All posts by Lindsay 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

Training Thursday Vol. 12 – Bad Behavior

Welcome to volume 12 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 how to redirect bad behavior.

Here are some fast redirecting bad behavior tips for ages 3 years and up:

1. Divert the child’s attention into other activities. For example, if the child is having a tantrum, start setting up a picnic on the floor and talk about how much fun it is. The child may forget what he/she was upset about and join you.

2. Give clear choices of what the child can do next as an option - 1, 2, or 3 options at the most.

3. Get down to their level and ask them why they are upset, or try to read them – are they hungry (is it past meal/snack time), are they tired?

4. Be sure to keep calm yourself. Children can always sense when we (as adults/childcare providers) get anxious or upset. They feed off that energy. Keeping cool and calm for the child will provide the best result.

Read more from Parent’s Magazine on how to manage bad behavior in children 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.

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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.

 

Inside Scoop on Explore + Discover Early Learning Center

Along Second Avenue in New York City, you’ll come across an organization like no other.  Explore + Discover Early Learning Center is an organization that provides both excellent and unique childcare in the heart of Manhattan. Infants and toddlers will feel right at home as they receive nurturing care, and learn life-long social and physical skills.

Bell Family had the opportunity to talk with the Co-Founder & President of Explore + Discover for a Q&A, to provide a quick guide for families on why this should be their new go-to for childcare.

Q: How does a family apply to be part of Explore + Discover? How much advance time should a family give for the application process? Do you offer all age programs?

Families begin the application process by calling and setting up a time to visit the center. Once the date/time are scheduled, prospective parents (with or without child/children) come in for a visit with our Director and/or Educational Director. This accomplishes a number of important objectives, including but not limited to:

- Giving us an opportunity to learn more about the child and family.
- Allowing us to more completely explain how the program operates, and answer any questions.
- Letting the family see the facility, and the program in action.

We recommend that if a family is considering applying to the program at that point, that they fill out an application and pay the application fee at the time of their visit. This allows the family to be in the queue, and if they should decide to take next steps to join the program, we have their information and are able to move things along fairly quickly.

Advance time is always recommended—we have some families who come to us when they are thinking of conceiving, which is wonderful (and frankly pretty forward-thinking from a family-planning POV).  At the same time, we keep our doors open to families who may not make preparations in advance, and if we can accommodate them, we are happy to!

Q: What does a common day look like for an infant or toddler at Explore + Discover? What kind of activities can they expect to be apart of?

A typical day for a child at Explore + Discover involves a combination of open exploration, thoughtfully planned creative experiences, and careful attention to caregiving routines.

We believe that allowing children time for exploration through free play each day is vital for social and emotional growth. Each classroom environment is designed with the age and developmental level of the children in mind, offering high quality open-ended materials to encourage creative play.

We also offer a variety of open-ended art and musical experiences throughout the week. Art specialists, as well as classroom teachers, plan engaging activities as a creative outlet for the children. Painting, mark making or drawing, working with clay, and collage are just a sampling of the experiences in our art studio.

Many of our teachers play the guitar and each class is visited by the music teachers, where they listen to, and eventually sing along with familiar songs and rhymes. As part of our Music Before Words program, the children are exposed to a variety of instruments. They are encouraged to listen to the sounds, move to the music, and even touch or play each instrument.

A thoughtful focus on caregiving makes Explore + Discover unique. Feeding, sleeping, and diapering routines are looked at as a time for bonding and beginning to encourage independence.

Q: What are some key items you look to teach the children that attend Explore + Discover? Tell us about your mission.

At Explore + Discover, our goal is to set the foundation for children to become lifelong learners.

We encourage them to investigate their curiosities and wonderings by providing an engaging classroom environment and enriching open-ended materials.

We believe that teachers are partners in learning rather than the keepers of knowledge, therefore providing opportunities for exploration, creating, and questioning.

Using the children’s natural interests and developmental stage as a starting point, the teachers design curriculum unique to each group. By the time the children leave E+D, it is our hope that they have developed the self-confidence, problem solving skills, and inquisitiveness needed to navigate the upcoming years of school.

E + D_logo

Written by our Marketing & Social Media Consultant, Taylor Bell

Training Thursday Vol. 11 – Bath Time

Welcome to volume 11 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 bath time!

Here are some fast bath time tips to always keep top of mind:

1. Never leave a child alone in the bath even for a minute. Drowning can occur in even an inch of water. Just scoop the child up in a towel if you need to answer the door or tend to something else.

2. Make sure the water is not too cold or too hot. Use a thermometer to make sure the temperature is between 90-100 degrees Fahrenheit.

3. Make sure there is a no-slip guard on the floor of the tub, and a towel or rug outside the tub, so when the child gets out he/she does not slip.

4. Don’t put too much water in the tub.

5. Teach the child to sit – no standing in the tub!

6. Use soaps and shampoos sparingly – they can dry out skin or cause irritation – less is more.

7. Keep electrical appliances away from the water.

Read more on baby (infants under 12 months) bath time tips here, and toddler (12-24 months) bath time tips 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.

Bath

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.

Training Thursday Vol. 10 – Playtime

Welcome to volume 10 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 playtime!

Here are a handful of ways to easily and actively engage lil’ ones:

1. Read. Be animated! Act out the characters, make sounds, and point at the words or object you are referring to.

2. Sing. Sing child nursery rhymes or songs. You can act many of them out like ‘Itsy Bitsy Spider’ and ‘Wheels on the Bus’.

3. ‘Ring-Around-the-Rosy’ and ‘Duck Duck Goose’. These are two easy, play anywhere games, that toddlers and up can enjoy.

4. Grab a ball. You can do so many things with a ball and a child that is six months and up (roll to one another, play soccer, catch, keep it up, etc.).

5. Color. Grab some paper and poster board, and draw/color simple pictures (flowers, planes, farm animals, etc.). Then the child can show their parent when they get home.

6. Art/crafts. You can use a lot of the things already in the home. Noodles and yarn to make necklaces, make cookies, play restaurant (you be the guest and the child the server), play theater (where the child puts on a production for you), and use props in the home for the show.

Here are some fast playtime clean up tips:

1. Tidy up: Always tidy up the children’s play or eating areas before the parents come home. If the child is of age (toddler and up) have them help you. You can even make a game or song out of it to make it fun!

2. Wipe down: Wipe down the toys with a wet cloth and some dish soap after playtime, especially if you saw the child put something in their mouth.

3. Dishes/cups/bottles: Make sure these items are placed in the dishwasher or washed in the sink before the parents come home. The parents should not come home to a sink full of the children’s dishes. It takes just an extra minute, and makes such a difference to the parents.

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.

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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.

New York Baby Show Highlights

At the end of last month, the annual New York Baby Show concluded, where our very own, Lindsay Bell, was a guest speaker.

This year, the event racked up its biggest numbers yet with 5,000 families registered! At the two-day event, both expecting and new moms had the opportunity to walk around the show to discover new products, take in seminars on bump and baby, and check out fun attractions such as the Cannon Step-And-Repeat and the respites (like the DK Reading Rest Stop).

This is a great event hosted every year by New York Baby Show. If you haven’t gone yet, next year is your year!

To see additional photos and coverage from the event, check out their Facebook page!

NY Baby Show

Written by our Marketing & Social Media Consultant, Taylor Bell

Eating Bogies, Not the Worst Thing

How many times have you pushed your child’s hand away from his or her nose when they go to stick their finger up it? It’s become a daily habit of moms everywhere, but what if we told you that you can waste the energy pushing their hand away on something else?

You heard it here folks, scientists conclude that eating bogies is good for teeth and overall health!

What everyone thought to be a gross and bad habit for their child, is now a habit that Harvard scientists say is  ’a rich reservoir of good bacteria.’ Furthermore, the study suggests that snot could defend against respiratory infections, stomach ulcers, and even HIV.

To read more about the study and quotes from the scientists, click here. And in the meantime, stay tuned for the latest trending hashtag, #eatingbogies.

Nose_pick copy

Written by our Marketing & Social Media Consultant, Taylor Bell

Training Thursday Vol. 9 – Diapering

Welcome to volume nine 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 diapering.

Here are some fast diapering tips to always keep top of mind:

Changing a girl: Wipe front to back, wiping downward. Clean the area well. If you see a rash, consult the parent, or if they instructed, use a diaper cream/ointment on the irritated area.
Changing a boy: The big difference; don’t leave the penis exposed – you may get sprayed! Clean under and around the testicles. Same procedure if you see a rash as above.

Other tips:

1. Secure the baby/toddler safely on the changing table. If the child is old enough to squirm, use the safety belt.

2. Two fingers is usually the rule to test that the diaper is tight enough so that it does not leak, and not too tight that it could cut off circulation or cause discomfort.

3. Make sure the diaper fits properly. The weight range the diaper supports is listed on the box. If you see that it is not snapping securely or seems to tight or loose, you may need a different size.

4. If the baby seems irritated by the wipes being used, try using a cotton cloth with warm water on it to clean the area.

Read here on how to diaper a new baby. Read here on diapering a toddler. The key is to have them distracted (holding a toy, holding the wipes, etc.) while you change them.

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 workers.

Eczema - 2

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.