NCSA Scope of Practice

For Newborn Care Specialists

  • Newborn Care Specialists work with families in the first 16 weeks after birth (adjusted for prematurity), providing them with direct newborn care.
  • Newborn Care Specialists mainly focus on the care of the infant and provide unbiased, evidence-based information so the parents can make informed decisions on what is in the best interest of themselves and their infant(s).
  • Newborn Care Specialists educate and support the family with all aspects of infant feeding including breast/chest-feeding, pumping and unbiased formula feeding support, making sure they are familiar with and work only up to, not beyond, their highest level of lactation qualification. Please refer to the NCSA Statement on Breast/Chest-feeding Support.
  • Newborn Care Specialists provide sleep evaluation and support appropriate from birth to 16 weeks (adjusted), create optimal sleep environments, practice responsive care, scaffolding, observation and implementation of flexible rhythms and routines to reach age-appropriate sleep goals.
  • Newborn Care Specialists do not practice non-responsive, cry-it-out methods which are developmentally inappropriate before 4-6 months and do not Co-sleep. Please refer to the NCSA Statement on Sleep Training.
  • Newborn Care Specialists follow the guidelines provided by the American Academy of Pediatrics, or the pediatric governing body in the country they reside.


An NCS contract should have a detailed list of duties that are within the NCS scope of practice.

A Newborn Care Specialist will typically perform the following duties:

  • Educating and supporting parents in their parenting roles
  • Creating a smooth transition for the family during the newborn stage
  • Maintaining a thorough log of infant feeding, sleeping, and other health, behavioral and developmental concerns
  • Soothing babies using proven techniques and skills
  • Providing direct care for the newborn, including some or all of the following tasks, as requested:
  • Diapering, Bathing, Dressing, Circumcision Care
  • Assisting the family with feeding issues, including formula feeding and facilitating breast/chestfeeding, as requested
  • Preparing and cleaning bottles (Breastmilk and/or Formula)
  • Organizing & Maintaining nursery
  • Creating a regular feeding schedule
  • Assisting in establishing healthy age-appropriate sleep hygiene and habits
  • Taking over solo care of the newborn as requested
  • Troubleshooting potential issues of concern with all aspects of newborn health and development, and parent's mental health, and offering a professional level of knowledge and experience - as well as referrals to outside professionals whenever warranted.


  • Promoting Infant Development and Learning.
  • Building Family and Community Relationships.
  • Observing, Documenting, and Assessing to Support Infants and Families.
  • Using Developmentally Effective Approaches.
  • Using Content Knowledge to Co-create Meaningful Interactions.
  • Becoming and Being a Professional.


  • Comprehensive newborn and maternity care support for daytime, overnight and/or extended 24-hour care, both solo and as part of a caregiving team, including travel.
  • Skilled and proven age-appropriate soothing techniques.
  • Diapering, changing, bathing, umbilical and circumcision care.
  • Best practice guidance and implementation of human breastmilk and formula storage, bottle and pumping equipment hygiene and preparation and hygiene of bottles.
  • Sleep evaluation & support from birth to 16 weeks (adjusted for prematurity) [note: NOT sleep training!]
  • Organizing and maintaining an inventory of nursery supplies including wardrobe, infant laundry and nursery tidiness
  • Creating and implementing healthy feeding and sleeping schedule/routines to match the family’s needs, administering medications only as per written instructions.
  • Sleeping in or near the room where the infant sleeps, and/or monitoring with audio and/or video monitor according to the Client’s preference.
  • Age-appropriate enrichment activities, incl. tummy time and music supervising and implementing enriching play/learning activity opportunities in diverse settings as appropriate (eg indoors, outdoors, varying surfaces)
  • Maintaining a log of infants’ activities, transitioning care with parents and other caregivers
  • Managing daily care for infants with medical needs, including coordinating and attending medical/occupational therapist evaluations, implementing treatments under written instructions from healthcare providers, charting progress, and supporting the family post NICU in their readjustment to home.
  • Daily preparation of postnatal vitamins and other supplements for the Client.


Newborn Care Specialists create a safe, healthy environment

Newborn Care Specialists optimize the physical and intellectual competence of infants

Newborn Care Specialists support social and emotional development through positive guidance and caring practices

Newborn Care Specialists co-create positive and productive partnerships with families

Newborn Care Specialists ensure a well-executed, coherent and purposeful professional practice that is responsive to the needs of the family

Newborn Care Specialists maintain a perpetual commitment to professionalism


Newborn Care Specialists help parents provide a safe and healthy environment, and model safe and healthy practices to prevent and reduce injuries.

Newborn Care Specialists promote good health and nutrition practices and help parents learn how to maintain an environment that contributes to physical and mental wellness for infants and parents.

Newborn Care Specialists use and help parents understand how to use relationships, the physical space, materials, daily schedules, and home routines as resources for constructing a secure, interesting, and enjoyable environment that encourages and fosters trust, engagement, play, exploration, interaction and learning for infants, including infants who are experiencing disabilities and special needs.

Newborn Care Specialists use and help parents provide a variety of developmentally appropriate equipment, learning experiences and teaching strategies to promote the physical development (fine motor and gross motor) of infants.

Newborn Care Specialists use and help parents use a variety of developmentally appropriate learning experiences to provide opportunities that encourage infants to experience sound, rhythm and language.

Newborn Care Specialists provide families with culturally appropriate support, develop and help parents develop a warm, positive, supportive, and responsive relationship with each infant, and help parents and infants take pride in their individual and cultural identities and heritage.

Newborn Care Specialists understand the importance of using inclusive language and that our language choices can help contribute to a space where parents know they are safe and valued.

Newborn Care Specialists establish a positive, responsive, and cooperative relationship with the infant’s family, engage in two-way communication with the family and encourage the parents to take leadership in decisions regarding their infant.

Newborn Care Specialists use and facilitate all available resources (in the community and elsewhere) to meet the needs and interests of the families. Newborn Care Specialists use observation, documentation and planning to support infants’ development and learning and to ensure effective professional practice.

Newborn Care Specialists are competent organizers, planners, record keepers, communicators, and cooperative team players.

Newborn Care Specialists make decisions based on knowledge of research-based early childhood practices and adult learning, promote high-quality infant care services, and take advantage of opportunities to improve knowledge and competence, both for personal and professional growth and for the benefit of infants and families.


A newborn care specialist does not provide medical advice, medical care or procedures (unless also qualified to do so) but should be knowledgeable about medical procedures and issues concerning newborns and provide evidence-based information only.

Newborn Care specialists do not practice non-responsive, cry-it-out methods which are developmentally inappropriate before 4-6 months (adjusted) and do not co-sleep. Please refer to the NCSA Statement on Sleep Training.

A newborn care specialist must recognize when the infant’s care needed goes beyond the Newborn Care Specialist's scope of practice and should know which specialized professionals to refer to.

If a Newborn Care Specialist has qualifications in alternative or complementary modalities (such as aromatherapy, homoeopathy, infant massage etc.), they must make it clear to clients and others that those modalities are an additional service outside of the Newborn Care Specialist Scope of Practice.

A newborn care specialist should not speak for the parents or come between the parents and family and other professionals.