‘Baby Whisperer’ empowers young parents
Have you seen the angelic babies in the New York Times Magazine April 22, 2018 issue? Those babies were swaddled picture-perfect by no less than the Baby Whisperer.
Now about to take charge of her 57thbaby, Ruby Sibal, the Baby Whisperer, is not just singing lullabies, but is also taking care of babies based on indigenous knowledge, science, and nature. She’s also finally embarking on a journey to encourage people to pursue a career in baby nursing.
Ruby, a native of Iloilo, is a Newborn Care Specialist, aka Baby Nurse, Happiest Baby Educator; she’s also an entreprenuer, a writer, blogger, and the CEO of HIMBA.
“Baby Nurse is not just a profession, but a calling. I know how difficult it was navigating and learning it all by myself,” Ruby says.
Newborn Care Specialist
Newborn Care Specialist (NCS) is a term coined during the 2007 conference of International Nanny Association (INA). NCS is defined as an expert that provides new parents with support, education, and empowerment when the baby arrives.
“Concerns about nursing, what is normal for newborns, and how to best care for the mother and her baby usually arise. These may cause added stress and anxiety, which may even lead to post-partum depression if the mom has no help,” Ruby explains.
‘Himba’ and KonMari
Himba is a tribe in Namibia where women and girls take care of the children, even if it is not theirs, because they believe that a child is the village’s responsibility.
Ruby developed her own program and methods where she incorporated the 5 S’s soothing techniques by Dr. Harvey Karp. These are ways to keep track of feeding, sleeping, and diaper changes and other activities through round-the-clock journaling, infant massage for bonding routine, and scheduling based on the baby’s own rhythm. These techniques are rounded out by Ruby’s personal experiences of having been with 56 babies, each with unique personalities, and her exposure to different families with different styles and preferences.
HIMBA Placement Agency (www.himbaagency.com) offers an in-house training program to help those who want to become an independent contractor as a Newborn Care Specialist (NCS). Thus far, a couple of dozen students have completed the training. To be able to graduate and become an NCS, a student must attend the comprehensive four-day classroom training, complete the 144 hours of on-the-job training with actual clients with real babies, and pass the Happiest Baby Educators Certification.
“Our training will equip them with skills and tools to handle the job professionally and confidently,” Ruby explains. “We have a support group of highly motivated and like-minded professionals whose main goal is to empower each other and empower their clients — the new parents especially the new mom.”
Ruby is a KonMari Consultant in Training.
“I incorporate KonMari Method in my newborn care profession. It has something to do with sharing the knowledge and skills of organizing, guiding, and helping the clients identify what they value in life and creating their ideal space through the process of organizing,” Ruby explains.
The KonMari Method is an organizing method developed by Marie Kondo, the Japanese “de-cluttering guru.” In the method, belongings are acknowledged for their service and thanked before being let go of, if they no longer spark joy.
Baby nursing as ‘mothering’
Taking care of a baby is considered “mothering.”
“NCS provides them with love, caring, and nurturing just like our own. The work of an NCS is extremely valuable for the health and development of an infant—which impacts until adulthood. I consider it a sacred duty, in a way, it seems like the second most important job, next to motherhood,” Ruby explains.
Ruby stays with a family for a maximum of three months. BY the fourth month, parents are most likely confident in taking care of their own baby. At this stage, concerns associated with handling very young babies, like cleaning umbilical stumps, colic, and fontanels, are gone. The baby may have also established its sleeping pattern.
A baby can recognize voices and develop a sense of security in the presence of a caregiver. Thus, attachment is present. However, separation anxiety among babies may start at around six months.
Need for an NCS
More women are joining the workforce, but for new mothers the 12-week maternity leave in the U.S. is not enough. According to Healthline, 25% of women go back to work after two weeks. Hence, the demand for Newborn Care Specialists.
The absence of a support system– like mothers, sisters, and aunts — also contributes to the growing need for NCS. Bu having an NCS for a few weeks or months, new parents and mothers can have extra support especially at night, which means parents getting enough sleep. They are aided in everything, from breast-feeding, diapering, and bathing to establishing schedules, routines, and healthy sleep patterns. The NCS doesn’t make any judgment on her client’s parenting preferences.
In the last two years, Ruby has had to decline more than 50 clients. “I couldn’t possibly provide this service to all parents who ask for my help. But if I can pass on the knowledge, there will be a multiplier effect,” Ruby says.
Ruby believes that the NCS business is not a competition, but a chance to work and grow together.
“I believe in the Chinese proverb that “When you are given a gift of great value, you have the obligation to share it many times over.”
Ruby is writing an e-book and blogging at http://www.thisismeruby.com/.
To further understand the Profession and the Newborn Care Business, there is a Free Orientation on May 27, 2018 at 5PM in Woodside, Queens. Please register via email: NCSTrainingNYC@gmail.com or call 917-7082039). An in-house training is on June 16-17 and 23-24, 2018 in Manhattan, New York.
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