Tag Archives: childcare

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

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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.

How to Perform CPR

Are you needing a quick refresher on compressions only CPR? Well, it just so has it that the refresher you are looking for is below.

If your child does choke, you should know how to perform CPR. To become certified in CPR, contact the Red Cross or call 1-800-RED-CROSS. The next best thing is to print out the Red Cross CPR/AED guide (download it here). It’s super easy to follow in a panic and we suggest you keep it somewhere in or near your kitchen.

Newborn/Infant
Perform CPR if the child is not breathing, has no pulse and has lost consciousness.

1. First do back blows

- If a baby is conscious but can’t cough, cry, or breathe and you believe something is trapped in their airway, carefully position them face up on one forearm, cradling the back of their head with that hand.
- Place the other hand and forearm on their front. The baby is now sandwiched between your forearms.
- Use your thumb and fingers to hold the jaw and turn them over so that they’re facedown along the other forearm. Lower your arm onto your thigh so that the baby’s head is lower than their chest.
- Using the heel of your hand, deliver five firm and distinct back blows between the baby’s shoulder blades to try to dislodge the object. Maintain support of the head and neck by firmly holding their jaw between your thumb and forefinger.
- Next, place your free hand (the one that had been delivering the back blows) on the back of the baby’s head, with your arm along the spine. Carefully turn the baby over while keeping your other hand and forearm on the front.

2. Then do chest thrusts

- Use your thumb and fingers to hold the jaw while sandwiching the baby between your forearms to support their head and neck. Lower your arm that is supporting their back onto your opposite thigh, still keeping the baby’s head lower than the rest of their body.
- Place the pads of two or three fingers in the center of the baby’s chest, just below an imaginary line running between the nipples. To do a chest thrust, push straight down on the chest about 1 1/2 inches. Then allow the chest to come back to its normal position.
- Do five chest thrusts. Keep your fingers in contact with the baby’s breastbone. The chest thrusts should be smooth, not jerky. Repeat back blows and chest thrusts.
- Continue alternating five back blows and five chest thrusts until the object is forced out or the baby starts to cough forcefully, cry, or breathe on their own. If coughing, let them try to cough up the object.
- Repeat the chest compressions and so on, until help arrives.

Child (toddler to approximately 7-8 years old, dependent on weight)
Check for alertness.  Tap the child gently. See if the child moves or makes a noise. Shout, “Are you OK?”

- If there is no response, shout for help. Tell someone to call 911 and get an AED (if available). Do not leave the child alone until you have done CPR for about two minutes.
- Carefully place the child on his/ her back. If there is a chance the child has a spinal injury, two people should move the child to prevent the head and neck from twisting.

1. Perform chest compressions

- Place the heel of one hand on the breastbone — just below the nipples. Make sure your heel is not at the very end of the breastbone.
- Keep your other hand on the child’s forehead, keeping the head tilted back.
- Press down on the child’s chest so that it compresses about 1/3 to 1/2 the depth of the chest.
- Give 30 chest compressions. Each time, let the chest rise completely. These compressions should be FAST and hard with no pausing. Count the 30 compressions quickly.

2.  Open the airway

- Lift up the chin with one hand. At the same time, tilt the head by pushing down on the forehead with the other hand.
- Look, listen, and feel for breathing. Place your ear close to the child’s mouth and nose. Watch for chest movement. Feel for breath on your cheek.
- If the child is not breathing: Cover the child’s mouth tightly with your mouth.  Pinch the nose closed. Keep the chin lifted and head tilted. Give two rescue breaths. Each breath should take about a second and make the chest rise. Continue CPR (30 chest compressions, followed by two breaths, then repeat) for about two minutes.
- After about two minutes of CPR, if the child still does not have normal breathing, coughing, or any movement, leave the child if you are alone and call 911. If an AED for children is available, use it now.
- Repeat rescue breathing and chest compressions until the child recovers or help arrives.

Adult
100 beats per minute. Sing a song that goes along with the pace of the compressions (“Stayin’ Alive” by the Bee Gees or “Let’s Get It Started” by the Black Eyed Peas).

 

Newborn and Infant Safety Techniques (1 month-1year)

1. Burping

- Hold the baby with their chin near your shoulder. Support the baby with one hand and gently pat/rub their back with the other to soothe them while allowing their body to stretch out with your hand.
- Sit the baby on your lap with one hand, supporting their chin and pat/rub their back.
- Lay the baby at a slight angle (with their head higher than their chest) on your lap facing you; rub their belly to soothe them while they stretch out their body. We advise this method as a last resort after the above two.

2. Choking

- ONLY if you clearly see and can easily extract the item that is obstructing the airway, take it out. DO NOT stick your fingers down the baby’s throat to try and scoop something out (this can shove it farther down).
- If you cannot see the object, don’t try to find it. Start back blows.

3. Changing a diaper

-  A newborn/infant’s diaper should be changed following each feeding, approx. every 2-3 hours. As child gets older, time frame will vary. Consult parent for schedule.
- Be sure that you put the diaper on correctly- not backwards.
- Dispose of used diaper properly.

Toddler Safety Techniques

- For naps and bedtime: Do not have anything in the crib with them, unless the parent instructs.
- Make sure electrical outlets are covered or inaccessible.
- Always keep one hand on an infant sitting on a high surface, i.e. a changing table to prevent falling.
- If there are stairs in the home, always use a gate.
- Keep your purse and any hazardous household items (electrical cords, medicine, cleaners, art supplies, toiletries etc.) out of a child’s reach.
- Stay with ALL children throughout bath time and never use more than a couple inches of water.
- Always ensure food is broken up into small enough pieces to prevent choking.
- Never administer medicine without the parent’s permission.

Pre K and K Safety Techniques

- Always use a helmet and/or protective pads when appropriate.
- If at a playground, make sure the equipment is age-appropriate for the children you are supervising.
- When crossing the street, choose street corners with crosswalks and make eye contact with drivers prior to crossing in front of them and always hold the child’s hand. Even if they are older, you must guide them across.

Elementary and Up Safety Techniques

- You are their biggest role model. Model safety first! Teach them safety rules for crossing streets, playing at playgrounds, etc.
- Avoid playing on non-impact-absorbing surfaces, like concrete.
- Remove helmets before using playground equipment.
- Keep screen use to a minimum.

1. AED reminders

-  Don’t use AED near water.
- Don’t use while child is wet or in a bathing suit.

2. First aid tips and tricks

- Carry 1st aid Kit with you- band aids, Kleenex, wipes, etc.
- Don’t give kids medicine without parental permission.
- Always use sunscreen in summer.
- Bring water always.

3. Fire safety tips and tricks

- Make sure the home is installed with fire alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. Change the batteries in all detectors every six months.
- Develop a home escape plan with the children and family in case of an emergency. Have two exit routes available. Do a practice fire drill so the children understand where they are supposed to go (make an activity of it).
- There are two types of apartment buildings, fireproof and non-fireproof:
a) A fireproof building is usually a high-rise, so the building is made of concrete, not wood. If the fire is not in your apartment, it is probably safer to stay inside than to enter a smoke-filled hallway. Keep the door CLOSED, and seal the gaps with duct tape or wet sheets/towels. Open the windows slightly. Call the Fire Department. b) A non-fireproof building is usually an older building, has an exterior fire escape, and is made of wood. If the fire alarm goes off, leave the building immediately.

- Children and toddlers have a curiosity about fire. Make sure they are taught to NEVER play with matches and lighters. If a child expresses curiosity about fire, calmly but firmly explain that matches and lighters are tools, not toys.
- Never leave a child unattended in a room with a lit candle.
- Do not use candles if the power goes out. ONLY use flashlights.
- Never use an extension for large appliances.
- Turn off/unplug all space heaters whenever you leave the room. Do not leave children unattended in rooms with space heaters. Never plug in space heaters into extension cords.
- Using a fire extinguisher for a SMALL fire: 1) Pull the pin, holding the extinguisher upright 2) Aim at the base of the fire, from 20 ft. away 3) Squeeze the handle 4) Sweep from side to side.
- Fire extinguishers can only be used ONCE, and must be replaced or refilled after a use.
- Cooking fires/grease fires should NOT be extinguished with water because it will splash the grease and spread the fire. First, turn off the stove. Then use either baking soda or slide a lid over the pan to smother the flame. Do not attempt to pick up/move the pan, and do not take off the lid before a couple of hours.
- Always stay in the kitchen whenever there is something on the stove. Keep pan handles facing inwards in case a child tries to grab at the handle. Ideally, keep pans on the back burners if the children are around.

Note this post was developed and sourced by Bell Family from our training and experience in CPR, First Aid, and Fire Safety through the American Heart Association and from our training with the Fire Department of New York. We also cited trusted blogs for added information. Note this is NOT a training or certification. These are simply helpful tips.

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

Pre-Baby On Call Services

How our on-call services work is we would typically set aside a 1-2 week window for the sitter to be on call around the expecting moms due date. You would then pay the sitter a day rate for all dates she is on call, and then pay her hourly for the date(s) she will be caring for your other children.

We will just need to know the approximate due date and we can begin to schedule around that time.

You will only need to pay for the dates your sitter is on call. If you book dates and you go into labor, just let us know and we’ll cancel the remaining dates. We do have a 24-hour cancellation policy, so if you cancel a sitter’s appointment with less than 24 hours notice you will be charged a $50 cancellation fee. If it is more than 24 hours notice there is no fee.

The family should also provide cab fare to get the sitter home in case of emergency.

Costs

- $75/day that the sitter is on call
- $30/hr when the sitter is with the other 1-2 children (member family rate is less per hour)
- Cab fare before 7am and after 9pm

Contact us today for more information!

What You Need to Know About SIDS

Sorry to be a downer with this article, but we want to make sure everyone is aware of every new parents greatest fear, SIDS.

SIDS is very rare, but such a great fear because we don’t know why it happens. The best way to prevent SIDS is to have your baby sleep on his/her back. Most SIDS cases happen between one to four months, with 90% of all cases happening before six months of age.

 Ways to prevent SIDS:

1. Have the baby sleep on his/her back
2. Sleep in the same room (not bed) as baby
3. Be firm about baby’s sleep spot
4. Choose baby’s bedding carefully
5. Keep baby from overheating
6. Breastfeed as much and for as long as you can
7. Stick to your doctor’s schedule
8. Avoid smoke
9. Offer a pacifier
10. Avoid baby sleeping in a car seat, swing, or stroller for long periods of time

The data for this article was from The Bump.com.

 

Written by our CEO & Founder, Lindsay Bell