Tag Archives: mom

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.

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Written by our Marketing & Social Media Consultant, Taylor Bell

New York Baby Show Highlights

At the end of last month, the annual New York Baby Show concluded, where our very own, Lindsay Bell, was a guest speaker.

This year, the event racked up its biggest numbers yet with 5,000 families registered! At the two-day event, both expecting and new moms had the opportunity to walk around the show to discover new products, take in seminars on bump and baby, and check out fun attractions such as the Cannon Step-And-Repeat and the respites (like the DK Reading Rest Stop).

This is a great event hosted every year by New York Baby Show. If you haven’t gone yet, next year is your year!

To see additional photos and coverage from the event, check out their Facebook page!

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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

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

Simple Seven List of Parenting Go-To’s

Bell Family gets a lot of parenting tips, newsletters, event invites, must have product pushes… you name it, it has been thrown at us on a daily basis. As we are sure you like to stay informed (just not over informed), we pulled together a simple seven list of mom groups and newsletter sites that we have found helpful in staying updated with city pregnancy and parenting.

Checkout our list below, and let us know if you have any additions that you love!

Our simple seven list of parenting go-to’s:

1. Cardamom: It’s free to download the app, and you can see local moms to meet up for a playdate.
2. Upper East Side Moms (Facebook page): This is a free group to post anything related to motherhood.
3. Manhattan Mamas Meet Up (e-mail list): You can sign up here.
4. Working Moms of Manhattan Group: You can sign up here.
5. Stroller Traffic: A good site for city moms and newsletters.
6. Big City Moms: Started by two sisters and NYC moms, Big City Moms offers a lot of good events and meet-ups.
7. Well Rounded NYC: Offers urban parenting and modern pregnancy. I like their newsletter!

Written by our Founder & CEO, Lindsay Bell

When to Part Ways with Swaddling

Swaddling a newborn seems to have turned into a form of art. So, for all of the parents out there who want their inner-Picasso to shine, now’s your time!

As for those parents whose art skills don’t go beyond their elementary school coloring book, there’s the thought, “How much longer do I need to wrap my newborn up like a burrito?”

In a recent post published by The Bump, they talk about the best time to stop swaddling your baby.

“Parents should stop swaddling their babies by three or four months. At this time, most full-term infants are acclimated to life outside of the womb and no longer crave the constriction of a swaddle.”

Rest assured parents, the constant swaddling does have an end point! Once the baby has reached the four month milestone, he/she takes to moving around in their sleep. Don’t be alarmed – this is good news, as it gives the baby exercise and helps them develop towards even greater milestones, such as crawling and walking.

For the full article on The Bump website, click here.

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Written by our Marketing & Social Media Consultant, Taylor Bell

Have a Birthing Experience Like an A-Lister

Giving birth to your newborn child is one of life’s most precious things to experience (or so I’ve heard). That doesn’t go without saying that there are some not so precious things that occur during labor. To spare everyone of all the glorious details, let’s instead talk about how giving birth can be one of the most luxurious experiences of your life!

You’ve heard it here first; labor can be an experience where you feel like a queen, and it may leave you never wanting to leave that hospital room again.

In an article published by parents.com, they introduce some of the most luxurious birthing suites in the US. That’s right ladies, think spa treatments, 24-hour concierge service, and a private chef! It’s time to leave the roommate life behind, and experience a birthing experience as Amal Clooney would.

  1. Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center
    Birthing suites are designed to look like the outdoors! Oh yeah, your food is delivered by a tuxedo-wearing “food ambassador.”
  2. Rose Medical Center in Denver
    Birthing rooms have private bathrooms with Jacuzzi bathtubs, rocking chairs, and flat-screen TVs. To be totally low key, VIPs can enter one of the luxury suites, and be offered the services of a private chef.
  3. Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles
    If a three-room suite isn’t enough, mom can treat herself to an in-suite manicure, pedicure, or haircut. Celebs like Kourtney Kardashian, Rachel Zoe, and Victoria Beckham have given birth here, so start planning your totally casual celeb run-in now.
  4. The Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City
    Enjoy your luxury suite overlooking Central Park and have your newborn wrapped in muslin cotton swaddling blankets. And no mom leaves without a postpartum massage!
  5. The Women’s & Children’s Hospital at Centennial in Nashville
    How about a 24/7 concierge service to handle your requests? From making sure your car gets an oil change to delivering food from Nashville-area restaurants – can we say VIP?

 

We provided the top five luxurious birthing suites. For the remaining five you can read the full article, here.

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Written by our Marketing & Social Media Coordinator, Taylor Bell

Lessons Mothers Should Teach Their Daugthers

Think about some of the lessons your mother taught you while you were growing up. Do you teach those same lessons to your daughter?

It’s something that is very interesting to think about. I look back at my upbringing and the lessons my mother has taught me, and I wonder if these same lessons were taught to her by her mother, and her mother before that. Just when, and how long has this lesson been apart of the family?

I recently read a post through Big City Moms that touches on this subject. They present 31 lessons that all mothers should teach their daughters, and it makes for a great read!

Below are some of the important lessons moms hope to impart on their daughters:

  1. “That she is beloved and precious…worthy of respect and love.” — Kristel Acevedo 
  2. “That in life you will have smiles, tears, good and bad days, so always have a plan to go to, but to laugh more and don’t sweat the small stuff. Be proud of who you are.” — Sheila Bohnett
  3. “To be content, secure, and kind.” — Meg H.R.
  4. “Always know your worth.” — Amy Fraser Tackabury
  5. “The same message my parents instilled in me: to have the confidence to pursue your dreams and work hard, and your parents will always be there to support you, no matter what.” — Joy Symonds
  6. “It is not your job to make people happy. You can do nothing about how other people feel, only your response is up to you.” — Jessica Lemmons
  7. “To know that if Jesus walked this earth (as GOD) and couldn’t keep everyone happy, there is no way we as mere humans could. And it isn’t our job. Find what it is that you were made for and go for it!!! And to not take frustrations and stress out on your body but to love your body. You only get one!” — Bonnie Byrd
  8. “The friends you choose will play a big part in who you become so surround yourself with people you admire. And love yourself, imperfections and all.” — Tasha Newcomb
  9. “The “handyman” skills my mom learned from her mom and in turn taught me. I love being able to fix, build, and install things myself! Dated a bit, but my grandma told my mom “when it breaks, your husband will probably be at work, and when he gets home, he’ll be too tired. So your best bet is fixing it yourself.” — Sarah Huston
  10. “That her stubbornness will take her great places in life, if only she uses it the right way.” — Laura Delagarza Gruenwald

 

For the full list, check out the Big City Moms website!

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Written by our Marketing & Social Media Coordinator, Taylor Bell

Top Baby Names for Bell Family

When you or someone you know is expecting, how many baby name lists will you admit to look at? There are so many sources to go to now for baby name inspiration. Pampers offers an impressive “Baby Name Generator Tool”, Parenting.com provides a search engine along with several sub categories (historical, unique, pop culture, etc.),  not to mention the countless magazines and books that give you thousands of suggestions.

Our families at Bell Family continue to grow, and that means our list of baby names is too. Below, you can find some of the top names amongst our families from the past year. No thanks necessary for giving you another resource to help mix up your list that you (almost) narrowed down.

Top boy names:
1. William
2. Conrad
3. Sebastian
4. Bedford
5. Weston
6. Alexander
7. Luke
8. Harrison
9. Griffin
10. Colton

Top girl names:
1. Charlotte
2. Clara
3. Shannon
4. Louisa
5. Sophie
6. Eleanor
7. Lucie
8. Mia
9. Skylar
10. Annabel

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Written by our Marketing & Social Media Coordinator, Taylor Bell 

Get to Know Maternity Mentors

Maternity Mentors is a program designed to help parents navigate life’s greatest challenge through tailored sessions, e-communications, and classes to help mentor new parents.

We recently had the opportunity to talk to Millie Gillon, the face and creator behind Maternity Mentors. Read below to learn more about her and the impressive guidance offered by Maternity Mentors.

Q: You mentioned you spent countless hours researching online boards, articles, mom’s groups, medical journals, etc. What resources helped you the most to answer your new mom questions?

A: CDC, American Medical Association, and combining information from countless blogs, boards, and articles around topics ranging from postpartum care, cloth diapers, to first foods, educational development, and beyond. I feel like I earned a PhD. in new parenthood from all of the research I did during late night nursing sessions. 

Q: Why should moms turn to Maternity Mentors as a trusted resource? What sets you apart from an expecting mom’s network?

A: Maternity Mentors is an experienced resource that works 1 on 1 with expectant moms to deliver the best resource for all maternity issues. The mom’s network is composed of mainly mothers’ first hand accounts, whereas Maternity Mentors is a combination of experiential and clinical resources to help.

Q: Why is having a mentor during pregnancy so important? Does Maternity Mentors stay with the mom throughout the entire pregnancy? Can a mom turn to their mentor after the baby is born?

A: Most new parents are focused on the labor and delivery experience, but few focus on the intricacies of parenthood beyond countless ads focused on buying merchandise that they really do not need. A mother about to go into labor is vulnerable from experience. While there are plenty of resources she can turn to (friends, family), none are directly committed to new parents and the baby/babies. The mentorship experience is about focusing on the new parent(s), and baby’s wellbeing.