101 Ways to Carry Your Child

Greetings, all!

Okay, that may be an exaggeration, but we have a lot of ways you can tote around your little ones in this impressive list of car seats and carriers from Big City Moms.

Let’s start with some car seats to look out for in 2016.

1. 4Moms Self-Installing Car Seat - If installing the car seat is your biggest fear

2. Chicco KidFit Zip Booster Seat - If your child requires two bibs to be on him/her at all times

3. Evenflo SafeMax All-In-One Carseat – If airbags are your favorite feature in the car

4. Diono Monterey Booster - If growth spurts run in your family

5. Clek Foonth – If you want your little one to star in NYFW (New York Fashion Week)

 

Next up, let’s take a look at some of the top carriers to look out for in 2016.

1. BabyBjorn Baby Carrier We Air - If sweating buckets while wearing it is your biggest fear

2. BabyBjorn Baby Carrier One - If your known to take forever to get comfortable

3. Onya Baby Cruiser - If you love pillows, sheep, cashmere, and all things soft

4. Beco Baby Ring Sling - If one size fits all is your favorite size

5. Becco Baby Limited Edition Gotham Print - If you can never get enough of the city

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

Dinner Is Served – Vol. 1

Greetings, all!

We are happy to bring you a new monthly blog post, where one of BFC’s own, Courtney Bell Garvey, gives a delicious new recipe for you to try. Enjoy!

Hi again – You might remember me from my blog as a first time twin-mom; but now I’m back to talk about food! I decided to throw in my hat as a working professional to be a stay at home mommy and am now focusing on my two greatest loves; family and food. In particular, easy, healthy meals for us busy mamas. I try to plan dishes that are filling and large so there are leftovers. Recently, I cooked up a twist on meatloaf; Turkey and Roasted Red Pepper Meatloaf. It was so easy and delicious. I paired it with a green salad which was great and added a ton of nutrients and nice color to the plate. Please see the recipe below.

Turkey and Roasted Red Pepper Meat Loaf

INGREDIENTS
1 1/2 pounds ground turkey
1 small yellow onion, chopped
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1 egg, beaten
1 cup grated Parmesan
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 cup flatleaf parsley, chopped
7 ounce jar roasted red peppers, cut into 1/2 inch pieces kosher salt and pepper
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
6 cups mixed greens

DIRECTIONS
1. Heat oven to 400° F.
2. Combine the turkey, onion, bread crumbs, egg, Parmesan, 2 tablespoons of the mustard, the parsley, red peppers, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a large bowl. Shape the meat into an 8 inch loaf and place in a baking dish.
3. Bake until no trace of pink remains (internal temperature should be 165° F), about 45 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and let rest 15 minutes before slicing.
4. Whisk together the remaining mustard, the vinegar, oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a small bowl.
5. Divide the greens among individual plates and drizzle the vinaigrette over the top. Serve with the sliced meat loaf.

Happy eating!
Courtney

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Written by one of BFC’s own, Courtney Bell Garvey!

Has Breastfeeding Just Gotten Better?

Greetings, all!

Have you ever wondered what a nipple shield is, or what exactly it’s used for? Well, we did some research into this, and found a great source of information to answer all of your questions!

What is a nipple shield?

According to Kellymom.com, “a nipple shield is a flexible silicone nipple that is worn over the mom’s nipple during a feeding. Nipple shields should in general be considered a short-term solution and should be used under the guidance of a lactation consultant.”

Often, nipple shields are recommended within the first few days of birth. Frequently in these cases, the shields are not needed and are handed out without proper instructions for using and weaning from them – a shield should generally not be used during the first week after birth unless there is an obvious problem such as prematurity or difficulty latching which is attributable to some physical characteristic of the baby. Here is more information on when baby is not latching on yet, sore nipples, and getting a good start on breastfeeding.

As an expectant first time mom, I looked around and I think I will give Medela’s nipple shields a try. There are so many brands to choose from, but from my research and reviewing the comments on Baby Center, Medela seems to be the most popular amongst moms.

Celebrity mom Kim Kardashian apparently is a fan. Check out her opinion on Huff Post.

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Written by our Founder and CEO,  Lindsay Bell!

Winter Days in TriBeCa

Greetings, all!

In efforts to keep both you and the little ones entertained during these cold winter days, we rounded up some indoor activities near the TriBeCa neighborhood to check out! And if you were wondering, there’s only 31 days until Spring – but who’s counting?

1. Take a look at Macaroni Kid Downtown for their events calendar.

2. Don’t overestimate the power of Whole Foods.

3. Give a local library or book store a spin, and drop in for story time.

4. Bubby’s is a kid friendly restaurant -  and who doesn’t love doodling on their placemat?

5. Gymboree in Tribeca has open play! Just stop at the front desk, pay the small $20 fee, and it’s all yours for the whole time!

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Written by our Founder & CEO, Lindsay Bell!

Nannyology: Three Types of Nannies

Greetings, all!

We bring you a special feature blog post this week, with the findings from Tammy Gold, author of “Secrets of the Nanny Whisperer” and founder of Gold Parent Coaching. She shares insight on how to understand the three types of nannies, so you can find the right match for your family.

Finding the right kind of nanny to match your particular work/life situation is critical in creating a calm and stress-free home. If you make the right nanny match, everyone is happy… but if you choose the wrong match, things can get ugly in a hurry. To avoid this unnecessary stress, I coach my clients to figure out what kind of nanny they need based upon the term “nannyology.” This refers to the process of understanding who nannies are, how they think and how they work. One part of nannyology is learning the three nanny responsibility types so moms can figure out which one best matches their needs.

The Three Nanny Personalities

After hearing hundreds of stories and mediating countless mom/nanny relationships, I started to notice three distinct personality types which I named: The Parental Unit Nanny, The Partner Nanny, and The Executor Nanny. Each of these types is distinguished by their level of autonomy and their ability to handle — or not handle — different kinds of responsibility. It’s important to know which one you’re looking to hire from the get-go, because all too often parents make the mistake of hiring one when they really need one of the others.

The Parental Unit Nanny

Parental Unit Nannies are proactive, motivated, in-charge and most importantly, capable of handling every single aspect of her job without help from the parents. They work best with parents who are actively looking for someone to take the lead in their absence and “just take care of it.” This type of nanny functions as the “parent in charge.” Parental Unit Nannies make it easy for their bosses to transition into “work mode” or “rest mode” because they know that everything at home is being handled perfectly. Parental Unit Nannies can run the entire home, manage all of the children’s’ activities, schedule play dates, get the putty for Bobby’s science experiment, take Ruby to the doctor when her cough sounds worse, talk to Ali’s teacher about the mean girl on the playground and have dinner on the table by 5pm. Of course even the greatest Parental Unit nannies need training in order to do the job well, but they are the type of nanny usually best suited to a full time working parents or moms who are really busy and need to clone themselves. It can be hard for a parental unit nanny to stay home all day and take directions when she is used to being in charge and on her own.

The Partner Nanny

The Partner Nanny is named for her ability to be the mom or primary caregiver’s partner. She can shift her duties and level of care based upon the needs of the mother. When mom is out, the Partner Nanny runs the show and she is able to keep the house and children moving along smoothly and steadily. When mom is home, the Partner Nanny does not necessarily step behind mother, but steps beside her completing household tasks in unison. A Partner Nanny is completely in-sync with mom and together side-by-side, tackling the care of the children and running the home. Being a Partner Nanny is challenging since it can be difficult to shift between being “the boss” and then just “the helper.” Nannies usually like to know they are one or the other and Partner Nannies need to be highly adaptable and carefully attuned to the needs of the mother. A Partner Nanny may take the older children to school, run to the store for new ballet shoes, take the baby to music class, and when mom returns, she may shift her focus to laundry, cooking and cleaning.

The Executor Nanny

The Executor Nanny carries out the parents’ directions. She is typically someone who works with an at-home mother or a mother who works on a part-time basis. In her role she would handle childcare, but rarely all on her own. She would also handle a great deal of house care since the mother is often home managing the children. An Executor Nanny could do everything from heavy cleaning, and cooking, to taking the baby for a walk and playing princess with the toddler. She typically would never be asked to run the home and the children’s activities on her own. These nannies usually watch one child while the mother is out with the other siblings or perhaps watching all of the children for short periods of time while mom might be out running errands, at the gym or on a work project. Her mindset is to “assist” and “execute” items set in motion by the mother — precisely the opposite of the more proactive Parental Unit Nanny who may be left to plan the entire week on her own.

The key to matching in any relationship, let alone this complex personal/professional relationship, is stating your wants and needs upfront. By understanding that “one nanny does not fit all” and knowing these three nanny personality types moms can find or train to create their ideal match!

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Written by Tammy Gold, Nanny Placement Director and Parenting Expert

Safe Food Chart for Expecting Moms

Greetings, all!

I was sitting at a group dinner a few weeks back with majority men, when the waitress came over to take my order. Shoot, I couldn’t remember if Swordfish was on the do not eat list and I didn’t have my “do not eat checklist” in my bag! One of the reasons why I tried to memorize that thing, but nonetheless, I went ahead and ordered it. My other option was red meat, which I already had once that week.

When I got home I ran to my list, and there it was listed on the AVOID list. Way to go, Lindsay.

This is one thing I am trying not to get too narcotic about; my NYC expecting friends pay much closer attention to this AVOID list, than my mom-to-be friends back in Ohio. I was getting ready for a wedding, which I was a bridesmaid (along with two other expecting moms), when it was finally lunchtime. Time to feast! The bride had a very nice deli spread delivered. The expecting Ohio gals dove in. I asked them if it was okay to eat deli meat - they said yes, in moderation – once per week as instructed by their doctor. Whereas my doctor in NYC said pass. I was starving, so I decided to join them.

Everyone seems to say something different. It’s hard to keep track. I agree, moderation is probably the best rule to follow, except when it comes to certain things like alcohol, raw fish, etc.

My sister’s husband is in the medical field and he suggested this link to follow for food safety, while pregnant.

I have it saved on my phone next time I’m in a pickle. Yum…pickle!

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Written by our Founder, CEO, and soon to be mom, Lindsay Bell!

A Kid’s Valentine’s Day

Greetings, all!

Are you looking to find ways to get the little ones involved in Valentine’s Day this year?  Well, you are in luck, because cupid over here is shooting some fun craft ideas your way! What better way to enjoy the zero degree temperatures this weekend than staying indoors and trying these out?

Your favorite friends for these crafts will be construction paper, scissors, glue, and maybe some googly eyes if you’re feeling adventurous.

1. Bee Mine by Crafty Morning

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2. Heart Garland by TeachWithMe

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3. Heart Shaped Animals by Crafty Morning

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4. Emoji Fever by Housing a Forest

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5. Minion Love by Housing a Forest

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

 

 

Your Pre-Labor Checklist

Greetings, all!

Getting close to labor and want to make sure you have everything complete? I was searching for a list that was simple, and I liked the recommendations from The Bump.

Here is a modified pre-baby check list:

1. Take a childbirth class
I found CPR, newborn/infant training, and practice breathing techniques the most helpful.

2. Know the breast feeding basics
Here are good 411 tips from CNN in this clip, or learn about nipple shields in this clip.

3. Get the crib and get the nursery in order
One word: Wayfair 

4. Pack your hospital bag - one for you and one for baby
I like this example provided by The Bump.

5. Select birth announcements
Mpix to the rescue!

6. Prep meals in advance or download delivery apps

7. Install car seat into car

8. Wash crib sheets and baby clothes
Get a good baby detergent.

9. Make a labor playlist
Pick music that soothes you.

10. Chose a pediatrician
Ask your OB, mom, friends, or research your own.

11. Spend QT with hubby
Schedule date nights and enjoy the peace and quiet.

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Written by our Founder, CEO, and soon to be mom, Lindsay Bell!

A New Kind of Job

Greetings, all!

As a new mom (or dad) one of the first big choices you have to make is whether or not you’ll be returning to work after your little one is born. For some this choice is easy, but for others you agonize over the “right” decision. In my case it was easy. I could NOT work. I was a teacher at a private school and the cost of child care far exceeded what I was making. I quickly found peace with the decision because it’s what we had to do.

I’ll be the first to admit that I did not fully understand what it took to be a stay-at-home mom. My mom did it for most of my childhood, and so did many others. I was very happy to be fortunate enough to stay home with Henry. Almost six months later, I can tell you that it has been awesome. I love being there when he wakes up, listening to him giggle all day long, taking him outside for fresh air, and so much more.

However, some days I find myself wishing I was back in a classroom. I loved my job. I was good at my job. I loved my students, colleagues, and even the parents! I long to talk to other adults, to actually sit down to eat lunch and have a few moments of relaxation, to take a shower where I can condition my hair AND shave my legs, and to wear nice clothes without the fear of being spit up on. I suppose “the grass is always greener!” I have to look at it as now I have a different kind of job that is equally as important. Instead of teaching multiplication, I play peek-a-boo. I read to Henry, we sing songs, and get in some gym and music time, too!  I find balance by tutoring former students a few times a week and getting a sitter once in a while to go work out or to dinner with my girlfriends. Balance is key! Whether you stay at home, work full or part time, being a parent is hard work! Finding the right balance is essential in order to maintain your sanity and happiness!

I asked my “Baby Mamas” how they came to the decision whether to stay home or go back to work. Their answers varied. Some didn’t have a choice and had to go back to work because they couldn’t afford to lose their income. Others wanted to go back to work and are enjoying being back in the work environment. One mom is back at work because her company pays for her fertility treatments. Another mom is a partner at a law firm with her husband and she balances work and motherhood by working from home a few days a week and bringing her son to work on others. All the situations are different, but they are all the right choice for their family. It’s not easy to be at home all the time and it’s not easy to leave your baby. Ultimately you have to do what is best financially, mentally, and logistically for your family.

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Written by Maureen Kruse, our past Chicago city coordinator.

Your Best Story Time

Greetings, all!

Having a good book to read during story time is no longer a chore to find. Thanks to Lucie’s List, we have an impressive list of children’s books to bring to your little one(s) of all ages.

So, dust off that rocking chair in the corner and scoop up one of these great books below for your next bed time read!

Toddlers

1. Hi (Animal Words) by Ethan Long
2. Maisy’s Digger by Lucy Cousins
3. What This Book Needs Is a Pig in a Wig by Emma J. Virjan
4. Wolfie the Bunny by Ame Dyckman
5. Llama Llama Gram and Grandpa by Anna Dewdney

Preschoolers

1. Who Done It? by Olivier Tallec
2. It’s Only Stanley by Jon Agee
3. Goodnight Already! by Jory John

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