Tamara LairdTamara

This weeks team spotlight features Tamara, a wife and mother of two adorable little boys. Tamara has been on the Hush Hush Little Baby team since 2013 and it has been such a pleasure having her background as a registered nurse for families who need medical care.

Where are you originally from and how did you get into the newborn care profession?

I am originally from Arizona, where I lived until I graduated from Arizona State University in 2008. Since then, I have lived in Norfolk, Kailua (Hawaii!), Syracuse, Glen Burnie, and now in Arlington.  I have cared for children of various ages since I was about 11 years old. In college I started providing respite care for foster children- particularly a family that provided “emergency care” for newborns- many of which had special needs.  As an Resisted Nurse I have worked almost exclusively with the pediatric population, including some time in a neonatal step-down unit.  In 2013, after taking about a year off of work after having my first child, I stumbled upon Hush Hush Little Baby and knew right away it would be a good fit.

What is the greatest compliment you’ve ever received from a client?

Having a parent tell me they trust me with their newborn is the greatest compliment, and I never tire of hearing it!

Do you specialize in a particular area of newborn care?

I enjoy working with breastfeeding mothers.  My first child and I struggled with nursing, but managed to make it to a year.  I did not have the much support during this time, and wish to provide that to other moms.

What do you enjoy about working with new families?

I love working with different families and adapting to their parenting styles.  I try to provide education and information, but don’t try to make them adapt to my style.  I think it is important for each family to find a routine that is best for them.

Tell us a little about your educational background. What degrees or certifications do you have?

I am a registered nurse.  I graduated from Arizona State University with a Bachelors of Science in Nursing in 2008.   I have worked as an RN in Virginia, Hawaii, Minnesota and Maryland.  I have my BLS/CPR certificate, and the Newborn Care Training Academy.

Let’s talk newborns: what is your favorite part about caring for newborns?

My favorite part about the newborns themselves is being able to care for their needs and provide them with an environment to get much needed sleep and nutrition in order to grow and thrive.  It is also incredible to see theirs growth and development and watch them change on a daily basis.

How long have you lived in the DC area and how did you arrive there?

I have lived in Arlington for only a few months.  Prior to that I lived south of Baltimore and commuted to the DC area when providing newborn care. My husband is in the Navy, so we get moved around a lot.

If there was one thing you wish everyone knew about newborn care specialists, what would it be?

We have a wealth of information, and we are all individuals with different backgrounds, training and experience!  Some families may benefit from working with multiple caregivers.

How has being a mother impacted your career caring for newborns?

I believe that I have always been good with infants, and have a calm presence, which they feed off.  But, since becoming a parent, I definitely have a better idea about what the parents are going through and I am better able to understand and educate/assist with the changes to their lives.

How would you characterize your approach to newborn care and working with new mothers?

My approach definitely differs from family to family.  I understand that my approach for one family is not what will work best for every family.  Whenever I go into a new home I always try to understand their desires first.   I provide safety education where I see fit, but try not to intervene too much unless they are open to it, or seeking advice.  As a new mom, I definitely had an idea on the way I wanted to do things.  I would have appreciated some help, but I felt bombarded by unsolicited advice.  I try to keep that in mind when caring for other families.

What is next for you? Are you preparing for a new certification or training event?

In the future I’d like to pursue a career as a lactation consultant.

What do you enjoy about being on the Hush Little Baby Team?

I love working with different families with newborns, and the flexibility it provides me with my own family.

What do you enjoy outside of caring for newborns?

I love spending time with my family- my husband of over 7 years, and our 3 year and 1 year old boys.  We love to play and explore DC, Maryland and Virginia.   We love the beach and anything outdoors.  I also enjoy reading, cooking/baking and yoga.

Share a fun fact about yourself!

I love to travel and have been to many states, Mexico, Costa Rica, Canada, Egypt and Dubai