This is a special day, we are interviewing our first Newborn Care Specialist, in the Meet Nanny Series. INA would define a Newborn Care Specialists as ”a nanny who typically has specialized training and also has extensive experience in newborn care or nursing. Newborn care specialists often provide 24-hour child care for families with newborns during the first weeks of a child’s life.” Today we meet Clelie (pronounced “Clay-lee”) and get a closer look into her world.
Meet Newborn Care Specialist Clelie
By: Greta Schraer
As a Newborn Care Specialist, working mostly with newborn multiples, my day is guided by routine and consistency. The day begins somewhere between 6:00AM and 7:30AM. I either wake up the babies or answer their cries that tell me they are ready to get up. After changing diapers and dressing them, it is time to feed, a little play time if they stay awake and then back to bed. Repeat every three hours until 6:30PM, and then it is all feed and sleep.
While the babies sleep I wash bottles, make formula, wash and fold laundry, empty the diaper pail, organize and straighten the nursery,
and try to stay current with what is going on in the world of newborns. I am also coach, teacher and counselor to mom, in her new role. I sometimes help older siblings adjust to the new little one(s) in the house. But not to worry, it is not all work. My day is filled with cuddles, smiles, coos, grunts, squeaks and sighs, all of them precious.
2. What are 3 unique characteristics about you that you strive to live for the children in your care?
A Newborn Care Specialist’s job is as much about the mother as it is about the babies. The same characteristics apply to both. Number one is nurturance,providing warm and affectionate physical and emotional support and care in everything I do as I go about the day. Number two is being consistent, doing things the same way at approximately the same time everyday to build a habit. Number three is love, even infants can sense the motives behinds the actions of those around them and I want to be the perfect combination of cheerleader, teacher, sounding board and moral support to the babies and their mothers.
3. What is the most rewarding thing about your career as a NCS?
It is most rewarding to know I have made the transition from two to three, four or more a little smoother, a little easier for the family; to know, in the words of former employers, I “have enabled the parents to feel rested, organized, and ready to take on the task” of caring for their children with confidence and joy and without the “first time mom jitters”; to know I have made a difference in the lives of everyone in the family, mom, dad and babies.
4. What is one thing that you wish you would have known your first day as a Nanny?
I wish I had known just how much fun and how fulfilling this work can be, because if I had, I would have started a whole lot sooner. I have worked with kids in some way since I was a teenager, but when I became a nanny, and then a NCS, my life changed forever. I have left a piece of my heart with every one of the children I have cared for and yet my heart grows bigger with each family.
5. What is something that others may be surprised to know about you?
I have a collection of turtles made of everything from cloth, wax, coal, and crushed pecan shells, to pottery, jade, pewter, silver, and Swarovski crystal. The most unique is a pair made from hexagonal nuts, as in “nuts and bolts”. It all began with a T-shirt.
Clelie has been assisting Moms and Dads, as The Temporary Nanny, since 1988 providing temporary and emergency childcare. In 2003 she began concentrating on her passion, infants and toddlers. After 13 weeks of around the clock care for a third set of twins, she knew she wanted to make a career of being a Newborn Care Specialist. She has cared for at least eight sets of triplets, nine sets of twins, 10-20 singletons and was part of the Baby Dream Team that cared for sextuplets.
She is a graduate of The University of the Cumberlands with a BS in Health. Clelie served as a panelist on Nanny Careers at NannyPalooza in 2008 and her article, “Infant Sleep Schedule” was published in the Jan. 2008 NANC Gazette.