Tag Archives: childcare

Scandinavia House Playing & Learning Center

The Scandinavia House Playing & Learning Center is a hidden gem in midtown east NYC.

First, it’s clean. The toys seem new and the carpets are always well vacuumed for the next day, which is not always the case with free play areas.

Second, it’s cost effective! People can sign up for a membership at $400 per year, and have full access to the play center. Or you can use a trial pass on Saturday’s for $15.

Third, it’s for those toddlers that are walking and up. With padded walls and soft carpet, it’s perfect for new walkers and rolling around.

Finally, it’s a great way to mingle with other moms and nannies.

For more information, checkout their website here.

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Written by our Founder & President, Lindsay Bell

Why Choose Bell Family Company?

Letting a new person into your home to watch your child can seem like a daunting matter. There are so many childcare services out there, but not all of them are a good fit for your family.

It’s so important to be thorough in your childcare search and here is why.

In a recent article published on the CafeMom website, they share a story of a mom who hired a sitter, and then discovered through her online search that she was a felon!

The mom was in a bind when her usual babysitter cancelled that morning, and she had (stay-at-home) work to be done on a deadline. With the family being new to the area they didn’t know anyone else nearby. As a result, the mom turned to a “Sitters and Tutors” Facebook group.

When the sitter (who claimed to be a mom herself) arrived, all seemed normal and the toddler gravitated toward her immediately. The mom soon got back to looking into the credentials of the Facebook group, and those of the girl that was now in her house watching her child. That is when the discovery of the fraudulent babysitter occurred. Upon her further investigation, the mom found out that the sitter only had nine friends, and a profile picture that was a stock image of a fireplace. That made it relevant that her Facebook profile/group was fake, and the identity of the sitter was a mystery.

The mom managed to handle the situation calmly and collectively, and got the sitter out of the house with her not suspecting she was onto her. However, when the mom returned to her computer to Google the sitter, she found her mug shot and read that she was previously arrested for credit card theft.

This story is alarming for any parent to read, and makes it evident that families need to be extra cautious as to where they are seeking childcare.

This is why Bell Family Company is a great fit for your childcare needs:

- Our core mission is to provide the highest quality family care in a convenient & efficient manner.
- Our sitters and nannies are the best in the business and become true, long term role models for your children.
- Our  GoodHire Background Check Process provides parents peace of mind that their little ones are always in great hands.
- Our comprehensive suite of offerings reduces daily stress for today’s busy families.
- We are a licensed, bonded & insured.

Sign up today to be apart of our family, and to have yours in great hands!

Outside-sitting

Written by our Marketing & Social Media Consultant, Taylor Bell

Training Thursday Vol. 6 – Prepping for Outside

Welcome to volume six 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 prep children for the outdoors.

As it gets warmer outside, you’ll need to prepare for outside with the kids!

1. Pack your diaper bag/tote with essentials.
Water bottle or sippy cup, food/snacks, blanket to sit on, bib, sunscreen, wipes/sanitizer, hat for the child(ren), diapers, extra pair of clothes in case of blow-outs/spills.

2. Keep the kids in the shade as much as you can.
This is the best way to avoid sunburn, rashes, or the constant reapplication of sunscreen.

3. Keep yourself hydrated. 
It is important to take care of yourself, as you want to be healthy caring for kids.

4. Keep children away from pools, lakes, or any body of water.
If you are going swimming, make sure the child has the proper swim gear on and sunscreen. Never leave a child near water alone, even if the water is a few inches deep.

5. Be careful with ticks if you go hiking, walk through the woods, or go to the park.
Lyme disease is becoming more prevalent on the east coast. Ticks, which case Lyme disease are very small, and hard to see. Read more here.

Want more tips? Read here for summer safety tips from Parents Magazine.

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.

Eating

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. 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.

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!

Eczema-1

Eczema - 2

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