All posts by Lindsay Bell

Safe and Sound on the Job

In today’s world, it’s important that childcare providers (sitters, nannies, etc.) are keeping the children and themselves as safe as possible. Here are some helpful quick tips to keep in mind while babysitting, and for a full list, read here.

1. Telephone Safety

Make sure you have a fully charged phone to call or text the parents if you have a question, or there is an emergency. Nothing is more stressful to a parent than the sitter not picking up or responding.

2. Personal Safety

Make sure you are healthy when you care for children and that you are aware of your surroundings (i.e., have the parent or doorman watch you get into a taxi or uber at the end of the night).

3. Danger from Strangers

Never leave the home without the children. Do not open the door for anyone you do not know unless it is communicated by the parent.

4. Other Safety Considerations

If you feel you or the child(ren) are unsafe in a situation, remove yourself and the child(ren) out of that situation.

5. Safety Inspection Checklist

Be predictive and prepared to prevent injuries, drowning, falls, etc.

6. Preventing Accidents and Injuries

Prevent it as much as possible by being present and aware. Recognize the problem and then fix it.

7. Being Prepared for Weather Emergencies

Be smart and proactive. If the weather is going to be bad before an appointment, reach out to the family and make sure they are still on, and come up with a plan to get home safely.

8. Violence or Crime

  • Be aware at all times!
  • Avoid drawing unwanted attention.
  • Know how to exit fast.
  • If you hear gun fire; lie down with the children for cover.
  • If the home looks like it has been broken into; do not enter. Call 9-1-1

9. Play it Safe!

Always watch a child at all times especially in and around water.

Firefighter

List pulled from the “American Red Cross Babysitter’s Training Handbook”

Do You Have a Birth Plan?

As I get closer to delivery (only five more weeks), my husband and I were advised by my OB to review a series of questions and “what if” scenarios. I found a detailed check list on The Bump, which provided a great starter template. But you have to keep in mind; plans don’t always go the way you envision. So, play out a few different scenarios so you are not surprised, or caught off guard!

Here are some interesting things they brought up that I didn’t really think about:

  1. Do you want the lights bright or dimmed?
  2. Do you want interns present from the birth?
  3. How do you prefer to spend your first stage of labor (i.e., in a bath tub, walking around, with music or in silence)?
  4. During delivery, how do you want to be positioned (i.e., stand, squat, lie on side, lean on partner)?

 

And here are some really important questions to ask yourself and consider:

  1. Would you like labor augmentation? Do you even know what that is?
  2. What kind of pain relief do you want to use? There are a lot of options.
  3. What level of fetal monitoring do you want?
  4. After delivery, what do you want to do with the umbilical cord and placenta?
  5. What if you have to have a c-section. Read about options and recovery. You have decisions here too (i.e., want your partner there, want to see the baby come out via mirror)?
  6. Print out your plan and keep it in your hospital bag. It’ll be a nice source of comfort.

 

**Fun fact: Lindsay had her baby only one week after writing this post! Good thing she had her birth plan (and this blog) all set.

Basenette copy

Written by our Founder & CEO, Lindsay Bell

Finding Harmony With Your Child

We recently got the chance to partner with Emily Chamberlin and Christopher Diaz, co-founders of Heart to Harmony, an organization centered around connecting parents and caregivers to their children through various techniques. Learn about their teachings through our Q&A below, and by stopping by their space on the Upper West Side!

Q: What is the mission behind Heart To Harmony? What kinds of things do you hope your members takeaway from your classes? 

 A: Our mission is to create a harmonious atmosphere, where families and their babies can find a deeper bond within themselves and with their child. Our participants leave class feeling uplifted and encouraged emotionally, physically and spiritually. Parents and caregivers will acquire knowledge of children’s songs, baby and me exercises and breathing techniques to do at home. These tools can be used in or out of the class to calm the mind, relieve stress and connect on a deeper level with their child.  

 Q: What types of classes do you offer? Can people of all ages register to take a class? 

 A: We offer a Baby and Me exercise and mindfulness class for ages 4 weeks to new walkers that focuses on connecting with your child through the breathe, guided imagery, singing and simple fun baby and me exercises.

 Q: Where did your passion/inspiration come from to start up Heart of Harmony? 

 A: Our inspiration came from our shared desire to create a unique program for families with little ones to meet, bond, have fun and find community. Our love of teaching, working with kids and connecting on a deeper humanistic level with others is the spark that ignited Heart to Harmony. 

Q: How can prospective members sign-up for a class? Are the class schedules flexible? 

A: Those interested in joining our Heart to Harmony family can e-mail us (chrisandemily@hearttoharmony.com) to schedule a 10 minute meet and greet prior to joining class. This meet and greet is required so that we can get to know each family on a more personal level. 

Families can sign up for a class through the “Register for class” section on our website. Payments online are made through PayPal. Cash and VENMO are also accepted prior to class.

Special discount offer for Bell Family Company families: Receive a 25% discount on your first class with Heart to Harmony! Just mention this blog and your BFC member info when signing up. 

For a great promo video to learn more about Heart to Harmony, click here!

HearttoHarmony copy

Written by our Marketing & Social Media Consultant, Taylor Bell

Find Your Pediatrician Through Battery Park

If you have a little bundle on the way, then that means it’s time to find a Pediatrician near you! And don’t wait, because your newborn will need to visit his or her Pediatrician in their first week of life.

We had the opportunity to learn more about Battery Park Pediatrics through Dr. Melissa Morrissey, in the Q&A below. Read up, and get your appointment scheduled today!

Q: What sets Battery Park Pediatrics apart from other offices?  

A: Battery Park Pediatrics is a welcoming place where children can receive comprehensive medical care. Parents enjoy our convenient location and open schedule, accommodating urgent and same day appointments when they most need us.

BPP quickly became popular soon after opening in 2011. Our office attracts not only local residents but also families from all NYC boroughs and New Jersey. We are ideally located close to the West Side Highway, express and local subways, both the Hugh Carey and Holland Tunnels, as well as walking distance from anywhere in Battery Park and Tribeca (including the Oculus and World Trade Center Transportation Hub).

At Battery Park Pediatrics you can expect prompt, personal, comprehensive care and access to a wide range of our recommended local and hospital based subspecialty providers.

Q: What moment in your life did you realize you wanted to be a pediatrician?  

A: As a young child in the second grade, I doctored my dolls and declared my intention to become a doctor. I remained undeterred despite facing the challenges of unrecognized ADHD, and a general underestimation of my commitment. I studied psychology and neurology, but ultimately gravitated to pediatrics. I have a natural empathy for children and parents. When I trained with Dr T Berry Brazelton, I discovered a kindred spirit and a mentor who, along with a personal study of temperament, has shaped my practice into something unique.

Q: Emergencies often arise with children; do you offer same day appointments to help with emergencies? Are you available on the weekend and after hours to help, too?

A: In 2018, we are expanding our hours. We are open 7 days a week and are open later on weekdays to accommodate the busy schedule of working parents and school age children. We are planning a community based initiative to educate new and expectant parents about infant behavior and temperament to guide their parenting style. We will maintain our high quality standards, seek to improve our efficiency and increase our participation within the community.

Battery-Pediatrics

Written by our Marketing & Social Media Consultant, Taylor Bell

NYC Pediatricians We Love

Did you know your newborn baby needs to visit the doctor during the first week of life? That means you need to have your pediatrician determined before the baby arrives. Ask your mom friends, ask your OB, and do your research to come up with a good list of local baby doctors (you’ll want them in walking distance if possible, so you don’t have to worry about taking a car).

We asked around, and here’s a short list of the pediatricians our families love:

  1. Battery Park Pediatrics
  2. West Side Pediatrics 
  3. Premier Pediatrics Brooklyn & Chelsea
  4. TriBeCa Pediatrics
  5. Carnegie Hill Pediatrics

 

We recommend making a consult appointment to each, and then making your decision after that. It’s a process, but you’ll want to have it done before your little bundle arrives.

Baby

Written by our Founder & CEO, Lindsay Bell

Get Crafty with the Kids for Spring

It may be hard to believe for northeasters, but it is actually springtime. A time where you normally wear a light jacket, smell fresh flowers blossoming on the trees, and spend more quality time outside. Sounds magical, doesn’t it?

If you find yourself inside because all of those things are not yet achievable, then spend some time with the kiddos being crafty with fun Easter and Spring-themed activities!

Easter morning is almost as exciting as Christmas morning, so why not prepare for the Easter Bunny just like you prepare for Santa? Have the kiddos write letters to the Easter Bunny, and prepare snacks for him to give him energy to hide the eggs! These printable letters and poems will welcome him and keep your kids entertained.

Once Easter morning arrives, wake up early and place bunny footprints around the house with the bunny footprint template from Personal Creations. They come in three sizes, and all you have to do is print them out, cut on the dotted line, and sift flour on top of them to show what path the Easter Bunny took through your house or around your yard.

You kids’ faces are sure to light up when they wake up and see that the Easter Bunny paid a visit!

For all of the fun creations and activities, click here!

Personal-Creations-Easter

Written by our Marketing & Social Media Consultant, Taylor Bell, with guest contributor Katie Santos from Personal Creations

Riding Solo: Stories of Women Enjoying Me Time

Similar to the author of the article below, I did not take my first solo trip until after I graduated from college. She took a flight to Greece, while I took a bus to Philadelphia – that’s close, right?

Even though my travel time was much shorter, the feelings, thoughts, and new found confidence I felt was exactly the same.

The article goes on to share stories from women who dine, socialize, travel, and move into a new home all by themselves. Below, you’ll find intros provided by Brit + Co to set-up for the full article and stories on their website.

How to Dine Solo

We all do it every now and again. Lunch on a park bench. A croissant and coffee in a cafe on a lazy Sunday. In these instances, dining solo is easy. So why is it that once a menu and a waiter get involved, the experience becomes so much more intimidating?

Three women were challenged to take themselves out for a meal and report back. The only rule: no social media allowed! Diving into Facebook and Instagram during those initial, uncomfortable moments prevents you from truly learning to be by yourself.

How to Travel Solo

Brit + Co’s creative content producer Maddie Bachelder decided to kick off 2018 by facing one of her biggest fears: traveling alone. For her first foray into the intimidating, but ultimately rewarding world of solo travel, she jetted down to New Orleans for a weekend of jazz, donuts, and a few self-revelations.

To read the full stories of these brave women, click here!

Brit + Co

Written by our Marketing & Social Media Consultant, Taylor Bell, and repurposed from Brit + Co.

 

Exploring the City of Lights with Family

Bonjour, les amis!

Last month my sister and I travelled across the pond and landed ourselves in Paris. It marked the first time either of us has been to the City of Lights, and were we the excited bunch!

It all started when my sister e-mailed me about a deal on TravelZoo (if you don’t get their Top 20 Deals every week – sign up for it!). Their weekly deals only last a handful of days, so we needed to make the decision, fast. After a couple days of racking my brain, and all of those around me, I decided to take the leap. The next day we were booked, and our countdown began!

The months that followed involved me reading up anything and everything I could about Paris. After my extensive research and asking those around me for recommendations, I finally settled on an itinerary. My sister and I were only going for four nights, so squeezing everything Paris has to offer in four days was an extreme challenge!

I wanted to share some of the fantastic things we did, and what activities would be great to do if you find yourself in Paris with family like I did.

1. For the shoppers. Take a stroll through Le Marais. Here you’ll find endless boutique shops on small cobblestone streets. Zig-zag through, and you’re bound to take home some unique souvenirs.

2. For the adventurer. Buy yourself a ticket to the summit of the Eiffel Tower. You’ll take a ride up in a glass elevator, where at the top you’ll have a view for miles, and a champagne bar for hydration. The second and third levels are great, too!

3. For free views. Head up to Sacré-Cœur, which offers a beautiful basilica and a view high above the streets of Paris. Tip: walk to the back of the basilica and veer to the left. You’ll be taken to Montmartre – filled with souvenir shops, cafes,  and street artists!

4. For paid views. Did you know you can go up the towers at Notre-Dame or to the top of the Arc de Triomphe? You’ll find wonderful views of both the Eiffel Tower and the Champs-Élysées.

5. For foodies. I did not have a bad meal, croissant, cafe, or glass of wine in Paris. I’m convinced it doesn’t exist, or there’s a possibility I got swept away by the charm.

Happy travels families!

IMG_0414

Written by our Marketing & Social Media Consultant, Taylor Bell

Reclaim Your Health and Increase Your Joy

Make 2018 the year of taking control of your physical and mental health. Whether you’re looking to eat healthier, increase your energy level, or shine a little more light at the end of this motherhood tunnel, Thrive Hive Wellness is here to help.

See what all the buzz is about through our Q&A with Jennifer Khalaf, Founder of Thrive Hive Wellness.

Q: It sounds like an important lesson you learned in your journey was making time to focus on yourself as a woman, and not just your role as a mom. Why is it so important for moms to take time to focus on themselves, too? 

A: Mothers are incredible and have the ability to give and care for others on a level that always amazes me, but no matter how happy we are to do it, I don’t believe you can pour from an empty cup.

Before we have children we have many components that make up our sense of identity – our passions, our careers and our relationships, to name a few. After we have children, there is often a shift in “who we are” and how we define ourselves. Many of us feel that we lose the woman we once were and have a hard time making this new woman a priority – either because we don’t have enough time and/or resources or because we feel guilty being away from our family.

I believe we all deserve to be happy and take care of ourselves – both in terms of nutrition and in terms of self-care. Self-care is not a luxury, it’s essential to your health and happiness and it looks different for everyone – it doesn’t mean you have to get a weekly facial! For me, it can be anything from a workout I enjoy to getting tea with a friend.

It’s important to remember that while “mama” may be our most cherished name, it’s not our only one. We are wives, sisters, friends, coworkers, neighbors etc. and we deserve to fulfill our passions and interests. When we don’t nourish our bodies and minds, it often takes away from other areas in our lives. A fulfilled mama, is a happy and present mama and at the end of the day, that’s good for the entire family.

Q: What are some of the plans/services you offer moms looking to join, and how can they join? 

I work with moms in a variety of ways – I customize programs based off each client’s goals. For some women that may be focusing on nutrition to fit their bio-individual needs and lifestyle and for others it may be helping them work through areas of their lives that they’re feeling stuck or unfulfilled. We work together twice a month over a 3 or 6-month period (either in person or via video conference) and take steps each week towards making the changes to get them to where they want to be. Sustainable change takes time and let’s be honest when something goes wrong in the family, it’s mama to the rescue! These programs allow for the inevitable (a sick child, a school break, etc.) to happen and not sideline the progress they worked hard to achieve.

In addition to one-on-one coaching, I also offer family nutrition consultations, cooking demonstrations and pantry makeovers where we go through the family’s cupboard and swap out not-so-healthy staples with healthier alternatives that are equally delicious, but more nutrient dense.

To work with me or for a complimentary consultation, you can reach me through my website, or by email at jen@thrivehivewellness.com.

Q: What are a couple key takeaways moms will get when joining Thrive Hive Wellness? 

I recognize that every woman is different and it’s why each of my clients receives support tailored to their unique strengths and challenges. As such, their takeaways depend on their goals, but every client gains a better understanding of what foods support their bodies and gives them energy and balance. Additionally, they are equipped with tips and tools to help them make more space for themselves and feel more joyful and present in every aspect of their lives.

Motherhood is crazy and amazing all at the same time and sometimes we need a little reminder that our health and happiness is important too. If we know how to keep filling up our cups, we’ll have plenty to pour into our families!

Thrive Hive

Written by our Marketing & Social Media Consultant, Taylor Bell

How Working Parents Can Feel Less Overwhelmed and More in Control

Revise budget numbers. Parent/teacher conference Wednesday. Edit the marketing overview document. Finish summer camp applications. Give candidate interview feedback to HR. Grocery run — we’re out of everything…

If you’re a working parent, chances are excellent that at any given time, your to-do list looks like the one above — and that it stretches on, and on, and on — an endless, and eternally growing, list of deliverables. Is it any wonder that research shows that most working parents feel stressed, tired, and rushed? Or that when you look ahead, you feel more than a little overwhelmed?

As a responsible person and a hard worker, you know how to dig in and get things done. And since becoming a parent, you’ve tried various strategies to keep the ever-more-intense pace: moving paper to-do lists onto your iPhone, reorganizing your Outlook “Tasks” section, spending more and more time logged into work each evening, cleaning up the endless queue of unread emails, sleeping progressively less each night.

Yet you’re still haunted by the nagging sense of not getting enough done, of falling down in some way, of giving things that really matter short shrift — and feeling as if the wheels may come off the bus very, very soon.

The problem isn’t in your organizational system or work ethic — it’s in how human brains are wired. It’s normal to feel overwhelmed, with so much to do and so many demands on you.

But here’s the good news: There are simple and effective techniques for taming the overwhelmedness — things any working parent can do, starting today, to feel more competent, calm, and in control and to start shrinking that task list permanently. Here are four of the most powerful.

  1. Know your end game.
  2. Invest your time accordingly.
  3. Keep a “got it done” list.
  4. Schedule a regular power outage.

 

For details on the four above and the full article, click here.

Daisy Wademan

Article written by Daisy Wademan DowlingFounder and CEO of Workparent.