All posts by Lindsay Bell

BFL – Sleep Training

Did anyone read the NY Times article on March 26th about Sleep Training at 8 weeks: Do you have the Guts? Tribeca Pediatrics, one of the largest pediatric practices in NYC, swears by it. They started the sleep training concept at 4 months, then 3, then again at 2 months to prove the theory. Obviously just because one way works for one family, doesn’t mean it works as well for the next. Do keep that in mind!

I’m not sure if I think I will take the plunge at 8 weeks. From my experience as a childcare provider & running a sitter and nanny placement service for nearly 10 years, I believe there is a fourth trimester for both the mother & baby. I’ve interviewed countless mothers during that period, which if you’re lucky is 3 months after the baby’s birth. From the mothers that I have spoke to, they are not ready to let go & it doesn’t seem like the babies are either. I do think the babies sense their mother’s anxiety, so if the mother is upset or nervous or simply not ready, the baby will sense that & react in the same manner.

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However, there is this thing called sleep that we all need. So I completely understand wanting to start at 8 weeks if the parents need sleep as they may have to get back to work and cannot function without it. Talk with your partner on what you are ready for, and then try it out. Just be ready when its go time!

-Lindsay Bell

Happy Holiday Weekend

Happy Easter/Passover weekend! We hope everyone is ready to enjoy some quality family time. Whether you’re hosting lil’ ones or just bringing yours to a friend or family member’s house, we’ve come up with some festive ideas to keep them entertained:


  • -Every kid loves an Easter egg hunt. Don’t be dissuaded by city living; Easter egg hunts can easily be set up indoors with eggs in plants, pots and pans, and centerpieces.
  • -Dye eggs. Make sure to buy a few extra as some might crack while hard boiling them.
  • -Jelly bean counters. Fill a jar with jelly beans, and have kids guess how many are in there. This is a great exercise that will get kids doing some math without even realizing it.
  • -Bring along a craft for the kids table. Some crafts are messier than others, so make sure to carefully choose your craft depending on the age of your children and where they will be. This page is a great resource for ideas.



  • Decorate an Elijah’s cup; you can find a plastic chalice at Michael’s or any craft store.
  • Get kids helping in the kitchen with this simple recipe for matzo haystacks.
  • Check out some great ideas to make your Seder kid-friendly.

WWW- Annie Riley Fashion (Pt. 2)

Annie Riley, BFC Chicago sitter, shares some additional fashion looks for moms. Annie has been featured on WGN Chicago, Fox News Chicago, and Fox Magazine addressing “how to make the most of your wardrobe” and “what styles to look for when shopping.” You can check out some styles Annie shared on our blog last week as well.

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A green cargo pant, blazer, with v-neck tee or sleeveless blouse, and oxfords or flats.


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Grab your favorite white button down, a fun sweater, your distressed, painted, or plain jean with a kitten heel or flat.


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Maxi skirts are easy with a boxier top, loafers or flats, and a long necklace to “grab and go.”



BFL – Baby Bumps

It’s no secret that my husband and I are trying to get pregnant. This has been my master plan since I realized I could have my own baby. It is definitely an inexplicable feeling once you are ready…really ready!

Even though I already feel immersed in the mommy/baby world, I am still constantly learning new things. There are so many resources out there, but one convenient spot I like to get new information from is The Bump. They do a good job of informing, and I like how the content is non-judgmental, just recommendations.Screen Shot 2015-03-30 at 12.03.40 AM

Every woman’s body and life is so different between different stress levels, financial means, hours worked, etc.; I think its fair to say that each woman makes the best decisions for her body and should follow her gut. However, there are some generally accepted practices surrounding pregnancy. I knew when a woman is trying to conceive that she should start taking prenatal vitamins, have one glass of wine instead of two, not smoke, lay off tuna, etc.

Here is a shortened list (because I know you don’t have time to read an epic article, nor do I have time to write it!) of what The Bump recommends paying attention to  as you prepare:

  1. Caffeine in moderation
  2. Don’t smoke. (I don’t know anyone that does anymore anyway…)
  3. Repeat: have one glass of wine instead of two
  4. Keep your weight stable
  5. Did you know there are foods that make you most fertile? This one was my favorite
    -Men: eat ketchup, lycopene is your friend!
    -Ladies: eat spinach, you want lots of folic acid
  6. Make a dentist appointment and keep it!
  7. Be active, but don’t overdo it. Try 5-10 minutes of yoga every morning; even something small helps!
  8. Don’t drink out of plastic bottles (as I have a plastic bottle in front of me)…I just threw it away.
  9. DON’T STRESS!! I have not figured out this solution yet, but I’ll get back to you
  10. High mercury fish-just say no!


-Lindsay Bell Wallace is Bell Family Company’s fearless leader. Lindsay has been a mom-in-the-making since childhood, where she was charged with babysitting her four younger sisters. Lindsay and husband Brad are hoping to add a new member to the Bell Family soon! 

BFL – Annie Riley Fashion

Sometimes being a mom can be equated with less than glamorous looks (think: diaper bags, sweatpants, and sneakers), but we say it doesn’t have to be that way! One of our Chicago sitters, Annie Riley, shares some awesome fashion for moms. Annie has been featured on WGN Chicago, Fox News Chicago, and Fox Magazine addressing “how to make the most of your wardrobe” and “what styles to look for when shopping.” Annie popped in to style five weekday looks for moms:

Day 1: Toss on your favorite dress with a blazer, patterned scarf with a heel or bootie.



Day 2: This is a fun way to layer with a short-sleeved sweater, your favorite blouse, a patterned scarf (pattern on pattern is OK), a skirt with heels or booties.



Day 3: This is a great way to be warm enough with the transition into Spring – pairing a patterned top under a tweed blazer, camel colored pants with a heel or flat.



Day 4: Now that Spring is nearing, you can try this look without tights and just your favorite tall boot or bootie – go monochromatic with an oversized top and pencil skirt.



Day 5: A patterned blouse adds a funky flair with a textured pant and a blazer-pair with a fun earring or necklace, roll up the sleeves a bit with a heel, bootie, or oxford.


-Annie credits her love of fashion and the arts to her Great Grandma Breed. She has carried “Grandma Breed’s” vibrant spirit and passion from her days after school with her grandma into her adult life and career. While obtaining her BA in Psychology at Loyola University, she worked for Anthropologie and the Chicago based Julie Rowland Showroom.  During her studies obtaining her MA in Counseling; Art therapy, she worked at J Crew for 6 years both in Chicago and New York City. While in New York, she styled for J Crew’s Blog and was featured in J-Crew training videos to demonstrate styling tips for other associates. Annie has also worked as a stylist on commercials for Verizon, Yoplait, Mercedes, John Varvatos, and others.  

WWW – Run, Carole, Run!

Today, we are feature BFC’s resident marathon runner, Carole Dempsey.  Carole has been with Bell Family Company for three years, and has really enjoyed meeting other great sitters and families. She’s also passionate about her job as an Associate Buyer at Macy’s in the Fragrance division.  Originally from Maryland, Carole moved to NYC after graduating from Dickinson College 3.5 years ago. She also played basketball all four years in college and still plays during the week, when she’s not training for marathons that is.

We sat down with Carole to hear about how she balances training for a marathon, why she’s running, and more! 

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 Why are you running the NYC Marathon?  

I have run 6 half marathons and always thought I wasn’t interested in doing a full marathon, but it was so inspiring to watch the NYC Marathon last year! There was so much excitement and support for the runners, and it was so cool to see people travel from all over the world to run in the race.

 Why did you choose to fundraise for the Michael J. Fox Foundation?

In recent years, Parkinson’s has affected my family and changed our lives. I never knew much about the disease until a few years ago, and now I feel the need to make others more aware about it. I’ve also never had a charity or cause that I was passionate about until now, and this is such a great organization with a huge support system.

 How do you balance training for a marathon with the other parts of your life? (I.e. family/ friends/ work)

It is extremely difficult, but I just think about how much easier the race will be if I make the time to train. There were a few half marathons that I did not train for, and they were HARD. I do not want to experience that during a 26.2 mile run. Family and friends will be supportive of something that is important to me, so that is what also makes it easier.

 Is this your first marathon? 

Yes, this is my first! And I want to finish this one before I start thinking about the next.

 Many adults want to be physically active, but don’t think they have the time in their days to go for a jog or work out at the gym; do you have any advice?

I struggle with this as well. However, having a marathon, half marathon, 10K, or some goal makes it easier to stay active. I also feel much happier when I’ve been active. When I start to take a week or two off, I feel sluggish, tired, and eat more junk food. And a friend of mine always says, “You never regret that workouts you do, only the ones you don’t.” It is so true! 

Any other comments?

My goal is to raise $5,000 for the Michael J. Fox Foundation, so I have a ways to go and need all the support I can get. Any donation, no matter how small, would be SO appreciated!

You can donate to Carole’s run here:


Good luck, Carole! 

BFL – St. Patrick’s Day in the City

St. Patrick’s Day is a fun holiday celebrated around the world. Everyone loves leprechaun coloring books, green top hats, Lucky Charms, and of course, green food coloring in everything!

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The big to-do in NYC is the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, but there are plenty of other activities as well if you can’t make that!

When in doubt, green food coloring can be added to almost anything to make a festive treat! Enjoy St. Patrick’s Day week!  

BFF- Welcome to the Family!

We’d like to welcome two members to the Bell family: Aubrie and Holly!

Aubrie is our resident free spirit! Originally from the Adirondacks, she graduated with a BA in French, and is BFC’s Operations Manager! She has worked with children of all ages, teaching English to French high schoolers abroad, assisting special needs elementary children in Austin, TX, working with preschoolers in college, and nannying with an UES family. Prior to her big move to NYC last year, she also completed two years of AmeriCorps, as volunteering and community service are big passions of hers. She also enjoys traveling, the outdoors, movies, dogs, and of course, children!

Aubrie (Right) hanging out with Lindsey G. (left)

Aubrie (Right) hanging out with Hannah (left)

Holly is originally from Kansas City, KS; she moved to Upper Manhattan this January (2015) looking for a full time nanny position. She attended undergrad at University of Kansas BSBA – Accounting and later received her MBA at the University of Central Missouri with a concentration in Information Systems . Holly is as sweet as they come! She is also smart, kind, happy and enjoys nothing more than caring for children. During her 18 years as an accountant, Holly spent most of her free time providing childcare for primarily newborn through preschool children. Her role as an on-demand sitter and weekend nanny included the following: soothing & calming fussy babies, meal prep, helping toddlers potty train & changing diapers, serving as an excellent role model for young children, arranging playdates, teaching & coaching games, activities & helping with school work, leading children through bedtime routines and helping as a parent’s helper at events, parties, etc.

Holly is also a former team leader at her church in KS. There she worked every Sunday for 15 years in a classroom with 6-8 children at a time caring for children 6 weeks to toddler aged. There she attended to the emotional and physical needs of the children, helped entertain the children, give them snacks/bottles per the family’s request, etc.

Over the years, she realized that her fulfillment from childcare surpassed the achievement she felt as an accountant, thus she is now fully dedicated to her passion for childcare. She speaks basic Spanish and Sign Language, is CPR certified, has a valid driver’s license (and clear record) and a red belt in tae kwon do! Holly loves scrapbooking, baking, and going to the theater in her spare time. She is naturally nurturing and very positive, and would love to find a great family to work with in NY.

Holly Rogers photo

Welcome Holly!  And welcome back, Aubrie! We’re so happy to have you both on the team.