The Art of Swaddling

As the Newborn Care Director for TLC in St. Louis and Miami, I love to share articles about caring for newborns and their families. Many parents are looking for information about keeping their newborn safe and secure. TLC is  partnering with Parenting Resources to train postpartum doulas, newborn care specialists and baby nurses so that they can assist new parents.

This article by a mom talks about the benefits of swaddling. Swaddling is the art of snugly wrapping a baby in a blanket for warmth and security. It can keep your baby from being disturbed by his or her own startle reflex, and it can help keep the baby warm for the first few days of life.  Do you remember trying to swaddle your babies once you came home from the hospital?

“Swaddling is an art, really, and through two children, I never mastered it. Both of my babes were happy and content in the hospital, when they were wrapped like little burritos by those capable nurses in the postpartum unit. That all went downhill once we got home. I tried to re-create those magical bundles, but no matter what I did, within minutes their arms had busted out, and they were anything but calm. It was my first mom fail.”

Click here to read the full article and get the step-step-by step instructions on how to swaddle like a pro!


What is the Difference between a Newborn Care Specialist, a Baby Nurse and a Postpartum Doula?

Bringing home a new baby is an exciting and joyous time. It can also be overwhelming and exhausting to care for your new baby, yourself and your family. TLC for Kids offers new parents three options to help adjust to life at home. All three options bring assistance to parents caring for a new baby. But what is the difference between a Postpartum Doula, a Baby Nurse and a Newborn Care Specialist? Questions like this come to the TLC office every day.
Here is a description of each option.

Postpartum Doula

A Postpartum Doula provides support for the mother and the rest of the family. A big part of the Doula’s job is to “mother the mother” and help the new mother recover after birth. With a Doula there is a lot of focus on education. The Doula can offer breastfeeding and bottle feeding support, help establish newborn procedures and routines, along with other infant care needs. The Postpartum Doula aims to make the mother comfortable and confident in her new role, and to empower the parents to care for their new baby themselves. The Doula can also provide some light housekeeping, errand running and meal preparation. In Miami and Fort Lauderdale Postpartum Doulas can range from $14-$25 per hour.

The hours typically range 4-6 hours a day, but overnights are also possible. The parents can also decide if they want the Doula every day or just a few days a week. There are certification programs that some Doulas complete through these organizations: DONA, CAPPA, Maternity Wise, or Childbirth International.

Baby Nurse

In South Florida parents typically use the word “Baby Nurse” to describe around the clock infant care assistance. This person is usually not a registered nurse. She is typically a non-medically trained caregiver whose main focus is on the infant. The Baby Nurse has a bed in the room with the baby. She is responsible for feeding, changing, burping, rocking, soothing, and swaddling the new baby. The baby nurse may also assist with the infant’s laundry and bottle washing. In the Miami and Fort Lauderdale area a live-in Baby Nurse charges between $200 and $275 per day.

Newborn Care Specialist (NCS)

The responsibilities of the NCS include feeding, bathing, changing the infant, washing/cleaning/sterilizing bottles, and initiating a schedule for sleeping, meals, nap and play time. Other responsibilities include advising and providing any requested consultation on infant needs, swaddling, breastfeeding guidance, cord and circumcision care and nursery organization. An NCS can work days, nights or around the clock. The training a NCS receives can vary from more official groups like Newborn Care Specialist Association (NCSA) to smaller trainings led by individual agencies or no specific training at all. Many NCS have been providing care to new moms for decades! They bring to the family years of practical experience.

All three caregivers offer overnight services. A good night’s sleep is by far the biggest need for parents with an infant! The caregiver typically arrives at 10 pm and stays until 6 or 7 am, allowing parents to sleep and feel well rested for the next day.

For more information, call TLC and ask about Postpartum Doulas, Baby Nurses, and Newborn Care Specialists today. TLC can provide an extra set of loving arms for you and your new baby!



What is a Baby Nurse?

As an expecting or new mom you’ve probably heard the term “baby nurse.”

What is a baby nurse?  Is a baby nurse an actual RN?

Baby nurses are non medical newborn care specialists.  They have years of experience caring for newborns.  Baby nurses may have training and have attended classes on newborn care but are not registered nurses.  In 2006 it was clarified that the term baby nurse could only be used for medically trained nurses.  Nanny agencies now use the term Newborn Care Specialists.

Bringing a baby home can be overwhelming for any parent.  A Newborn Specialist will come into your home during your babies first weeks to help and support you.  She can help with bathing, changing, feeding, burping, swaddling and establishing sleep patterns for your newborn.  She can also help with simple household chores like loading the dishwasher, throwing in a load of laundry, or going to the grocery store.   Remember baby nurses have been working with newborns for years and are happy to help you take care of your little one!

Often times Newborn Specialists work overnight.  These specialists used to be  called night nurses, and take care of the baby through the night so mom and dad can get some much needed rest.  If you choose to breastfeed, the Newborn Specialist will bring you the baby to nurse and tend to the baby until it’s time to nurse again.

TLC For Kids has been providing Newborn Specialists in St. Louis for 15 years. Each of our baby nurses or newborn specialists has been screened by our office.  We also provide an in-house newborn training given by a neonatal nurse.  To reserve a TLC Newborn Specialist visit our website or call Angela at 314-725-5660.



Spotlight on a Newborn Specialist

Hi!  My name is Angie, and I have been blessed with the wonderful opportunity to care for newborn babies through my affiliation with TLC for Kids.  I was a part of their team from 1997 to 2005, and then returned in December 2010.
Over the years, I have cared for, nurtured and loved children of all ages, but my greatest joy comes from being able to assist moms and dads when their new little bundle of love finally arrives.  And, as we all know, life as they knew it will never be the same again!
I had worked in the corporate world for 25 years, but my heart always longed to care for children. I finally left my corporate job in 1997, trusting that I could do what I loved and that my financial needs would be met.  I have never looked back, and I have been blessed with so much more than I could have imagined.
My experience includes being a Mom, having 2 granddaughters and 7 step-grandchildren!  I have  “worked” as a full and part-time nanny for premature babies born with special needs, including twins, and those precious little ones who chose to stay put until they were due to arrive!
I have also volunteered in a residential facility for babies born addicted to alcohol and drugs, some of whom were also HIV positive.  Other wonderful experiences include being a “Big Sister” in the Big Brother/Big Sister program, a licensed foster parent, and a respite care provider.  I am currently employed full-time as a paraprofessional by the Special School District of St. Louis County.  My duties include assisting children with special needs in a regular elementary school environment, which is extremely challenging and rewarding!
Most importantly as a TLC temporary nanny – I love and respect each little life I come in contact with.  What an incredible privilege it is to help meet the needs of helpless, totally dependent blessings from above!
My advice to new and “experienced” parents – Don’t ever be afraid to ask for help.  Having a new life to care for can be extremely overwhelming, especially with all of the hormonal changes a new Mom is experiencing and Dads wondering what on earth they can do to help!  Getting a good night’s sleep (which can be rare for parents of a newborn) can make a huge difference in having quality bonding time with your precious baby, while getting through all the busyness of the day.   TLC for Kids is always there with wonderful, experienced caregivers just waiting to help you!