26 Mar In conversation with Julia Mitchell – a Newborn Care Specialist and Founder at Mitchell NewBornCare
Gold: How did you get started in Childcare?
I started my career thirteen years ago by accident. I’ve always loved kids, teaching & being a role model to them. My grandmother was a well-known artist, and on weekends I would work with her teaching art classes to children all around Los Angeles. She would always tell everyone my resume was just as long as hers (from the age of 2!).
I originally went to college to become a fashion designer (later I changed my major to Child Development). My first year in college a friend of mine recommended me to a friend of hers who just had a baby, and was looking for a nanny. I fell in love, and from there my professional career started. Within the first six years, I had worked with families with children ranging from newborn-teen. My work has allowed me to travel the world, but five years ago I realized I really loved working with newborns, and educating parents. From there my focus grew from long term travel nanny to exclusively providing newborn care services.
Gold: Most recently when I have been posting Baby Nurse roles, I got feedback and I was not able to use that term. Can you tell me the difference between a Baby Nurse, Doula and NCS?
The term Baby nurse/Night nurse is outdated for what we now call a Newborn Care Specialist. In CA, it’s against the law to use the term if you have no nursing certification. A Postpartum Doula takes care of both mom and child and focuses on hers and baby’s recovery.
A PPD supports in ways such as; running errands, light housekeeping, meal preparations, sibling care and emotional and physical recovery after birth.
Gold: What can a family expect from a NCS? What are your duties?
Families who hire an NCS can expect all aspects of newborn care including but not limited to the following: swaddling burping, soothing, changing, bathing, feeding (breastfeeding or taking over bottle feeding), healthy sleep conditioning, and overcoming obstacles associated with tongue-tie, reflux, and colic. Baby laundry and bottle washing/pump part cleaning are also responsibilities of the NCS on duty.
Gold: What sets a NCS apart from a nanny with a ton of infant experience?
A NCS is trained to specially work with newborns for the first six months to a year of life. We have advanced knowledge in all things newborn including scheduling, sleep conditioning, lactation support, car seat safely and parent education.
Gold: I also see on your site, you list helping with tongue tie, reflux and colic? What do you do differently in these situations?
I can usually spot those things but because we as NCS are not medical professionals all of those must be diagnosed by a doctor once diagnosed, I am able to use my expertise and techniques I’ve learned over the last 13 years to assist in supporting the families with their new normal.
Gold: What is the typical request from a client? How long is the contract? Is it 12 hour or 24 hour care?
Typical requests would be overnight care for the first three to six months of the baby’s life including sleep conditioning and travel. I have families that request 24/7 care as well.
Gold: Can you explain what the expectation is during that time? Do you sleep at all?
I take care of all things baby including instilling healthy sleep habits, educating parents and the normal responsibilities a NCS takes care of during overnight care. Once all of those things are taken care of, I rest when the baby rests.
Gold: Most NCS require a deposit up front. How much do you usually request to confirm a role? What happens if they cancel?
Depending on the length of the contract I require 20-50% of the total contract up front. I have a strict cancellation policy and there are only two reasons I would break an agreement.
Gold: What is the typical situation for your needs while you are in a home? Do they provide you meals? What if you are traveling out of town? Do you handle all your transportation or do they provide a vehicle?
Overnights – I require a flat surface (bed) for resting either in the baby’s room or a guest room.
24/7- Same as overnights but in addition, I require separate quarters where I can take my break uninterrupted. The family provides my meals, and transportation if I am running errands pertaining to the baby.
Travel – If I am required to travel the family takes care of everything from food, room & board and transportation.
Gold: I saw you on your listed baby manual? What is that?
The Baby Manual is a class I offer parents before or right after the baby is born.
This is a personalized, hands-on class, we cover everything you need to know to help you and your baby thrive during year one. We cover topics including, but not limited to breast and bottle feeding, soothing, bathing, diapering, sleep schedules, and car seat safety! The class is held at your home or virtually if you are in a different city or state.
Gold: I am sure you deal with a lot of new parents having their first child. What are some mistakes you tend to see from first time parents?
#1 Overfeeding baby. Parents seem to think anytime a baby cries or whines, they are hungry and oftentimes that is not the case.
#2 Dressing the baby too warm. Baby’s run warmer than us as they are smaller and don’t need many layers depending on the season, and the baby’s natural temperature.
Gold: Can you give me a tip for parents on how to handle sleep training?
Consistency & Patience! Come up with a routine that works best for your baby and consistently implement this routine. There are several sleep conditioning/training methods out there and sometimes one doesn’t work but a mixture of methods do. I also offer sleep coaching for babies 4 months to a year old who haven’t been sleep conditioned.
Gold: Thank you so much for your time and sharing your wisdom with me. Any last thing to add that you think could be helpful to my reading audience?
Breathe! Babies do not come with a manual and each baby is different. Get to know your child and rhythm for your family. When you are looking to partner with a NCS during this amazing time do your research and hire off YOUR families needs and not what your friend has or what they are paying.
Hope this helps!