Continuing Education; you CAN teach an old dog new tricks!

A frequent question that comes up in my mentoring sessions with Newborn Care Specialists and is seen frequently in Facebook groups is:

what classes should I take next?”  

As someone who has attended hundreds of classes, webinars, conferences, and learning collaboratives (remember … I’ve been in this field for 40 years) the answer is a bit more complicated than it seems.

If you plan to continue working as a Newborn Care Specialist (not pivoting to sleep consulting or parent coach) there are many excellent courses that can strengthen your skills, add to your knowledge, give you additional tools, and increase your confidence.

As a Newborn Care Specialist, your time is limited and we all know that budget is always a consideration. 

Here is my suggestion: Look at training and evaluate it on several criteria. Look at the method of delivery, the qualifications of the course creator, whether it is research/evidence-based, does it align with your philosophy and practices, what is the investment in time and money, does it fill a void in your knowledge or increase your depth of knowledge, and finally — does it directly relate to your work as a Newborn Care Specialist? This is one of the reasons I don’t generally recommend sleep training programs to NCS — their focus is on children older than 4-6 months, which is older than the NCS scope of practice.  Furthermore, Newborn Care Specialists should never be “Sleep Training” anyway, as both the APA and the AAP don’t recommend sleep training prior to 4-6 months of age. Setting babies and families up for success is one thing, outright training is another. 

A few courses to consider:

Lactation Counselor Training course through Healthy Children Project, Inc

UCSD Lactation Counselor Educator course

Holistic Sleep Coaching

Sleep Solutions

PSU Graduate Certificate in Infant Mental Health

RIE Foundations: Theory and Observation

Newborn Baby Care Specialization

Child Safety Passenger Technician (CPST) Training

Infant Mental Health Endorsement

INA newborn care specialist credential

Certified Infant Massage Instructor Training

Certification in Perinatal Mental Health

Components of Care: Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders

Maternal Mental Health Certificate Training for Mental Health and Clinical Professionals

CAPPA: Certified New Parent Educator

Working with Multiples

Maternity Nurse Training; level 5

Newborn Care Solutions Elite and Master Mentoring program

FIRST Steps for BABIES

Promoting First Relationships

Keys to Infant Caregiving Program

Parent and Child Interaction (PCI) Feeding and Teaching scales

Trust Based Relational Intervention (TBRI) Caregiver Training (look for local classes given for parents)           

Bringing Baby Home - Professionals | The Gottman Institute

Tethered Oral Tissues (TOTS) training

Tummytime Method Professional Training 

I’m sure there are many trainings I’m forgetting – if I forgot one of your faves, drop it in the  comments below! You will notice that this list does not include any Postpartum Doulas training programs; this is intentional as I find that while there are many quality programs, the differences in approach, philosophy and support vary widely.  If you find yourself considering Postpartum Doula Training, check them all out in the same way you would any other course before making a final decision. 

Adding to your knowledge is just as important as increasing experience; if you want to take it to the next level, invest in yourself.  The return in investment is worth every penny and minute spent. 

Stefanie Hudgins is a parent coach, newborn and infant specialist, lactation counselor and public speaker. Her background spans a wide range and depth of knowledge in the fields of childcare and child development. She holds numerous credentials and qualifications as a Nanny and Master Newborn Care Specialist®. 

Overall, she has more than 40 years of experience as a caregiver for infants and children. Additionally, she is certified as a Lactation Counselor, Holistic Sleep Coach, Montessori practitioner, and Infant Family Associate. She is a member of the NCSA Board of Directors and serves as chair of their Continuing Education Committee. Stefanie also volunteers with Postpartum Support International, as a support coordinator with a specialized focus on supporting parents needing help with colic/fussy babies and as an accredited lactation counselor with Breastfeeding USA. 

As the mother of two boys, she also brings her deep familiarity with the parent side of the child development experience, empowering her audiences with innovative and evidence-based material presented through the lens of supporting families as a Newborn Care Specialist. Stefanie offers NCS-focused mentoring, including guidance on selecting a path of continuing education that will emphasize your strengths and round out your full scope of practice.

All rights reserved ©2021 Stefanie Hudgins

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