Category Archives: sitter

Live-In vs. Live-Out Nannies

Greetings, all!

We’re bringing you a blog post courtesy of Tammy Gold, our Nanny Placement Director and Parenting Expert here at BFC. In her recent post, she compares live-in vs. live-out nannies, and talks about some of the best nanny secrets and what she calls “Nannyology”.

Understanding Nannies and How They Work
One day, I received a call from a woman named Alicia, who lived in Connecticut with her husband, John. She had recently given birth to their first child, and with only three weeks left on her maternity leave, she was faced with the task of hiring her first nanny.

“I’m stressed because I have no idea what I’m doing,” she told me.  “I don’t know what I’m looking for, or where to begin. And I’m nervous, because I didn’t grow up with a nanny. I don’t understand nannies, and I don’t even really want a nanny in my house—but I have to go back to work. Can you help me?”

This post is designed to give you an introduction to what I call “Nannyology”—the science of understanding nannies—and to give you crystal-clear picture of what a nanny is and does, what the job actually entails, and how you should and should not approach the relationship. Nannies are human, and just like everyone else, they have strengths and weaknesses, surprising talents and funny quirks, as well as their own needs and expectations. You will most likely never find the “perfect” nanny who flawlessly performs every conceivable task. However, if you follow my hiring process and the strategies for working together (that I will discuss in subsequent posts), you can absolutely find an amazing, real-world nanny who will be a perfect fit for your family.

Live-In vs. Live Out
The first big decision that you will need to make when starting to think about who you want to hire is whether your nanny should be Live-In or Live-Out. A Live-In nanny is one who lives with  the family in their home for some portion of the week, while a Live-Out nanny commutes to  work each day and, after finishing her duties, returns home each night.

Live-In
Live-In nannies are the least expensive kind of nanny because you are giving them room and board as well as a salary. Some Live-Ins go home for some portion of the week, and some stay with their employer’s family full-time because they don’t have another residence. A typical work schedule for a Live-In is five full days and nights on, and two days off each week. If you want additional days and hours, you will need to pay for the extra time. The big advantage of a Live-In nanny is that you know you have round-the-clock coverage for those five days: If you and your spouse both travel for work, you have someone to spend the night; if your child is up all night with a stomach virus, you have someone on hand to help; and your nanny will never be late for work because a snow storm hit or the train broke down.

To have a Live-In, you need to be able to provide them with their own private, furnished bedroom and bathroom, and it’s helpful if the space is somewhat separate from the rest of the family. Live-Ins who drive also typically have a car at their disposal, either for transporting the children or for personal use; they also tend to cost more (average $750 a week) because they are the smallest percentage of nannies and thus are in high-demand. A lot of parents don’t initially like the idea of having someone else living in their home, but Live-Ins don’t necessarily mingle with the family after their hours are done. You want to map out your rules for privacy at the start—for example, do you want the nanny to go to her room at a certain time in the evening? Can she have a lock on her door so the children can’t go to her when she’s off duty? Can the nanny have a friend over or go out at night?—so that everybody is comfortable.

Live-Out
Most nannies are Live-Out nannies who will commute back and forth to your house each day. At an average rate of $15 per hour, they are more expensive than Live-In, and a driving, Live-Out nanny will command $18-$20 per hour or more. In general, Live-Out nannies will have less flexibility in terms of hours and schedules; they will expect to arrive at a certain time, work a set number of hours, and then leave at an agreed-upon time as well. 

There are some Live-Out nannies who occasionally live in—for example, if the parents go away for a week, the nanny may come to stay with the kids, or if the family goes away for the summer, the nanny may live in at the family’s vacation home for those few months. But this is something that needs to be discussed and agreed to by the nanny before you hire her. You should not assume that a Live-Out nanny is willing or able to do Live-In, and I have seen many nanny-family relationships severed because the nanny felt that the pressure of being with the family 24/7—even in a beautiful apartment in Rome—was just too much.

Visit our site to apply for a nanny position today!

Linds_Tammy_edited

Written by Tammy Gold, Nanny Placement Director &Parenting Expert

Nanny, Daycare or Nannyshare

Greetings, all!

Deciding what childcare fits best for your family can turn into a long and stressful decision. To sort through the many options available to parents, it’s important to ask yourself questions prior to making a decision. Read below, an article published by Huffington Post, and find yourself ready to make a decision faster than ever.

1. How many hours a day will I need childcare and for which days?

2. How much flexibility do I need? Will there be days I need to leave the child longer? Or will I work part-time some weeks and full-time other weeks?

3. What is my budget? What can I afford to pay?

4. Do I want the caregiver to have a childcare education or specialized degree? Or is experience enough?

5. Do you prefer more individualized care for your child or more of a group environment?

6. What size of a group do you prefer for your child to be in?

a.) For example, do you mind there being 20 other children in a class or would you rather it was a very small class–like 5? Maybe you would prefer your child to be with his/her siblings most of the time and then have play times with other children?

7. Do you need some other help around the house, like doing the child’s laundry or fixing his/her meals?

8. How will your employer handle it if you need to take a day off if the caregiver is ill?

For the full Huffington Post article click here.

Have a great week everyone!
TB

Easy Bite Before Date Night

Greetings, all!

Picture yourself about to head out the door for date night, when you realize you wanted to prep a meal for your little one(s) before the sitter arrived. With only minutes to whip something together, you go into a frenzy thinking about what to make. Today, I’m here to help, by providing five easy bites to make before date night.

1. Crockpot Mac & Cheese
Everyone introduce yourself to your crockpot, because it should be your best friend. It’s also an added bonus that mac & cheese is scientifically proven to be loved by kids. Check out the recipe by Pipp and Ebby here.

2. Breakfast
Is breakfast food always delicious?  Yes, yes it is. Whip together some eggs, toast with jam, and a side of fresh fruit or raw veggies. I also like all the hype behind breakfast muffins. Take a look at a variety of them from Thriving Home.

3. Lasagna Grilled Cheese
Once you see the photo and the simple recipe for this sandwich, you will want to make one for yourself. Consider it your appetizer before you go out.

4. Homemade French Bread Pizza
Try making one off of this impressive list. Quick, easy, and always a crowd pleaser.

5. Chicken and Broccoli
What’s better than chicken and broccoli? How about a 12-minute chicken and broccoli. Take a peak at the recipe here.

Have a great weekend, readers!

Ava_Amelia_eat

Written by our Marketing & Social Media Coordinator, Taylor Bell!

How To: Ace a Childcare Interview

Greetings, all!

in·ter·view  /ˈin(t)ərˌvyo͞o/
noun
Commonly referred to a meeting between a small group, where one or all feel awkward through a series of random questions that no one in the real world would actually ask you. Most often deals with sweating, nervousness, and filling awkward silences.

Don’t fight it, you have felt some of the feelings listed above in at least one interview in your life. To better your experience in a childcare interview, our coordinator, Ali Sheppard, put together a list of 10 things to know prior to going in. I hope you can redefine my definition of an interview in your next go around.

Good luck interviewees!

1.   Prior to the interview review the Caregiver Sample Interview Questions and the Family’s Job Conditions; you won’t be asked every question, but its good practice to review!

2.   Ask questions about the children; about their personality, interests, do they play sports/play instruments, get to know them better! Do they have any allergies?

3.   Discuss the typical day and responsibilities. Ask questions.

4.   Do not bring up salary in the first interview. The first interview is about the connection, which is the most important factor in finding your family. If the family brings up salary – simply say that you are comfortable with the salary range indicated on their Job Conditions and you are more interested in making sure you and they are a good fit!

5.   Make a connection with the parents, but always engage the children if they are present! Ask about there parenting philosophy and their house rules.

6.   Be open and flexible. Listen!

7.   Be ON TIME. No matter what! Plan for weather and transportation delays. Being late to your interview is never a good sign.

8.   BE professional. NEVER ever get too personal. Do NOT discuss religion, politics or personal problems or other hot topics. Do not over share personal information about yourself.

9.   Dress professionally, but do not overdress! Business casual is a safe bet! A nice top, pants, closed toed shoes and hair pulled back with no tattoos showing, piercings, big jewelry is a great professional look for a caregiver interview.

10.  Be sure to connect with the Placement Coordinator to discuss the position and review any questions prior to the interview.

 

See you all next week!

TB

Impromptu Child Activities

Parents sometimes have to bring their kids to places where there isn’t readily available entertainment or are running low on fun ideas. Our BFC sitters are experts in drumming up ideas, so we figured we’d share some impromptu child activities:

  • 1. Host a Hoola Hoop & Limbo contest with the neighborhood kids! Have the kids make signs & promote the contest.  Invite parents to attend, set up & play!
    Props: hoola hoop & some music
  • 2. For the car ride, play rounds of “I Spy”
    Props: Nothing necessary!
  •  3. Play a game of Keep it Up!  This is classic, get a balloon or pool ball & play rounds of keep it up. This game can be played anywhere & it can go on for hours.  Make teams, play-one-on-one & more.
    Props: Balloon or pool ball
  • 4. Duck, Duck, Goose.  Okay another classic.  This gets the kids outside or can be played indoors & encourages them to be active!
    Props: Nothing necessary!
  • 5. Hot & Cold Treasure Hunt.  Designate one person to be ‘it’ & direct the other person to go find the hidden treasure by following the map.  ‘It’ is responsible for telling the other when they are ‘hot’ or ‘cold’
    Props: Treasure map style-hide toy(s) through the house & then map it out for them to follow

shannon Smith photo

If you do not have any props/toys to work with here are some other fun ideas!

  • 1. Read books (maybe rent a few from your local library to bring with you on your outing)
  • 2. Color (bring crayons and construction paper if you have on hand)
  • 3. Dance parties (a Bell Family  favorite). Download kidzbop on pandora for an instant dance party; they also have a children’s sing along station which could be fun!

 

 

Spring Break

Even working moms need a break! BFC is here to make sure that your kids’ Spring Break is truly a break for the whole family. Whether your family is traveling or staying put, BFC can help.

A mini sitter in the making preps the family car for the road trip!

A mini sitter in the making preps the family car for the road trip!

Our Travel Sitters have traveled with member families throughout the Caribbean, Florida, Europe, Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard, and most of the Rockies Ski resorts! We provide excellent vacation and holiday coverage so you and your family can have all the extra care and support needed for a restful vacation. Check out some of the capabilities we offer:

  • -Pre-trip: BFC can provide assistance packing, getting to the airport, running errands, etc.
  • -During travel:  Travel Sitters provide entertainment during airport waits, sit in coach with children, and can help your family navigate airports, baggage claims, and travel to and from the airport with ease
  • -Vacation: Sitters will accompany your family throughout your trip so you can have date nights, extra hands on day-trips or excursions, and more fun & interaction for kids with an older role model on-site

For more information, check out our website or email us at info@bellfamilycompany.com! 

BFL – Bedtime Routine Tips from the Experts!

Big City Moms has always supporting LLD & BFC, invited us a while back to their Sleep Experts Lunch to speak about the importance of communicating bedtime routines to your sitter. Here are a few important tips!

Newborn-sleeping
1. Give your sitter a tour of your home. Show your sitter the kids rooms, point out dangerous areas you want the kids to stay away from and give specific instructions on how things work.

2. Bedtime Rules. Talk to your sitter about your bedtime routine with the kids i.e. What time do you begin to wind down the night? What is your child’s favorite story and/or bedtime song? What time should they be asleep by?

3. Special Instructions.  Are there any special rules you have? Do your kids have any allergies the sitter should know about? Are the kid’s sick and need medicine?

4. Exchange Contact Info. Be sure to leave your sitter with your cell phone and an emergency contact numbers. Be sure to get her cell phone number so that you can text her throughout the night if you have any questions or to check in.

5. Anything else? Sitters are happy to lend a helping hand. If you’d like them to unload the dishwasher or change the laundry most sitters won’t mind. Especially once they have been at your home a few times and you feel connected to them. They will be happy to help!

I stayed to listen to Kira Ryan, mom, sleep lover and co-founder of Dream Team speak about her infant& toddler sleep tips. Here are a few!

  • Newborns should get 15-18 hours of sleep per day (24hrs)
  • A good bedtime for an infant is between 6-8pm
  • Signs of a sleepy infant: the cry is different, no engagement or eye contact, fussy
  • What is normal?
    • Up to 6 mo infants take naps every1 ½ -2 hours
    • At 6mo infants usually take 2 naps per day
    • 15-18 mo 1 long nap in the afternoon
    • Naps or ‘quiet time’ is recommended up to 3-4 years
    • White noise machines are great especially for city noise
    • Crib should be a sleep sanctuary, anything that screams party or playground should be removed
    • Check the nursery temperature! It should be between 68-72 F.
    • Is the room dark enough? Get blackout shades!

For more info on Dream Team click here

Best Burping Methods

Dear Ask-A-Sitter,

What are the best burping techniques?  I have heard so many. I just want to communicate the best one to my sitter when I leave her with my infant.  What do you recommend?

-Tooty Twins

Dear Tooty Twins,

Yes that is true, everyone seems to have their own method, which makes sense because every baby is different. What works for your lil’ one may not work for another. Try out a few different positions & see which one seems to mesh with your infant the best. Sometimes I also find switching from one burping position to to the other helps the baby release gas.  Here are my top 3 burping positions that seem to work best with an infant:

- Hold your baby with their chin near your shoulder, support the baby with one hand and gently pat/rub their back with the other to sooth them while allowing their body to stretch out

- Sit your baby on your lap with one hand supporting their chin and pat/rub their back

- Lay your baby at a slight angle (with their head higher then their chest) on your lap facing you, rub their belly to sooth them while they stretch out their body. I use this method as a last resort after trying the first two above

Right after burping. The twins are as happy as can be.

Remember to support your lil’ ones head and pat/rub gently.  Your baby doesn’t always need to be burped, if he or she seems happy, they’re probably comfortable. And don’t forget to use a burp cloth regardless of the method you choose.

-LB

Tech Tuesday – Chipp’d – QR codes (and gifts) for the masses

Chipp'd_Logo_HiRes 

Chipp’d is a new innovative way of storing & sharing your memories using QR code technology.

For those of us who need it simplified – think if you combine Facebook with Instagram and Snapchat, then somehow attached it to a product! The result would be Chipp’d.

CH-HowItWorks_Steps

Super easy steps (even for non techies)

1. Purchase a product, download the free Chipp’d app & sign up for an account.
2. Upload your personal content at chippd.com.
3. Your sweetie scans the QR code on their product using the free Chipp’d app to unlock and view your message
.

What can I buy you ask?  Custom Letterpress Cards, Jewelry and more are all available on the site and ready for personalization.

The best part??? Use code CHIPPDHOLIDAY for 10% off your purchase. 

CH-Baby products

About Chipp’d

Chipp’d is a platform for securely sharing content with people you care about.  They don’t harbor aspirations to embed chips in humans, nor do they yearn for the day when robots and humans become one.  They’re just a little startup based in NYC that wants to make the Internet more fun and personal.

        Socialize with Chipp’d

Tweet with them!

Like THEM

Instagram!

Pin Them!

WWW – Santa Baby!

It’s a well known fact that I have LOVED Christmas my entire life!  When my baby sister was in grade school she wrote a school poem about me entitled, “Christmas Freak”.  (Yes, even then she had a biting sense of humor.)  I love the cold weather, the lights & decorations, the music (I’m listening to it as I write this), the cards, selecting presents for people & wrapping them creatively, making holiday cookies & crafts and the general feeling of goodwill among people during this time.  It’s just the most wonderful time of the year…made even more magical by our daughter!

It’s always been amazing to watch her little mind develop, but this holiday just puts her into overdrive.  There are lights and colors and new tastes, sounds and textures!  An everyday trip to Target is an adventure when she spots the holiday aisles from across the store.  She tells me “keep going mommy” until I reach the sparkly trees.  When we decorated our own tree, she couldn’t wait to hang ornaments and then examine each one carefully.  Don’t get me wrong, her excitement lasted for about three ornaments…three longer than my husband’s…but she had fun in the moment!  Now she has her favorites that she visits daily, and each morning as we walk downstairs she says, “Lights on!”

We’ve painted paper plate wreaths, made a handprint Christmas tree, cut Play-Doh shapes with cookie cutters, glued puff balls on foam shapes, decorated her own tiny tree in her play room and made daily “peanut butter guys” with our gingerbread man cookie cutter. Every morning she tries to stand higher on her tippy toes than she did the day before to put a new felt ornament on her Advent calendar.  I’m loving it!!!  She’s learning new concepts and I get to indulge my passion for the season.

jolynn1

One concept she’s got down quite well is a fear of strangers….particularly those in big red suits with long white beards.  She loves the guy from afar, can’t wait to yell his name at every opportunity, gets excited when we read about him in books, but the moment we get up close, all bets are off!   Last year’s Santa picture attempt was so traumatic I won’t even show you.  This year we tested the waters at a local party, and in mom’s arms, with fun auntie making faces behind the camera, it wasn’t so bad.

jolynn2

We’re still not going near the mall Santa, but this was progress.  And progress is what it’s all about with a toddler.  It’s also what it’s all about with a first time mom…like the lesson that you don’t take your 11 month old to visit Santa and expect her to smile for the camera.  Parker and I are navigating these waters together and everyday is an adventure.  I agree that her puff ball penguins should have eyes on their tails and she agrees that our craft time together is more important than me cleaning the house….besides it develops her fine motor skills as she picks up and hands dust bunnies to me J

- jolynn