All posts by Lindsay Bell

A Party with a Purpose

Drownings are the leading cause of death for children under four. What can help reduce this stat? Learning CPR.

Learning CPR is an easy activity that moms everywhere should partake in. There are a number of ways and locations where you can sign-up to learn CPR. Here are a few:

1. Online: if there is no location near you, become CPR certified through an online class.

2. American Red Cross: choose a location, select a class category, and then search for classes near you. They even have a class called Babysitting and Childcare.

3. Local Fire Department: for those living in NYC, FDNY offers free compressions-only CPR classes as part of its ongoing Free CPR Initiative.

What if there was one more way to learn CPR, and it was by having a party. Would you sign-up to learn?

CPR parties have been growing in apartments and homes everywhere. Imagine inviting other moms and friends to your home, along with a certified CPR trainer, and learning CPR right in your living room. That’s the exact idea of CPR parties – learning the life-saving skills of CPR and water safety education in a fast, fun and free environment.

To learn more about CPRParty™, visit their website and checkout their feature from Good Morning America!

CPR Party

Written by our Marketing & Social Media Consultant, Taylor Bell

Making Your Back-to-Work Plan, The Pumping Edition

We recently teamed up with Jennifer Mayer, founder of Baby Caravan, and Birth Doula for over 12 years, to get her advice about mothers who are going back to work and are committed to breastfeeding and maintaining their pumping schedule. Read below for her thoughts and suggestions, and to start your back-to-work plan.

For many mothers, the return to work is filled with lots of stress, concern and worry. Leaving your new baby in the arms of an entrusted caregiver and returning to work is never easy. For moms who are committed to breastfeeding, creating a good pumping
plan is a huge asset.

Breastfeeding is all about supply and demand. In order to produce enough milk for your child’s feedings, it’s essential that you pump on a regular and consistent basis. Many moms are concerned about their supply when they return to work, since they will be away from their baby. It’s true that the pump is not quite as efficient to remove milk as compared to your baby, and your supply may decrease. However, there are a few things you can do to keep your supply up while pumping at work.

1) Make A Schedule: The most important thing when pumping at work, is making sure you pump on a consistent basis. Usually pumping at least twice while you’re away (every 4 hours), and ideally three times while you’re away (every 3 hours) will be often enough. To ensure your pump sessions occur, schedule them into your daily schedule if possible.

2) Have a Dedicated Pump Spot: Some offices have lactation rooms already available, and other places of employment do not. If possible, speak with HR prior to returning to work to sort out where you can pump when you return to work. Make sure it’s not a bathroom!

3) Grab Your Gear: You’ll likely want to have one pump at the office, and another at home. Prepare for your first day by bringing an extra set up pump parts as back-up, and extra shirt (just in case!) and extra storage bottles. You’ll also want to bring a cooler bag to transport your milk home in. We love the Pack-It coolers.

4) Breastfeed When You’re Home: One way moms ensure to keep up their supply is to nurse often when they are home with their baby. Depending on how well your little one is sleeping at night, you may want to feed more often in the evening and in the morning hours. On the weekends you can spend time nursing to boost
your supply and have lots of bonding time with your baby.

Some workplaces are more supportive than others when it comes to pumping at work. Hopefully your employer respects how important and beneficial breastfeeding is.

However if you’re the first employee to pump at work, or your employer isn’t very supportive, here are some ways to create a pump friendly environment.

1) The Law is Your Friend: At the federal level, mothers are also protected but for just one year: “Section 7 of the FLSA requires employers to provide reasonable break time for an employee to express breast milk for her nursing child for one year after the child’s birth each time such employee has need to express the milk.”

2) Design a Lactation Room: If you’re able to, design a lactation room for your company. You’ll want to include essentials like access to a sink, fridge for storage, cubbies to hold gear, a desk or table to hold laptops and pumps, comfortable chairs, wipes, and a community board. If you need a temporary space check out companies like Melk and Mamava.

3) Educate: If you’re one of the first moms who’s pumping, your boss and colleagues might just be unaware of all the benefits. Gently educating them on the health benefits of breastfeeding for babies and moms could go a long way toward acceptance.

I hope these tips help you as your prepare for your transition back to work. Pumping is certainly a commitment that takes time and dedication. Yet for many moms the satisfaction of providing breast milk for their babies while they are away at work is worth all the effort.

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For more information about Jennifer and Baby Caravan, click here.

KidPass – One Pass to Amazing Activities

We recently teamed up with KidPass to learn more about the thousands of activities they offer to kids throughout the New York area. Read our Q&A below to see how one pass can unlock a new world of fun for your little one(s). A special discount offer for Bell Family may even be in store, too!

Q: What are some examples of the variety of activities offered by KidPass? Are the activities for children of all ages? 

A: Have you ever found yourself with a restless child and lots of time to fill? KidPass to the rescue!  KidPass can get your child into 5,000 places to play in New York City like Kidville, Gymboree, NY Kids Club, 92Y, lots of swimming pools, all kinds of classes, and tons of open play spaces throughout NYC. If you can dream it, KidPass can take your kids there, and we have activities for newborns, toddlers, and kids up to age 17.

Q: What are the different plans you offer those looking to join, and how do the plans work?

A: Most of our parents choose the KidPass Basic Plan. For $49 a month, you get 10 credits to use on activities of your choice. Search by date and neighborhood, find an activity you like, and book it on our site. Your spot will be waiting for you when you arrive. If you ever want more credits, we’ve got a Family plan and a Power plan too.

Q: Many families have busy schedules and require flexibility. How flexible are the memberships and class schedules? Is there a fee for cancellations?

A: Oh we know how it is! We are all parents at KidPass and we know that plans can change quickly. If you make a reservation with KidPass and need to cancel it, your safest bet is to cancel it 24 hours in advance. And if you ever want to cancel your KidPass membership, there are no penalties for pausing or cancelling your account.

Q: How does a family or childcare provider get started?

A: We’re inviting all our friends from Bell Family to try KidPass for free for one month! Use this link and the discount will be applied at checkout. Come play with us soon!

KidPass-3

Written by our Marketing & Social Media Consultant, Taylor Bell

Bell Family Has Their Very Own IRONMAN

Lauren Kruk, Bell Family’s Nanny Services Manager, has accomplished something most people have not. She has successfully trained and completed in an IRONMAN competition, proving that the Bell Family team is one strong bunch.

Read below to hear directly from Lauren, and her experience from earlier this summer.

On Sunday July 23rd, I completed in IRONMAN Lake Placid. IRONMAN consists of a 2.4 mile swim in open water, 112 mile bike, and a 26.2 mile run (in that order). Being a part of a triathlon club and starting with small races in 2014, it was always a dream of mine to complete the largest triathlon distance, and as Lake Placid is the longest running IRONMAN event in North America (and also beautiful!), it was an easy choice to achieve my dream there. I started training before the new year, and in a matter of 6 months I had racked up 523 running miles, 1,675 miles on the bike, and 50 miles in water. It was challenging, exhausting, but exhilarating and emotional. An IRONMAN has a 17 hour cutoff; all disciplines are timed (with transitions between each timed too). I finished in 14:43 and I’ll never forget the feeling of crossing that finish line. It’s true what they say, anything is possible!

Lauren-race

On behalf of all your teammates at Bell Family, CONGRATS LAUREN! We’re so proud of you!

Training Thursday Vol. 14 – Swaddling

Welcome to volume 14 of Bell Family’s video training series, where each Thursday we release a video to help coach sitters on an array of childcare topics.

This week we are featuring a training video on swaddling!

Here are some quick how-to steps to keep in mind:

  1. Once the blanket is placed down on the surface (top folded down like a triangle) place the baby’s neck line in line with the top of the blanket.
  2. Wrap down, up, and then around the baby.
  3. Make the blanket secure around the baby’s body by tucking the remaining part underneath.
  • Tip: Look for a tag that is attached to the blanket. There is often instructions on the tag if you need a refresher.

In addition to our follow-along training video, you can read more details about How to Swaddle a Baby through parenting.com and the 5 Reasons to Swaddle Your Baby through Precious Little Sleep.

These videos are recommended to all BFC childcare providers to view for the latest techniques when caring for children. These videos were designed by our team comprised of long-time babysitters, full-time nannies, mothers, grandmothers, elementary educators, and social worker.

Swaddle

Note: Always follow the family’s instruction and care methods, and keep the family informed of everything with their baby.  These videos are not required to view, but a simple recommendation. For more information or for questions, please contact our office or read our terms.

Dinner Is Served – Vol. 6

With back to school season upon us, those complex, time-consuming meals are left back in the days of summer.

Summertime is a great time to experiment with recipes because you often find the kids preoccupied, and time is in your favor. Finally, those recipes that have been pinned to your Pinterest board for the past year get some action!

But what happens when the kids go back to school, your calendar sees little free time, and dinner should have been on the table 30 minutes ago?

Insert this great recipe for four-ingredient pesto chicken!

Four-Ingredient Pesto Chicken

Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins
Total Time: 35 minutes
Yield: 3 chicken breasts

Ingredients:
3 chicken breasts, organic recommended
1 -  6 oz. jar basil pesto
2 medium tomatoes, sliced
3 slices mozzarella cheese

Instructions:
Preheat the oven to 350° F.
Place chicken breasts in a baking dish.
Use a spoon to cover chicken with pesto.
Top each chicken breast with one slice of mozzarella cheese and two slices of tomato.
Bake for 30 minutes, or until chicken is no longer pink in the middle. Broil the chicken the final two  minutes so that the cheese is bubbly and golden.

Ava_Amelia_eat

Written by our Marketing & Social Media Consultant, Taylor Bell

Upcoming Event: The Creative Kitchen Kids Food Festival

Will you be strolling the streets of NYC this weekend looking for something to do? Head on over to Westfield World Trade Center on August 26th-27th, for a weekend full of flavor and fun with The Creative Kitchen!

The Creative Kitchen Kids Food Festival is a celebration to educate families about making balanced food choices to help create wholesome lifelong eating habits for both kids and parents. The weekend-long event offers a host of family-friendly activities including food demonstrations, live entertainment, food sampling, the Balanced Plate Scavenger Hunt, giveaways, and more! The event is free and open to the public for General Admission.

And for those enthusiastic eaters and little epicures alike, you can attend hands-on cooking classes at the James Beard Foundation Future Pavilion, where renowned chefs pass on their recipes, skills, and love for all things culinary to a new generation of learners!

Visit the website, on the Kids Food Festival Facebook page, and on Twitter at @KidsFoodFestFun to stay up-to-date on all things about the event.

Kids Food Festival 2017 Digitial Poster

Written by our Marketing & Social Media Consultant, Taylor Bell

The Best of NYC Mom Groups

Are you new to the city, raising children on or near the Upper East Side? Do you need a new mom network, or some fun and easy suggestions for activities with the kids?

We gathered a great list of  NYC mom groups to help meet local moms and make playdates with children the same age as your own.

Our top three UES centric things to do with kids:

1. The Craft Studio
2. My Gym: Lincoln Center
3. The MET

Need more? Kidz Central Station is a great spot to search for classes all over Manhattan and Brooklyn for ages infant and up, and Mommy Poppins, “Top 50 Things to Do for NYC Families” has great suggestions, too!

Happy Mom-Grouping!

SistterMoms

Written by our Marketing & Social Media Consultant, Taylor Bell

Training Thursday Vol. 13 – Stroller Safety

Welcome to volume 13 of Bell Family’s video training series, where each Thursday we release a video to help coach sitters on an array of childcare topics.

This week we are featuring a training video on stroller safety!

Here are some fast stroller safety tips:

1. Make sure the brake is on when you place the baby/child in the stroller, and that you unlatch the brake when you are ready to push the stroller.
2. Make sure the child is properly dressed for the weather (take sunscreen on a warm, sunny day, make sure the child has a hat and warm jacket on a cold day, etc.). Check the temperature before you go outside.
3. Make sure all straps are properly fastened on the child before pushing the stroller.
4. If you are carrying heavy bags on the stroller, be careful the stroller does not tip backwards. It is best to keep items stored underneath the stroller.
5. If you need to stop and are on a decline or hill, make sure to use the brake for added support.

Read more from Parent’s Magazine on stroller safety here.

These videos are recommended to all BFC childcare providers to view for the latest techniques when caring for children. These videos were designed by our team comprised of long-time babysitters, full-time nannies, mothers, grandmothers, elementary educators, and social worker.

Stroller

Note: Always follow the family’s instruction and care methods, and keep the family informed of everything with their baby.  These videos are not required to view, but a simple recommendation. For more information or for questions, please contact our office or read our terms.

Parental Phone Use Linked to Child Behavior?

The amount of screen time isn’t only something to be cautious of for children, but it’s also something to keep top of mind for parents. In a recent article published by The Bump, it discusses how a child’s behavior can be influenced by the parent’s relationship with their cellphone.

The study was conducted by University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital and Illinois State University, and involved 170 two-parent households. The parents were asked to fill out a short survey, which included questions about 1) their use of smartphones, computers, tablets and other devices, 2) how this usage may interfere with family time, and 3) details about their child behavior issues within the last two months.

At the conclusion of the survey, 48% of parents said two or three technology interruptions were standard for a given day.

“We know that parents’ responsiveness to their kids changes when they are using mobile technology and that their device use may be associated with less-than-ideal interactions with their children. It’s really difficult to toggle attention between all of the important and attention-grabbing information contained in these devices, with social and emotional information from our children, and process them both effectively at the same time.”

Senior Author, Jenny Radesky, MD

At the end of the day, it may be challenging to make the direct correlation between technology interruptions and child behavior, but it’s certainly something to keep at the forefront of parents’ minds.

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

Phone-1

Written by our Marketing & Social Media Consultant, Taylor Bell