Tag Archives: sitter

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.

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

Bell Family in Connecticut

Bell Family has been servicing the Greenwich, CT and surrounding southern CT/Westchester County areas for approximately five years. It all started when our families began to move from the city to expand their families.

Greenwich Moms.com’s founder, Layla, recently did a feature on our company and three of our super sitters in the area. Our sitters in the Greenwich area are all college educated, have valid driver’s license, and are experienced childcare providers and LOVE kids!

To read the feature, click here !

We are excited to meet more families, as well as sitters and nannies in the area! If you are interested in joining our group, please e-mail us at info@bellfamilycompany.com.

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Written by our Founder & CEO, Lindsay Bell

Sitter 411

Are you looking for a refresher on caring for children. Here are some helpful posts we have done over the past few months to help guide sitters. It is always a good idea to stay informed and updated on the latest childcare trends as methods do change.

1. Diapering
2. Burping
3. Nap & Bedtime Schedules
4. CPR
5. Bath Time
6. Teething
7. Entertaining Kids
8. Bee Stings, Mosquito Bites and Food Allergies
9. Swaddling 

If you have any questions please contact us! We are always here to support our sitters in providing the best of care.

Ava_pushing stroller

 

Learn to Be a Diapering Master

There are always questions that linger about the proper way to diaper an infant or toddler. We put together some basic rules to keep in mind so the next time it’s time to change, you’ll be taking care of business like a pro!

1. Remove the used diaper and clean between the folds of baby’s skin. Use gentle diaper wipes if the baby has very sensitive skin, or if he/she seems allergic use a wet cloth (with luke warm water).
IMPORTANT: Remember to always wipe front to back.

2. Raise baby carefully by the ankles and slide a clean diaper underneath. The colorful markings should be on the front, facing you. The stretchy tabs are in the back and get wrapped to the front.

3. Close the diaper and adjust the stretchy tabs. Make sure it isn’t too tight or too loose. You should be able to fit two fingers snuggly between the diaper and their stomach.

Top Tips:

Remember it’s important to check the baby’s diaper frequently. Change after every poop, and after every nap or feed (on average this is every three hours).

Cover the baby boy’s penis with a diaper or burp cloth while changing him to prevent getting a surprise shower yourself.

If you start to experience frequent leaks, it might be time to move up to the next diaper size.

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Written by our Marketing & Social Media Coordinator, Taylor Bell

Long-Term Benefits of Babysitting

People saw me babysitting and would tell me that I would be a great mom one day. I always smiled at that comment, which lead to day-dreaming of strolling down 5th Avenue pushing the hippest stroller with a baby of my own.

I’ve babysat a lot in my day… newborns to teens, one at a time, groups, you name it I did it. Obviously I’m an extreme case, which as you can see led me to starting a babysitting company. But it’s not just me who got the real-life childcare experience, it’s my hundreds of babysitters, too.

When I interview each bright-eyed new prospective sitter, I now emphasize how much this trade has better prepared me for motherhood. I always figured it would help, but now living through it I see how beneficial it really is.

One of my former sitters turned working moms, Monica, put it quite perfectly. “In many ways babysitting has made me more responsible and also a little more easy going about how to react to babies. I have a sense of calm when my son is crying or fussy because I’ve seen it before and I know that everything is okay and that it will pass.”

What a relief for her to have already experienced many crying babies; holding him, soothing, bottle prepping, and swaddling him. Monica has cared for many infants while babysitting, making it easy to see how motherhood came with much ease. Sure she said there are challenges each day, but it’s just easier after being a former sitter.

Brittany S. from Ohio is one of six children and has been caring for infants of multiple families for years. She is now a first-time mom to a five-week old boy. She says, “After seeing how different families react to a crying baby, I developed my own method; basically taking the things that worked when I babysat and using them on my own child.”

She is convinced babysitting has helped her to be a better mom. She goes on, “From the minute he was born I felt totally comfortable with taking care of him. There has never been an awkwardness when handling him and I almost feel like I have been doing this all my life.”

She basically has, Brittany started babysitting when she was 10-years old.

I went to see a lactation consultant to make sure my son and I were doing everything correctly, as this was not something babysitting could prepare me for. She shared that many moms come in awkward and nervous with their new bundle, as if they have never held a newborn before. It’s expected to be uncomfortable with something so new and tiny. She noted how she can differentiate new moms who have babysat or have worked in childcare and one’s who have not.

Both Monica and Brittany said how babysitting gave them the opportunity to see all babies are not alike; what works for one probably won’t work for another, and how nice it is to have a collection of nursery rhymes to sing, along with soothing moves that have worked.

I think the general state of calm and alarm is sensed by the baby. One of my past sitters observed a family that kept their baby on a very rigid feeding schedule, regardless if he was full. The baby of course reacted with spitting up and fussiness. The sitter asked if it was okay if she weighed in on the matter (as she has been babysitting for over 10 years and has witnessed this before). The mom said sure, the sitter then suggested feeding less at a time (take breaks) till the baby was full. That caused less spit ups and less fussiness by the end of the day.

How resourceful this sitter is, and how nice it will be when she becomes a mom herself and has all this knowledge in her back pocket.

Another longtime sitter Lindsey S. raves about how babysitting helped her prepare to be a mom. She said babysitting taught her three major things:

1) Babysitting taught me patience. Patience is truly a virtue and as my son becomes older (now almost 20 months); I have learned the importance of being patient and understanding.
2) Babysitting taught me how to be flexible. Boy does your life change when you have a baby of your own! It’s no longer your schedule, it’s their schedule! The ability to adapt to changes in daily routines and situations is so important.
3) Babysitting taught me to be tenacious. To never give up, no matter the situation.

There you have it, the benefits of being a babysitter beyond the special time you get to spend with lil’ ones and making some extra money. Babysitters are moms-in-the-making, and what wonderful moms they will be one day.

SistterMoms

Written by our CEO & Founder, Lindsay Bell

Q&A: Lindsay Bell Teams Up with Gymtime

Our Founder & CEO teamed up with Gymtime for a special Q&A feature on their website. We’re here today to share the post with all of our readers and get everyone’s caregiver questions answered.

Take a read, and then see all of the great programs and events offered by Gymtime!

1. How do you handle holidays with your nanny? Do they get paid time off? Should they be expected to work?

As the family is the employer they make the ultimate decision regarding holidays and PTO.  We help guide them on what is legal and the industry standard.  Holidays should be determined up front in the family nanny agreement upon offer so it is super clear what the paid days off are and the unpaid days.  Paid holidays usually follow the federal holiday schedule. Any working holidays are typically paid at time and a half. Depending on your nanny, she may prefer certain holidays off over others so there is typically room to negotiate what works best for both parties.

2. How do you determine sick days and vacation days?

Vacation and sick days should be determined up front in the family nanny agreement upon offer so it is clear what is allotted. A typical arrangement for vacation days is two weeks off paid; the nanny’s chooses one week and the family chooses one week. That said if the hours are full-time and the nanny is counting on her salary every week, most families will pay her when they take extra vacation days. 

3. What is the protocol for baby number two?

It’s always best honest to be upfront with your nanny upon hire if you plan on having additional children. You want to make certain the nanny you hire is comfortable with multiple children at a time otherwise you may have to do the search again! Typically families will offer a new hourly rate or increase the salary as new children are born. Schedule a time to speak with your nanny about the changes ahead so she feels prepared. 

3. My child will start school in the fall and I won’t need my nanny for the first part of the day, but I don’t want to lose her for the afternoons and early evenings. What do I do?

Very common problem! We have seen families continue to pay the nanny full-time hours to keep her for the afternoon with the kids and change her job description so she is more of a parent’s helper in the morning (helping around the home, errands, etc). It’s important to discuss this with the current nanny and make sure both parties agree to the new duties and discuss the expectations. Some families will cut the nanny’s hours and use her just for the afternoons and then help the nanny pair the job with a new morning position through a friend’s family or through a company like ours. More commonly the nanny begins to look for a new full-time job and the family hires a new nanny that better fits their needs for after school hours. An After School Nanny commits for one school year (typically late August or early September) through mid-June. Depending on the nanny and her availability the family may keep her for the following school year or need to find a new nanny. 

4. I love the idea of a nanny share, but also need my caregiver to have flexibility, as my schedule changes. What do I do?

Really think if you want to go the nanny share route. To make that work, so many things must align with the second family: location, parenting style, do they have pets/is that okay with you, etc. In my experience, nanny shares are difficult to sustain as it involves two sets of parents, their children and one nanny to be on the same page. If you are looking for a short term solution it may be easier. One of the most common requests parents make is wanting flexibility. It sounds great, but a nanny needs a schedule to commit to and should be guaranteed those hours. As she may be able to stay late/start early here and there, she does need her own life, too. And you want her to have that, it will make her happier, healthier and rested for the next day! Remember with a nanny share the other parent in the share will say the same thing ‘ I want flexibility,’ and to make a nanny share work the parents will actually need to be the ones that need to be flexible with one another.

5. How would you suggest giving your caregiver feedback (both positive and constructive)?

All employees need feedback in order to grow and thrive at their job. We recommend setting a date weekly or monthly to check in after a nanny starts with a new family. This will give the time and space to discuss things that are working or need improvement. It’s important to make sure you are available for open communication so you both feel comfortable with discussing sensitive or delicate matters. It’s also very important to meet on neutral turf (not at the house, for example) or around the children. If you have regular check-ins it won’t carry a negative tone and it will feel natural. Write out bullet points before hand if that helps prep you for the conversation. It’s always better to give feedback in person versus email or text. I recommend the sandwich tactic- You want to start with what she does well, then what she needs to improve on then thank her for her willingness, openness and show her that she is appreciated. One of the biggest complaints we hear from nannies is that they don’t feel appreciated by their families. Find ways that show her how much you value her and appreciate all of her hard work and dedication. Remember her birthday or special holidays she celebrates, give her a gift card, a day off, a simple hand written thank you note also goes a long way! 

Lindsay_Brooks

For the full Q&A and to learn more about Lindsay, click here.

How to Create a Caregiver Video, Photo, and Bio

Want to impress families when it is time to interview for that nanny position?

A few great ways is through a short video to show your personality, a bio that captures your super caregiving experience, and a family friendly photo that the parents can show the children.

Here are the steps to follow for a great first impression!

How to Create a Caregiver Video
This is a great way to showcase your personality to prospective families. It’s very easy and can be done on any smart phone. Here are the steps to make a lastly impression in less than 15 seconds! When you are done, please e-mail this to nanny@bellfamilycompany.com.

1. Relax and take your time! This is a quick, easy, and happy greeting! Keep it simple.
2. BE yourself. Make sure the lighting is good and you are looking directly into the camera.
3. Big warm SMILE. Speak slowly and confidently.

Hi my name is _________.
I have _____ years of childcare experience.
I’m looking for a nanny position with a great family. Thanks!

How to Create a Caregiver Photo
Your caregiver photo will be apart of your Bell Family Company Nanny Profile. Please take a picture that shows a bright happy smile, in good natural light. A headshot with just you in the photo is best.

How to Create a Caregiver Bio
Answer these questions and then write it out in paragraph form in first person (see ex. below). Add anything that might be relevant and what makes you unique.  Be as concise as you can. Limit your bio to 1,000 words max.

1. Where are you from?  Where do you live now?
2. How long have you lived in NYC or the surrounding area? Or when are you moving?
3. Did you go to college? Where? What degree/focus?
4. What are your hobbies?
5. Childcare experience?
6. Youngest to oldest ages you have worked with? Preference?
7. Bilingual? Drive? Swim? Passport? Willing to travel? Can you tutor? What subjects?
8. What type of job are you looking for FT/PT/weekends? Live-in/live-out?
9. Are you good at organization? Household management? Personal assistant?
10. Experience with pets? Elderly people? Children with special needs? What kind?
11. Certifications? CNA, HHA, CPR/AED first aid? Baby nurse?

Examples of a Bio
Example 1: Hi my name is Jane Doe and I am originally from Baltimore, MD but currently live in Brooklyn, New York.  I hold a BA in Psychology from NYU. I have been a swim instructor for the last 8 years and have experience working with children with special needs. I have been babysitting for many years and have filled the role as a summer nanny. I have worked with kids ages infant to teen and am extremely confident in my tutoring skills. My best subjects are math and science and I have also tutored kids for the SAT.  Additionally, I am computer/tech savvy and have great office skills. I love to cook and play board games.  I have a driver’s licenses and passport. I love children and am so excited to find a nanny position where I can use my care giving and tutoring experience.

Example 2: Hi, my name is Anastasia “Ana” Belinsky and I am originally from St. Petersburg, Russia but have lived in NY (currently Queens) for the last 10 years. I have been a childcare provider since moving to the US and also come from a large family. I love working with young children and am looking for a long term placement where I can grow with a family. I speak English and Russian fluently. I like to sew, read, and plan outings and play dates. I am very comfortable navigating all of the New York Metropolitan Area and get along well with everyone. I would describe myself as a self-starter, but am also very flexible and happy to follow the guidelines and requests of the family. I have lasting relationships with the families I have worked with and they would describe me as loving, patient, dependable, trustworthy and generous. I have experience working with children that have autism and developmental delays. I love pets, but have mild allergies and prefer to work in pet free homes or a home with hypoallergenic dogs. I am available for occasional weekends and overnights as needed.

Outside of the Box Fun

Are you getting tired of playing the same games or activities when watching the kids? Let’s face it, board games and “go fish” need a dose of resuscitation.

Our Bell Family sitters are helping everyone to think outside of the box with a slew of awesome ideas! Try out one of these fun activities the next time you are watching the little ones.

1. Get cooking: Pretend to own a restaurant and have the child be the chef. Practice using measuring cups and following recipes. Have them repeat the words you use and teach them how to cook and bake.

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2. Play Picasso: Pretend the child is a famous artist making paintings for their museum. Then be the customer in their gallery, view their original artwork, and buy them with pretend money.

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3. Play lifeguard: The sitter is the lifeguard at the city pool and the child pretends to be a grown up at the pool with his little sister or brother.

Swimming

4. Get outside and play town (a Bell family favorite growing up): Get play cars, make traffic stops, have a cop, driver, and have them direct traffic. If someone passes a red light they go to jail! Have a pretend jail.

Ava_car

5. Think outside the box (literally): Get recycled boxes and make a train station or play house. Get construction paper, have the sitter use the scissors and create your own train station with a conductor.

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

Get to Know B2 Events – NYC!

Greetings, all!

We’re bringing you a special Q&A blog post today featuring New York City’s own, B2 Events! B2 Events offers cool and unique activities including arts and culture, fitness, neighborhood excursions, and more for parents and their children to participate in together. Parents, you’ll never again have to ask, what are we going to do today, because B2 has planned it for you!

Take a read at the Q&A, and then see below on how to schedule your next event with B2!

Q: What inspired you and Katy Goldman (co-owner), to create B2 events?

A: While picking wild flowers on vacation with my 9-year-old daughter Lucy, I said to myself, “wouldn’t it be cool to learn the true art of flower arranging?” Then my second thought was, “wouldn’t it be fun to learn this with my artistic daughter? She would be better than me!” Then I started to think of the many types of classes that would be even more rewarding to take with my daughter. Once kids are around 8 years old, all of a sudden you marvel at how capable they are and how they can learn at a level more comparable to your own. I knew at that moment that I wanted to make this idea a reality. I approached the one person who I knew together, we could make this happen.  After recently losing her sister to breast cancer, Allison had been planning unique ideas for special dates with her tween nieces. I knew she would understand my idea and want to help other people create the same memories with their kids.

Q: What are some of the unique classes you offer a parent, sitter, or role model and the child to do during an event or activity?

A: Since these are “one-time” classes, we try and vary our programming so there is something of interest for everyone.  Some of our more unique classes are Fresh Pasta Making, Birdwatching, Walking Tour of the Brooklyn Bridge with the Historical Society, Sneaker Graffiti and Self Defense Workshop. Our most popular classes are The Art of Cake Decorating and Photography 101.

Q: Why is it so important for a parent, sitter, or role model and the tween to involve themselves in learning activities together?

A: Research shows that child development experts have long praised the virtues of shared experiences, especially during the most emotionally vulnerable middle and teen years. Sharing a learning experience creates new positive memories together, and it is this time and bonding together that nourishes this complex relationship between parent and tween age children. Also, parents simply love how easy and refreshing it is to join in on a B2 class! Ariana Stolar, who attended Perfecting Brunch!, with her daughter, said B2 classes helped them relate in a new way. “I wasn’t the authority figure, we were both learning from the chef so it was more like we were peers. Usually I am the one orchestrating and planning everything for my kids. But with this I just showed up, I cooked, I ate and I didn’t even have to clean up.” All in all, it’s an exciting and new way to simultaneously learn with your kids and something parents aren’t privy to with school and drop off classes.

Q: What if a parent wants to have one of you host at a private party? Is that something you offer? How would a mom or dad go about organizing that? 

A: Most of our class and event offerings work well as private parties. Or, if parents are looking to host a cool event just for the kids (i.e., slumber party, birthday, Friday night hangout), we are happy to customize this event. Please e-mail us at info@b2events.nyc.

Take a look at the upcoming events and schedule your next fun activity with B2 Events today!
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Written by our Marketing & Social Media Coordinator, Taylor Bell!