Having a new baby on the way can be such an exciting time, but it can also be plagued by moments of nervousness. Many new parents and even veteran parents feel the fear of the unknown when life is about to change so drastically for them! A Newborn Care Specialist (NCS) can be a helpful option to ease the stress and also help you get much-needed sleep at night after the whirlwind of labor and delivery.
What is a Newborn Care Specialist?
An NCS is a newborn care specialist. They’re trained specifically in all things newborn-related, from the day you bring your baby home from the hospital.
What Do NCSs Do?
Their job is to care for the baby for as long and as extensively as parents need the support. Newborn Care Specialists can help:
- teach you diaper changing and swaddling
- troubleshoot when there are issues and even recommend remedies they have seen work in their past
- manage bottle prep and cleaning, milk storage
- clean baby’s laundry
- provide night feedings
- teach newborns good sleep habits
When Do NCSs Work?
NCS’s work overnight to support parents in getting the sleep necessary for healing from giving birth by staying overnight in the room with baby or in a nearby room. Some NCSs can do 24-hour shifts, to give even more support through the day as parents need it. There are also NCSs who provide virtual assistance at a lower cost, where they support and teach you the steps needed to sleep shape your baby yourself!
Hiring A Newborn Care Specialist
Hiring an NCS isn’t unlike hiring any other child care provider, however, there are some particular things to keep in mind.
Newer NCSs typically have lower rates because they don’t have as much experience and may not be able to answer all of your questions right away, while seasoned NCSs’ rates can be higher, but they can better assist and support with their knowledge.
Be sure that you know what you are able and willing to pay ahead of time. Rates are usually on an hourly basis, and can range anywhere between $25-30 an hour for a newer NCS, up to $50-60+ per hour for an NCS with years of experience.
Figure out how long you may want your NCS with you ahead of time. Some stay for the first 3 months while others may stay until the parents no longer need them. Many will give you the option to extend your time together if they’re available, but their next client could be lined up any minute. So try to clearly express exactly what you will need upfront.
Many NCSs use contracts. If you find one that doesn’t, it may be a good idea to supply one yourself. A contract protects you as well as them in cases of cancellations, changes to the schedule, confidentiality, injuries, and many other things.
Ask what newborn training they have taken. Many training programs give their students a certificate once the program is completed. It’s more than okay to ask to see their certificates. References can also help verify experience.
Trust Your Gut
You want to be sure that the NCS you choose is a person that you can feel comfortable with and around, and that they make you feel at ease. Even if this isn’t your first baby, this particular little person is new to you. Your NCS should offer suggestions but also be open to your methods of trial and error. You should feel supported at all times!
Hiring an NCS doesn’t have to be an overwhelming task. Once you know what you want and what to look for, finding the right person to support you on your parenting journey can be a fun way to further prepare for the arrival of your baby. Having the support that allow you to confidently care for your new baby when you bring them home will make a world of difference. As will being able to get a full night’s sleep!