There are many paths toward becoming a Newborn Care Specialist. Some of us began our careers as a doula, others spent years as “baby nurses” without knowing there’s a certification and an entire community dedicated to professional newborn care. However, the most common career path I’ve seen is Nanny to Newborn Care Specialist.
Differences Between Nanny Jobs and NCS Jobs
The biggest, and most obvious difference is that NCS jobs are exclusive to newborns, typically birth to 3 months, which nanny work can be for children of all ages. This also means that the type of work is very different. While many nannies spend their days picking children up from school and running errands, newborn care specialists exclusively care for babies. Therefore, the tasks assigned to a NCS are specific and require training.
This leads into the second significant difference – professional newborn care requires experience and education. Most nanny positions simply require some basic experience babysitting and likely your own transportation, but to be a NCS, most families require formal training through an accredited education provider and at least two years of caring for newborns.
Advantages of Becoming a Newborn Care Specialist
So why have so many nannies decided to take the leap and become a newborn care specialist? The biggest reason is better pay. Newborn care specialists, on average, charge twice the hourly rate of a nanny. The overall rate is largely dictated by education and experience but the pay differential is clear. Newborn care specialists also have a distinct pathway for career development that allows them to advance their career with additional training as they gain experience. This includes seeking professional certification as an ICNCS or getting advanced training in areas such as lactation and newborn sleep.
Another significant advantage to NCS work is contract length. With shorter contracts, you have more autonomy over your own schedule. If you want to take a month off, it’s entirely up to you. This is great for individuals who love to travel or prefer to work intermittently.
Lastly, you get to work with babies! This isn’t always the most fun job, but to care for a newborn is a special job. Helping a family adjust to life with a newborn is a meaningful task that they’ll appreciate for a lifetime.
Disadvantages of Becoming a Newborn Care Specialist
While becoming a NCS is a great choice for most nannies, it isn’t for everyone. Much of the work is during the night time hours. While this might be great for some people, most people prefer to work during the day.
As previously mentions, newborn care contracts are usually only three months. This could also be an advantage if you prefer variety, but some caregivers prefer long term contracts for the purpose of stability.
Steps to start
Now that you’re familiar with the advantages and disadvantages of becoming a newborn care specialist, it’s time to decide if becoming a NCS is right for you. You can start your NCS journey through in-person training in a city near you or you can start online NCS classes to learn at your own pace.