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For Nannies For Parents Newborn Care Specialist

Nursery Must-Haves

Creating an environment that is calm, comfortable, and conducive to sleep is essential when you’re setting up your baby’s nursery. We’ve put together a list of nursery must-haves — according to the baby experts, Newborn Care Specialists — to help you create the optimal sleep environment for your little one!

Changing table or changing pad
Whether you have a dedicated changing table or you set up a changing pad on top of a dresser, we definitely recommend using one with a cover. A cover makes cleaning up after any particularly messy diaper changes easy — just pull it off and throw it in the washing machine.

Diapers, wipes, cream, and disposal system
Keep these items close by the changing station for easy access. You may want to invest in a diaper genie for disposing diapers in, or simply use a lined garbage bin with a lid.

Crib (or bassinet, followed by crib)
You can decide to have your newborn sleep in a crib right away, or you can start with a bassinet and then transition them to a crib as they grow.

Firm mattress with waterproof mattress pad and tight-fitting sheets
Whether you’re using a bassinet or a crib, we recommend using a firm mattress and tight-fitting sheets, in order to reduce the risk of the sheets coming off and entangling or suffocating your infant. We also highly recommend putting a waterproof mattress pad underneath the sheets for easy clean-up following accidents.

Swaddle or sleep sack
Rather than using a blanket for warmth, newborns and infants should be placed in a swaddle or sleep sack at bedtime. Loose items, like blankets, increase the risk of entrapment or suffocation and should not be used in the bassinet or crib.

Pacifiers
Babies have a natural need to suck using a pacifier helps meet that need, while also soothing them. In addition, the use of pacifiers is recommended, as they help reduce the risk of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome).

Blackout curtains
Blackout or room darkening curtains aren’t essential, but they do minimize the amount of natural light in the room, which may help your baby sleep a little bit longer.

Sound machine
Sound machines help muffle outside noises, soothe the baby, help them complete sleep cycles, and can create a calm, peaceful sleep environment. They’re not essential, but they are highly recommended.

Soft night light
Having a soft night light in the nursery is more for the parents’ and/or the Newborn Care Specialist’s benefit. It can help you move around and navigate the room while the baby is sleeping, without disturbing their sleep cycle by turning on a bright light.

Baby monitor
These days, there are more options out there than the walkie-talkie style sound monitors we grew up with. You can now purchase movement monitors, some of which you can even connect with your phone, which alert you when your baby does not move/breathe for a period of time. Video monitors are also available, so you can check on your baby without entering the nursery and disturbing their sleep.

Comfortable chair or glider
You are going to spend a lot of time feeding your baby and rocking them to sleep, so you want to make sure you have a comfortable place to sit while you do so. A good, comfortable chair or glider is a worthwhile investment, in our opinion.

Nursing pillow
Nursing pillows help prop the baby up during bottle feeds and/or while you are breastfeeding/chestfeeding them. These pillows can save your arms from getting tired and give you more mobility.

Side table
We recommend putting a small side table or nightstand next to the nursing station. This is where you can keep small items, such as water and snack for yourself, your phone, and, of course, burping cloths for easy access.

Burping cloths
You’ll always want to have plenty of burping cloths on hand for after feeding. Spit happens!

Small clock and baby tracker
Having a clock nearby — either a digital clock with a dim light or a quiet manual clock — can help you keep track of the baby’s feeding and sleeping schedule and patterns. A baby tracker is a useful place to record these patterns, and to ensure your baby is getting adequate sleep and feeding regularly.

Laundry hamper
Finally, we recommend having a laundry hamper in the nursery. It’s easier to just toss any soiled sheets, clothes, cloth diapers, burping cloths, etc. in a hamper, rather than having to carry them out to another room.

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For Nannies Newborn Care Specialist

When to Say “no” to a Parent’s Request

 

As a Newborn Care Specialist, you are hired to ensure the care and well-being of the newborn infant, and to make new parents’ transition into parenthood as easy as possible. In this role, you always want to respect the parents’ decisions regarding how they want to care for and raise their child, and to support their values, even if they differ from your own. With this in mind, NCS may feel like they have to say “yes” to every request that the parents make, however, that’s not the case. There are certain situations when it is appropriate, even essential, to say “no” to a parent’s request. We’ve listed some of these instances below. 

If a parent is asking for medical advice
You have been hired as a specialist and, as such, parents expect you to know everything there is to know about caring for a newborn. Parents will often ask NCS for their advice regarding medical procedures, including making decisions around infant vaccinations. You may have a wealth of knowledge and experience, but you are not a medical professional, so you must avoid giving parents medical advice, otherwise you are putting yourself at a liability risk. If a parent tries to engage you in such a conversation, it is perfectly okay to say “I am not a medical professional, so I can’t advise you one way or the other” and leave it at that.

If a parent is asking you to make a diagnosis
Once again, you are not a medical professional, so you aren’t able to diagnose conditions. Even if you’ve seen something similar before, and you’re 99% sure that’s what the infant is experiencing in this case, it’s always best to err on the side of caution and advise the parent to speak to a doctor, rather than making a diagnosis yourself. For instance, what looks like a common rash in one infant could actually be an indication of a serious allergic reaction in another. You may say something along the lines of “I’ve seen something like this before and it turned out to be __________, but you should speak to a doctor to be on the safe side”.

If you have been asked to prepare alternative/non-traditional formula for the infant
For infants that are bottle-fed, there are alternative/non-traditional formulas out there that may provide the infant with adequate nutrition. However, as the NCS, you should not be the one preparing those formulas for the infant. Factory-made formulas contain specific nutrients and have explicit instructions for how to properly prepare them, so it is okay for you to do the preparation in this case. Alternative/non-traditional formulas, on the other hand, do not come with the same nutritional information and instructions, and there is a risk that they will not be prepared properly and/or will not contain adequate nutrition for the growing infant. If parents choose to feed their infant alternative/non-traditional formulas, that is their decision and you must respect that decision, but you should not be the one preparing the formula, as it also puts you at a liability risk.

If you have been asked to dispense medication without the advice of a physician and a signed liability release form
Any medications you give to an infant must be prescribed by a physician, following the exact dosage and means of administration prescribed, and only after you and the parents have signed a liability release form. Unless these conditions are in place, you should never give an infant medication, as it may put the infant at a physical risk and you at a risk of liability.

If you are asked to check the infant’s temperature rectally without the parent’s supervision
It is a known fact that the most accurate way to read an infant’s temperature is with a rectal thermometer. However, you should never take the infant’s temperature this way unless you are being supervised by the parent, as it involves inserting something into the infant’s body, which can pose multiple risks. If the parent is not available to supervise, it is best to check the infant’s temperature by other means, such as by using a temporal artery thermometer on the forehead, or by placing the thermometer in the infant’s armpit to get a reading. In the case that the parent is present, it is reasonable to ask them to check the infant’s temperature rectally themselves.

If you are asked to trim the infant’s nails
It may seem less obvious than the other examples, but it is important to decline when a parent asks you to trim their infant’s fingernails or toenails. Trimming nails involves using a sharp object (nail clippers) near very soft, fragile skin and can accidentally result in cuts and/or infections. It is best to avoid any risk of liability in this case and let the parent trim the infant’s nails themself.

If you are asked to install a carseat
Unless you are a certified Child Passenger Safety Technician (CPST), you should not be the one installing the car seat in the parent’s vehicle or your own vehicle. Car seats must be installed in a very specific way in order to ensure that they are safe for the infant to ride in. If you are not trained in proper car seat installation, or being supervised by a CPST while doing so, you should never install a car seat on your own. Once again, it becomes a liability risk if anything were to happen to the infant while riding in an incorrectly installed car seat.

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For Nannies For Parents Newborn Care Specialist

Newborn Care Around the World – India

 

With the exciting announcement of the Newborn Care Specialist services we are now offering, The Nanny Solution team has baby fever! We sat down with Rupanshi, our Nanny Liaison, and the newest mother on our team (she gave birth to her sweet boy, Aayansh, in early 2020) to ask her about birth practices and newborn care in her home country of India. You can read our interview with Rupanshi below. 

Rupanshi: Before I begin, I just want to say that India, like Canada, is multicultural and each region has its own set of customs and traditions. I am from the capital region, and have a bit of knowledge of the traditions that we follow in the north.

What are some unique birth traditions in India?
R: There are quite a few. For one, we do not reveal our pregnancy until the 1st trimester is over, in order to avoid evil (I know). And during pregnancy, moms are not supposed to eat papaya, lift heavy objects, or even exercise. Then, after a baby is born, mom and baby are generally made to wear black anklets and beads, and we apply a black mark behind the ear or on the forehead to ward off evil (I still do it with Aayansh). We also have a holy prayer on the 6th day of the baby’s birth for his/her future, and a havan (fire ritual) after the baby is 40 days to announce the arrival. 40 days is the incubation period wherein we are allowed to only go to the doctor’s clinic. At home, new moms are supposed to remain covered, with oil on our head and covered with a cap or scarf. This is due to the fact that the woman’s body is still recovering, and 40 days ensures complete recovery. Also, before honey was considered unsafe for babies, it was tradition to give honey to babies, even before mother’s milk. 

Where and how do most births take place?
R: Hospitals are usually considered the safest option, at least in metropolitan cities. I have seen some home births, but only for lower income groups. They usually try for a government hospital too.

Is there the equivalent of a baby shower in India?
R: Yes, it is called a “god bharai”. It is a beautiful tradition wherein married women whisper something nice for the baby in mom-to-be’s ears and give a gift in her lap, called “god” in Hindi. There is music, a little bit of dancing, and lots of food (we are big on food). We also have baby showers, just like in the western culture, but we do not have baby registries in India. My sister had a baby shower, and mine was planned, but unfortunately had to be cancelled due to COVID. 

Who is responsible for caring for the newborn during the first weeks?
R: A lot of people have hired help, if they can afford it, but generally it’s the grandmothers who help around the house. India still has the concept of a joint family, wherein we live with our parents and sometimes aunts, uncles, and cousins too, so it is not very uncommon to have the grandmother already living in the home. In urban cities, most people get help from Nannies or Newborn Care Specialists. Jappas, as they are called, come from Kolkata (a city in the Eastern part of the country) and specialize in newborn and new mom care. They are booked beforehand and called on when the mom is in the hospital for delivery. By the time mom delivers the baby and returns home, Jappas are there to take over. They do everything — from cleaning, feeding, changing, burping, swaddling etc. to making healthy and nutritious food for mom to promote milk production. They are what we call “baby experts”.

What does that care entail?
R: They provide massages for both mom and baby, and help out with feeding, burping, changing, swaddling, — anything and everything the baby needs. They sleep in the same room as the mom, and they are there for the first 40 days of the baby’s life. In our culture, we can only leave the house after 40 days (outside of doctor’s visits), as mom is still recovering and the baby hardly has any immunity. 

Do these practices differ depending on socioeconomic status or class?
R: Absolutely! Nannies and maids are not cheap, but even a middle class person can often afford them. Jappas can be expensive, but they are a lifesaver for many families. In fact, one of my cousins had her first baby and did not hire a Jappa. However, she saw the difference in the care between her firstborn and others’ children, and she was impressed. She is currently pregnant again and has already booked one for once the baby is born. If a family can afford to hire a Jappa, they often do — it’s an investment in their child and their family’s future. 

Thank you for sharing your culture with us, Rupanshi! It’s fascinating to hear about birth practices and newborn care in other parts of the world. We could definitely get on board with those massages for mom too!

If yo are looking for a Newborn Care Specialist, Contact Us to find out how we can help you.

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For Parents Newborn Care Specialist

The Newborn Care Solution

The Nanny Solution is delighted to announce that we are now offering the professional services of Newborn Care Specialists! 

A Newborn Care Specialist is a highly specialized and trained child care professional who focuses on the care and well being of newborn infants.

How is a Newborn Care Specialist different from a regular Nanny?

  • As a newborn care professional, a specialist generally works independently with minimal guidance from parents.
  • They are well versed in helping establish good feeding and sleeping habits in newborns.
  • They are familiar with behaviours, appearance, and general care of newborns.
  • They may also have experience caring for preemies and multiples.
  • They understand and recognize signs of possible food allergies, intolerances, and reflux in newborns, and know ways to help.
  • They have an understanding of Postpartum Mood Disorders, can recognize them, and confidently address them as they arise.

How can a Newborn Care Specialist help you and your family?

  • They can provide support with sleeping, feeding, and development of newborns during their first 3 to 6 months.
  • They can set up and execute a successful plan for getting your newborn to sleep through the night and nap well.
  • They can be hired to care for your newborn for overnight shifts or around the clock the care (usually a 20-hr shift).
  • They understand the value of, and can support, a breastfeeding or chestfeeding parent.
  • They can educate and build up parents in caring for their newborn while supporting their values.

If you’re interested in hiring a Newborn Care Specialist to help care for your little one, Contact Us.

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For Nannies Newborn Care Specialist

How becoming a Newborn Care Specialist Can Help Your Career

 

The Nanny Solution is delighted to announce that we are now adding newborn care to the professional childcare services we offer! If you’re not already a trained and certified Newborn Care Specialist, but you love working with newborns and want to help support new parents, you can complete your training online through the Newborn Care Solutions Institute.

Why should I become a certified Newborn Care Specialist?

Newborn Care Specialists support parents by assisting with sleep, feeding schedules, and infant development during the first weeks of their newborn’s life. NCS have a lot of autonomy in their role, and often work independently with minimal guidance from the parents. They are hired as baby whisperers and parent lifesavers — and they are in high demand! If you already have a passion for working with newborns and infants, getting trained and certified as a Newborn Care Specialist can help you turn that passion into a professional career.

How will this help my professional childcare career?

As Newborn Care Specialists are hired to support families during the first 3 to 6 months of their newborn’s life, they are hired on short-term contracts and able to work up to 4 or 5 placements in a single year. The more placements you are hired for, the higher your earning potential. In addition, just like in any other field, completing more training and gaining experience puts you in a position to earn a higher rate of pay. As such, NCS typically earn a higher salary than a traditional Nanny — sometimes $3-$8 more per hour than the average Nanny rate.

How do I become a Newborn Care Specialist?

There are many several different training and certification programs available, some of which are online/virtual and some that are in-person. When you’re looking for a program to enrol in, look out for ones that 1) will specifically prepare you for NCS certification, 2) are accredited by an independent organization, 3) are taught by an instructor teaching evidence-based practices, 4) have positive reviews from past participants, and 5) provide you with the option of becoming a certified NCS, rather than simply offering a certification of participation. You may also want to consider getting additional specific childcare training in areas such as sleep conditioning, breastfeeding/chestfeeding, lactation training, and/or Postpartum Doula training, as this training will make you an even more qualified and desirable NCS candidate.

For more information about the newborn care services we will be offering or how to become a Newborn Care Specialist, feel free to email us at info@thenannysolution.ca or Contact Us for more details.

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For Parents

Different Types of Professional Caregivers

There’s more than just one type of Nanny out there! There are a number of different types of professional caregivers, each with their own title and unique set of skills and areas of expertise. When you’re looking to hire a Nanny, it’s important to know the difference between the different types of caregivers, so that you can tell the agency exactly what you’re looking for. Below, we’ve provided a list of some of the different types of professional caregivers, along with a brief description of what each position entails.

Traditional Nanny

  • The main childcare provider in the home.
  • In charge of the children’s overall health and well-being.
  • Responsible for preparing children’s meals, tidying up their bedrooms, etc.
  • Actively engages the children daily in both indoor and outdoor play.
  • May drive children to/from school and activities, as required.

Nanny/House Manager

  • Performs the same duties as a traditional Nanny, plus:
  • Administrative duties, such as paying household bills.
  • Supervising other household staff, if applicable.
  • Running errands.
  • Grocery shopping.
  • Doing laundry.

Education Support Nanny

  • Has a teaching or education background.
  • Performs the same duties as a traditional Nanny, plus:
  • Assists with homework and project completion in physical and/or online form.
  • In charge of managing the technology for children’s online learning (e.g., websites, passwords, schedules, deadlines, etc.), if applicable.
  • Liaises with the children’s teachers regarding homework assignments, projects, tests, etc.

Nanny Educator/Tutor

  • Has specific teaching credentials (B. Ed or M. Ed.) and classroom teaching experience.
  • Hired for the specific purpose of teaching the family’s children in the home.
  • Develops the curriculum and teaching plans for the school year in accordance with local education standards.
  • Purchases all required support materials to support teaching and children’s learning.
  • Responsible for all teaching, evaluating, and progress reporting.
  • Assists with homework and project completion in physical and/or online form.
  • In charge of managing the technology for children’s online learning (e.g., websites, passwords, schedules, deadlines, etc.), if applicable.

Travelling Nanny

  • Hired on a short-term basis, specifically to travel or go on vacation with a family, or
  • Hired as a traditional Nanny for a family who travels regularly.
  • Engages with and cares for the children from morning to evening.
  • Organizes personalized activities for the children, depending on the location and according to the parents’ requirements.
  • Needs to be an experienced traveller, so as to anticipate the children’s needs and plan accordingly in advance.

Newborn Care Specialist

  • Highly specialized and trained to focus on the care and well-being of newborn infants.
  • Generally works independently with minimal guidance from parents.
  • Helps establish good feeding and sleeping habits in newborns.
  • Familiar with behaviours, appearance, and general care of newborns.
  • Understand and recognize signs of possible food allergies, intolerances, and reflux in newborns, and know ways to help.
  • Understand the value of and can support a breastfeeding parent.
  • Have an understanding of Postpartum Mood Disorders, can recognize them, and confidently address them as they arise.

Night Nanny

  • Provides all aspects of infant care during the night.
  • Bottle-feeding and nursing help, as well as burping.
  • Helps with bathing the infant and changing diapers.
  • Helps establish good feeding and sleeping habits in infants.
  • Any other infant care-related duties, as needed.

Labour Doula

  • Has specific training and certification in supporting the parents through the labour and delivery process.
  • Doulas give parents support, but do not provide medical care or deliver the baby.
  • Focus is on the family, not necessarily the newborn.

Postpartum Doula

  • Helps provide support to the family in the first few weeks following the birth.
  • Provides education, baby care, birth parent care, and household assistance.
  • Focus is on supporting the family, not necessarily the newborn.