How to Create a Caregiver Video, Photo, and Bio

Want to impress families when it is time to interview for that nanny position?

A few great ways is through a short video to show your personality, a bio that captures your super caregiving experience, and a family friendly photo that the parents can show the children.

Here are the steps to follow for a great first impression!

How to Create a Caregiver Video
This is a great way to showcase your personality to prospective families. It’s very easy and can be done on any smart phone. Here are the steps to make a lastly impression in less than 15 seconds! When you are done, please e-mail this to nanny@bellfamilycompany.com.

1. Relax and take your time! This is a quick, easy, and happy greeting! Keep it simple.
2. BE yourself. Make sure the lighting is good and you are looking directly into the camera.
3. Big warm SMILE. Speak slowly and confidently.

Hi my name is _________.
I have _____ years of childcare experience.
I’m looking for a nanny position with a great family. Thanks!

How to Create a Caregiver Photo
Your caregiver photo will be apart of your Bell Family Company Nanny Profile. Please take a picture that shows a bright happy smile, in good natural light. A headshot with just you in the photo is best.

How to Create a Caregiver Bio
Answer these questions and then write it out in paragraph form in first person (see ex. below). Add anything that might be relevant and what makes you unique.  Be as concise as you can. Limit your bio to 1,000 words max.

1. Where are you from?  Where do you live now?
2. How long have you lived in NYC or the surrounding area? Or when are you moving?
3. Did you go to college? Where? What degree/focus?
4. What are your hobbies?
5. Childcare experience?
6. Youngest to oldest ages you have worked with? Preference?
7. Bilingual? Drive? Swim? Passport? Willing to travel? Can you tutor? What subjects?
8. What type of job are you looking for FT/PT/weekends? Live-in/live-out?
9. Are you good at organization? Household management? Personal assistant?
10. Experience with pets? Elderly people? Children with special needs? What kind?
11. Certifications? CNA, HHA, CPR/AED first aid? Baby nurse?

Examples of a Bio
Example 1: Hi my name is Jane Doe and I am originally from Baltimore, MD but currently live in Brooklyn, New York.  I hold a BA in Psychology from NYU. I have been a swim instructor for the last 8 years and have experience working with children with special needs. I have been babysitting for many years and have filled the role as a summer nanny. I have worked with kids ages infant to teen and am extremely confident in my tutoring skills. My best subjects are math and science and I have also tutored kids for the SAT.  Additionally, I am computer/tech savvy and have great office skills. I love to cook and play board games.  I have a driver’s licenses and passport. I love children and am so excited to find a nanny position where I can use my care giving and tutoring experience.

Example 2: Hi, my name is Anastasia “Ana” Belinsky and I am originally from St. Petersburg, Russia but have lived in NY (currently Queens) for the last 10 years. I have been a childcare provider since moving to the US and also come from a large family. I love working with young children and am looking for a long term placement where I can grow with a family. I speak English and Russian fluently. I like to sew, read, and plan outings and play dates. I am very comfortable navigating all of the New York Metropolitan Area and get along well with everyone. I would describe myself as a self-starter, but am also very flexible and happy to follow the guidelines and requests of the family. I have lasting relationships with the families I have worked with and they would describe me as loving, patient, dependable, trustworthy and generous. I have experience working with children that have autism and developmental delays. I love pets, but have mild allergies and prefer to work in pet free homes or a home with hypoallergenic dogs. I am available for occasional weekends and overnights as needed.

All Aboard: Baby’s First Flight

Any new parent dreads the baby’s first flight. Paranoia sets in about the baby’s ears popping, or a flight full of meltdowns where everyone around you is starring and shaking their heads. And don’t forget INFANT MUST-HAVES WHEN TRAVELING and carting everything onto the plane. Gosh, what a drag, as well as pain on your back!

For our baby’s first flight to Charleston we packed minimally; I followed the list of infant must-haves only forgetting one thing – my must have nasal defuser.

We woke at 5 a.m., packed the remaining items and were out the door by 6. During the car ride there, junior slept and remained calm… phew! We arrived to T5 at JFK and found a comfy place to eat, and me to nurse. Junior is now fed and changed after finding a family bathroom with changing table.

We experienced our first pre-boarding perk and junior is happy, with special thanks to his paci. We haven’t experienced any stares yet – this is good! We get comfy, and I begin to nurse again. Take off is calm, as I keep him nursing until we get above the clouds.

Junior falls asleep for the remainder of the flight on my lap wrapped in a comfy blanket and using my sweatshirt as a pillow.

The ride back home was similar, except for his landing blowout. Junior didn’t cry, but I did. He went through his diaper, onesie, blanket, and onto my white pants! It made me feel better as we deplanned and someone told me, “I didn’t know a baby was on the flight. He was so quiet!”

A few tips I followed to get junior through the flight:

1. Remain calm
2. Carry-on minimal, I know better easier said then done, but it’s less you’ll have to carry
3. Bring extra light blankets, it gets chilly
4. Change baby before you board
5. Use your 5 S’s, especially sucking with the paci

For more extensive info on traveling with a baby, visit Delicious Baby - they provide a thorough list!

Good luck!

unnamed copy

Written by our Founder & CEO, Lindsay Bell!

Infant Must-Haves for Travel

We compiled a list of some of the top travel must-haves to carry on your excursions with your infant this Summer. Take a read, print out, and use it as your checklist for your next travel adventure!

Clothing/Accessories
Dressy outfit
Casual outfits
Sweater
Socks
Swimsuit
Pajamas (2 per baby)
Sunglasses (we love Babiators!)
Sunhat

Feeding
Manual breast pump and accessories
Baby bottles
Baby bottle brush
Dish soap
To-go powdered formula
Snacks for mom
Burp cloths
Bibs

Toiletries/Bath
Baby bath towel and washcloth
Bath soap

Technology
iPad/iPhone for baby music
Cell phone
Cell phone charger

Diapering (in Addition to Diaper Bag)
Box of wipes
Diapers
Sealable plastic bags for diapers
Hand sanitizer
Disposable swim

Baby Gear
Stroller (might not be needed for quick trips)
Baby carrier (Baby Bjorn or sling)
Car seat
Pacifiers and pacifier hooks
Baby monitor (both pieces)

Bedding
Travel crib (or book a hotel that already has this)
Breathable blanket for shading stroller

Travel_3

Written by our Founder & CEO, Lindsay Bell!

The Baby Box Company – Review

When I first received The Baby Box Company product soon after my son was born, I wasn’t sure what to expect. The idea of putting my son in a box seemed unusual, but both the contents of what came in the box, as well as his time spent in the cozy box itself were wonderful as can be.

Inspired by packages sent by the Finnish government, to new mothers, Baby Boxes typically come stocked with clothes, blankets, newborn necessities, and of course the box itself for newborns to snuggle up in through the age of eight months. Though, I had stocked up on similar items before my son was born, I can honestly say that I could have survived with the Baby Box and its contents alone for plenty of time. With all of the products and advertisements out there today it can feel confusing to a first-time mom to figure out what to buy for your little one to meet all of their needs. But with the purchase of a Baby Box the work is done for you, and that is why I love it so much.

Finland is ranked as one of the best countries in the world for mothers to live and now it’s beginning to make a bit more sense…

Babybox

Written by our Founder & CEO, Lindsay Bell!

Dinner Is Served – Vol. 4

Happy Summer everyone! I don’t know about you, but I’ve been desperately waiting for some nice weather! With nice weather comes nice, fresh produce. I frequently hit up the local Farmers Market as well as my Dad’s garden; can’t get much better than that! I’ve been preparing meals lately that are colorful, healthy, and full of nutrients. I think I’m finally getting my husband on board with these “healthy meals”. Now I just have to work on my kids.

This month I’m going to highlight two tasty salads I found that can easily be matched with a grilled piece of chicken, fish, or steak. They’re sooo good and both make decent sized portions that you will be able to enjoy the next day. Happy eating!

Black Bean & Corn Salad with Chipotle Vinaigrette 

For the Salad:
2 ears fresh corn
1 cup chopped red onion
1 (14.5 oz) can black beans
1 red bell pepper, diced (about 1 cup)
1/2 cup loosely packed fresh chopped cilantro (plus a bit more for garnish, if desired)
1 avocado

For the Dressing:
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, from 1-2 limes
2 tablespoons honey
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large garlic clove, roughly chopped
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
3/4 teaspoon cumin
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (2 peppers, not 2 cans; use smaller peppers and if they are all large, use only 11/2)

Instructions
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the corn, cover, and turn the heat down to low. Simmer for 10 minutes. Remove the corn from the water and let cool. Meanwhile, place the chopped red onions in a small bowl and cover with water. Let sit about ten minutes, then drain completely in a sieve and set aside.

Place the beans in a sieve; run under cold water to rinse well. Let drain completely and set aside.

Holding the cooled corn upright in a large bowl, cut the kernels off the cob in strips. Add the beans, red onion, red bell pepper and cilantro.

Make the dressing by combining all of the ingredients in a blender or mini food processor; process until smooth. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss well. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or, preferably, overnight.

Right before serving, slice the avocado in half. Remove the pit; using a butter knife, cut a grid in each half. Holding the avocado halves over the salad, use a spoon to scoop out the diced flesh. Toss the salad gently, then taste and adjust seasoning if necessary (I usually add a squeeze of fresh lime to freshen it up). Garnish with a bit of fresh chopped cilantro if desired. Serve cold.

Edamame Salad

Ingredients:
1 bag frozen edamame
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup green beans, cut to about 1½ inches
1, 4 ounce container feta cheese
juice from half a lemon
2 tablespoons olive oil
⅛ teaspoon black pepper

Instructions
Cook the edamame according to package direction (I cooked mine in microwave with a little water). Let them cool completely. Place them in the refrigerator to speed up the cooling process.

In a large bowl add water with ice – you will need this for the green beans. Blanch the green beans in boiling water for 1 minute and 30 seconds. Drain green beans and immediately add them to the ice water. This is called shocking and stops the cooking process and also keeps the green beans bright green! Remove them from the ice water after a few minutes and pat them dry.

Add the edamame, green beans, and the rest of the ingredients to a large bowl. Gently toss together and enjoy.

IMG_2164

Written by Bell Family’s, Courtney Bell Garvey

Up~Chuckies (feat. Elegant Personalized Blankets) Review

For the longest time I couldn’t decide what type of burp cloth worked best for my son and I. I have every possible kind (as I’m sure all first time moms do) small/medium/large, thick/thin, firm/soft, bib style, etc.

It may depend on my mood that day to decide which one to chose, but I find myself mostly going for the Up~Chuckies burp cloth with my son’s name monogrammed by Elegant Personalized Blankets. At first, this was not my first choice because I was not opting-in for large and firm, and I was spending so much time at home that it didn’t matter the look. Then I realized that using a light and small burp cloth was not absorbent enough and barely lasted through one feeding without being soaked. I can have the more durable option around all day and beyond.

We have been doing some traveling and attending some special occasions. I much rather have a fashionable and presentable burp cloth when around others at these events. I feel a little less disruptive, and it serves as a nice accessory for an otherwise gross purpose.

The monogrammed name is classy, a nice keep sake, and it makes me feel more put together when feeding or burping. Plus, the coverage is better – it covers me and the baby from leaks.

Special thanks to Elegant Personalized Blankets for providing me with a great gift as a new mom!

BurpCloth

Written by our Founder & CEO, and new mom, Lindsay Bell!

To Pacifier or Not to Pacifier – Part II

As a follow-up to our pacifier post last week, we asked a few of our sitters turned moms, ”How do you clean the baby’s paci when it falls to the floor?”

Each sitter turned mom read the following article prior to sharing their feedback.

Brittany S. (first time mom of 6-week old boy)

Funny that this was a topic you are writing about because it has been a topic of conversation in our house. I spent money on wipes specifically to clean pacifiers and have yet to use them. My husband of course questioned the purchase and since he was born I have too. We both believe that some germs are good for the baby, especially the ones in our house. The pacifier has yet to be something he enjoys, so it usually ends up on the ground shortly after we have given it to him. Before reading the article I was literally cleaning it myself by putting it in my mouth! I was laughing when I read that this was something other people are doing. If the paci dropped on the subway platform I maybe would whip out those wipes, but for most situations I think a simple clean in mommy or daddy’s mouth is a-okay. It is a little like the five second rule, right?

Monica M. (first time mom of 6-month old)

Personally, if I am home and the pacifier falls, I do suck it clean and then give it back to the baby, so I’m relieved to hear that it has benefits. It’s only in my home that I do this, because I am in control of the conditions there. If I am out of the house I run it under water to clean it off or even swap it out for a new one and deep clean the other one later.

Lindsey S. (mom of toddler and one on the way)

When my little guy was an infant, I often carried paci wipes with me in his diaper bag. When I didn’t have a paci wipe on me, I would suck the paci to clean it. On a weekly basis (still), I boil all paci’s, especially the ones that come from his daycare. If he is sick, I find myself cleaning the paci’s more often (similar to changing pillow cases or sheets when you are sick).

The study and article is interesting.. and I 100% agree that some degree of exposure to germs at an early age benefits children. I never got neurotic about cleaning the paci’s; it really depends on where it would fall. For example, if it fell on the floor at the airport or grocery store, I would generally stash it away for a deeper clean. However, if it fell at home somewhere or in the car, I would either use a paci wipe, regular wipe, or suck clean.

Leave a comment and share with us what you do!

Cuddle

Written by our Founder & CEO, and new mom, Lindsay Bell!

Top Five Tips for Bathing Your Baby

Before you head out into the world, you may decide your baby needs a bath. Believe it or not, babies only need two or three baths a week during their first year. More frequent baths can dry their skin and cause irritation. For the first few weeks, sponge baths are in order. Once remnants of your baby’s umbilical cord fall off—within one to four weeks—and circumcision heals, you can start bathing your baby in a tub.

Here are our top five tips for bathing your baby:

  1. Be sure the room is warm. If necessary, turn up the heat before bath time.
  2. Have what you need within reach. This includes: soft washcloth; mild, unscented baby soap and shampoo; soft brush to clean the scalp; towels (have extra for unexpected needs); an infant tub; a changing pad or clean flat surface; and a clean diaper and clothes.
  3. Fill tub with a few inches of warm (not hot) water. Test the water temperature with your elbow. Add a few squirts of baby wash.
  4. Gently lower your baby into the water, supporting the head and neck gently. Never let go of an infant in the tub. Using your other hand, begin gently washing. Rinse carefully, protecting baby’s eyes from soap.
  5. Wrap your baby securely in a warm towel, making sure to cover your baby’s head.

 

Bath

Written by our Founder & CEO, Lindsay Bell!

To Pacifier or Not to Pacifier

During our recent trip to Cleveland to visit my family, my husband was holding our son when the paci fell to the ground. My husband picked it up, stuck it in his mouth; sucked it and then put it in our baby’s mouth. Gross, I snapped in front of everyone (whoops)!

I know there are articles claiming this is good for the baby, but I just don’t like the idea after my husband throws back a coffee or a beer and then puts those tastes, smells, and germs in our baby’s clean mouth.

When I used to babysit, I remember dads doing this first thing in the morning with their coffee breath, and then it would smell the baby’s mouth.

I’m all about our baby being exposed to society. He’s traveled across five states, been held by friends, and has served as my sidekick to brunches, park visits, and grocery store runs. Somehow, none of these things compare to the exposure of a paci that’s been in mine or my husband’s mouth.

Here’s the article about parent germs providing helpful antibodies to the baby. There are studies to support that babies exposed to these antibodies have less allergies, eczema, etc.

Tell me what you think!

Cuddle
Written by our Founder & CEO, and new mom, Lindsay Bell!

Road Tripping with a Newborn

I’ve heard and seen how much new parents bring on road trips for their baby. I made a special point to not be one of those that bring everything they practically own (my attempt is seen in the photo below).  I wanted to be prepared, but bring the minimum!

Thursday night before our trip I had the list in my head and began piling all the necessitates on my bed. I already prearranged to borrow certain things from my sister in Ohio (the big things).

My son and I woke around 4:30 a.m. and did our feeding routine. I put him down for a quick cat nap while I showered, ate, and finished cleaning the apartment. My husband got the car and we were on the road by 7:15 a.m. My son had never taken a paci before (the hospital I gave birth at made the suggestion), but I packed one just in case. Naturally, he began to fuss as soon as we got into the car, but then something happened…he took the paci and fell into a deep sleep! The sleep lasted till around 9:30 a.m., when we stopped for his feeding. We found a Panera Bread with clean outdoor seating that was perfect to nurse my son and grab a bite to eat. We sat next to a family with six kids under the age of eight. It didn’t take long for us to decide that we wanted to wait awhile before having another baby.

Back on the road again he resumed his sleep, while my husband did business calls and I answered e-mails. We stopped two other times, once to nurse again around 1:00 p.m. and another for a bathroom break before arriving at my parents house at 4:30 p.m. We didn’t make great timing like we used to, but I’ll take a no-cry ride with an extra two hours of travel any day!

Travel

Written by our Founder & CEO, and new mom, Lindsay Bell!