Master Newborn Care Specialist, Postpartum Doula and Pediatric Sleep Consultant, Amber Gilmore, is a hands-on educator in caring for newborn babies with more than a decade of professional experience. Her services cover childcare, clinical care of newborns, developmental knowledge, family support and parental coaching. Amber has received mentoring from Baby Nurse To Go as well as extensive training and education. Amber became a Certified Nanny through the International Career Institute, Certified Master Newborn Care Specialist through Newborn Care Solutions Institute and Certified Infant and Child Sleep Consultant through the Family Sleep Institute.
Based in Georgia, Amber provides nationwide support to infants and their families. Amber facilitates the parents’ smooth transition into life with a newborn, helping them to feel empowered in their new roles. Amber grew up loving and adoring babies. Childcare is not just an occupation for her, it is a way of life. Being mostly influenced by her mother who was a creative seamstress and an entrepreneur, Amber ventured into business as well through her own childcare company called Creative Nurturing.
Your mother not only influenced your entrepreneurship, but also your creativity. Tell us about that.
My mother has inspired me in countless ways. I inherited her style, entrepreneurial spirit and love for tasteful fashion. She was a seamstress and studied it at college. She was a master at creating clothes from scratch. As a little girl she would make all of my clothes and even made matching clothes for both her and I. She would dress us in matching outfits, like twins! People loved it! I thought it was so cute looking back at the pictures of us when I was a really young. I used to go fabric shopping with her all the time during my teenage years. She made my prom dresses for my eleventh and twelfth grade year prom. She could look at the fabric and picture how it would look. She wore bold colors all the time and was very fashion forward; ahead of her time. Her clients, family and friends loved her creations. She was our family’s personal seamstress and stylist for many years. It was apart of her, just like itʼs apart of me. I started to develop this entrepreneurial mindset just by being around my mom and her creative eye.
When did you know you wanted to specialize in childcare and start your own business?
It was something that was always innate in me. I started to pursue it fully when I entered this field in 2006 at the age of eighteen. One family I was working for had a Baby Nurse (AKA Newborn Care Specialist) at night and I was the day Nanny taking care of four female quadruplets, two of which were identical. I just had that feeling that it was my purpose and my true calling. I pursued education and the rest, they say, is history!
Why do you like working with newborns specifically?
I absolutely adore babies and love the joy babies bring. I treat each baby I care for with as much love as I have for my own family. Every baby is cared for genuinely and are treated just as well as I treat my family. They are just so cute and I love to give snuggles and care for them affectionately. They make me happy.
Happy babies, happy families! Itʼs innately my character to make people happy.
What would you say your favorite part about your profession is?
I get to love on and help nurture babies. I get to have the opportunity to truly make a difference in the lives of the family I am working with. I take pride in my responsibility with helping families, their infants and children. I love my career and I truly appreciate and value the respect my employers have for me and know that they let me into the privacy of their home knowing that I am there for them as a instant resource. I am honored to be trusted with the safety and well being of the children, their most precious possession. Happy babies, happy families! Itʼs innately my character to make people happy.
How would you describe the role of a Newborn Care Specialist?
A Newborn Care Specialist is someone who cares for a newborns in the fourth trimester of their life. Families tend to hire us from when the infant is days old until about four to six months. We cater to the needs of tired, overwhelmed and exhausted parents to take a break from their baby duties. This break is definitely needed daily. No matter how much you love giving your all and wanting to be there every second with your baby, you will with certainty need a break. If itʼs not hired assistance it should be with family and friends you trust helping out. Either way, this is a great solution for new parents and parents with several children.
What kind of assistance do you offer?
We help assist with general and specialized care for premature babies, multiples, breastfeeding, bottle feeding, preparing bottles, cleanliness, as well as putting the infant on a feeding and sleeping schedule. We teach and guide parents through our training, education and experience. We teach and promote safe sleep through the guidelines of the American Academy of Pediatrics. We are non-judgmental, whether the mom decides to breast feed or formula feed. We recognize and understand developmental leaps, phases and milestones and adjust to their needs accordingly. We will help mimic the womb as much as possible so the babies wonʼt be overwhelmed by their new environment, once leaving their comfort zone. We do this by swaddling the infant, using a sound machine, having a dark room through blackout shades as well as a routine to help promote positive sleep habits.
How would you describe what a Pediatric Sleep Consultant is?
A Pediatric Sleep Consultant is a highly trained and knowledgeable person who is hired to help navigate all the sleep challenges families may be having with their infant or child. We create a sleep plan based on the childʼs needs, personality, age, behavior and developmental needs. We are not medical advisers and do not diagnose nor give medical advice.
How would you describe a Postpartum Doula?
A Postpartum Doula provides information on things such as infant feeding, emotional and physical recovery from birth, mother–baby bonding, infant soothing, and newborn care. We are there to help a new family in those first days and weeks after bringing home a new baby. Postpartum care truly making sure that mom and dad is well nourished, well hydrated and well rested.
When is it time for new parents to hire a Newborn Care Specialist?
As early as possible. We tend to be booked months in advance. Itʼs very important to plan ahead for night assistance and care in general for your infant. Itʼs also good to hire as early as possible to establish great sleep routines and sleep hygiene. This special service can also be a gift for a friend or family member.
Can all parents in need afford a Newborn Care Specialist?
Yes, it all depends on your wants and needs for your family. Just like with any service, you choose what you can comfortably afford for that time frame in your life. If you can afford it, it is a smart investment. We are a very short term investment money wise, but a lifetime investment sleep wise. We are not a luxury service, since many families need assistance once they start a family. Most parents have not heard of this type of service, but once they hire us they canʼt understand why everyone hasnʼt heard of us or why everyone with a baby doesn’t hire us! Weʼre are not for everyone, only the parents and families who want sleep and order in their homes. Most parents will probably not want to or be able to hire a Newborn Care Specialist to work in their homes on a 24/7 basis or every night. However, we offer virtual sleep consulting and customized sleep plans. Thereʼs always other solutions such as consultations to help prepare or even just troubleshoot quick concerns and problems. This can be a great alternative.
How can parents avoid newborns having sleep problems?
For infants, they will most likely develop sleep problems if a lot of sleep associations are present. If you put the infant to sleep every night by rocking, swinging, bouncing, going on car rides, or just holding them until they go to sleep, the baby will learn and understand that this is the only way to go to sleep. After awhile you will get tried of doing this every single time they need to go to sleep. Then you find that you have to break these sleep associations if itʼs causing developmental delays and constant over-tiredness in the child. I would like to include that there is no right or wrong way to raise a child.
What about with children?
If your child is having challenges with sleep then we must create better habits and boundaries. You want to make healthy sleep changes for your child’s body needs and development and for the parent’s body and sanity. This follows with breaking these sleep associations and promoting better sleep patterns. If this is an older child it could literally be the same thing. There can be sleep associations, behavioral patterns or negative feelings towards going to bed that need to be address and you may need to break many sleep associations too. If the sleep problems are still present and you have made many changes to get your child on a better track then you may need to get the child evaluated for medical sleep problems such as sleep apnea.
What are some tips for expectant parents or those with newborns you can share?
Plan early, try to be prepared for the developmental leaps, milestones and surprises that will occur. You will thank yourself later and be ready for the changes being a parent will bring. Donʼt be hard on yourself or compare your child to others. One last thing, treat yourself to some sleep!
Do you work mostly nights?
Yes, most clients hire me for nighttime assistance. I love it! Parents need their rest! I believe that even though you are a new parent you can still value your sleep. You still have to take care of yourself, starting with being well rested. Donʼt feel guilty, self care is important. As a caregiver and as a parent, we all have to be alert, calm and focused to give proper care for the infant. We have to be attentive and not be sleep deprived.
Do you like working nights as compared to days?
Iʼm flexible. Some positions need just nighttime assistance while other families need me for a 24/7 assistance. Both work shift options require the same care and come with great happiness and challenges. I enjoy working at nights, it helps to give the parents a break and much needed and deserved sleep. Many new parents are overworked, stressed out and sleep deprived. But it doesnʼt have to be with early planning or adjusting and trusting me once hired. Let me help you by giving you a sleep break!
Do you find it very quiet and or odd working during the night in someone’s home?
When I first started it was a lot of pressure because parents are trusting you to make sure their child is taken care of. I would worry I would wake them throughout the night from the noises or from them not being able to get comfortable with me being there. After awhile, I didn’t worry because I gained the parents trust fairly quickly all while helping them get their rest.
What is a typical day/night like for you?
If hired on a 24/7 position, we literally work around the clock. There will be between four to six hour breaks to do as we choose and most times we choose to sleep! If there are no personal errands needed to be attended to during our personal time, we definitely sleep to regain our energy and strength for the next shift. Night positions are just that, working at night ranging from eight to twelve hour shifts every five, six, or seven nights a week. If Iʼm hired for nighttime, most likely they want me to sleep train their babies and get them sleeping through the night at the end of the contracted time of hire. Of course if the baby is developmentally ready for this we go full throttle in sleep shaping, sleep conditioning, and sleep training mode.
When you’re not working and enjoying your personal life, how do you like to express yourself?
I love positively expressing myself through my clothes, hair and accessories. Iʼm a creative person so wearing items that express my authentic self is a part of who I am. I wear scrubs at work which is my choice of work fashion. I love to wear things that bring out my personality. On my days off you will see me in lots of bright colors, items that are bold and that sparkle! Whether I am at work or not though I have to wear comfy shoes like sneakers, boots and sandals!
We’re glad we were able to get you in a high heel for your cover Amber, we made sure it sparkled – just like you!
For more information on Amber Gilmore and her company Creative Nurturing visit her official website and Facebook page.
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