Where are you originally from and how did you get into becoming a newborn care specialist?
I grew up in southeastern Virginia. I was a nanny for 8 years and worked with newborns as well as older children, but began focusing on babies after taking a class on becoming a Newborn Care specialist through NCTA.
What is the greatest compliment you’ve ever received from a client?
I have had so many lovely clients! My favorite compliments are when they tell me that they (the parent) feel loved and supported. This work is all about building up the family as a whole.
Do you specialize in a particular area of newborn care?
I have spent a lot of my nanny years working with twins and I love working with twin newborns as well.
What do you enjoy about working with new families?
As a former nanny, I’ve had the chance to see how good habits put in place early can pay dividends in the years to come. I love being able to help parents at the very beginning to approach parenting with calm, confidence and intentional.
Tell us a little about your educational background. What degrees or certifications do you have?
I am working towards my Newborn Care Specialist Certification. As a nanny, I spent a lot of time learning about Positive Discipline, which informs a lot of the way I interact with parents and newborns as well.
Let’s talk newborns: what is your favorite part about caring for newborns?
The smell. 😉 No, but seriously, my favorite part is being able to come in and get to know each baby as an individual and to speak their language. They may not be verbal, but they have a LOT to communicate!
How long have you lived in the DC area and how did you arrive there?
I moved here from Jackson Hole, Wyoming to be a nanny to twins in 2010. Those twins are now almost 8!
If there was one thing you wish everyone knew about newborn care specialists, what would it be?
I think a lot of people think that newborn care specialist are just superfluous help for spoiled rich people. That is such a misconception! My clients are people who realize that parenting isn’t just an instinct; it is also a skill! They are dedicated parents who want to learn from someone who has the skill and experience to guide them so that they can be the best parents they can.
How would you characterize your approach to newborn care and working with new mothers?
I think the way some nannies approach families can be a bit like British colonialism. You can’t come in and assume that you know what’s best–that is disrespectful to the existing culture and traditions. Every family has their own parenting culture and it is my job to come in like an anthropologist–ready to learn about how they view themselves and what their goals are and to offer my knowledge and experience in a way that is most supportive and least intrusive.
What is next for you? Are you preparing for a new certification or training event?
I have seen the long term benefits to healthy sleep habits, and so many of my clients have questions around sleep. Once I finish my newborn care specialist certification, I plan to pursue a sleep training certification.
What do you enjoy about being on the Hush Little Baby Team?
Being a nanny or Newborn Care Specialist can be isolating. I love being a part of a team of caregivers who can offer advice and support based on their own unique experiences!
What do you enjoy outside of caring for newborns?
I sew some of my clothes. I also have spent a lot of time learning about nutrition and different ways of cooking. In fact, I used to work as an in-home chef specializing in cooking for families/children with multiple food allergies, or special diets (e.g., vegan, paleo, etc.). I have an innate need to feed people, like an old world grandmother. 😉
Share a fun fact about yourself!
My favorite museum to visit in DC is the Hirschhorn.
See Erica’s profile here.