Summer Pregnancy Tips

City summers can be rough on everyone when the heat really turns up, especially pregnant women. We’ve compiled some great tips to help you breeze through the summer.

  • -Try to avoid being outdoors on hot days; stay inside near an AC unit or fan.
  • -Stay hydrated! Sports drinks and juices can help keep your sugar levels and electrolytes up; of course, water is always a good option too!
  • -Always make sure to wear sunscreen when you are outside; a great compromise is buying foundation or lotion with SPF 15 or 20 in it.
  • -If you feel yourself overheating, take a cold shower if you can. If not, put ice packs or cold drinks underneath your knees, armpits, and behind your neck to cool down quick.
  • -Wear breathable, light colored fabrics to keep yourself cooler and prevent heat rash.
  • -Carry a spray-mister (the ones with the little fans are great) with you wherever you go so you can have a quick cool down anywhere.

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  • -If you want to workout or do outdoor activities, wait until morning or evening so temperatures are cooler and the sun is not out. Consider swimming as your workout of the summer in order to stay fit while cooling down and keeping pressure off your spine and legs.
  • -Avoid too much salt, coffee, or other food and drink that can dehydrate you.
  • -Just ask! Ask family and friends for help running errands or cooking meals if you are too tired or uncomfortable.

Weekend on the West Village

With this weekend calling for beautiful weather, we’ve asked one of our very own BFC members to share some of the best adventure spots in the West Village. Get out and explore some of Laura W.’s favorite NYC spots!

-My favorite is the amazing park on the Westside Highway and N. Moore St. (It technically probably counts as Tribeca/West Village).

- Another great park is Bleecker Park at Abington Square. Has a cute little seating area for adults to watch the lil’ ones play too.

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-The boat park on the Westside Highway and W. 12th St.

-This might get a little crowded on weekends, but I love the toy store on Hudson Street and West 11th. On top of being a toy store (what kid doesn’t love those!) it also has a train you can ride inside!

Enjoy the nice weather!

How to: Praise Your Kids

As parents, it’s natural to want to praise your lil’ ones when they do something great. Praise is a natural human instinct, and we all love receiving genuine compliments. If you use praise the right way, it’s also a valuable tool for reinforcing good behavior, boosting your child’s self-esteem, and making them feel loved, appreciated, and inspired.

We’ve compiled some great research and articles on the best ways to praise your kids. 

Praise your children, but don’t overdo it: experts recommend praising children for milestone accomplishments or big things. However, don’t let this lead over into praise for everyday tasks such as finishing dinner or sitting down to study if this is a nightly routine.

Remember that old saying “A for effort?” The same goes for praising children. Even if the outcome isn’t what was expected, it’s always a good idea to praise your child’s efforts and hard work.

Focus on specifics. If your child drew a really great picture, point out what about it was great. If they were quiet in the car, tell them you really appreciated how calm and quiet they were on that ride to the store. This reinforces that you were paying attention to their good behavior.

Don’t brag. Every parent loves to brag a little about their children. Make sure to not overdo it in public though, cause on top of annoying other parents, it also puts unnecessary pressure on your child to perform now.

Tell the truth. Kids have an uncanny knack of being able to tell when you’re lying, so make sure your praise is truly genuine.

Overall, just focus on the quality of your praise, not the quantity! Your child will feel loved and appreciated if you give quality praise, just as much as if you were constantly praising them.

Tips for Staying Sane and Raising a Good Citizen

Raising kids is hard, and every parent is striving to do their best. That’s why we love honest articles like this one from Scary Mommy.

The author leads us through how to “give yourself the best odds of producing a great human being, and also make it through the first 18 years of his or her life with your sanity (mostly) intact.” Check out her top ten recommendations below:

  1. Teach your kid to sleep and stick to a schedule (for bedtime and naps)
  2. Stop comparing yourself to other parents and know that social media is just a portrayal of all the pretty things!
  3. Accept that there is no easy button
  4. Be consistent and follow through
  5. Give your kids responsibility
  6. Stop making excuses for your kids
  7. Be flexible
  8. Don’t be afraid to say NO. You can check out our in-house nanny coordinator Ali’s thoughts on this one too on our blog.
  9. Let them fail (this one is really hard!)
  10. Chill- think if this is something that’s really important in the big picture? That mustard stain on their shirt in the school picture will only be hilarious 10 years down the line.

Are there any others they missed? Any you have trouble with? We’d love to hear from you!

 

Sleep Training: How To

Around the three month mark, babies begin to develop a regular sleeping pattern, and are weening off of night feedings.  Most experts recommend starting sleep training anywhere between the two month-six month range, with the best time being totally determined by each individual baby and family.

Like with most baby related “things” every baby is different and everybody you talk to who has a baby has an opinion – same goes for sleep training.  We recommend talking to your pediatrician, doing some research, and talking to your significant other to come up with a plan that that seems like it will work for your family.

You can start sleep training by establishing a regular bedtime routine (i.e. giving your child a warm bath, reading a book, or feeding before bed). This will be better enforced if you are also waking your baby up around the same time every morning, and taking naps at the same time every day.

Overall, consult with your pediatrician and develop a personalized plan that will work best for your family! 

Top 10 Ways to Balance Summer with Kids

For working moms, we wanted to share  the top 10 ways to balance summer with the kids home courtesy of life coach, Lynn Berger.

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Everyone talks about balancing your work and personal lives but how do you do it considering all the roles and  responsibilities you have? The summer time can be especially tricky since children may be home more and need to stay busy and engaged.

1)For the parent, in order to attain harmony you need to think about the things that are most important to you during the summer months and pursue those activities. It is a short season and learning how to prioritize is key.

2)Enroll your child in enough activities.  Keeping them active will prevent boredom and they might have a lot of fun playing sports and making new friends.

3)Allocate at least one half hour per day to something that gives you pleasure.  This will give you an outside interest and you can gain some perspective on child rearing.

4)If old enough let your children take tasks on in the home.  They may enjoy the responsibility and you will enjoy the help as well

5)Get the family into shape physically. The summer is a great time of year to spend time doing outdoor activities with your child(ren). Try to find a family sport.

6)Plan vacations well in advance and involve your children in your vacation  plans, if possible.  For example show them a map of where you are visiting.  Find age appropriate activities.

7)Teach your child(ren) to play alone.  A child that knows how to play by himself will not feel lonely when other children are not around.

8)Assemble lists of resource people. In an emergency it is useful to have the phone numbers of neighbors, relatives, friends, classmates or medical experts.

9)Ask your child(ten) if there are any special projects and/or activities they would like to focus on in the summer.

10)Have fun and relax.  This is a great time of year to take vacations and spend time with your children.

Chicago Launch: Sitters in the (Windy) City!

We’re so excited to announce the official launch of our Chicago city platform! You can now expect the same high level of care across the midwest.

Visiting on a business trip? No problem! Our local sitters will come to your hotel or show your kids around the city.

Have friends or family in Chicago? Make sure you refer them as a new family or caregiver!

Book your new appointment online through our online portal: http://www.bellfamilycompany.com/user/login/family