Tag Archives: caregiver

Positive Affirmations to Inspire Mom

If your calendar alert didn’t go off reminding you that Mother’s Day is this Sunday, then consider this your official reminder.

Mother’s Day is a great time to remind moms everywhere how much they are valued, loved, and appreciated for all of the things they do. It’s important for moms to relax and reflect on all the joys motherhood brings, and appreciate the hard work they achieve each and every day.

With special thanks to Personal Creations, they provided a list of 52 Positive Affirmations to Inspire Mom, in a recent post on their website. This is a great read for moms, not only on Mother’s Day, but all days of the year! Personal Creations also provides some great printable pages to go along with the read.

Happy Mother’s Day to all of the moms out there!

“There’s no way to be a perfect mother and a million ways to be a good one.” Jill Churchill

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Written by our Marketing & Social Media Consultant, Taylor Bell

Know Your Nanny Reference Is Real

We all have a go-to list of questions that we ask on reference calls. It gets really impressive (or sad, not sure) once you’ve reached a point where you don’t even have to look down at the paper for what question to ask next. Then you think, if you can go on autopilot asking these questions, can your reference go on autopilot answering them?

This begs the question, how can you determine if a nanny reference is real? It’s easy for friends to team up, give a false name, and rave about him/her to their potential employer. Today, parents are lucky that there are a variety of ways that they can make sure the references they receive are real. In a recent article published by  Nanny Interview Questions, they discuss how to recognize if the nanny is right for the family, as well as if the family is right for the nanny.

We outlined a handful of the asking questions from the article below:

1. What’s the worst discipline experience you’ve had?
2.
How many nannies have you had?
3. 
How do you plan to support me when I discipline your children?
4.
Do you offer healthcare?
5.
What’s the one thing you’re really looking for in a nanny?

For the full article, “How to Verify a Nanny Reference is Real?” click here.

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Written by our Social Media & Marketing 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.

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Written by our CEO & Founder, Lindsay Bell

Live-In vs. Live-Out Nannies

Greetings, all!

We’re bringing you a blog post courtesy of Tammy Gold, our Nanny Placement Director and Parenting Expert here at BFC. In her recent post, she compares live-in vs. live-out nannies, and talks about some of the best nanny secrets and what she calls “Nannyology”.

Understanding Nannies and How They Work
One day, I received a call from a woman named Alicia, who lived in Connecticut with her husband, John. She had recently given birth to their first child, and with only three weeks left on her maternity leave, she was faced with the task of hiring her first nanny.

“I’m stressed because I have no idea what I’m doing,” she told me.  “I don’t know what I’m looking for, or where to begin. And I’m nervous, because I didn’t grow up with a nanny. I don’t understand nannies, and I don’t even really want a nanny in my house—but I have to go back to work. Can you help me?”

This post is designed to give you an introduction to what I call “Nannyology”—the science of understanding nannies—and to give you crystal-clear picture of what a nanny is and does, what the job actually entails, and how you should and should not approach the relationship. Nannies are human, and just like everyone else, they have strengths and weaknesses, surprising talents and funny quirks, as well as their own needs and expectations. You will most likely never find the “perfect” nanny who flawlessly performs every conceivable task. However, if you follow my hiring process and the strategies for working together (that I will discuss in subsequent posts), you can absolutely find an amazing, real-world nanny who will be a perfect fit for your family.

Live-In vs. Live Out
The first big decision that you will need to make when starting to think about who you want to hire is whether your nanny should be Live-In or Live-Out. A Live-In nanny is one who lives with  the family in their home for some portion of the week, while a Live-Out nanny commutes to  work each day and, after finishing her duties, returns home each night.

Live-In
Live-In nannies are the least expensive kind of nanny because you are giving them room and board as well as a salary. Some Live-Ins go home for some portion of the week, and some stay with their employer’s family full-time because they don’t have another residence. A typical work schedule for a Live-In is five full days and nights on, and two days off each week. If you want additional days and hours, you will need to pay for the extra time. The big advantage of a Live-In nanny is that you know you have round-the-clock coverage for those five days: If you and your spouse both travel for work, you have someone to spend the night; if your child is up all night with a stomach virus, you have someone on hand to help; and your nanny will never be late for work because a snow storm hit or the train broke down.

To have a Live-In, you need to be able to provide them with their own private, furnished bedroom and bathroom, and it’s helpful if the space is somewhat separate from the rest of the family. Live-Ins who drive also typically have a car at their disposal, either for transporting the children or for personal use; they also tend to cost more (average $750 a week) because they are the smallest percentage of nannies and thus are in high-demand. A lot of parents don’t initially like the idea of having someone else living in their home, but Live-Ins don’t necessarily mingle with the family after their hours are done. You want to map out your rules for privacy at the start—for example, do you want the nanny to go to her room at a certain time in the evening? Can she have a lock on her door so the children can’t go to her when she’s off duty? Can the nanny have a friend over or go out at night?—so that everybody is comfortable.

Live-Out
Most nannies are Live-Out nannies who will commute back and forth to your house each day. At an average rate of $15 per hour, they are more expensive than Live-In, and a driving, Live-Out nanny will command $18-$20 per hour or more. In general, Live-Out nannies will have less flexibility in terms of hours and schedules; they will expect to arrive at a certain time, work a set number of hours, and then leave at an agreed-upon time as well. 

There are some Live-Out nannies who occasionally live in—for example, if the parents go away for a week, the nanny may come to stay with the kids, or if the family goes away for the summer, the nanny may live in at the family’s vacation home for those few months. But this is something that needs to be discussed and agreed to by the nanny before you hire her. You should not assume that a Live-Out nanny is willing or able to do Live-In, and I have seen many nanny-family relationships severed because the nanny felt that the pressure of being with the family 24/7—even in a beautiful apartment in Rome—was just too much.

Visit our site to apply for a nanny position today!

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Written by Tammy Gold, Nanny Placement Director &Parenting Expert

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

BFL – Nanny Whisperers

I had a chance to talk with Nanny Whisperer Tammy Gold, LCSW, MSW, CEC, whose book was reviewed recently on these pages. As founder of Gold Parent Coaching, Gold is one of the most sought-after parenting and childcare experts in the country, and is a frequent guest on TV’s Good Morning America and Today.

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From your background in child development, what have you discovered about the importance of quality childcare?

As a therapist who worked with children, and a supporter of Attachment Psychology, I knew that quality childcare is critical to a child’s well-being. Two things occur: First, as a child’s brain is growing and developing (90 percent of brain development occurs by age 3), caregivers can have a large effect on cognitive development. By talking, laughing, engaging with and simply responding to a child’s needs, caregivers literally help create neural pathways in the child’s brain.

Second, according to Attachment Psychology (Dr. John Bowlby) and Psychosocial Development (Dr. Erik Erikson), caregivers literally shape who children become. During infancy and the early years, having a loving, responsive, regular group of caregivers allows babies to become attached to others and feel secure. Erikson describes this as learning “trust versus mistrust.”

Babies who have an uninvolved, unresponsive caregiver lose trust and cannot move through each developmental stage. Every developmental stage requires a devoted and loving caregiver who can stimulate and support the child’s developmental milestones. If the caregivers are not paying attention-often on their phone, unsupportive, or not fostering a child’s ability to play, explore and learn-they hinder developmental advancement.

What are some of the common pitfalls parents fall into when they look for a caregiver?

Parents often rush to hire a caregiver and fail to zero in on the important items. Whether it’s choosing a daycare center, a nanny or a babysitter, parents need to allow themselves plenty of time (ideally 3-4 weeks) so they can outline their needs and make good choices.

Studies show that stress interferes with clear thinking, so if parents are stressed and pressed for time they can overlook qualities they are uncomfortable with-such as a nanny who may be too quiet or a daycare center with not enough staff-because they feel pressure to choose.

Parents also tend to look first and figure out later what they need in a caregiver, which wastes time and causes stress. Parents also tend to push themselves to make their hiring decision during the interview phase, but decisions are best made after conducting daycare trials or nanny trials to really assess if the child and caregiver are a match.

Finally, parents often choose a friend’s or relative’s nanny. But just because a nanny was great with another family does not mean that person-or a daycare location-will be right for their own needs.

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What would an ideal nanny look like?

The ideal nanny is someone who loves children, has a positive and happy attitude, and is receptive and attentive. Parents tend to focus on a candidate’s education (which can be a plus), but a nanny can have little education and still possess the essential skills to promote cognitive development-such as engaging with children, having the patience to handle and support tantrums and disappointments, and most of all, having a flexible and devoted attitude toward the entire family unit. An ideal nanny is never cranky or snappy; as a paid caregiver, nannies must maintain a personal and professional demeanor for a child’s continued well-being.

If a babysitter comes only occasionally to care for children during hours when they are mostly sleeping, parents need not be as discerning about the babysitter’s manner or level of interaction. However, a nanny who comes regularly from week to week must be warm, upbeat, loving and receptive so that the child feels safe, loved and stimulated.

In my book, Secrets of the Nanny Whisperer, I present a detailed, step-by-step process parents can follow to find, interview, hire, and manage a caregiver who is ideally suited to their child and to the family’s needs.

The Wedding Sitter

It may be cold outside, but we’re looking ahead to wedding season! Did you know that BFC offers wedding sitters and kid zones for your big day?

BFC can help whether you need an extra set of hands, confident door greeters, or need us to fully develop a Bell Family Kid Zone. We can assist to ensure your wedding goes smoothly. Our caregivers are extremely professional, and are comfortable playing with kiddies in event t-shirts or black tie attire.

Mom and Ava Wedding

Our Kid Zones are a custom made, interactive kid-only area designed to plug into your family friendly function. Bell Family designs a one of a kind pop-up play center fully equipped with activity stations that engage and empower your guest’s child, arts and crafts corners to further inspire even the most creative minds, princess, safari and fairy land entertainers that will light up their lil’ eyes, movie night when its wind down time and more!

Additionally, our dedicated sitters can tackle any event issue that may arise; we carefully lead a check-in/check-out station, provide custom take home gift bags and provide a level of exclusive service that will wow you and your guests. Our Bell Family Kid Zone is designed to help make your special day an even bigger success!

The Bell Family sitters & staff were such a relief during my wedding. I had sitters at our hotel caring for the lil’ ones & staff to help onsite with my photographer. It really brought me peace of mind on my big day having trusted women there to take care of anything I needed- Jessica, recent bride NYC

Check out more information on how we can transform your event with a Kid Zone or wedding staffers on our website or email us at Info@BellFamilyCompany.com