If you love infants and are looking for a new career, options abound for jobs with babies. But passion alone won't make you succeed. "Infants are beautiful and demanding little people who are very curious about the world," says Helen Adeosun, the founder and CEO of caregiver support site Care Academy. "You have to be patient and want to help babies grow at such a developmentally important time."
Jobs with babies require various levels of experience, training and degrees, but many people already have a good foundation. "If you worked at summer camps or were your neighborhood's go-to babysitter, you already bring lots of relevant experience to the table," says Amanda Augustine is the career expert for TopResume.
First, think about what setting you'd like to work in. "Some people prefer working in a school, while others prefer offices, hospitals or homes," says Mary Lorenz of CareerBuilder. Then consider how much time and money you'd like to invest in schooling and training. With some self-reflection and research, you should be able to find a career you love.
Here are 15 jobs working with babies:
Nannies care for babies and children in their own home or the family's home. Though most of their time is spent with babies, they may also prepare meals, do light housework and run errands.
- Child Care Center Owner or Worker
You can get lots of hands-on baby time by opening or working at a child care center. Education and training requirements depend on your state and employer.
- Children's Gym Owner or Teacher
A fun way to work with babies and kids is to open a children's gym or become an infant teacher at one of them. Businesses such as The Little Gym, My Gym and Gymboree Play & Music offer franchise opportunities. Each location has different educational and training requirements for teachers.
A pediatrician is a physician who cares for babies and children. Pediatricians perform wellness checks, diagnose and treat illnesses and more. They also provide newborn care after a baby's birth. Pediatricians must hold medical degrees.
- Pediatric Nurse
Pediatric nurses can be registered nurses (RNs), licensed practical nurses (LPNs) or nursing assistants. RNs must have a bachelor's or associate's degree in nursing -- or complete an approved nursing program -- and be licensed. LPNs, who work under RNs, must complete a state-approved educational program and be licensed. Nursing assistants must complete a state-approved educational program and pass their state's competency exam.
- Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
Nurse practitioners are RNs who serve as primary and specialty health care providers in lieu of pediatricians, but some states still require them to work under a physician's supervision.
- Neonatal Nurse
A neonatal nurse is an LPN or RN who cares for babies -- many of them preemies -- in a hospital's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).
- Labor and Delivery Nurse
Labor and delivery nurses are RNs who help women during childbirth. They also monitor the mother and baby and provide postpartum care.
A doula supports an expectant mother during labor via aromatherapy, massage and more. Doulas work with the medical team to ensure the mother's wishes are met, and they help with newborn care.
An obstetrician is a physician who cares for pregnant women and delivers babies. The job requires a medical degree.
Nurse-midwives and lay midwives care for pregnant women and deliver babies. Both jobs require specialized training in delivering babies, but a nurse midwife also needs nursing credentials.
- Lactation Consultant
Lactation consultants help new mothers successfully breastfeed their babies. They help mothers increase their milk supply, help babies latch properly and more. Lactation consultants must complete breastfeeding coursework and pass a certification exam.
- Infant Massage Therapist
An infant massage therapist helps premature babies develop their muscle strength and functionality. To become one, you must complete an infant massage therapy program and become licensed. Two programs to try are Loving Touch and Liddle Kidz Foundation.
- Pediatric Physical Therapist
A pediatric physical therapist helps babies and kids with disabilities, illnesses or injuries improve their movement and manage their pain via massage and manipulation. Physical therapists need a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree and a state license.
- Newborn and Baby Photographer
Many professional photographers specialize in photographing babies, which involves posing them and getting them to smile. While portrait photographers don't need specific degrees, many take classes to improve their technical skills.
Concerned about going back to work? Check out 5 Ways Working Mothers Help Their Kids.
This article originally appeared on Care.com.