Tag Archives: babysitter

Weekend with a Toddler

A couple weeks ago I journeyed to New York City to babysit my nephew for the weekend. Sadly, I don’t get to see my nephew all too often because we don’t live close by. It’s normally family outings with a dozen people around, and I’m forced to steal him away to spend some one on one time with him. Finally, I have him all to myself!

My sister put him down for his afternoon nap before they left, so I had a couple of hours until the shenanigans began. I made a gesture to my sister earlier on how the stroller could benefit from a wipe down, so that was my first target. The high chair and a few other items followed, and before I knew it, Brooks was up from his nap.

Bottle, snack, and play time consumed our afternoon. Inside play consisted of wheeling around a train, burying him in pillows and him popping out to scare me, and talking all things digger trucks. After that, we made our way to the roof top play area for some fresh air. This consisted of endless running laps and tossing a ball back and forth to support my mission of tiring him out.

We journeyed back inside for dinner and a little more play time. Lastly, it was off to the bath, to the rocking chair for reading, and then to bed.

We spent the morning together and then Mom and Dad returned. It was so great to bond with my nephew and see him play/interact with the things around him. The energy of a toddler is real, if you all haven’t heard already. I was surely tired at the day’s end, but the little rascal made it all worth it.

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Written by our Marketing & Social Media Consultant, Taylor 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

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

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

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.

Painting

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.

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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!

CPR Training Near You

Greetings, all!

Are you in the NYC, Los Angeles, or Chicago areas, and looking to get CPR training? Us at Bell Family did some digging, and here is what we found.

New York

1. Free CPR training through FDNY (Download their “Be 911” free app)

2. HeartStart Training provides certification courses daily that cover infant, child, and adult CPR/AED/First Aid

Los Angeles

1. American Red Cross

2. American Heart Association

Chicago

1. American Red Cross

2. CPR in Chicago (FREE)

3. Chicago Pulse

If you take one of these courses as a BFC prospective sitter, be sure to get proof and send it to our team. Please note, Bell Family does not reimburse for certification or independent training.

FDNY with sitters_edited-1

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

Nanny, Daycare or Nannyshare

Greetings, all!

Deciding what childcare fits best for your family can turn into a long and stressful decision. To sort through the many options available to parents, it’s important to ask yourself questions prior to making a decision. Read below, an article published by Huffington Post, and find yourself ready to make a decision faster than ever.

1. How many hours a day will I need childcare and for which days?

2. How much flexibility do I need? Will there be days I need to leave the child longer? Or will I work part-time some weeks and full-time other weeks?

3. What is my budget? What can I afford to pay?

4. Do I want the caregiver to have a childcare education or specialized degree? Or is experience enough?

5. Do you prefer more individualized care for your child or more of a group environment?

6. What size of a group do you prefer for your child to be in?

a.) For example, do you mind there being 20 other children in a class or would you rather it was a very small class–like 5? Maybe you would prefer your child to be with his/her siblings most of the time and then have play times with other children?

7. Do you need some other help around the house, like doing the child’s laundry or fixing his/her meals?

8. How will your employer handle it if you need to take a day off if the caregiver is ill?

For the full Huffington Post article click here.

Have a great week everyone!
TB

Easy Bite Before Date Night

Greetings, all!

Picture yourself about to head out the door for date night, when you realize you wanted to prep a meal for your little one(s) before the sitter arrived. With only minutes to whip something together, you go into a frenzy thinking about what to make. Today, I’m here to help, by providing five easy bites to make before date night.

1. Crockpot Mac & Cheese
Everyone introduce yourself to your crockpot, because it should be your best friend. It’s also an added bonus that mac & cheese is scientifically proven to be loved by kids. Check out the recipe by Pipp and Ebby here.

2. Breakfast
Is breakfast food always delicious?  Yes, yes it is. Whip together some eggs, toast with jam, and a side of fresh fruit or raw veggies. I also like all the hype behind breakfast muffins. Take a look at a variety of them from Thriving Home.

3. Lasagna Grilled Cheese
Once you see the photo and the simple recipe for this sandwich, you will want to make one for yourself. Consider it your appetizer before you go out.

4. Homemade French Bread Pizza
Try making one off of this impressive list. Quick, easy, and always a crowd pleaser.

5. Chicken and Broccoli
What’s better than chicken and broccoli? How about a 12-minute chicken and broccoli. Take a peak at the recipe here.

Have a great weekend, readers!

Ava_Amelia_eat

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

How To: Ace a Childcare Interview

Greetings, all!

in·ter·view  /ˈin(t)ərˌvyo͞o/
noun
Commonly referred to a meeting between a small group, where one or all feel awkward through a series of random questions that no one in the real world would actually ask you. Most often deals with sweating, nervousness, and filling awkward silences.

Don’t fight it, you have felt some of the feelings listed above in at least one interview in your life. To better your experience in a childcare interview, our coordinator, Ali Sheppard, put together a list of 10 things to know prior to going in. I hope you can redefine my definition of an interview in your next go around.

Good luck interviewees!

1.   Prior to the interview review the Caregiver Sample Interview Questions and the Family’s Job Conditions; you won’t be asked every question, but its good practice to review!

2.   Ask questions about the children; about their personality, interests, do they play sports/play instruments, get to know them better! Do they have any allergies?

3.   Discuss the typical day and responsibilities. Ask questions.

4.   Do not bring up salary in the first interview. The first interview is about the connection, which is the most important factor in finding your family. If the family brings up salary – simply say that you are comfortable with the salary range indicated on their Job Conditions and you are more interested in making sure you and they are a good fit!

5.   Make a connection with the parents, but always engage the children if they are present! Ask about there parenting philosophy and their house rules.

6.   Be open and flexible. Listen!

7.   Be ON TIME. No matter what! Plan for weather and transportation delays. Being late to your interview is never a good sign.

8.   BE professional. NEVER ever get too personal. Do NOT discuss religion, politics or personal problems or other hot topics. Do not over share personal information about yourself.

9.   Dress professionally, but do not overdress! Business casual is a safe bet! A nice top, pants, closed toed shoes and hair pulled back with no tattoos showing, piercings, big jewelry is a great professional look for a caregiver interview.

10.  Be sure to connect with the Placement Coordinator to discuss the position and review any questions prior to the interview.

 

See you all next week!

TB

Infant 411

Hi all!

Here’s the quick 411 on Infant Care. These are tips I’ve learned through my nannying, sitting, and now in house job here at BFC. I’ve pulled together this list from doing much research and consulting with top experts in family and child care. You can also check out the links provided under each tip for videos and additional tips,  with thanks to Baby Center.

TIP 1: Swaddling

  • Lay a blanket on a flat surface like a diamond and fold down the top corner about 6 inches to form a straight edge.
  • Place your baby on his back so that the top of the fabric is at shoulder level.
  • Bring your baby’s left arm down. Pull the corner of the blanket near his left hand over his arm and chest, and tuck the leading edge under his back on his right side.
  • Bring your baby’s right arm down. Pull the corner of the blanket near his right hand over his arm and chest, and tuck the cloth under his left side.
  • Twist or fold the bottom end of the blanket and tuck it loosely behind your baby, making sure that both legs are bent up and out from his body, his hips can move, and his legs can spread apart naturally.

If you’re a visual learner like me, take a look at a short “how to” swaddle video  here.

TIP 2: Bottle Prep and Feeding

  • Rule of thumb is to ALWAYS follow the parent’s directions. Every parent does things differently, so its important to do it their way.
  • You can heat up a bottle in a bowl of warm water or run it under the tap.  Microwaving is not the way to go as it heats unevenly, which can cause hot pockets and lead to burns.

Quick read on bottle basics here.

TIP 3: Changing

  • Always wash your hands before and after diaper changes.
  • Make sure you put on the diaper correctly! Snap is in the back and you pull it forward and around on top.
  • Be sure to use wipes and diaper cream if necessary (per the parent’s request) and wipe ALWAYS DOWN, not up.
  • Never leave a baby unattended while on the changing table.

Because diaper changing is everyone’s favorite activity, catch a short video on it here.

TIP 4: Nap Time

  • Nap time isn’t one size fits all, so make sure to check in with the parents as to how they would like you to handle their little ones down time as every child has a different routine.
  • Some tips: make sure the room is quiet, dark and a comfortable temperature. Be safe by placing the baby on its back and making sure there isn’t anything in the crib they could get tangled up in.

Who doesn’t love a good nap? Interested in becoming a napping expert? Take a look at some additional tips here.

TIP 5: Burping

  • Helping a baby to burp will release air trapped in their stomach, making them more comfortable. It helps their tummy to settle and get them to feed longer.
  •  If a baby is squirming or fussy during a feeding those are signs they may be uncomfortable and it’s time to burp them.
  • There are three common ways to burp a baby: On the chest or shoulder, sitting on your lap or face down across your lap.

Burp tips – yes, we have those! Take a look at the link here.

TIP 6: Playtime and Tummy Time

  • Play and Tummy time is super important for a baby’s development, it helps them to get stronger.
  • Tummy time will help them to learn how to push themselves up, roll over, sit up and crawl.
  • Wait until at least a half hour after feeding to lay them on their bellies.
  • Play with them during tummy time! Rattles, funny faces, toys and talking are a few things that may help them to feel more comfortable during this time.

Tummy time is fun to say. So is watching a video about it here.

See you all next week!

TB

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Written by our in house sitter services coordinator and former full time nanny, Meredith H!