Working With Infants and Babies: Great Career Options To Consider

If you love infants and babies and would like a career where you get to work with them, you will be glad to know that there are lots of opportunities, mostly in the education and medical fields. If you would like to get into any of these fields, realize that the job is about much more than cuddling babies. These jobs are about supporting the well-being and the development of the babies and infants you work with. Even with all the challenges they come with, jobs that involve working with babies and infants are very rewarding. If you feel you have got what it takes, here are some of the best career options for those who would like to work with babies and infants.

Teaching

To work with young children, you can either choose to become a preschool or early childhood teacher. Preschool teachers usually work at daycare centers and early childhood classes. These teachers provide guidance for kids between six months and five years of age. Their tasks focus on the basics including cognitive and language development, communication skills, and basic knowledge.

Preschool teachers are required to possess a degree in early childhood development, with childhood psychology also an acceptable educational requirement. Some institutions also require that preschool teachers have some experience dealing with young children, experience, and skills that can be gained through working as a nanny or teacher’s assistant.

Early childhood teachers do almost everything preschool teachers do but their process is much more involved. They work with parents and other teachers to ensure the individual needs of each of the students they care for are met. They also focus on guided lessons on the basics such as shapes, colors, and various aspects of language. Their qualifications are usually the same as those of preschool teachers.

Newborn Photographer

Being a newborn photographer can be both fun and stressful, but highly rewarding. Newborn photographers do portrait shoots of infants and their families. They do all the planning for the location and the shoot, working with parents to determine different project requirements. Newborn photographers can work at their homes, their client’s homes, studios, and even hospitals.

Newborn photographers must be patient because babies are fussy, and they must also be able to calm babies down when the situation calls for it.

There are no specific qualifications for becoming a newborn photographer. Most newborn photographers work freelance and are self-taught. However, a strong portfolio, a keen eye for detail, diligence, and time management are key skills and qualities a newborn photographer must possess. The ability to work with various cameras and software editing software is required, though.

Nannies

When most people think about people who work with babies and young kids, a lot of them think of nannies. Nannies are tasked with taking care of babies and children, either at the nanny’s home or at the family’s home. Depending on the specific children’s or babies’ age, they may be required to prepare meals, ensuring sleeping schedules are kept, and promoting learning and engagement.

There are no strict education requirements to become a nanny, but all nannies are required to have taken and passed some first aid classes. Some may also require that a nanny holds a degree in childhood development or psychology.

Pediatric Nursing

Pediatric nurses specialize in treating infants and newborns. In many cases, nurses who work in pediatrics are registered nurses who work under the supervision of pediatric nurse practitioners. These nurses conduct tests, talk to caregivers and parents, offer advice on how best to take care of infants, and help assist keep babies comfortable and calm during visits.  Pediatric nursing is one of the most in-demand nurse practitioner specialties, and one requires advanced training to become one. Apart from a bachelor’s degree nurses also need to have extensive experience working with kids, especially in pediatric and neonatal units. They also need to have certifications in pediatric care.

Pediatric nurses can work in traditional hospitals or branch out to work in clinics, private practices, and specialized clinic settings such as reproductive health clinics.

Pediatrician

Pediatricians are physicians with specialized knowledge in the treatment of babies and children. They are usually primary caregivers and often take over from obstetricians and midwives. They educate parents, prescribe medication, develop long-term care, prescribe medication, and everything else that concerns the health and well-being of their young patients.

Pediatricians are required to have a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine or Doctor of Medicine. They also need to have a specialty in pediatrics and be licensed to practice in this area.

Doula and Midwife

The roles of doulas and midwives usually overlap in many instances but there are key differences between the two. Doulas do not have to hold a medical or nursing degree but must take specialized doula classes. On the other hand, midwives are required to have a medical or nursing degree, usually a Master of Science in Nursing or Doctor of Nursing Practice degree. Midwives are also expected to hold certifications in midwifery offered by professional bodies in their location.

Doulas are trained to assist women and to ensure they have healthy pregnancies and successful births. They work with women through their pregnancies, labor, and postpartum periods. Doulas work with medical professionals in many instances. Additionally, they can guide new parents on how to take care of their infants.

Midwives, on the other hand, are qualified medical professionals who have specialized training in dealing with and assisting women through their pregnancies. They work with women, before, during, and after labor. Their responsibilities can sometimes blend into early childhood development where they assist with child-parent bonding and teach parents how to feed and take care of their babies. While doulas can provide care and support for up to a few months after birth, midwives typically provide care for the first month or so.

NICU Nurses

NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Nurses) care for babies in the NICU after a difficult birth and for babies who have some health complications. These nurses have a lot of responsibilities including monitoring vitals, administering oxygen and medications, general checkups, updating medical records, and providing emotional support for new parents. Their work is both stressful and rewarding because they work with ill, underdeveloped, or premature babies.

In addition to a bachelor’s degree, NICU nurses are also required to have graduate degrees, usually a master’s in nursing. They must also have extensive experience caring for babies before they specialize in neonatal and infant care. Some states and countries may also require additional certifications to work as a NICU nurse. NICU nurses must be compassionate, empathetic, patient, critical thinkers, problem solvers, and organized to be successful in this role.

Labor and Delivery Nurses

These nurses monitor mothers and their babies during and after delivery. They do not do the delivery themselves but instead work with midwives and obstetricians to ensure safe and successful deliveries. In addition to monitoring, they also clean the baby and provide the first line of care until the mother is ready to receive their new baby.

Labor and delivery nurses also provide additional services such as teaching mothers how to swaddle, soothe, feed, and take care of their babies. These nurses are not required to have a bachelor’s degree but must have at least an associate’s degree in nursing and be licensed to practice. They must also undergo additional training on the labor process, safe deliveries, and how to safely take care of both mother and baby during those first few crucial hours.

Lactation Consultants

Although mothers are often shown how to breastfeed their babies, there are some mums who have challenges with this. Lactation consultants teach new mothers how to breastfeed their babies and ensure mothers know how to do it right and when to do it. They also teach mothers to identify signs of hunger in their children so mothers can differentiate when their babies cry due to hunger or something else.

Lactation consultants work in private physician offices, birth centers, and hospitals, assisting as long as they are needed.

Lactation consultants are required to have a degree in any of the sciences, have extensive experience working with new mothers, and complete training and pass an exam. There are also certifications for those who want to improve their employability.

Infant Massage Therapist

Infant immobility is a serious issue that can be caused by several factors. Infant massage therapists provide massage services for infants to help them develop muscle strength, functionality, and mobility. They may also work with mothers of disabled babies to help them gain some mobility, so they learn to walk or have some mobility.

Although medical knowledge is not strictly required, an understanding of anatomy is a must in this field. Additionally, infant massage therapists must complete an infant massage program. After that, they have to pass an exam and be licensed. This is a lucrative career choice, with hourly pay often mirroring that of qualified and registered nurses.

There are lots of career options for those who would like to work with babies. Some of them are easier to get into, such as the various nursing and education career options, while others require a lot more work, such as Doctors of Medicine. However, you can still find a path that best fits with you and your career goals.

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