Tag Archives: childcare

What You Need to Know About Fevers

Cold and flu season is upon us, and with that comes a classic symptom – fever.

There are a lot of things to know about fevers, and we want to share some must have knowledge before your temperature starts rising.

What temperature is considered a fever?
A fever is any temperature above 100.4. A normal body temperature is anywhere between 97 degrees F and 100.3 degrees F.

Is there such a thing as a fever that’s too high?
There are no magic numbers with fevers. A child with a 104.5 degree fever isn’t necessarily sicker than one with a fever of 100.8. What matters most is the duration of the fever and your child’s behavior once the temperature comes down. In addition, if your child has a fever for more than three days we recommend that they see a doctor.

Are fevers dangerous?
Having a fever is your child’s natural response to fighting infection. Though fevers may feel scary, they are not usually dangerous. Remember, there are medications available to help bring down your child’s temperature so they can be more comfortable.

Should babies always receive medicine for fevers?
You do not have to give your child medication just because he/she has a fever. The fever itself is not dangerous. The reason behind giving them medication is to make him/her more comfortable. If your child has a temperature of 101, but is playing, drinking fluids, and running around, then you can wait and see how they do. If the child seems uncomfortable, it is a good idea to give him/her the medicine so they feel better. Acetaminophen (the active ingredient in Tylenol) can be given every four hours. Ibuprofen (the active ingredient in Advil and Motrin) can be given every 6 hours once your child is over six months of age.

Can fevers give children brain damage?
Having a fever is the body’s physiologic response to fighting infection. Fevers will not “fry” or “melt” your child’s brain. There is a small subset of children who can have seizures with fever; these are referred to as febrile seizures. These events are uncommon and studies have shown many times that fever reducers do not prevent febrile seizures. If your child does have a febrile seizure you should call 911.

When should I seek medical attention?

  • The child is less than 2-months-old and has a rectal temperature greater than 100.4 degrees.
  • He/she has had persistent fevers for more than three days in a row.
  • He/she is very irritable, despite the fever having gone down.
  • He/she is extremely sleepy and you are having difficulty awakening them.
  • He/she is having trouble breathing.
  • You are not sure how to handle the situation (or you feel concerned about your child’s condition).

Remember, treating the fever with a fever reducer will bring down your child’s temperature, but does not take care of the underlying illness. It is likely that once the medication wears off, your child will have a fever again. In most cases, time, fluids, and fever reducers are all they will need to get back to their normal self.


This blog was repurposed from Premier Pediatrics. For the complete post, click here

The Best Childcare Advice

What’s the best childcare advice? To not feel bad about taking care of yourself!

This mom guilt thing has to be better managed and supported. Aim to find someone that you can confide in! My mom gives the best advice on everything.

Look to get some type of help immediately post baby. My mom spent the first month with me when I gave birth – she acted as my baby nurse. I think every mom needs to have a parent, assistant, sitter, or baby nurse there for the first four weeks. It doesn’t have to be around the clock, or expensive. Especially if you are working or have other kids running around.

Here are some benefits:

1. Helps you recover faster and heal
2. Helps provide support and help with the baby
3. Makes you feel taken care of and gives you someone to talk to if you have questions

Don’t wait! Try to get the process of searching for someone started early to save on stress. And don’t forget to do your research. Some moms could change everything once the baby arrives.

If you get a direct referral it’s much easier. Typically, if the referral is an excellent sitter, or a great judge of character, they will refer someone just as great. Try using an agency or a group of some sort (HINT: Bell Family Company)! If you don’t, you’ll be running your own company (sourcing, vetting, checking references, etc.). Groups or companies know all the rules, and have staff to vet through all of those things for you.

Golden rule: Treat others as you want to be treated. I think this is more important than ever for both the nanny and family. It’s amazing how a nanny that is given a coffee in the morning from her family will be more than willing to take the dog out for an extra walk, or how the family that lets the nanny leave early because she baked cookies for the family for their party that night.

And don’t forget, Bell Family is here to help with making childcare a breeze! Contact us today to book a sitter or nanny!


Written by our Founder & CEO, Lindsay Bell

Hire Your Nanny Through an Agency!

GTM Payroll Services conducted a survey on the advantages to hiring household staff through an agency. The findings of their household employment survey of families and nannies made it clear that hiring a nanny through an agency, rather than using an online job site, saved time, boosted retention, and reduced the stress and hassles of bringing multiple nannies on board over a short period of time.

A family that hires through an agency instead of an online job site will receive a higher quality nanny, spend less time searching for the right match, and will ultimately find a nanny that they’ll keep longer.

The supposed benefit of using an online job site is having a wider selection of candidates. However, 83% of respondents who used an online job site said that the number of responses from unqualified candidates was one of the biggest drawbacks of going online to find a nanny.

See the full article “Why You Should Hire Your Nanny Through an Agency,” for more information on the survey. Also, see this handy infographic that illustrates the advantages for a family that hires through an agency versus an online job site.


This blog has been repurposed from GTM Payroll Services Inc.

Bell Family Teams Up with FDNY

To continue with CPR awareness from last week’s blog on CPR parties, we wanted to share Bell Family’s CPR training partnership with the FDNY team.

On September 6th, Bell Family hosted the FDNY to conduct their quarterly CPR training seminar to our sitters and nannies. The FDNY has been working with Bell Family for over six years, and we always appreciate them taking time out to help us be the best caregivers we can be.

FDNY went over Adult CPR, and had the caregivers practice on dummies. They learned all steps to performing CPR, and practiced chest compressions while humming along to “stayin alive”.

Our Nanny Services Manager, Lauren, then taught Infant and Child CPR, also while reviewing what to do if a child is ever choking, and basic first aid care.

It was a great night for all, and always a great refresher to know what to do in all situations while caring for infants and children.

Bell Family thanks everyone for coming, and we look forward to the next training! For any further information on what was learned, please contact us directly!


Written by  our Nanny Services Manager, Lauren Kruk

A Party with a Purpose

Drownings are the leading cause of death for children under four. What can help reduce this stat? Learning CPR.

Learning CPR is an easy activity that moms everywhere should partake in. There are a number of ways and locations where you can sign-up to learn CPR. Here are a few:

1. Online: if there is no location near you, become CPR certified through an online class.

2. American Red Cross: choose a location, select a class category, and then search for classes near you. They even have a class called Babysitting and Childcare.

3. Local Fire Department: for those living in NYC, FDNY offers free compressions-only CPR classes as part of its ongoing Free CPR Initiative.

What if there was one more way to learn CPR, and it was by having a party. Would you sign-up to learn?

CPR parties have been growing in apartments and homes everywhere. Imagine inviting other moms and friends to your home, along with a certified CPR trainer, and learning CPR right in your living room. That’s the exact idea of CPR parties – learning the life-saving skills of CPR and water safety education in a fast, fun and free environment.

To learn more about CPRParty™, visit their website and checkout their feature from Good Morning America!

CPR Party

Written by our Marketing & Social Media Consultant, Taylor Bell

Inside Scoop on Explore + Discover Early Learning Center

Along Second Avenue in New York City, you’ll come across an organization like no other.  Explore + Discover Early Learning Center is an organization that provides both excellent and unique childcare in the heart of Manhattan. Infants and toddlers will feel right at home as they receive nurturing care, and learn life-long social and physical skills.

Bell Family had the opportunity to talk with the Co-Founder & President of Explore + Discover for a Q&A, to provide a quick guide for families on why this should be their new go-to for childcare.

Q: How does a family apply to be part of Explore + Discover? How much advance time should a family give for the application process? Do you offer all age programs?

Families begin the application process by calling and setting up a time to visit the center. Once the date/time are scheduled, prospective parents (with or without child/children) come in for a visit with our Director and/or Educational Director. This accomplishes a number of important objectives, including but not limited to:

- Giving us an opportunity to learn more about the child and family.
- Allowing us to more completely explain how the program operates, and answer any questions.
- Letting the family see the facility, and the program in action.

We recommend that if a family is considering applying to the program at that point, that they fill out an application and pay the application fee at the time of their visit. This allows the family to be in the queue, and if they should decide to take next steps to join the program, we have their information and are able to move things along fairly quickly.

Advance time is always recommended—we have some families who come to us when they are thinking of conceiving, which is wonderful (and frankly pretty forward-thinking from a family-planning POV).  At the same time, we keep our doors open to families who may not make preparations in advance, and if we can accommodate them, we are happy to!

Q: What does a common day look like for an infant or toddler at Explore + Discover? What kind of activities can they expect to be apart of?

A typical day for a child at Explore + Discover involves a combination of open exploration, thoughtfully planned creative experiences, and careful attention to caregiving routines.

We believe that allowing children time for exploration through free play each day is vital for social and emotional growth. Each classroom environment is designed with the age and developmental level of the children in mind, offering high quality open-ended materials to encourage creative play.

We also offer a variety of open-ended art and musical experiences throughout the week. Art specialists, as well as classroom teachers, plan engaging activities as a creative outlet for the children. Painting, mark making or drawing, working with clay, and collage are just a sampling of the experiences in our art studio.

Many of our teachers play the guitar and each class is visited by the music teachers, where they listen to, and eventually sing along with familiar songs and rhymes. As part of our Music Before Words program, the children are exposed to a variety of instruments. They are encouraged to listen to the sounds, move to the music, and even touch or play each instrument.

A thoughtful focus on caregiving makes Explore + Discover unique. Feeding, sleeping, and diapering routines are looked at as a time for bonding and beginning to encourage independence.

Q: What are some key items you look to teach the children that attend Explore + Discover? Tell us about your mission.

At Explore + Discover, our goal is to set the foundation for children to become lifelong learners.

We encourage them to investigate their curiosities and wonderings by providing an engaging classroom environment and enriching open-ended materials.

We believe that teachers are partners in learning rather than the keepers of knowledge, therefore providing opportunities for exploration, creating, and questioning.

Using the children’s natural interests and developmental stage as a starting point, the teachers design curriculum unique to each group. By the time the children leave E+D, it is our hope that they have developed the self-confidence, problem solving skills, and inquisitiveness needed to navigate the upcoming years of school.

E + D_logo

Written by our Marketing & Social Media Consultant, Taylor Bell

Training Thursday Vol. 9 – Diapering

Welcome to volume nine 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 diapering.

Here are some fast diapering tips to always keep top of mind:

Changing a girl: Wipe front to back, wiping downward. Clean the area well. If you see a rash, consult the parent, or if they instructed, use a diaper cream/ointment on the irritated area.
Changing a boy: The big difference; don’t leave the penis exposed – you may get sprayed! Clean under and around the testicles. Same procedure if you see a rash as above.

Other tips:

1. Secure the baby/toddler safely on the changing table. If the child is old enough to squirm, use the safety belt.

2. Two fingers is usually the rule to test that the diaper is tight enough so that it does not leak, and not too tight that it could cut off circulation or cause discomfort.

3. Make sure the diaper fits properly. The weight range the diaper supports is listed on the box. If you see that it is not snapping securely or seems to tight or loose, you may need a different size.

4. If the baby seems irritated by the wipes being used, try using a cotton cloth with warm water on it to clean the area.

Read here on how to diaper a new baby. Read here on diapering a toddler. The key is to have them distracted (holding a toy, holding the wipes, etc.) while you change them.

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.

Eczema - 2

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.

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.


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!


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.


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.