Tag Archives: childcare

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.

When to Part Ways with Swaddling

Swaddling a newborn seems to have turned into a form of art. So, for all of the parents out there who want their inner-Picasso to shine, now’s your time!

As for those parents whose art skills don’t go beyond their elementary school coloring book, there’s the thought, “How much longer do I need to wrap my newborn up like a burrito?”

In a recent post published by The Bump, they talk about the best time to stop swaddling your baby.

“Parents should stop swaddling their babies by three or four months. At this time, most full-term infants are acclimated to life outside of the womb and no longer crave the constriction of a swaddle.”

Rest assured parents, the constant swaddling does have an end point! Once the baby has reached the four month milestone, he/she takes to moving around in their sleep. Don’t be alarmed – this is good news, as it gives the baby exercise and helps them develop towards even greater milestones, such as crawling and walking.

For the full article on The Bump website, click here.

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Written by our Marketing & Social Media Consultant, Taylor Bell

When Your Lil’ One Has Eczema

Ahhhh my baby has eczema!

I’ve spotted small dry spots on my son since he was a newborn. I’ve always treated the spots with Vaseline or Aquafor, rubbing the ointment into his dry patches. I then followed up with a fragrance free moisturizing lotion like Babyganics, and smoothed that all over his body.

Since then the dry spots have gotten progressively worse.

Last night my baby woke up around midnight (which is odd - so close to when I go to bed – he never does that); and he was so agitated. His body could not get comfortable, and he kept trying to get out of my arms. I tried feeding him 2 oz. of formula, then another 2 oz., which he took down, but still was not satisfied.

I know his teeth are trying to come through, so that is an on-going thing to blame for these behaviors, but this time it seemed different. He started to use his nails to scratch his sides, which have patches of dry skin on them as does his back.

After an hour, I wondered if his skin was just so dry that he couldn’t get comfortable. I got the lotion and rubbed it all over him. Then I sat him down next to me, rubbed his back for a few minutes, and the little guy fell asleep in that position. As soon as I found the dry spot he was out for the night.

In the morning, I called the pediatrician because he was scratching the spots and causing them to bleed. I wanted to make sure it wasn’t an allergic reaction.

The doctor said it was eczema.

Once I received the remedy (rub Hydrocortisone cream 1% on the dry patches/spots and then lather up his body in Vani Cream), my lil’ guy felt good as new!

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Written by our Founder & CEO, Lindsay Bell

What Parents Want in a Sitter

To pinpoint only a few items that parents look for in a sitter can be difficult. When it comes to someone else caring for their little one(s), the ”want” list in terms of childcare can soon fill an entire notebook.

So, what exactly are parents looking for? We asked a dozen families, what are the top three things they want in a sitter?

1. Reliability - Be on time!
2. Ability to engage - Energetic and positive sitter to play with their child.
3. Trust - Knowing that the sitter will always do what is right.

Additionally, we were able to gather a handful of parents from Bell Family to provide insight as to what they look for in a sitter. Here’s what they had to say…

“The most important thing is a responsible person who we can immediately trust with the safety and well being of our child.”
Mom of 1, Tribeca

“I want my son to feel loved and cared for while I’m gone. I want a sitter that will smile, laugh, dance, play and engage him. Seeing a happy baby when I get home makes me feel less bad for leaving.”
Mom of 1, Midtown East

“Knowing I can go to work and focus on providing for my family with peace of mind that my little one is in great hands, is the most at-ease feeling a working mom can hope for.”
Mom of one, 9 months

“A key aspect when choosing a babysitter for our son, was knowing our sitter personally and understanding her experience and how that will assist with her time with our son. I know that’s not always the case when searching for a qualified babysitter so I would rely highly on recommendations. I would observe his interactions with someone we were interviewing in addition to the recommendations by others.”
Mom of one, 6 months

“The sitter needs to have been recommended by someone I trust.”
Mom of one, 3yrs old

The Bell Family team is confident that if you take this advice with you on all of your sitting adventures, you will make for one praiseworthy sitter!

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Written by our Marketing & Social Media Consultant, Taylor Bell

Baby Bathing Tricks

Bathing a baby can be quite an adventure. Is the water too hot, too cold, too deep? How long should the bath last? And why is the baby STILL squirming?

In a recent article published by The Bump, they give a step-by-step guide on how to safely bathe a baby – all in efforts to make bath time a fun adventure instead of a stressful one.

We outlined the first steps of the guide below. For the full article including bath-side setup, check out The Bump website!

  1. Washing station - your setup should be steady and there shouldn’t be anything hard or sharp for baby to accidentally knock against
  2. Warm room - keep the temperature raised so it’s not a shock to baby’s system when she comes out of the bath.
  3. Water - fill the tub about three inches with water a little bit warmer than lukewarm. Use pitcher or cup to pour water over baby and rinse off.
  4. Soap - go easy on the amount, because too much can dry out baby’s skin.
  5. Washcloths - Designate a certain color or pattern used specifically for bath time so you don’t confuse them for diaper cloths.
  6. Special treatments - diaper cream, cradle cap treatment, or any other remedies should be within reach.
  7. Timing – pay attention to baby’s mood after bath time. If he/she is energetic and ready to play, bathe during the day. If more mellow, make it a pre-bedtime activity.
  8. Procedure - Start by soaking baby a little. Always keep one hand on baby, and remember that infants are slippery when wet. If baby needs cradle cap treatment, put this on first, then come back to rinse after you’ve washed the rest of the body. Start from the top and work your way down. Wash the face first, cleaning one area at a time. As you move down the body, thoroughly wash inside all the folds. Sweat and skin can get stuck in those areas and fester, causing nasty rashes, so it’s important to keep them as clean and dry as possible. Save baby’s dirtiest parts (aka the diaper area) for last. Then, move back up and wash baby’s hair. Since infants lose most of their heat through their heads, this should be your very last move. If the water is still warm you can engage in a little playtime, but resist the urge to splash for too long — as the water chills, baby will quickly get cold.

Bath

Written by our Marketing & Social Media Coordinator, Taylor Bell

 

 

Potty Training Seminar (February 4th)

Do you have, or know anyone who has toddlers ready to be potty trained? If so, you’re in luck because this weekend, NYC Potty Training is hosting a Potty Training Seminar!

The event is hosted by Samantha Allen, founder of NYC Potty Training, who has received great praise from one of our Bell Family moms saying, “She’s incredible! I used her for my son when we were desperate for help and she got him trained in a weekend!”

If you aren’t able to attend the event this weekend, there’s still good news! You can have Samantha Allen (founder), speak to families at your child’s school about methods and strategies for seamless potty training in 1-2 days. Samantha is also available to speak at private events.

If you are interested in attending the event, you can purchase tickets here, but hurry because the event has been sold out the last two years!

3rd Annual Seminar by NYC Potty Training
Leman Manhattan Preparatory School
Saturday, February 4, 2017 from 10AM-11AM (ET)
New York, NY

Potty

Written by our Marketing & Social Media Coordinator, Taylor Bell

Meet New York Sleep Coach

It’s time to learn how to sleep train your little ones, and give parents everywhere a life with more sleep.

We had the opportunity to talk with Kylee Sallak, founder of New York Sleep Coach, and the creator of Happy Parents, Happy Child method of sleep training. Read below to find out more about her and the impressive work done by New York Sleep Coach.

Q: What experiences or motivational factors helped lead you to create New York Sleep Coach?

Creating NYSC was a culmination of 16 years of helping families and one big recent ‘ah-ha’ moment with a close friend who wasn’t able to convince her 14 month old to nap. While I have many years of sleep training behind me, it wasn’t solidified that I could create something this acutely helpful until I saw my sleep-deprived friend feeling hopeless with her toddler’s sleep. It was enormously motivating to realize that I can be of service to parents in such a short and transformative period of time. At my core, I am a nurturer and have always found myself needing to care for others. NYSC has given me the privilege to nurture parents, so they can be at their best to nurture their kids.

Q: What are the benefits of hiring a sleep coach for a child?

The primary reason parents choose to work with me is because they have tried on their own and always end up caving in at some early stage of the process out of fear, being too sleepy to keep with it, or a combination of both. Parents report that working with me helped them feel confident in their decision to sleep train and supported during the periods they would have otherwise caved in. I make sure that parents who work with me are getting accurate facts about sleep, support, encouragement and walk away feeling empowered with tools to uphold their decision to sleep train.

A lack of restorative sleep negatively affects your child’s mood, their gross and fine motor development, their appetite, short and long-term cognitive development, and their ability to handle frustration. Fewer tantrums and cheery moods are the outwardly and immediately noticeable perks for your little ones. If your child is sleeping soundly all night, and napping well during the day, you also have the opportunity to be getting quality rest. Uninterrupted time spent with your partner, both in and out of the bedroom, waking up more refreshed, having more patience when are you with your little one(s), and being more productive during your awake hours. These are the notable perks for the parents. And while it may not seem so obvious right now, there is a significant domino effect and implications of not sleep training your child that extends beyond toddler and preschool years into primary school and beyond.

Q: We like your approach on common sense sleep training, can you share a few tips for new parents?

I am happy to share the most commonly missed practices, which are also the most immediately impactful practices you can start using today. So many parents I speak to are doing only 1 or 2 of these tips, and some parents aren’t utilizing any of them. This is usually because they either hadn’t gotten around to trying, or because they didn’t believe these would work for their baby or young child. Either way, I would recommend giving these a try even if you are skeptical. These are going to make a noticeable difference if done consistently. And if you get stuck along the way and feel you need more support, I am here to help parents just like you get over this bump in the road!

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Written by our Marketing & Social Media Coordinator, Taylor Bell

Trimming Newborn’s Finger Nails

Last week I got to spend time with both of my nephews (ages 9mo and 8mo). I don’t get to see them too often since they live states away, so when I do get the opportunity to spend time with them I am quick to snatch them up for some playtime. What I would soon find out is that playtime usually involves them grabbing my face. They laugh and giggle as they do it (baby giggles = adorable), but shortly later I find myself beginning to wince and looking for his mom to pass him back to. Why you ask? Two words: finger nails.

A baby’s finger nails are perhaps the smallest vicious thing out there if gone untreated. It’s important to keep them trimmed so they don’t scratch out themselves, as well as other people who hold them.

I recently discovered an article posted by The Bump, which asks the question, “What is the best way to trim a newborn’s finger nails?” Here are some of the answers they provided:

1. Carefully, you should wait until the baby is sound asleep so that he/she will not move as much as when he/she is awake. Then, push down on the finger tip and either clip or cut the nail. Finally, use an emery board to file and smooth out any rough edges.

2. I found it hard to trim my newborns nails. I just put gloved on her hands for the first few months. Her nails didn’t grow very long. Now that she is almost 5 months old I have to trim her nails about 1-2 times a week to keep her from scratching herself and me. I put her in my lap (crossing my leg like a man) or in a cradle position and push back on the tip of her fingers to expose the nail. Then I cut them in stages since she can’t sit still for all 10 fingers.

For the full list of answers, visit The Bump website here.

 

Written by our Marketing & Social Media Coordinator,  Taylor Bell

 

Must-Haves for Flu Season

Looking to beat cold and flu season before it hits your family? Big City Moms provides 10 must-have products to keep in your home to help fight the nasty bug this winter.

1. Crane Cool Mist Humidifier
Having a humidifier in your child’s room increases air moisture for easier breathing and a good night’s sleep.

2. NoseFrida Snotsucker
The Snotsucker was doctor invented and recommended. It’s a natural, hygienic baby booger buster.

3. Boogie Wipes
After a while, the dryness of a tissue can irritate noses. Boogie Wipes not only help combat that, but also help dissolve boogies.

4. Ella’s Kitchen Electrolyte Drink
It’s easy for your little one to get dehydrated when they are sick. It’s important that we make sure that they are properly hydrated.

5. Kinsa Ear Thermometer
You can easily take their temperature when they are sleeping to not disturb their peacefulness.

6. Saline Spray
Give their little noses some relief from congestion with these saline drops. Saline naturally breaks up mucus and these drops help give your little one some relief from congestion.

7. Aquaphor Baby Healing Ointment
Aquaphor Baby Healing Ointment is a multi-purpose ointment can be used for many of your baby’s skin needs.

8. Babyganics Sanitizing Wipes
There’s one thing you don’t want to do when someone in your house is sick and that’s spread germs. Keeps these wipes handy and keep everyone’s hands clean.

9. Seventh Generation Disinfection Wipes
They kill 99.99% of household germs botanically and are effective against cold and flu viruses.

10. Zarbee’s Cough Syrup
Naturally get rid of your child’s cough and soothe their throat with this formula from Zarbee’s. It’s made with antioxidant-rich dark honeys which has vitamins, minerals , and antioxidants.

Checkout the full blog post on the Big City Moms website here!

 

Written by our Marketing & Social Media Coordinator, Taylor Bell!

Choking Hazards for Kids

In a recent article published by Lucie’s List, they talk about the most common choking hazards amongst children. Now that you are up to date with the CPR procedures from our last blog (read here), we wanted to highlight some of the items to look out for in the case you need to perform CPR.

Choking is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality among children, especially those aged three years or younger. More than 60% of childhood deaths due to choking occur in the first year of life.

Of 17,500 incidences of non-fatal choking here are the items kids most often choke on:

Food: 41%
Candy and gum: 19%
Other non-foods: 17%
Coins: 13%
Unknown: 10%

In the breakdown of these categories, here are some specific items to pay special caution to:

1. Balloons (other) – latex balloons were associated with 29% of deaths overall, making it the most dangerous hazard for kids. TIP: Use the Mylar balloons instead (the shiny foil ones).
2. Hot dogs (food) – about 17% of choking deaths are form hot dogs alone. TIP: Cut hot dogs length-wise before serving.
3. Grapes, carrots, and bananas (food) – the pediatrician of the article writer said that bananas are the number one choking hazard based on his personal experience. TIP: Never give your child a whole item; cut them into halves or quarters.
4. Water bottle tops (other) – bottle tops are everywhere and often ignored. TIP: Make sure the tops are always tightly sealed and/or out of the reach of children.
5. Coins – these aren’t high on the “deadly stuff” list, but coins are around everywhere especially on the ground (a kid’s favorite place to be). Pennies and nickels are the highest risk. TIP: Shiny coins often attract kids. To be safe, don’t let them play with them. Plus, they are dirty and germ-infested. Yuck!

For additional items to look out for, read the full article here.