Ruby Sibal spent her university years in Iloilo City—a place known for its flower shops and myriad blooms. She’s also the daughter of florists and flower garden owners. As to what extent that shaped her destiny, helping her own blossoming into what she is today: a much sought-after newborn care expert in New York—is rather interesting to mull over. Perhaps, she really was destined to help give nurturance: not only to beautiful floral blooms but to something more precious in a mother’s eyes—her very own baby. As such, there is always something awesome, beautiful, inspiring, and life-giving in what Ruby does for her clients.
As a newborn care specialist, Ruby provides expert care for babies from the time they’re a few days old mostly up to the first three months of life. She has specialized knowledge and training in helping parents provide a baby’s many needs: physical as well as emotional. One of her many specialties is being a coach for new parents who might feel clueless or apprehensive over the new baby.
Being a “super nanny” to a baby is part of Ruby’s job. With her expertise, she knows how to handle and care for them so that it quiets down from the normal crying spell and becomes relaxed, and how to help them sleep better. And of course, she’s certified in CPR and providing emergency care if needed.
In the Philippines, the idea of hiring a newborn care specialist to take care of an infant is still a novel idea. We’re still used to entrusting our baby to a close relative—a grandmother, an aunt, for example—or getting a nanny. But in New York, someone like Ruby is a trusted professional who becomes part of the family: not only because her expertise gives parents great confidence in her, but also because she really has a natural way with infants. It’s not just a talent but part and parcel of who she is.
“If it’s for the life and well-being of your baby, why would you entrust him or her to someone who isn’t fully qualified? It’s great if you have a mom or aunt you can trust with your baby. But not all parents are as lucky. And getting a yaya who is a stranger—and might not even have the proper training and knowledge in baby care—would be a great risk. So I believe newborn care specialists are professionals whose time has come for the Philippines, especially in the modern age when both father and mother have to work to support their growing family,” said Ruby.
One of her client dubbed Ruby as ‘the baby whisperer’. Another name that stuck is ‘Mary Poppins’. Both these names show clients admiration for Ruby, who is well-known for her passion for her work, and the genuine love for babies that she brings into everything she does. She’s calm, dedicated, knowledgeable, and efficient. These qualities have made her so in-demand that she now has to decline an average of eight clients a month—she simply has no more time and energy left to give, although she would love to be able to do so.
Finding her passion
On her way to becoming the expert that she is, Ruby had to get training to be a certified newborn care specialist. She also became a practitioner and educator of infant massage; a certified lactation educator counselor, an infant sleep specialist and a Happiest Baby on the block Educator. Her job impacts the future of every baby that goes under her care—a baby who is cared for properly in the first three months, performs well in many aspects of later life, from puberty to adolescence, and adulthood.
“I went through many jobs and several career changes before I found my calling. When I was in the Philippines, I became a floral designer, entrepreneur, make-up artist and event organizer. I also worked as an advertising and promotions officer for Philippine Airlines. When I migrated to the United States, I took on work as a massage therapist, a caregiver, a nanny, and a baby sitter. It was when I was at these jobs that I was introduced to “baby nursing”,” said Ruby.
After getting formal training and certification, there was no more turning back for Ruby. She found the job extremely fulfilling. It was challenging yet exciting. She loved seeing how happy parents became when they saw their babies thriving under Ruby’s care. And of course, Ruby considers it almost a sacred duty to give the best care to the infants entrusted to her—in a way, it seems like the second most important job, next to motherhood. And of course, Ruby finds fulfillment passing on her knowledge to parents, so that they will also learn how to give their baby the best care.
“One day, one client told me that—with so many parents out there who could benefit from what I do—maybe I should clone myself several times over. She was kidding of course—but then her remark gave me an idea. I thought of training more people in my field. I wouldn’t be literally cloning myself, but I would be helping more parents and infants by helping educate more newborn care professionals.
“On my own, I couldn’t possibly provide this service to all parents who ask for my help. But if I can pass on the knowledge, there will be a multiplier effect. More people—especially Filipinos—will learn my field and more parents and babies will benefit from the expert care provided to them. It’s a win-win situation for everyone,” she said.
So, she became an entrepreneur once more, founding Beyond Baby Care LLC in February 2015 and is now its CEO.
The company provides two things: 1) A newborn-care service to parents and 2) A well-rounded, comprehensive training program to those seeking to join the care industry as newborn-care specialists (also known, by the way, as baby nurses).
Applicants to Ruby’s program learn proper skills and knowledge of newborn-care, parental guidance, education and support, care for postpartum phase, infant first aid, as well as CPR and safety. Before they graduate from the course, they undergo internships. This is the ultimate test to make sure they become highly qualified to handle almost any newborn-care situation. In the U.S., each program has a maximum of 12 students, mostly Hispanics and Filipinos.
Now, Ruby plans to expand her operations to the Philippines. She hopes to partner with local governments and private agencies to establish trainings and conferences. Eventually, Ruby wants to write a book about the profession.
Ruby spent many years gaining her expertise and the trust of her clientele. After all, she is entrusted with the care of a human life—the outcome of her services may not result in towering edifices but something the world needs more of: raising healthy, happy, balanced, and caring human beings.
If it’s true that, as one poem says, the mother’s hand rocks the cradle also rocks the entire world—then Ruby’s hand is part of what moves our world. But her hand is one that teaches caring, compassion, gentleness, and helps ensure the future generation.
Want to meet the baby whisperer? Ruby is coming to the Philippines to give a workshop on special techniques to make newborns calm and happy. Happening in Iloilo (November 6) and Manila (November 13), said workshop is expected to be a great source of knowledge for any and all involved in infant care. For ticket reservations call 0919-802-4027, 0999-002-1616 and look for Jane or email [email protected]