Training Thursday Vol. 4 – Kitchen Safety with Kids

Welcome to volume four of Bell Family’s video training series, where each Thursday we release a video to help coach sitters on an array of childcare topics.

This week we are featuring a training video on kitchen safety with kids!

The first bit of advice is to always follow the parent’s instruction on the family’s kitchen rules. The other advice is as follows:

1. Oven: Make sure the children are always kept away from the oven to ensure they don’t touch it, or pull down the handle. Even if it is not on, it’s good practice to keep them away from it.

2. Microwave: The general rule is to keep children away from it when it’s on. Pay special attention to those that are near the floor. If that is the case, keep the children away from it.

3. Outlets: All outlets should have stoppers, and even if the outlet has stoppers, still keep the children away from it. It’s not something they should play with. If you are at a place without stoppers, keep the children away, or block it with another object.

4. Cords: Cords should always be out of a child’s reach. The child could pull it down on themselves or wrap it around their body/neck causing strangulation.

5. Cleaning Supplies: If you need to clean something up, make sure you are not spraying bleach, or any other harmful chemical around the children. Use a green friendly cleaner to wipe up the mess. Also, make sure the cleaning supplies are far from the child’s reach at ALL times.

These videos are recommended to all BFC childcare providers to view for the latest techniques when caring for children. These videos were designed by our team comprised of long-time babysitters, full-time nannies, mothers, grandmothers, elementary educators, and social workers.

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Note: Always follow the family’s instruction and care methods, and keep the family informed of everything with their baby.  These videos are not required to view, but a simple recommendation. For more information or for questions, please contact our office or read our terms.

Training Thursday Vol. 3 – Snack Time

Welcome to volume three of Bell Family’s video training series, where each Thursday we release a video to help coach sitters on an array of childcare topics.

This week we are featuring a training video on snack time!

1. First and foremost, be cognizant of ANY and ALL food allergies. Always read ingredient labels and if you are still not certain, snap a photo of it with your phone and send to the parent to ask. Always ask if you are not 100% certain. If you see or sense an off reaction to a food, contact the parent immediately.

2. Solids typically start when the child is six months, usually in a pureed state (before six months babies digestive systems are not developed to digest solid foods). Some families make their own baby food in a food processor and some will buy baby food.

3. Once the baby is beyond pureed foods and ready for big boy/girl food, EVERYTHING needs to be chopped up in small pieces, so it’s easy to munch with their gums (as some babies don’t get teeth till 12-18 months).

4. Warning foods: grapes, blueberries, hotdogs, oranges – be wary of the casing – peel it off or chop up as much as possible.

5. Babies and children should sit in their highchair, booster, or chair at the table to keep messes in the kitchen. It’s a way for them to practice good eating habits at a table with the family.

6. For babies and toddlers use a bib, or for younger children, a placemat to keep their clothes and surrounding area as neat as possible.

7. Depending on the pediatrician, babies start drinking water around six months old. Follow the parents instruction on how much water the child should have throughout the day.

When heating foods, always test the food before you give it to a child to make sure the temperature is not too hot.

Every family has a different way of doing things. Always ask the family for full instruction on how they would like you to prepare foods.

If the child is not taking the food for some reason text the family and let them know. Always keep full records of how much the baby eats when in your care.

These videos are recommended to all BFC childcare providers to view for the latest techniques when caring for children. These videos were designed by our team comprised of long-time babysitters, full-time nannies, mothers, grandmothers, elementary educators, and social workers.

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Note: Always follow the family’s instruction and care methods, and keep the family informed of everything with their baby.  These videos are not required to view, but a simple recommendation. For more information or for questions, please contact our office or read our terms.

Simple Seven List of Parenting Go-To’s

Bell Family gets a lot of parenting tips, newsletters, event invites, must have product pushes… you name it, it has been thrown at us on a daily basis. As we are sure you like to stay informed (just not over informed), we pulled together a simple seven list of mom groups and newsletter sites that we have found helpful in staying updated with city pregnancy and parenting.

Checkout our list below, and let us know if you have any additions that you love!

Our simple seven list of parenting go-to’s:

1. Cardamom: It’s free to download the app, and you can see local moms to meet up for a playdate.
2. Upper East Side Moms (Facebook page): This is a free group to post anything related to motherhood.
3. Manhattan Mamas Meet Up (e-mail list): You can sign up here.
4. Working Moms of Manhattan Group: You can sign up here.
5. Stroller Traffic: A good site for city moms and newsletters.
6. Big City Moms: Started by two sisters and NYC moms, Big City Moms offers a lot of good events and meet-ups.
7. Well Rounded NYC: Offers urban parenting and modern pregnancy. I like their newsletter!

Written by our Founder & CEO, Lindsay Bell

Training Thursday Vol. 2 – Burping a Baby

Welcome to the second volume of Bell Family’s video training series, where each Thursday we release a video to help coach sitters on an array of childcare topics.

This week we are featuring a training video on how to burp a baby.

There are three basic ways to burp a baby:

1. Hold the baby facing you, upright, their body against your chest, and their head above your shoulder. Pat or rub their back gently.
2. Lay the baby face down across your knees with their head carefully supported. Pat or run their back gently.
3. Hold the baby on your knee in a sitting position. While leaning forward slightly, hold the baby’s jaw and pat or rub their back gently.

Every family has a different way of doing things, so always be sure to ask the family what their preferred method is. Whichever option you choose, remember this: keep the baby’s head higher than their butt, always support the head, and gentle patting or running is just as effective as (and less dangerous than) thumping hard.

Remember, some burps will bring liquid with them, so always have a burp cloth to protect yourself and your clothing.

Finally, keep in mind there is a difference between spit up and vomit. Spit up is essentially a wet burp that dribbles out of the baby’s mouth. Vomit involves a lot more fluid. If there is vomit or blood in the spit up, call the parent(s) right away!

These videos are recommended to all BFC childcare providers to view for the latest techniques when caring for children. These videos were designed by our team comprised of long-time babysitters, full-time nannies, mothers, grandmothers, elementary educators, and social workers.

Burping baby

Note: Always follow the family’s instruction and care methods, and keep the family informed of everything with their baby.  These videos are not required to view, but a simple recommendation. For more information or for questions, please contact our office or read our terms.

A Country Birthday in a City Apartment

My son’s first birthday party got the label of “Brooks’ Barnyard Bonanza!”

Based on his expressions it looked like he had a great time, but he’s only one, so it’s a little hard to tell. What I know for sure is that I had fun planning it, and the day off wasn’t too bad either.

My goals were to enjoy the moment and not get stressed, to not spend a lot of money, and to keep it focused on the type of birthdays I had growing up back home in Ohio.

My first task was to think of a theme. Farm and country got my vote.

Second, compile an invite list and create a design for the invitation. I outsourced adding all the e-mails to the evite I designed. Both of these were free!

Third, what to eat? I wanted to keep with the tradition of the birthday parties I remember, so I made my mom’s sloppy joes. Only one person at the party knew what a sloppy joe was (maybe these are a Midwest thing), but once people tried them they ended up being a crowd favorite. I also got an easy recipe for potato salad, which I would have bought, but no one sold it nearby. The potato salad took under 45 minutes and it turned out awesome!

Next, the cake. My husband wanted to help, so I gave this to him, but somehow I ended up executing on the matter. He ordered a cake from a grocery store on Long Island for $35, and let me tell you people, it was the most delicious cake I ever had. I ended up buying decorative icing to draw a cow and a barn on it, because my husband didn’t want to ask. It all worked out.

Forth, what to drink? My husband helped with this, too. I made the list and he bought beer, champagne, and orange juice.

Fifth (my favorite), the decorations. I am the product of two teachers and the oldest of five girls, so I grew up crafty. I made a homemade cow out of our dinner table by ordering a cow table cloth from Amazon, drawing a cow head, cutting out hooves for the table legs, and making a tail out of belts. Then, I cut out a barn along with some sun and clouds to make a farm on our family room wall. I bought a dozen cowboy hats to be placed on the back of chairs and around the apartment. The final thing was a ‘Yee Haw’ sign on the wall.

The attire for the party of course involved wearing flannels and jeans. My son also had a farmer bib to eat his cake.

I think the entire party cost me $300.00, which in NYC is about the cost for a custom cake.

If you need help with your next party let me know!

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Written by our Founder & CEO, Lindsay Bell

Training Thursday Vol. 1 – Bottle Prep

Welcome to the start of Bell Family’s video training series, where each Thursday we’ll be releasing a video to help coach sitters on an array of childcare topics.

This week we are featuring a training video about bottle prep!

Always follow the parent’s instruction on what type of milk they would like you to prep for the bottle. The three different types of milk include:

1. Breast milk only: The mother will either freeze or refrigerate her milk and have it clearly labeled. Make sure it is not old or sitting out for more than an hour.

2. Formula only: The video linked above walks through the instruction on powder formula, but there is also full strength liquid formula, which is fully prepared.

3. Breast milk and formula: Some moms will mix the two, and some will feed the baby a formula bottle, followed by a bottle with only breast milk. The reason for this is because some moms don’t produce enough milk, some are weening, etc.

When heating the bottle you can us a bottle warmer, heat the milk on the stove/microwave or, let it sit in a warm bowl for 5-10 minutes. Test the bottle’s temperature on the outside of your hand before giving it to a baby.

You also want to make sure the bottle is clean and that there is nothing in the bottle from the dishwasher. When assembling the bottle, make sure you secure the nipple tightly and that there is no room for leaks.

Every family has a different way of doing things, so be sure to ask the family for full instructions on how they would like you to prepare the bottle.

If the baby is not taking the bottle for some reason, text the family and let them know. It’s always a good idea to keep full records of how much the baby eats when in your care.

These videos are recommended to all BFC childcare providers to view for the latest techniques when caring for children. These videos were designed by our team comprised of long-time babysitters, full-time nannies, mothers, grandmothers, elementary educators, and social workers.

Bottle prep

Note: Always follow the family’s instruction and care methods, and keep the family informed of everything with their baby.  These videos are not required to view, but a simple recommendation. For more information or for questions, please contact our office or read our terms.

“Tales from the Top” from Female Entrepreneurs

I recently attended the Cornell Tech @ Bloomberg speaker series, featuring three successful female entrepreneurs. While there, they shared their “tales from the top” along with Cornell Tech students, Bloomberg employees, and the New York City tech industry.

Three female entrepreneurs were featured (two of them also mothers) including:

Katia Beauchamp founder of Birchbox,
Brit Morin founder of Brit + Co, and
Nadia Boujarwah founder of  DAI Global, LLC.

After listening to these three women, my takeaway tips for other entrepreneurs are:

1. What are you feeling or looking for? Sit in a silent space and give yourself time to reflect and think about the big picture.

2. Listen for work arounds. What should the core product be?

3. Verge into digital – try doing video rather than editorial. It will save you a lot of time and garner more views.

4. How do you champion other women? Get out there and mentor (i.e., e-mail women back that need help, be supportive not competitive). It’s hard enough out there!

 

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Written by our Founder & CEO, Lindsay Bell

goBaby: Your Source for Making Infant Travel Easy

It’s time to make traveling with your little one(s) easy and stress-free!

Meet goBaby – the Airbnb for Baby-Gear-on-the-Go.

We had the chance to meet with goBaby’s founder, Natalie Kaminski, and found out what you need to know about this on demand app today.

Q: What led you to the idea behind goBaby? Was there a specific time or event where you recognized the need for rental baby gear? 

A: Traveling with kids is a lot of fun, but it is also very stressful. And having to carry all the stuff that kids need does not make it any easier. As a mother of two young daughters who takes several family trips per year, I have experienced this problem first hand. Following a trip to Chicago where I was able to borrow a car from a friend, but couldn’t find a way to rent a car seat, the idea for goBaby was born. I just could not believe that this type of service was not yet available, and as a digital product developer, I immediately jumped on the opportunity.

Q: Why should parents turn to goBaby when traveling?

Because it is super convenient! goBaby wants to make family travel easier. We want to allow parents to pack light instead of hauling bulky equipment, and rest assured that they can easily rent anything they may need for their children on-the-go.

Q: How does someone go about renting baby gear, or offering their own for others to rent through your app?

The goBaby app is very easy to use. After you download the app, you can search the available items by specifying location and dates. The app will present you with a list of items to choose from, and you can review photos, description, pricing and delivery items. Once you find the item you like, you make a booking request, which will be sent to the owner.

Listing an item is equally straightforward. Create an account, snap a photo of your item, provide description, pricing, and delivery options and you are good to go!

goBaby logo

Written by our Marketing & Social Media Consultant, Taylor Bell

A Giant Leap for Toddler-Kind

When it’s time for a child to take their first steps, a wave of excitement comes over parents. However, it also seems that the feeling of excitement is also paired with anxiety, caution, and nervousness. Good times, right parents?

One thing that can help ease some of these scary thoughts, is thinking about all of the cute shoes you can  pick out! Let’s face it, any shoe in mini form is adorable.

To help with picking out shoes for your toddler, we found a great article posted by Lucie’s List, which talks about the biggest things to look out for prior to purchasing, as well as some of the top walking shoes.

Here are some things to keep in mind before purchasing:

1. Size does matter. At your first go round – take a trip to an actual kids’ shoe store and have your child’s foot measured by a specialist. Also, pay attention to the width of your child’s feet to see if you’ll need shoes that run wide.

2. One size fits today. Don’t buy bigger shoes for the months ahead. Shoes that are too big are hard to walk in and can cause falling or tripping.

3. Bend it like Beckham. Shoes for toddlers should bend easily in your hand. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that toddlers wear lightweight and flexible shoes that allow their feet to move naturally.

4. New versus used. Generally used shoes for young kids take a beating and tend to be “single-user” items. Higher quality shoes last much longer and may be able to be handed down to another kiddo.

Here are some of the top infant walking shoes:

- See Kai Run
- Pediped
- Stride Rite
- Tsukihoshi
- Livie & Luca

For the complete article on the Lucie’s List website, click here.

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Written by our Marketing & Social Media Consultant, Taylor Bell

When to Part Ways with Swaddling

Swaddling a newborn seems to have turned into a form of art. So, for all of the parents out there who want their inner-Picasso to shine, now’s your time!

As for those parents whose art skills don’t go beyond their elementary school coloring book, there’s the thought, “How much longer do I need to wrap my newborn up like a burrito?”

In a recent post published by The Bump, they talk about the best time to stop swaddling your baby.

“Parents should stop swaddling their babies by three or four months. At this time, most full-term infants are acclimated to life outside of the womb and no longer crave the constriction of a swaddle.”

Rest assured parents, the constant swaddling does have an end point! Once the baby has reached the four month milestone, he/she takes to moving around in their sleep. Don’t be alarmed – this is good news, as it gives the baby exercise and helps them develop towards even greater milestones, such as crawling and walking.

For the full article on The Bump website, click here.

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Written by our Marketing & Social Media Consultant, Taylor Bell