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Positive Affirmations to Inspire Mom

If your calendar alert didn’t go off reminding you that Mother’s Day is this Sunday, then consider this your official reminder.

Mother’s Day is a great time to remind moms everywhere how much they are valued, loved, and appreciated for all of the things they do. It’s important for moms to relax and reflect on all the joys motherhood brings, and appreciate the hard work they achieve each and every day.

With special thanks to Personal Creations, they provided a list of 52 Positive Affirmations to Inspire Mom, in a recent post on their website. This is a great read for moms, not only on Mother’s Day, but all days of the year! Personal Creations also provides some great printable pages to go along with the read.

Happy Mother’s Day to all of the moms out there!

“There’s no way to be a perfect mother and a million ways to be a good one.” Jill Churchill

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Written by our Marketing & Social Media Consultant, Taylor Bell

Training Thursday Vol. 5 – Soothing a Baby

Welcome to volume five 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 sooth a baby or calm a child tantrum. Always note, the first step is to follow the parent’s instruction on the method they prefer.

First, how to sooth a baby.

1. Rock the baby in a quiet space in your arms, or on a rocking chair.

2. Take the baby for a walk; give him or her a change of scenery and some fresh air.

3. Make a “shhhh” sound while rocking the baby; this creates a white noise sound.

 Second, help solve a child tantrum.

1. Redirect attention onto a new activity; get them excited about something else (game, picture, book, etc.).

2. Let them know it’s ok to be upset, but hitting is unacceptable.

3. Take the child out of the situation to give them space for a breather.

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.

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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.

 

Our Favorite Toddler Books

Are you looking for a new read or two for your little one?

Thanks to my 14-month old son, Brooks, I’ve been influenced to buy about two dozen books, which has allowed me to collect some quality book reviews.

Below, you can find a short list of my son and I’s favorite books that have become apart of our bedtime routine.

1. Where is Baby’s Mommy? This was the first book I read to my son when he was a newborn, so it is sentimental to me. Every time I read to him I give him two options. If this book is ever one of the options, he always points to it! When the answer is no to the questions in the book, we shake our heads together.
2. Baby ABC. My toddler seems to be drawn to the contrast between color and black and white in this book. The photos of the babies are super cute, too.
3. Have You Ever Tickled a Tiger? Baby Brooks loves to touch and feel all the animals in this book. His favorite is the walrus whiskers.
4. The Wheels on the Bus. This book was from Brooks’ cousins. This song seems to be a go-to for toddlers. That and “Itsy, Bitsy Spider” never seem to fail. This book is also a sing-a-long and pop out!

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Written by our Founder & CEO, Lindsay Bell

Training Thursday Vol. 4 – Kitchen Safety with Kids

Welcome to volume four 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 kitchen safety with kids!

The first bit of advice is to always follow the parent’s instruction on the family’s kitchen rules. The other advice is as follows:

1. Oven: Make sure the children are always kept away from the oven to ensure they don’t touch it, or pull down the handle. Even if it is not on, it’s good practice to keep them away from it.

2. Microwave: The general rule is to keep children away from it when it’s on. Pay special attention to those that are near the floor. If that is the case, keep the children away from it.

3. Outlets: All outlets should have stoppers, and even if the outlet has stoppers, still keep the children away from it. It’s not something they should play with. If you are at a place without stoppers, keep the children away, or block it with another object.

4. Cords: Cords should always be out of a child’s reach. The child could pull it down on themselves or wrap it around their body/neck causing strangulation.

5. Cleaning Supplies: If you need to clean something up, make sure you are not spraying bleach, or any other harmful chemical around the children. Use a green friendly cleaner to wipe up the mess. Also, make sure the cleaning supplies are far from the child’s reach at ALL times.

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.

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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.

Training Thursday Vol. 3 – Snack Time

Welcome to volume three 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 snack time!

1. First and foremost, be cognizant of ANY and ALL food allergies. Always read ingredient labels and if you are still not certain, snap a photo of it with your phone and send to the parent to ask. Always ask if you are not 100% certain. If you see or sense an off reaction to a food, contact the parent immediately.

2. Solids typically start when the child is six months, usually in a pureed state (before six months babies digestive systems are not developed to digest solid foods). Some families make their own baby food in a food processor and some will buy baby food.

3. Once the baby is beyond pureed foods and ready for big boy/girl food, EVERYTHING needs to be chopped up in small pieces, so it’s easy to munch with their gums (as some babies don’t get teeth till 12-18 months).

4. Warning foods: grapes, blueberries, hotdogs, oranges – be wary of the casing – peel it off or chop up as much as possible.

5. Babies and children should sit in their highchair, booster, or chair at the table to keep messes in the kitchen. It’s a way for them to practice good eating habits at a table with the family.

6. For babies and toddlers use a bib, or for younger children, a placemat to keep their clothes and surrounding area as neat as possible.

7. Depending on the pediatrician, babies start drinking water around six months old. Follow the parents instruction on how much water the child should have throughout the day.

When heating foods, always test the food before you give it to a child to make sure the temperature is not too hot.

Every family has a different way of doing things. Always ask the family for full instruction on how they would like you to prepare foods.

If the child is not taking the food for some reason text the family and let them know. Always keep full records of how much the baby eats when in your care.

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.

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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.

Simple Seven List of Parenting Go-To’s

Bell Family gets a lot of parenting tips, newsletters, event invites, must have product pushes… you name it, it has been thrown at us on a daily basis. As we are sure you like to stay informed (just not over informed), we pulled together a simple seven list of mom groups and newsletter sites that we have found helpful in staying updated with city pregnancy and parenting.

Checkout our list below, and let us know if you have any additions that you love!

Our simple seven list of parenting go-to’s:

1. Cardamom: It’s free to download the app, and you can see local moms to meet up for a playdate.
2. Upper East Side Moms (Facebook page): This is a free group to post anything related to motherhood.
3. Manhattan Mamas Meet Up (e-mail list): You can sign up here.
4. Working Moms of Manhattan Group: You can sign up here.
5. Stroller Traffic: A good site for city moms and newsletters.
6. Big City Moms: Started by two sisters and NYC moms, Big City Moms offers a lot of good events and meet-ups.
7. Well Rounded NYC: Offers urban parenting and modern pregnancy. I like their newsletter!

Written by our Founder & CEO, Lindsay Bell

Training Thursday Vol. 2 – Burping a Baby

Welcome to the second volume 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 burp a baby.

There are three basic ways to burp a baby:

1. Hold the baby facing you, upright, their body against your chest, and their head above your shoulder. Pat or rub their back gently.
2. Lay the baby face down across your knees with their head carefully supported. Pat or run their back gently.
3. Hold the baby on your knee in a sitting position. While leaning forward slightly, hold the baby’s jaw and pat or rub their back gently.

Every family has a different way of doing things, so always be sure to ask the family what their preferred method is. Whichever option you choose, remember this: keep the baby’s head higher than their butt, always support the head, and gentle patting or running is just as effective as (and less dangerous than) thumping hard.

Remember, some burps will bring liquid with them, so always have a burp cloth to protect yourself and your clothing.

Finally, keep in mind there is a difference between spit up and vomit. Spit up is essentially a wet burp that dribbles out of the baby’s mouth. Vomit involves a lot more fluid. If there is vomit or blood in the spit up, call the parent(s) right away!

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.

Burping baby

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.

A Country Birthday in a City Apartment

My son’s first birthday party got the label of “Brooks’ Barnyard Bonanza!”

Based on his expressions it looked like he had a great time, but he’s only one, so it’s a little hard to tell. What I know for sure is that I had fun planning it, and the day off wasn’t too bad either.

My goals were to enjoy the moment and not get stressed, to not spend a lot of money, and to keep it focused on the type of birthdays I had growing up back home in Ohio.

My first task was to think of a theme. Farm and country got my vote.

Second, compile an invite list and create a design for the invitation. I outsourced adding all the e-mails to the evite I designed. Both of these were free!

Third, what to eat? I wanted to keep with the tradition of the birthday parties I remember, so I made my mom’s sloppy joes. Only one person at the party knew what a sloppy joe was (maybe these are a Midwest thing), but once people tried them they ended up being a crowd favorite. I also got an easy recipe for potato salad, which I would have bought, but no one sold it nearby. The potato salad took under 45 minutes and it turned out awesome!

Next, the cake. My husband wanted to help, so I gave this to him, but somehow I ended up executing on the matter. He ordered a cake from a grocery store on Long Island for $35, and let me tell you people, it was the most delicious cake I ever had. I ended up buying decorative icing to draw a cow and a barn on it, because my husband didn’t want to ask. It all worked out.

Forth, what to drink? My husband helped with this, too. I made the list and he bought beer, champagne, and orange juice.

Fifth (my favorite), the decorations. I am the product of two teachers and the oldest of five girls, so I grew up crafty. I made a homemade cow out of our dinner table by ordering a cow table cloth from Amazon, drawing a cow head, cutting out hooves for the table legs, and making a tail out of belts. Then, I cut out a barn along with some sun and clouds to make a farm on our family room wall. I bought a dozen cowboy hats to be placed on the back of chairs and around the apartment. The final thing was a ‘Yee Haw’ sign on the wall.

The attire for the party of course involved wearing flannels and jeans. My son also had a farmer bib to eat his cake.

I think the entire party cost me $300.00, which in NYC is about the cost for a custom cake.

If you need help with your next party let me know!

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Written by our Founder & CEO, Lindsay Bell

Training Thursday Vol. 1 – Bottle Prep

Welcome to the start of Bell Family’s video training series, where each Thursday we’ll be releasing a video to help coach sitters on an array of childcare topics.

This week we are featuring a training video about bottle prep!

Always follow the parent’s instruction on what type of milk they would like you to prep for the bottle. The three different types of milk include:

1. Breast milk only: The mother will either freeze or refrigerate her milk and have it clearly labeled. Make sure it is not old or sitting out for more than an hour.

2. Formula only: The video linked above walks through the instruction on powder formula, but there is also full strength liquid formula, which is fully prepared.

3. Breast milk and formula: Some moms will mix the two, and some will feed the baby a formula bottle, followed by a bottle with only breast milk. The reason for this is because some moms don’t produce enough milk, some are weening, etc.

When heating the bottle you can us a bottle warmer, heat the milk on the stove/microwave or, let it sit in a warm bowl for 5-10 minutes. Test the bottle’s temperature on the outside of your hand before giving it to a baby.

You also want to make sure the bottle is clean and that there is nothing in the bottle from the dishwasher. When assembling the bottle, make sure you secure the nipple tightly and that there is no room for leaks.

Every family has a different way of doing things, so be sure to ask the family for full instructions on how they would like you to prepare the bottle.

If the baby is not taking the bottle for some reason, text the family and let them know. It’s always a good idea to keep full records of how much the baby eats when in your care.

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.

Bottle prep

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.

“Tales from the Top” from Female Entrepreneurs

I recently attended the Cornell Tech @ Bloomberg speaker series, featuring three successful female entrepreneurs. While there, they shared their “tales from the top” along with Cornell Tech students, Bloomberg employees, and the New York City tech industry.

Three female entrepreneurs were featured (two of them also mothers) including:

Katia Beauchamp founder of Birchbox,
Brit Morin founder of Brit + Co, and
Nadia Boujarwah founder of  DAI Global, LLC.

After listening to these three women, my takeaway tips for other entrepreneurs are:

1. What are you feeling or looking for? Sit in a silent space and give yourself time to reflect and think about the big picture.

2. Listen for work arounds. What should the core product be?

3. Verge into digital – try doing video rather than editorial. It will save you a lot of time and garner more views.

4. How do you champion other women? Get out there and mentor (i.e., e-mail women back that need help, be supportive not competitive). It’s hard enough out there!

 

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Written by our Founder & CEO, Lindsay Bell