOPPY issued a recall of all their newborn loungers. Not only did that go up immediately on our social media, but it also was mentioned via an announcement on the training video that specifically mentions the use of the product with multiples.
- Your Nanny Family Is Having a New Baby!
We all know that when a new child is added to your responsibilities as a nanny, you should be getting a raise. Your employer is going to feel more confident in turning over responsibility of that new baby to you sooner when the parents know you have up to-date specialized training in that area. The sooner you are responsible for that new baby, the sooner you are getting that raise. In many cases, if you bring this training up with your employer, they may even be willing to pay for part or all of it to ensure you are well informed.
- A Twelve-Day-Old Is Very Different than a Twelve-Week-Old
Maybe you have cared for tons of babies but never actually cared for a day’s old newborn. Quality newborn care specialist training can provide you with great information about many things that are specific and unique to babies this young, including umbilical cord and circumcision care. You will also be introduced to newborn-specific medical information, including topics such as pyloric stenosis, which can show up during these first few weeks of life and may be entirely new to you as a nanny if you haven’t had a charge that was less than twelve weeks old.
- Your Nanny Family Is Having Twins!
Having two babies is lots of fun—and lots of work. Having specific and effective strategies for caring for two or more at once can make this very special time in your nanny family’s life go much smoother. Quality newborn care specialist training is going to provide you with tips, tricks, and
special nuances for working with multiples. You will also be provided with the information and confidence you need to support your nanny family well. The opportunity to work with multiples looks great on your resume for years to come, and having a great reference along with it is even better.
- Sleep Makes Everyone Happy
Although everyone has heard of sleep training, the recommendation that usually comes with it is that sleep training should not be started before four to six months of age. The reality, however, is that sleep training, as a formal practice, does not need to happen at all in most cases if things are set up correctly during the first twelve weeks of life. If babies and families are set up for success right from the start and the baby’s needs are correctly met, then a baby will naturally and organically sleep through the night when their body is biologically ready to do so. For many babies (not all), this can happen between twelve and sixteen weeks of age. But knowing how to support that process, without the crying you often hear that accompanies sleep training, is important, and a quality newborn care specialist training offers that information.
- The Postpartum Period Can Be Rough
Having a baby has a huge impact on hormones, both for the birthing parent and their partner. Even families achieved through surrogacy and adoption experience shifts in their hormones related to the arrival of a new child. Having some understanding of what this looks like, how to approach it, and resources for help can be invaluable to someone serving a family during this period. Newborn care specialist training addresses the differing forms of postpartum mood disorders, ways to discuss them with your nanny family, and ways to help find and present resources, if needed.
- New Babies Have Different Needs
If you have never cared for a baby younger than twelve weeks of age, chances are you may have never learned specific newborn care techniques, like swaddling. If you are working only with older babies, you may know about the concept, but knowing how to do it effectively and safely are different things. Quality newborn care specialist training teaches you not only what swaddles are on the market, but how to do various methods of swaddling and, probably most importantly, when to stop swaddling.
- Your Resume Is Strengthened
You never know what the future holds. Your nanny family may adore you, but anything can happen. They could lose their job tomorrow, meaning you could lose yours too. Always thinking ahead and preparing yourself for the future is a wise nanny move, and having up-to-date training in a variety of areas makes you a stronger candidate in a competitive job market. Training in your industry makes you stand out from your peers. Many employers will view the fact that you are pursuing ongoing education as a plus in and of itself, as it demonstrates you are open to learning and growth— strong qualities in a potential hire.
- You Are Strengthened
Most of us in the nanny world are confident in our abilities. In fact, we don’t last long working with children and for families unless we are passionate and knowledgeable. But almost all of us struggle at times with feeling confident about something we have not encountered in a long time or possibly not even at all. Nannies report that having specific newborn care specialist training has helped them in their work and made them feel more confident when working with newborns and families.
- You Can Overcome Objections
So often, when parents, particularly brand-new parents, are looking for a nanny for their new baby, they tell the agency, “I want someone with tons of recent newborn experience and who has a history of staying with families for a long time.” What they don’t realize is that those two things rarely go hand in hand. Staying for a long time is great, but it might mean it has been five or more years since a nanny has cared for a newborn. An up-to-date newborn care specialist training can overcome the objection to lack of recent newborn experience, and many nannies have reported newborn care training was what helped them land the job over other candidates.
Newborn care specialist training is not for everyone, but there are many reasons many nannies, even nannies with no plans of becoming a newborn care specialist, can benefit from quality NCS training. Be sure to thoroughly vet any newborn care specialist training you are considering, talk to people who have taken more than one training, talk to the instructors, and make sure the program is a good fit for you and your needs. Never hesitate to invest wisely in yourself and your career. For most nannies, quality newborn care specialist training will be a wise investment.
Tonya Sakowicz is an INA Credentialed Nanny, newborn care specialist, postpartum doula, and parent educator. Along with her husband, Todd, Tonya founded Newborn Care Solutions, a company that trains high-level newborn care specialists and exclusively offers the Master NCS® training program. Tonya has served as co-president of the International Nanny Association, Scottsdale Chapter President for the Domestic Estate Management Association, and was voted the Professional Childcare Provider of the Year in 2003. Tonya has received the Domestic Estate Management Association Educator of the Year, the Domestic Estate Management Association Lifetime Achievement Award, and was an INA Nanny of the Year nominee and a National Association of Nannies Harriette Grant Memorial Award nominee. Tonya is called on to be a speaker at nanny and newborn care training events across the country and has been featured on television and in print, where she most notably made an appearance on the Today Show.
Reprinted from the Winter 2021 Issue of Nanny Magazine