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How to Become a Baby Nurse

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Baby nurses are non-medical professional caregivers who have extensive training and experience in caring for newborns. These professionals assist new parents in learning about their newborns, and they often help families adjust to the new addition. Most baby nurses are employed by agencies and stay with a family through the first few months of the infant's life.

Determine if a career as a baby nurse is right for you. This type of position requires a certain personality and is not for every caregiver. Baby nurses often work long hours and must be available to help care for a newborn as needed, any time of the day or night. You must also be comfortable working closely with, and supporting, parents, whose childrearing philosophies and lifestyle may or may not agree with your own.

Obtain training in newborn care. At a minimum, this includes infant first aid and CPR and safety (offered in virtually every community through the Red Cross and other public health agencies). Any college-level coursework in child development, nutrition or nursing will be helpful. If feasible, take a baby nurse training course. These courses provide training in all facets of newborn care. Baby nurses may also choose to obtain additional certifications, such as lactation consulting or doula training.

Create a resume outlining your experience and training in caring for infants. Be sure to include any relevant volunteer or personal experience, certifications and training that you have. You will need to have a resume in order to obtain a position with an agency or to show to potential employers should you choose to advertise your services as an independent contractor.

Sign on with a nanny or baby nurse agency. Research agencies carefully in order to find one that is a good fit for your qualifications and job preferences. Some agencies specialize in placing baby nurses who have experience with a particular type of infant or family--including special needs or multiple infants--while others offer around-the-clock, day-only or night-only nurses. Before signing a contract, be certain that you understand all contract terms. Alternatively, you may choose to advertise your services on your own, working directly for the family rather than through an agency.

Tip

Many hospitals offer volunteer options for those interested in helping with infants.