Advice for finding your Baby Nurse/ Newborn Care Specialist
British American Newborn Care provides heavily screened and highly qualified Baby Nurses and Newborn Care Specialists in The United States and United Kingdom, all of whom are known for their incisive knowledge and expertise in the newborn and childcare industries. They recommend the following advice when hiring a Baby Nurse/Newborn Care Specialist (NCS):
First and foremost, have a list of questions ready to screen the Baby Nurse or NCS. Your questions and their answers should be crosschecked with the American School of Pediatrics. Examples are:
At what stage do I start ‘sleep scheduling?
Correct answer: Not before 3.5 months- 5 months is recommended
Incorrect answer: From day 1, from 2-weeks, 8-weeks etc.
What can I do to help my infant sleep through the night without actually sleep scheduling?
Correct answer: Mum can stand beside the crib but don’t pick the infant up each time he/she cries.
Incorrect answer: Let the infant cry it out. Use feeding as a method to sleep schedule.
What are the reasons for colic and what can be administered for it?
Correct answer: There are many reasons for colic – the Mother’s diet (should be low in acid), the infant eating too quickly, food sensitivities on the infant’s side, etc. Check with the pediatrician before giving anything to the infant
Incorrect answer: Gripe water from my country, advising any kind of medication administration whatsoever
We recommend you, the Mother, start searching for a Baby Nurse as early as possible. Baby Nurses get booked up quickly throughout the year, so the sooner you start searching, the more choice you will have. Baby Nurses on the East Coast are often much more flexible with their schedule and are typically less expensive than those on the West Coast. West Coast based baby nurses (commonly termed Newborn Care Specialists in California) tend to be more professional, hold more certifications, and are often highly qualified. There are many Baby Nurses on the East Coast who match this level of expertise, but we recommend a mother use a trusted agency to ensure the unqualified and potentially dangerous caregivers are extracted from the mix.
British American Newborn Care recommends hiring two Baby Nurses to cover the 24-hour shift. This way, neither Baby Nurse is at risk of exhaustion and subsequently becoming unfit to care for your infant. The recommended length of time to keep a baby nurse is from 3-6 months.
This ensures proper transition to a Nanny (nannies rarely have hands-on experience with infants less than 3 months).
Interview carefully. Evaluate certifications (which can include Infant Care Specialist, infant CPR, LPN, LVN RN), years of experience and skill level, and find out if this is somebody you are comfortable with. The Baby Nurse should support your beliefs, providing they are safe. Topics to cover include your ideas relating to breastfeeding and formula, sleeping, feeding, development etc. NO Baby Nurse should try to alter your values or bully you into thinking their way. If you feel the Baby Nurse is this type of caregiver during the interview process, RUN! Always check certifications and references, and run an all-State and Federal background check. Finally, Google searching and social media searching is an imperative step all mothers should take.
The cost of a Baby Nurse can range from $25-60 an hour, or $350-$1,000 a day. If you do hire a Baby Nurse for a 24-hour period, a minimum of 4-hours off each day to rest and recoup are required.
Lastly and most importantly, listen to your instinct – a mother’s intuition is rarely wrong.
Any questions in relation to hiring a caregiver, Baby Nurse or NCS, or any other household help (housekeepers, chefs, managers, personal assistants), email email@example.com or call (212) 966-2247 (BAHS)
Check out www.bahs.com for more details on Baby Nurses and Newborn Care Specialists through British American Newborn Care.
Anita Rogers is the founder of British American Household Staffing (bahs.com), British American Newborn Care (www.bababynurses.com) and British American Yachts (bahsyachts.com).