'Baby whisperer' Karitane nurses decline as demand rises

Many new parents used to have 'baby whisperer' guidance from specialist Karitane nurses, and while the demand for their magic hasn't evaporated, the supply has.

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There is plenty of demand for the service, but the numbers of people choosing the career are on the decline. Source: Seven Sharp

Most parents feel their way through what is one of the hardest jobs there is, with no real training. 

And they spend plenty of time worrying about whether they're getting it right.

It never used to be that way.

TVNZ1's Seven Sharp reports the establishment that used to train specialist Karitane nurses by the dozen is no longer a hospital and there's no longer a course - but demand is thriving. 

Kirsten Varley helps run Karitane Nurses and Nannies where parents can hire nannies, and the few remaining Karitane nurses still working.

"I'm getting still five or six calls a day from mums without a support around them. They just need a second pair of hands and someone to talk to about it," Ms Varley said.

"I feel we've lost a national treasure."

Ms Varley and Miranda Smith, who owns Karitane Nurses and Nannies, would love to see a course reborn, and for the Karitane nurses still out there to help teach it.