Flying with a Baby Survival Guide

Greetings, all!

We all know we have given side-eye to the crying baby sitting next to us on a plane at some point in our travel adventures. Most of us plug in our head phones or have a glass of wine to cope, but that’s when it’s not our responsibility. Suddenly, life has thrown you a curve ball, and you are now the mom, sitter, or nanny with the crying baby on your lap. How do you cope?

We found a great article through Travel + Leisure that provides a survival guide on how to handle a crying baby through all of your travel adventures. Take a read, and find side-eye no longer in your vocabulary.

Fly in the morning, not afternoon
To avoid the fussy (4-6pm) time for babies

Window seat works best
Something to lean on, no one will run into you, and your baby won’t be distracted by everyone walking past you

Keep bottles, pacifiers, and toys handy
Classic tools to help babies during take-off and landing with those popping ears

For the full article on Travel + Leisure click here.

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

Mother’s Day: Events, Gifts, and More!

Greetings, all!

The countdown is on to the day where we show moms everywhere just how much we love them. If you are still looking for the right gift for the mom in your life, take a look at some of the creative ideas we have listed below. We’re pretty confident you might be Mom’s favorite this year.

Mother’s Day is Sunday, May 8th.

Gifts:

Yankee Candle Bouquet (via diy-brico.blogspot.cl) If you smell every candle before checking out.
Cozy Stuffed Slippers (via Pretty Providence) If you want to be cute but your wallet funds are not.
Personalized Jewelry (via LayeredAndLong) If a little bling if her thing.
Homemade Everything (via DIY Ready) If crafty is your middle name.

Events/Activities (in NYC):

Brunch, Brunch, and More Brunch (via TimeOut) If you can eat eggs all day every day.
Picnic in the Garden (via TimeOut)  If you want a royally good time.
Cooking Class (via TimeOut)  If you want to build up your recipe box.
Choc-o-late (via TimeOut) If the key to her heart is through cocoa goodness.

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

Dinner Is Served – Vol. 3

Greetings, all!

We are happy to bring you the third installment of our monthly blog special where BFC’s own, Courtney Bell Garvey, gives us a delicious new recipe for you to try.

Grandma Knows Best

I’d like to dedicate this post to my grandma who passed away recently. She was the inspiration behind my love of food and cooking, and would make meals that would bring the family together. They were meals that were always hearty, flavorful, and caused your taste buds to dance. She had such an ease to her cooking and would keep hungry mouths coming back for more. Besides the delicious array of pies and casseroles, there was one dish that ranks at the top of the charts; Grandma’s Chicken Paprikash.

I’d like to share this recipe with you straight out of the Hungarian cooking book that my grandma passed down to me. Enjoy!

Grandma’s Chicken Paprikash

1 onion chopped
4 Tbsp shortening
1 Tbsp paprika
¼ Tsp black pepper
2 Tbsp salt
4 – 5 lbs chicken disjointed
1 ½ cups water
½ pt sour cream

Brown onion in shortening; add seasonings and chicken; brown 10 minutes. Add water; cover and let simmer slowly until tender. Remove chicken; add sour cream to drippings in pan and mix well. Add dumplings; arrange chicken on top. Heat through and serve. For more gravy add ½ pint sweet cream to sour cream. Add flour to thicken.

DUMPLINGS

3 eggs beaten
3 cups flour
1 Tbsp salt
½ cup water

Mix all ingredients together and beat with a spoon. Drop batter by teaspoonful into boiling water. Cook about 10 minutes; drain, rinse with cold water. Drain well and add to paprikash. Chicken paprikash may be served with fried noodles instead of dumplings.

Written by BFC’s own, Courtney Bell Garvey!

CoreMotion – From Lawyer to Fitness Studio Owner

Greetings, all!

We’re bringing you a special blog post today featuring the story behind CoreMotion Studios. Located in Fairfield, Connecticut, CoreMotion brings us a story of a woman who left her career as a New York City lawyer to become a stay at home mom, and later owner of a successful fitness studio. We had the opportunity to chat with Elise Zealand, owner of CoreMotion Studios, to find out more about her journey through this short Q&A.

Q: What made you decide to leave your successful career as a lawyer and become a full-time entrepreneur?

When I was working in-house as general counsel of a media company, I discovered that what really interested me was the business side, the strategic planning and operations, rather than the legal work. And I’ve always loved fitness — a lot more than I ever loved being a lawyer. I discovered the Megaformer in New York and was blown away by how strong I felt after taking just a few classes. Pretty soon I was hooked and I wanted to share my discovery with my friends and neighbors in Fairfield County, a community where we have a home and that’s very dear to my heart. It was an enormous leap of faith to start a business rather than go back into law, but I’ve learned more from this experience than anything else I’ve ever done professionally.

Q: I know you spoke about this a bit with Lindsay, tell us why you feel being an entrepreneur/business owner is more challenging than being a mom. What advice can you give other CEO mothers out there?

Being an entrepreneur, you constantly have to convince everyone around you — your clients, employees, business partners and even family — that you’re capable of creating and managing this new entity. You have to prove yourself and sell your product. In contrast, most people will give you the benefit of the doubt that you’re a competent parent and your baby’s cute. And there are so many moving pieces to a business that the work literally just never stops. At least a baby sleeps. Sometimes. I think CEO moms might as well let go of the guilt that comes from balancing a business with family, because they’ve made the choice to do it. And it’s important to tune out the negativity around them. I’m not saying to ignore constructive feedback or expert advice. But lots of people will have opinions about what to do with your business and that noise can get distracting. At the end of the day, you’re the business’s mother. And you know best.

Q: You offer a great program through CoreMotion called, “CoreNutrition.” Tell us about CoreNutrition, and why people should join in?

We are in the process of developing our nutrition counseling business because it’s integral to overall health. We want people to come into the studio and feel successful. For most people, real body change will require changes in their eating habits. I am a huge believer that your best body, inside and out, comes from a combination of eating well and exercising intelligently and with purpose. I used to sweat it out at a big box gym without giving much thought to what I was doing. Then I’d follow up with a 20-ounce smoothie that had more sugar than a donut. We want to help lift our clients out of old habits that aren’t working for them.

Q: How does someone join CoreMotion and/or sign-up for a class?

They can just go to our website, www.CoreMotionStudios.com!

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

Inside Raising an Introvert Child

Greetings, all!

It seems that not all of us are outgoing or described as social experts with those around us – who knew? We wanted to share a great article with you that we read in Parents Magazine, that looks inside raising a child that is an introvert. The article touches on topics including, how to react as a parent if your child is an introvert, nurturing an introvert child, and activities to do together to increase your child’s comfort.

We also chatted with Mama Bell to get her opinion on raising both introverts and extroverts through her five girls. She’s practically an expert in her own, right?

A Parent’s Reaction (or Overreaction)

Parents often push their introverts to be more outgoing by playing a team sport like basketball - a tactic that can backfire because the chaos of kids shouting and running in different directions is too much to take.  An introverted child might more naturally excel at an individual sport like swimming or karate.

Dr. Laney says her clients repeatedly show concern about their introverted children’s marathon attention spans. “A lot of parents don’t like it if their child reads a lot,” she says, noting that their failure to understand this side of their kids’ nature is especially heartbreaking since excellent concentration is one of the benefits of an introverted temperament – a real plus for everything from rocket science to musical composition.

Nurturing Your Introvert

Introverted kids are often well liked and popular, but they’ll frequently pick a few close buddies instead of befriending the entire class. Introverts also need to have their privacy respected, even more than other kids do. “Extroverted parents think everyone needs to do everything together,” Dr. Laney says. “But for an introvert, it can be a relief to have some time alone.” Because introverted children with extroverted siblings can feel lost in all the talking, she counsels parents to plan one-on-one time to give their more reserved child some tranquility.

At school, it helps to start each year with an upbeat note to your child’s new teacher. “You can say, ‘Helen needs more time than average to get acclimated to a new setting’ suggests Dr. Smallwood. Teachers generally welcome insights into their students’ psyches, she says, and are less likely to put a child on the spot if they know she feels uncomfortable in the limelight.

Out and About with Your Introvert

1. In the Community: Let him see how you handle casual interactions like errands. When you compliment a bank teller, you’re showing your child how to make chit-chat.

2. At the Playground: If your child wants to play with the other kids but isn’t sure how to enter the action, encourage her to take her time easing in.

3. On Playdates: Instead of dropping off an introverted child at an unfamiliar home, invite a classmate to your house. After they’ve played together at your place a few times, change the location to the park and then to the other child’s house.

4. At Birthday Parties: Help your child settle in to these often daunting whirlwinds of activity by hanging around and gradually disengaging yourself instead of leaving at the first sign that he’s going to be okay.

For the full article on Parents.com click here.

 

Wise Words from Mama Bell (on raising both introverts and extroverts with her five daughters)

I didn’t feel it was my duty to change their personality, but I encouraged all the kids in the same way I approached life, which was to be active and productive. Our house was a busy place, a whirlwind at times and I left it pretty much up to the kids to see where they fit in to it all. I think that in itself made the kids come out of their shell.  My oldest was an extrovert and she led the way, the second was more introverted, but followed in the oldest’s  footsteps to an extent and was active in school and friends. The middle child more an introvert did the same. The fourth, an extrovert made her own path - most active path. A surprise of sort as she was teased a lot growing up by her older sisters. The youngest was an introvert but took the path of daughters two and three being active in and out of school. I had more one-on-one time with the youngest with the  older kids slowly leaving the nest, so we were buddies and did a lot together. I still call her by her nickname, Bud.

When you’re a child, I feel like the more you do, the less you sit by yourself, and the more experiences you have, that ultimately brings you out of your shell. I guess the rule for my kids was follow by example. Not only did the kids follow each other, but thank goodness they had great examples and both parents were very busy and nourished the idea to be active, productive, and good people.

I think I am a blend as three of my children are. I will not be the first to speak out, but will not be taken advantage of either. This changed as I got older. I guess I was lucky I never had to think of it as a challenge because the kids generally always found their way on their own, making friends, being successful and happy. Not to say there weren’t bumps in the road, but we worked it out as a family.

My parenting tactic in all situations with all personalities was similar, distinguish between right and wrong and being safe and healthy with your choices.

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

Get to Know B2 Events – NYC!

Greetings, all!

We’re bringing you a special Q&A blog post today featuring New York City’s own, B2 Events! B2 Events offers cool and unique activities including arts and culture, fitness, neighborhood excursions, and more for parents and their children to participate in together. Parents, you’ll never again have to ask, what are we going to do today, because B2 has planned it for you!

Take a read at the Q&A, and then see below on how to schedule your next event with B2!

Q: What inspired you and Katy Goldman (co-owner), to create B2 events?

A: While picking wild flowers on vacation with my 9-year-old daughter Lucy, I said to myself, “wouldn’t it be cool to learn the true art of flower arranging?” Then my second thought was, “wouldn’t it be fun to learn this with my artistic daughter? She would be better than me!” Then I started to think of the many types of classes that would be even more rewarding to take with my daughter. Once kids are around 8 years old, all of a sudden you marvel at how capable they are and how they can learn at a level more comparable to your own. I knew at that moment that I wanted to make this idea a reality. I approached the one person who I knew together, we could make this happen.  After recently losing her sister to breast cancer, Allison had been planning unique ideas for special dates with her tween nieces. I knew she would understand my idea and want to help other people create the same memories with their kids.

Q: What are some of the unique classes you offer a parent, sitter, or role model and the child to do during an event or activity?

A: Since these are “one-time” classes, we try and vary our programming so there is something of interest for everyone.  Some of our more unique classes are Fresh Pasta Making, Birdwatching, Walking Tour of the Brooklyn Bridge with the Historical Society, Sneaker Graffiti and Self Defense Workshop. Our most popular classes are The Art of Cake Decorating and Photography 101.

Q: Why is it so important for a parent, sitter, or role model and the tween to involve themselves in learning activities together?

A: Research shows that child development experts have long praised the virtues of shared experiences, especially during the most emotionally vulnerable middle and teen years. Sharing a learning experience creates new positive memories together, and it is this time and bonding together that nourishes this complex relationship between parent and tween age children. Also, parents simply love how easy and refreshing it is to join in on a B2 class! Ariana Stolar, who attended Perfecting Brunch!, with her daughter, said B2 classes helped them relate in a new way. “I wasn’t the authority figure, we were both learning from the chef so it was more like we were peers. Usually I am the one orchestrating and planning everything for my kids. But with this I just showed up, I cooked, I ate and I didn’t even have to clean up.” All in all, it’s an exciting and new way to simultaneously learn with your kids and something parents aren’t privy to with school and drop off classes.

Q: What if a parent wants to have one of you host at a private party? Is that something you offer? How would a mom or dad go about organizing that? 

A: Most of our class and event offerings work well as private parties. Or, if parents are looking to host a cool event just for the kids (i.e., slumber party, birthday, Friday night hangout), we are happy to customize this event. Please e-mail us at info@b2events.nyc.

Take a look at the upcoming events and schedule your next fun activity with B2 Events today!
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Written by our Marketing & Social Media Coordinator, Taylor Bell!

Newborn and Infant Training with Bell Family

Greetings, all!

Bell Family Company’s Infant Expert Training course was held on January 26, 2016 for a select group of our most seasoned infant sitters. Pager.com (app for on demand healthcare) teamed with Bell Family to provide pertussis and flu vaccines to any sitters in need of a boost. Bell Family had an array of teachers, coaches, moms, and experts in the field for the course, from an RN to a psychologist, Licensed Social Worker and a Doula.

The course covered many topics including newborn safety, sleep training, when to call the doctor, calming a fussy baby, and SIDS.

Tammy Gold (Licensed Therapist and Certified Parent Coach Author, Secrets Of The Nanny Whisperer, and mother of three) spoke on:

  • Presentation/boundaries, and
  • How to communicate with families, parents, and new moms.

Ali Shepard (Our in house Nanny Coordinator/LMSW) spoke on:

  • Newborn development and infant directed speech,
  • Ali educated participants on early childhood development stages such as, Cognitive, Communication, Social-Emotional, Adaptive and Physical Development, and
  • How to communicate with newborns and infants based on their age.

Inka Rudnyka (Postpartum Doula and mother) spoke on:

  • Latching, and troubleshooting if a mother is having trouble trying to latch,
  • How to prepare breast milk, and
  • Burping methods.

Amy Sulce (Pager RN) spoke on:

  • Umbilical cord care,
  • Bathing a baby,
  • Sleeping pattern and positioning,
  • Weight loss/gain for a newborn,
  • Sanitation,
  • Elimination patterns, and
  • Feeding patterns and techniques.

Lindsay Bell (Company President and new mom) spoke on:

  • The Happiest Baby on the Block: The 5 S’s - Swaddling, Side or Stomach positioning, Shushing, Swing and Suck, and
  • Understanding postpartum depression.

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Written by Meredith Hamler, Coordinator, Sitter Services

Signs of Labor

Greetings, all!

Labor can start at any second from week 37 onward. I’m at 37 weeks now and I’m finding it difficult to distinguish between gas, Braxton Hicks, and real labor contractions. You should be on the lookout for any signs of labor! A term baby can be born anytime between 37 weeks and 42 weeks of pregnancy. I found this site super helpful in providing answers as I woke up at 3 a.m. with strange quick pains.

Note that a “term” pregnancy is divided into four blocks:
1. Early term (between 37 weeks 0 days and 38 weeks 6 days)
2. Full term (between 39 weeks 0 days and 40 weeks 6 days)
3. Late term (between 41 weeks 0 days and 41 weeks 6 days)
4. Post term ( between 42 weeks 0 days and beyond )

What is term labor?
Term labor begins when you have contractions between 37 and 42 weeks of pregnancy. Your due date is set at the first day of the 40th week. When you have contractions that begin before 37 weeks, it is called preterm labor, and if they wait to start past 42 weeks you are considered post term.

Take a look at this site for some answers and relief. It provides some helpful insight on the following topics:

- What are the signs (Braxton Hicks Contractions) that labor is starting?
- What are the signs of true labor?
- When does labor start for twins?
- When you start having contractions you should time the interval between them
- Birth plans
- Breech position and how it complicates labor
- Breech position and external cephalic version
- Growth and development of baby

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Written by our founder and new mom, Lindsay Bell!