Baby Nurse 101: Things You Need to Know About Becoming a Newborn Specialist
A newborn specialist, popularly known as a baby nurse, is a sub-professional with special training in the care of newborns. Most baby nurses have medical or nursing background, and they have comprehensive experience in specific aspects of newborn babies such as feeding, bathing, clothing, etc. Aside from basic baby care, baby nurses can also provide essential information on new parents about the proper care of their new angel.
It is important to take note that baby nurses are a bit different from pediatric nurses. The latter are registered nurses and often work in a nursery of a hospital or a birth center. Baby nurses, on the other hand, don’t need to be registered nurses but those with medical background usually have advantage. They also work at home of new parents.
The main duty of a baby nurse is to provide care to a newborn baby, especially for new parents. They serve as nannies who help parents survive the first three months, which can be very chaotic especially for new parents. They can be interim parents to help parents on what to do once the baby is a bit older.
Most baby nurses work at night, and they are mainly responsible for bottle feeding, burping and changing diapers so the parents can also rest. The service is really helpful for single parents or those who need to work.
Baby nurses also teach new moms on proper breastfeeding practices and give valuable tips to make the nursing process easier and more effective. They are also trained in keeping a journal about the behavior and habits of newborn babies including sleeping, eating, defecating, urinating, crying, etc.
As a specialist on newborn care, a baby nurse can also help in bathing, teach parents on proper care for the navel, wash and sterilize bottles, wash baby clothes and also help in keeping the baby’s room clean and tidy.
Some baby nurses can provide specialized care for premature babies, twins, or even triplets.
Even though not required, it will be to your advantage to obtain practical nursing courses in a community college or a vocational school. However, even high school graduates can become baby nurses. You need to obtain training on newborn care, which includes basic baby care, CPR, first aid techniques, and what to do during emergencies. These trainings are usually offered by the Red Cross and other public health organizations. Any coursework in nutrition and child development will also help you start your career as a newborn nurse. You can also choose to specialize in specific areas of baby care such as premature infant care, care for twins or triplets, lactation, and doula training.
It will help you a lot to find an agency that trains individuals to become baby nurses. With this, you can have the credentials as well as an established agency that will find you clients.
Furthermore, becoming a baby nurse can be your stepping stone for an advanced career as a licensed practical nurse or registered nurse specializing in newborn care or neonatal nurse.
Newborn specialists usually earn on hourly basis between $25 and $40 per hour. The rate varies according to the experience, training as well as geographical location. The taxes and insurance are often taken care of the agency, even though you can have your own business license.
Baby Nurse – Job Description, Duties and Salary:
A baby nurse (different from a pediatric nurse) is considered a “transitional nurse” who is trained to assist families in the care of their newborn baby. Baby nurses are non-medical specialists that help and educate parents about the care of their newborn baby. Baby nurses typically work in the homes of the family undertaking daily activities and care of the newborn – this reduces the overall stress associated with this transitional period. The nurse is also required to maintain a diary of sorts to record the activities and schedule of the newborn. The services of a baby nurse are usually required for a few weeks, but this can vary according to the needs of the parents.
Other duties include: feeding; changing diapers; bathing; emergency training; organize nursery; track baby supplies; do laundry for baby items; prepare baby for breast-feeding; assist mother with pumping breast milk; burp baby; sterilize baby bottles; insure the general safety and care of the newborn.
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