People who want to advance their caregiving skillsets may want to consider becoming a newborn care specialist, focusing on day and night newborn care. After having special training, the NCS provides support to parents by helping with sleep, feeding times, infant development, and overnight sleep assistance.
Below are the general qualifications for a newborn care specialist. Whether you are a parent looking for an NCS or a professional interested in becoming one, knowing the qualifications is important.
Broad Knowledge of Newborn Care
First, these professionals need to have a broad knowledge of newborn care. You don’t want to entrust your little one to someone who is not capable of handling any number of issues that might arise.
Basic Skills Assessment
One of the ways to gauge this knowledge is to take the International Nanny Association Newborn Care Specialist Basic Skills Assessment. This is a 40-question test that is timed and is taken online to check if a potential NCS has the knowledge necessary in the areas of safety, health, nutrition, professionalism, and child development basics.
Training and Certification
Second, there are several research training and certification options available to become an NCS. Many of these training and certification programs are offered by the Newborn Care Specialist Association. If you are considering one of these programs, the goal should be to complete a program that has the following characteristics.
- Has been accredited by the Council for Awards in Care, Health & Education. If the program is so accredited, it will be mentioned on their website.
- Prepares you for NCS certification
- Is taught by a teacher who is using evidence-based best practices
- Has positive reviews from current and past students
- Has one or more teachers that you connect with
Some programs only provide a statement of participation, which is not enough for NCS certification. If you are a student who wants to have as much knowledge as possible as a newborn care specialist, it is vital to be certified by a respected organization and program.
Additional Specialized Training
Third, after the NCS gets certified, it may be smart to have more specialized training. One of the best options is infant/child CPR and first aid. This is considered a must by most in the profession. Anyone who cares for small children should have this training and be kept up to date on any new training in the area.
Other areas that you may want to have knowledge about are:
- Sleep conditions, which you already should have some training on
- Postpartum doula training, which teaches you how to communicate even better with parents
- Lactation training, which there are more requests for these days
New parents who have never had a child before are often overwhelmed the first few months with their newborn. As an NCS, it is your job to provide the best possible help and care for those parents and their newborn.