Have Your Own Mommy Assistant and Helper

Giving birth is intense! The recovery should not be.

We have a dedicated trope of professionals who specialize in post-partum care, as well as general assistant duties.

The role includes:
1. Meal prep (light to medium level)
2. Help with laundry
3. Help with keeping the house tidy (empty dishwasher, wipe down tables, sweeping)
4. Make beds
5. Ordering groceries
6. Assist in scheduling (doctor visits, ordering food, cars, scheduling appointments)
7. Help with errands (post office, drug store, grocery store)
8. Assist with baby (bottle prep, diaper changing, swaddling, holding or soothing, bathing)
9. General comfort of having a professional there to help talk through questions, get opinions, etc.
10. Companion as you recover (help walking, getting up)

We have developed a training program for our sitters and nannies to make them the best New Mommy Assistants and helpers in the business.

New Mommy Assistants are typically hired for 30 days of service as live-in, but can also be live-out, and either full- or part-time. E-mail us today if you are interested in hiring a New Mommy Assistant!

Assistant

Written by our Founder & CEO, Lindsay Bell

Swim Lessons with Kids

There is a lot of pressure being a mom these days. There are many factors weighing on our backs: should my child be potty trained by now, am I disciplining correctly, are they eating right, and so on. My current dilemma has been swimming, I guess because it’s the summer months and kids need to cool down.

I enrolled my twins into swim class for 3-5 year olds at our community recreational center. My husband and I took them to their first lesson with everyone in their swim suits ready to go (since last year we had to go into the water with them). We get to the rec center pool and notice all of the other parents have their street clothes on, which was kind of concerning. I did not trust that my girls get into the water by themselves, especially because on the other side of the median there were 6ft deep signs. Um, no.

I soon told the instructors my concerns and led the girls into the water. I kind of hung around (because I was super paranoid) watching them get used to the water and noticed one of my daughters start walking deeper and deeper into the water. At this point, the water was up to her shoulders. I frantically got into the water because no one was paying attention to her, and I pulled her back to the group. I stood back and watched them again, and saw that my daughter was losing her footing. She started bobbing up and down in the water, flailing her arms. I panicked. I yelled at the lifeguard who pulled her from the water and handed her to me. Needless to say she took a break from the water, while I stayed in with my other child.

I called and voiced my complaints to the director who assured me she would monitor the next class to make improvements. I was thankful, but still not comfortable. With that being said, yes, getting your kids exposed and involved in various activities is important, just make sure your child is ready.

Beach

Written by our Sitter Services Coordinator, Courtney Bell Garvey

Keeping Kids Hydrated

In a recent article published by Parents.com, they spoke about how to keep kids hydrated during the heat of the summer.

Hydration for the little ones is very important in order for the fluids to be replaced in their bodies that are being sweated out. Ensuring they have plenty of liquids will keep them healthy and active this summer, and help them develop good hydration habits as they grow older.

Try these methods below:

1. For a Long Day. If you have a strenuous day ahead, add some extra hydration with your child’s first meal. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends drinking the equivalent of a standard bottle of water (16.9 oz.) about two hours before vigorous exercise.

2. Don’t Wait. Don’t wait until your child is thirsty to offer refreshment; by that time they are already dehydrated.

3. Six Glasses. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that children drink six glasses of water on an average day.

4. Frozen Bottles. When you pack a cooler for a game, freeze a number of water bottles ahead of time. The frozen bottles will keep the others cool and you will be able to pack more drinks in the cooler instead of filling the cooler with ice.

5. Flavor Wins. Studies have shown that children routinely prefer flavored beverages to plain water and will drink up to 90 percent more when it is offered to them.

6. These Don’t Win. Avoid those drinks that have caffeine, such as iced tea or many sodas. As a diuretic, caffeine can contribute to the dehydration process by increasing fluid loss.

7. Fun Hydration. Offer a popsicle to get kids to jump at the chance for a rest period. These frozen treats have high water content (a two-stick Popsicle has just about the right amount for a young child’s needs).

For the full article on Parents.com, click here.

Popcicle

Written by our Marketing & Social Media Coordinator, Taylor Bell

Long-Term Benefits of Babysitting

People saw me babysitting and would tell me that I would be a great mom one day. I always smiled at that comment, which lead to day-dreaming of strolling down 5th Avenue pushing the hippest stroller with a baby of my own.

I’ve babysat a lot in my day… newborns to teens, one at a time, groups, you name it I did it. Obviously I’m an extreme case, which as you can see led me to starting a babysitting company. But it’s not just me who got the real-life childcare experience, it’s my hundreds of babysitters, too.

When I interview each bright-eyed new prospective sitter, I now emphasize how much this trade has better prepared me for motherhood. I always figured it would help, but now living through it I see how beneficial it really is.

One of my former sitters turned working moms, Monica, put it quite perfectly. “In many ways babysitting has made me more responsible and also a little more easy going about how to react to babies. I have a sense of calm when my son is crying or fussy because I’ve seen it before and I know that everything is okay and that it will pass.”

What a relief for her to have already experienced many crying babies; holding him, soothing, bottle prepping, and swaddling him. Monica has cared for many infants while babysitting, making it easy to see how motherhood came with much ease. Sure she said there are challenges each day, but it’s just easier after being a former sitter.

Brittany S. from Ohio is one of six children and has been caring for infants of multiple families for years. She is now a first-time mom to a five-week old boy. She says, “After seeing how different families react to a crying baby, I developed my own method; basically taking the things that worked when I babysat and using them on my own child.”

She is convinced babysitting has helped her to be a better mom. She goes on, “From the minute he was born I felt totally comfortable with taking care of him. There has never been an awkwardness when handling him and I almost feel like I have been doing this all my life.”

She basically has, Brittany started babysitting when she was 10-years old.

I went to see a lactation consultant to make sure my son and I were doing everything correctly, as this was not something babysitting could prepare me for. She shared that many moms come in awkward and nervous with their new bundle, as if they have never held a newborn before. It’s expected to be uncomfortable with something so new and tiny. She noted how she can differentiate new moms who have babysat or have worked in childcare and one’s who have not.

Both Monica and Brittany said how babysitting gave them the opportunity to see all babies are not alike; what works for one probably won’t work for another, and how nice it is to have a collection of nursery rhymes to sing, along with soothing moves that have worked.

I think the general state of calm and alarm is sensed by the baby. One of my past sitters observed a family that kept their baby on a very rigid feeding schedule, regardless if he was full. The baby of course reacted with spitting up and fussiness. The sitter asked if it was okay if she weighed in on the matter (as she has been babysitting for over 10 years and has witnessed this before). The mom said sure, the sitter then suggested feeding less at a time (take breaks) till the baby was full. That caused less spit ups and less fussiness by the end of the day.

How resourceful this sitter is, and how nice it will be when she becomes a mom herself and has all this knowledge in her back pocket.

Another longtime sitter Lindsey S. raves about how babysitting helped her prepare to be a mom. She said babysitting taught her three major things:

1) Babysitting taught me patience. Patience is truly a virtue and as my son becomes older (now almost 20 months); I have learned the importance of being patient and understanding.
2) Babysitting taught me how to be flexible. Boy does your life change when you have a baby of your own! It’s no longer your schedule, it’s their schedule! The ability to adapt to changes in daily routines and situations is so important.
3) Babysitting taught me to be tenacious. To never give up, no matter the situation.

There you have it, the benefits of being a babysitter beyond the special time you get to spend with lil’ ones and making some extra money. Babysitters are moms-in-the-making, and what wonderful moms they will be one day.

SistterMoms

Written by our CEO & Founder, Lindsay Bell

Babiators – Sunglasses for Kids Review

My son is super sensitive to light. It bothers him instantly like it bothers me. I tried a few different hats, which are okay, but I wanted to use both a hat and shades.

My lil’ guy is 3 months old, so I needed something durable, small enough for his tiny face, and something to keep his eyes safe from UV damage.

One of my friends recommended Babiators, which are soft, flexible, and virtually indestructible. So kids can bend them, twist them, drop them and they stay in tact!

I bought him the most simple pair (Blue Angels) in my husbands favorite color, blue. You can get them for $20, plus get a discount if you sign up for their newsletter!

Shop Babiators.com and receive a 25% off discount with code BELL25 - live now thru August 1!

Babiators
Written by our Founder & CEO, Lindsay Bell!

How To Perform CPR: The Crucial Steps You Should Know

Audrey Jenkins is a freelance writer from Carrington College; a private university based out of Sacramento, California. She recently published a compelling infographic that takes readers through what steps they should take when providing CPR.

The steps are outlined below, and you can follow along with the impressive infographic titled, “How to Perform CPR on a Baby.”

1. Is the baby alert?
Flick the feet.

2. No response? Shout for help!
Tell some to call 911. Do not leave the baby to call 911 until you’ve done CPR for about two minutes.

3. Give 30 chest compressions.
Put two fingers on the breastbone just below the nipples. Press down so the chest compresses about 1.5 inches deep. Push FAST, about two compressions per second.

4. Open the airway.
Tilt the head back slightly and lift the chin.

5. Check for breathing. Gasping is not breathing.
Do this for 10 seconds max.

6. No breathing? Time for gentle breaths.
Cover the baby’s mouth and nose tightly with your mouth. Keep the chin lifted and head tilted – give two rescue breaths. Each breath should take about a second and make the chest rise.

7. No response? Continue CPR.
Do 30 chest compressions followed by two breaths. Repeat for about two minutes.

8. Go call 911.
If you’re alone, now is the time to leave the baby to call 911.

9. Repeat steps 3-6.
Until the baby recovers or help gets there.

 

Written by our Marketing & Social Media Coordinator, Taylor Bell

Q&A: Lindsay Bell Teams Up with Gymtime

Our Founder & CEO teamed up with Gymtime for a special Q&A feature on their website. We’re here today to share the post with all of our readers and get everyone’s caregiver questions answered.

Take a read, and then see all of the great programs and events offered by Gymtime!

1. How do you handle holidays with your nanny? Do they get paid time off? Should they be expected to work?

As the family is the employer they make the ultimate decision regarding holidays and PTO.  We help guide them on what is legal and the industry standard.  Holidays should be determined up front in the family nanny agreement upon offer so it is super clear what the paid days off are and the unpaid days.  Paid holidays usually follow the federal holiday schedule. Any working holidays are typically paid at time and a half. Depending on your nanny, she may prefer certain holidays off over others so there is typically room to negotiate what works best for both parties.

2. How do you determine sick days and vacation days?

Vacation and sick days should be determined up front in the family nanny agreement upon offer so it is clear what is allotted. A typical arrangement for vacation days is two weeks off paid; the nanny’s chooses one week and the family chooses one week. That said if the hours are full-time and the nanny is counting on her salary every week, most families will pay her when they take extra vacation days. 

3. What is the protocol for baby number two?

It’s always best honest to be upfront with your nanny upon hire if you plan on having additional children. You want to make certain the nanny you hire is comfortable with multiple children at a time otherwise you may have to do the search again! Typically families will offer a new hourly rate or increase the salary as new children are born. Schedule a time to speak with your nanny about the changes ahead so she feels prepared. 

3. My child will start school in the fall and I won’t need my nanny for the first part of the day, but I don’t want to lose her for the afternoons and early evenings. What do I do?

Very common problem! We have seen families continue to pay the nanny full-time hours to keep her for the afternoon with the kids and change her job description so she is more of a parent’s helper in the morning (helping around the home, errands, etc). It’s important to discuss this with the current nanny and make sure both parties agree to the new duties and discuss the expectations. Some families will cut the nanny’s hours and use her just for the afternoons and then help the nanny pair the job with a new morning position through a friend’s family or through a company like ours. More commonly the nanny begins to look for a new full-time job and the family hires a new nanny that better fits their needs for after school hours. An After School Nanny commits for one school year (typically late August or early September) through mid-June. Depending on the nanny and her availability the family may keep her for the following school year or need to find a new nanny. 

4. I love the idea of a nanny share, but also need my caregiver to have flexibility, as my schedule changes. What do I do?

Really think if you want to go the nanny share route. To make that work, so many things must align with the second family: location, parenting style, do they have pets/is that okay with you, etc. In my experience, nanny shares are difficult to sustain as it involves two sets of parents, their children and one nanny to be on the same page. If you are looking for a short term solution it may be easier. One of the most common requests parents make is wanting flexibility. It sounds great, but a nanny needs a schedule to commit to and should be guaranteed those hours. As she may be able to stay late/start early here and there, she does need her own life, too. And you want her to have that, it will make her happier, healthier and rested for the next day! Remember with a nanny share the other parent in the share will say the same thing ‘ I want flexibility,’ and to make a nanny share work the parents will actually need to be the ones that need to be flexible with one another.

5. How would you suggest giving your caregiver feedback (both positive and constructive)?

All employees need feedback in order to grow and thrive at their job. We recommend setting a date weekly or monthly to check in after a nanny starts with a new family. This will give the time and space to discuss things that are working or need improvement. It’s important to make sure you are available for open communication so you both feel comfortable with discussing sensitive or delicate matters. It’s also very important to meet on neutral turf (not at the house, for example) or around the children. If you have regular check-ins it won’t carry a negative tone and it will feel natural. Write out bullet points before hand if that helps prep you for the conversation. It’s always better to give feedback in person versus email or text. I recommend the sandwich tactic- You want to start with what she does well, then what she needs to improve on then thank her for her willingness, openness and show her that she is appreciated. One of the biggest complaints we hear from nannies is that they don’t feel appreciated by their families. Find ways that show her how much you value her and appreciate all of her hard work and dedication. Remember her birthday or special holidays she celebrates, give her a gift card, a day off, a simple hand written thank you note also goes a long way! 

Lindsay_Brooks

For the full Q&A and to learn more about Lindsay, click here.