10 FEEDING TIPS FOR BABY’S FIRST YEAR

(Written By The Honest Company Staff)

Feeding your baby is one of the most fundamental tasks of parenting, but even though we’ve literally been doing it since the beginning of time, it can still be tricky territory. Between breasts and bottles and allergies and obesity and everything else, feeding our children has become a complicated and emotional journey. Today we’re sharing 10 basic tips to hopefully make it a little easier. Bon appetit, baby!

#1: Get ready before baby arrives. You’ve probably read all sorts of books, articles, and blogs and talked to friends, family, and maybe even strangers to learn as much about the tricky business of parenting as you can. But, no matter how well-read and informed you are, life has a way of throwing curve balls. It applies to all aspects of parenting, but for right now let’s talk about feeding. Have a plan or maybe two in mind (will you strictly breastfeed, will you need to pump, will you supplement, etc.), create a support system, and know that it’s okay to figure things out as you go — your child’s needs and your own will evolve over time and unexpected circumstances may arise. Although easier said than done, don’t stress. We promise, everything works out!

#2: Try to breastfeed for at least the first 8 days. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breastfeeding for the first year and we support that recommendation. But it can be an overwhelming commitment for many moms, so we encourage you to take it one step at a time. “The first 8 days appear to be a critical window,” says renowned pediatrician Dr. Alan Greene. “Babies are setting their internal sense of how much is ‘normal’ for them to eat. Too much, or too little can lead to lifelong impacts. Thankfully, breastfeeding typically leads to the right amount and pacing during that first week. You are designed to provide just what your baby needs! With formula-fed babies, you’ll need to be more attentive to not over- or underfeed.” Which leads us to the next tip…

#3: Watch for cues. How can you tell if a baby is getting the right amount? Dr. Greene says your baby will let you know. “Babies are born with a sophisticated internal mechanism for determining just how much they need to thrive,” says Greene. “Healthy babies given the right selection of healthy foods will tend to eat just the right amount.” Your baby should appear satisfied and may even push the nipple out of his mouth. Regular wet and soiled diapers are also a key indicator. Dr. Greene also makes the point that all babies are different and while feeding charts can be helpful, you shouldn’t worry if your child is eating more or less. A happy, healthy baby is the goal, not following rigid guidelines.

#4: Opt for organic. Food grown organically doesn’t contain genetically modified organisms, synthetic hormones and antibiotics, or toxic pesticides. Better for you, your baby, and the planet we live on. Whether you’re breastfeeding or formula feeding, go organic during this unique window of development and vulnerability.

#5: Be vigilant about vitamins. Most women are advised to continue taking a prenatal multi-vitamin while they breastfeed and specific supplements are sometimes recommended for babies and toddlers, too. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends Vitamin D for all infants and Dr. Greene believes supplementation with a children’s multi-vitamin provides “health insurance” during the first months and years of rapid development. Talk to your doctor about your family’s unique dietary needs.

#6: Choose safe baby feeding gear. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has banned the hormone-disrupting chemical BPA from baby bottles and formula containers, but it could still be used in breast pumps or breastmilk storage containers. Regardless, whatever gear you’re using, contact manufacturers to find out what the tools are made of. Give preference to medical grade silicone, stainless steel, glass, and safer plastics like polypropylene (#5).

#7: Start solids when your baby wants to. Your baby isn’t going to place an order, but — again — you should watch for cues. “Babies have unique digestive systems and mature at different rates, so there’s no single best answer for when every baby should start solids,” says Dr. Greene. “Your baby may know it is time before you do! The most obvious sign is a baby that still seems hungry after getting enough milk (8-10 breast feedings or 32 ounces of formula in a day). Your darling may lean forward eagerly or act fussy when you are eating.”

#8: Make baby’s first grain a whole grain. Once your baby is showing interests in solids, offer her a wholesome option. Dr. Greene says, “It’s no wonder that America’s kids are hooked on junk food. For the past 50 years the majority of babies in the United States have been given white rice cereal for their very first bite of solid food. Metabolically, it’s similar to eating sugar.” To combat this bad feeding behavior, Dr. Green launched the WhiteOut movement — and we support him whole (grain) heartedly!

#9: Skip the baby food aisle. Your baby’s first foods don’t always need to come in tiny pouches and jars. They can come right from your refrigerator — and they’ll likely be healthier. Try mashed avocado, banana, or steamed sweet potato. Thin with breastmilk or formula if necessary.

#10: Enjoy! Whether breastfeeding, formula feeding, finger feeding, or spoon feeding, try to enjoy these first magical moments of eating together. Bring positivity and love to the experience to help build a healthy relationship with food.


Breastfeeding Helps Baby Develop Healthy Bacteria

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by Sarah Yang, The Bump

Here’s another benefit to breastfeeding: It helps baby develop healthy bacteria in her gut! A new study in Genome Biology found that breastfed infants had more diverse microbes in their guts than infants who were formula-fed. Now, I know what you’re thinking, “Diverse microbes? Bacteria? Isn’t that bad” It’s not. If baby has a wide range of bacteria in her gut, her immune system will be stronger. Experts say that although the microbes in breastfed babies’ guts were associated with a resistance to antibiotics, their immune systems were trained to cope by fighting off stomach bugs.

In the study, researchers analyzed stool samples from 12 infants (6 were breastfed and the other 6 were formula-fed). They looked at the genetic material in the samples to find the types of bacteria in babies’ guts. Experts believe that more research is needed to confirm the link between breastfeeding and healthier guts in babies, but that this was a good start.

Do you think breastfeeding helps baby’s immune system? Do you or did you breastfeed your baby?


A Secret Jew, the New World, a Lost Book: Mystery Solved

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By JOSEPH BERGER JAN. 1, 2017

It is perhaps the most significant artifact documenting the arrival of Jews in the New World: a small, tattered 16th-century manuscript written in an almost microscopic hand by Luis de Carvajal the Younger, the man whose life and pain it chronicled.

Until 1932, the 180-page booklet by de Carvajal, a secret Jew who was burned at the stake by the Inquisition in Spain’s colony of Mexico, resided in that country’s National Archives.

Then it vanished. The theft transformed the manuscript into an object of obsession, a kind of Maltese Falcon, for a coterie of Inquisition scholars and rare-book collectors. Almost nothing was heard about the document for more than 80 years — until it showed up 13 months ago at a London auction house. The manuscript was on sale for $1,500, because the house had little sense of its value.

But last year the relic caught the eye of a prominent collector of Judaica, Leonard Milberg, when it showed up for resale at the Swann Galleries in Manhattan. It was now priced at more than 50 times what it had sold for just a few months earlier in England. Mr. Milberg consulted a variety of experts, who told him it might be the actual manuscript, and worth as much as $500,000. They also warned him to be careful — the original had been reported stolen.

After a swirl of activity unleashed by Mr. Milberg’s inquiries, and financed by his generosity, the manuscript will be returning to the Mexican archives in March. For now, as part of the arrangement Mr. Milberg coordinated, the manuscript is on display through March 12 at the New-York Historical Society, part of an exhibition depicting the experience of the first Jews in North and South America.

“It is the earliest surviving personal narrative by a New World Jew,” said David Szewczyk, an expert in ancient books of the Americas, “and the earliest surviving worship manuscript and account of coming to the New World.”

The manuscript’s odyssey — from its creation in Mexico to its recent arrival in Manhattan — is a tale laced with intrigue.

De Carvajal was a Jew who posed as Catholic in New Spain, now Mexico, during a period when the Inquisition ruthlessly persecuted heretics and false converts with deportation, imprisonment, torture and grisly public executions.

De Carvajal, a trader, was arrested around 1590 as a proselytizing Jew and, while in prison, began writing a sometimes messianic memoir, the “Memorias,” on pages roughly 4 inches by 3 inches. In it, he called himself Joseph Lumbroso — Joseph the Enlightened. It begins: “Saved from terrible dangers by the Lord, I, Joseph Lumbroso of the Hebrew nation and of the pilgrims to the West Indies in appreciation of the mercies received from the hands of the Highest, address myself to all, who believe in the Holy of Holies and who hope for great mercies.”

The memoir tells how he learned from his father that he was Jewish, circumcised himself with an old pair of scissors, secretly embraced the faith and persuaded siblings to embrace it.

He was freed for a time — possibly so that the authorities could track his contacts with other secret Jews — and finished his autobiography, stitching it together with a set of prayers, the Ten Commandments and 13 principles of the Jewish philosopher Maimonides. Scholars believe he made it miniature so he could conceal it inside a coat or pocket. In 1596, after having been found guilty again of observing Jewish practices, he was burned at the stake. He was 30.

His manuscript, discovered in his clothing, eventually ended up in the National Archives, which by the 1930s was located in a building adjacent to the presidential palace.

How the book disappeared remains a matter of conjecture. At the time, at least three scholars were delving into the atlas-size volumes of the Inquisition’s proceedings against de Carvajal. They have all been suspects of one kind or another over the years. One of them, a historian on the archives staff who was writing a book on the de Carvajal family, accused a rival of the theft. The rival, Jacob Nachbin, a Yiddish-speaking Polish and Jewish history professor who had taught at Northwestern University in Illinois and what is now New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, spent roughly three months in jail but was released for insufficient evidence. Some scholars think his accuser may have actually been guilty.

The whereabouts of the manuscript remained a mystery until its emergence in London. One scholar, Rabbi Martin A. Cohen of Hebrew Union College in New York, said in an interview that he believes he read the manuscript at the Mexican archives in the 1950s while doing research for “The Martyr,” a 1973 book on de Carvajal. Other scholars think it more likely that what he saw was a transcription.

In London in December 2015, Bloomsbury Auctions listed the de Carvajal materials in its catalog as “three small devotional manuscripts.” The catalog did not mention de Carvajal. It described the manuscript as a 17th-or 18th-century work and said it had come “from the library of a Michigan family, and in their possession for several decades.” Timothy Bolton, Bloomsbury’s Western manuscripts chief, said he could not identify the family because “one of the fundamental cornerstones of the auction world is our client’s privacy.”

The subsequent Bloomsbury buyer, described by a Swann official only as a rare-book dealer, brought the manuscript to Swann, which priced it at $50,000 to $75,000. Though some experts value it closer to $500,000, Swann thought the de Carvajal manuscript to be a transcript — a very old copy — not the original in de Carvajal’s hand, and listed it as such in its catalog.

That’s where it was spotted last summer by Mr. Milberg, 85, the Flatbush, Brooklyn-reared owner of a Manhattan commercial finance company who collects Judaica and Irish poetry. He decided to buy the manuscript “copy” and include it in the planned exhibition at the New-York Historical Society, which was to include many pieces from his Judaica collection. Then he was going to donate it to Princeton University, his alma mater.

But experts he consulted, like Ilan Stavans, a professor of Latin American culture at Amherst College, convinced him that it was both authentic and stolen. (One reason Mr. Milberg believes it to be the original: No transcriber, he said, would have bothered to make the handwriting so tiny.)

Swann ultimately pulled the manuscript from the sale, and Mexican curators confirmed its authenticity.

Rick Stattler, head of Swann’s rare-book department, said that when he realized he had de Carvajal’s original, “I actually had the hairs go up on my arm.”

Mr. Milberg told Diego Gómez Pickering, Mexico’s consul-general in New York, that he would try to arrange a return of the manuscript. But he needed a few months so that it could be displayed in New York. Mr. Gómez Pickering agreed.

To avoid any argument over rightful possession, Mr. Milberg agreed to pay Swann’s consignor $10,000 — still a tidy profit. Swann got $2,500 for its trouble from Mr. Milberg. And a dealer who helped him coordinate the transactions, William Reese, received $25,000 for his labors.

Mr. Milberg also insisted that digital copies be made for Princeton and the Spanish-Portuguese Synagogue in Manhattan. He said that highlighting such objects is his way of “getting back at anti-Semitism.”

“I wanted to show that Jews were part of the fabric of life in the New World,” he said. “This book was written before the Pilgrims arrived.”


Taverna Rebetika Greek Music Evening on January 28th, 6pm

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A private event for Anita Rogers Gallery and British American will take place on Saturday, January 28th at 77 Mercer Street, 2N, Soho NY 10012.  There will be live Greek music and dancing from 1930s Greece. Anita is singing with her Rebetiko group "I Meraklides" for the evening.  There is unlimited Greek food, wine and kefi for all guests.

Anita Rogers Gallery is showcasing three Greek-related artists that evening: George Negroponte, Brice Marden and Jack Martin Rogers, who all lived and painted in Greece.

Please RSVP to info@anitarogersgallery.com  Come and celebrate Greece and life and join the Greek and British American communities in Soho, NY.  We will confirm if your RSVP is confirmed. 

Μια μοναδικη βραδυα με Ρεμπέτικα και Σμυρνεικα τραγούδια σας περιμένει στις 28th January  2016 στην "Ρεμπέτικη Ταβερνα", πλαισιωμένη με άφθονη ρετσίνα και μεζεδακια.

Με ζωντανή μουσική και τραγούδια του Τσιτσάνη, Βαμβακαρη και Παπαϊωάννου, που έχουν τραγουδηθεί από τις αξέχαστες φωνές της Μαρίκας Νίνου, της Ρόζας Εσκεναζυ και της Σωτηρίας Μπελλου, θα εντυπωσιαστειτε με την αμεσότητα και την απλότητα που περιέγραψαν την εποχή τους οι πατέρες του Ρεμπετικου.

Οι Μερακλήδες σας περιμένουν
Anita Rogers: τραγουδι
Dimitris Mann: τρίχρονο μπουζουκι-τραγούδι
Vasilis Kostas: κιθάρα -τραγούδι
Beth Bahia Cohen: βιολί και κιθαρα

Warm regards,
Anita Rogers
Director and Founder
Anita Rogers Gallery

www.anitarogersgallery.com


What type of childcare is the best fit for your family?

What type of childcare is the best fit for your family? 

By Ashley Mundt of BAHS (www.bahs.com)

 

As all parents know, there is “one size fits all” approach to pretty much anything related to children. Each child is born with their own temperament, into your family’s unique circumstance, and with varying abilities.

 

Your idea of ideal childcare, like so many other things, will depend on your child, your family, your beliefs, and your needs. What is the perfect fit for one family may be a nightmare for another. There are many things to consider when hiring someone to help look after your kids and offer support to you as a parent.

 

The type of care provider is one of the most important factors to look at. Below are the different types of care providers and what you can expect from each:

 

Babysitter: This type of caregiver is often associated with date nights or occasionally standing in with the primary caregiver isn’t available. Babysitters are typically students or have other full-time jobs. They are great at entertaining your children and keeping them safe in your absence. This is not a caregiver who necessarily understands the full picture of your child or family dynamics or contributes to your child’s development in a meaningful way. Typically babysitters are hired as needed and found through referrals from friends and neighbors. 

 

Mother’s Helper: Sometimes you just need an extra set of hands. Whether it is because you have multiple children going in different directions or you have obligations outside the home, even the most dedicated stay at home moms can need some help. A mother’s helper usually works alongside you and follows your lead. You are still making the decisions about the schedule, meals, and rules and should expect to provide direction and oversight. A mother’s helper typically has a set schedule and can be full-time or part-time. They may expect guaranteed hours each week or might be ok with working a flexible schedule. This type of support is often found through other parents, school referrals, or an agency (more common for full-time positions).

 

Nanny: The most common form of childcare of in-home childcare is a nanny. This is typically a caregiver who works full-time for your family. The education, experience, and abilities vary greatly in this group. A nanny will be more autonomous than a mother’s helper and be trusted to make decisions, take initiative, and be responsible for many child related duties (often including laundry, scheduling classes, and meals). Often, nannies won’t have formal education in childcare, but years of experience with other families or may be a parent themselves. Most nannies work 40-55 hours/week and depend on their salary as their main source of income.

 

Career Nanny: A career nanny has chosen to provide full-time, in home care as their career of choice. They are typically a primary caregiver who spends significant time with their charges. Often they have an educational background in education, development, or psychology. Their experience and knowledge makes them a valuable resource for advice and ideas. They should be able to not only promote and nurture your child’s development, but also articulate the reasoning behind what they do. They will also have previous experience working in private homes and are accustom to taking initiative, anticipating needs, and managing all things kids related. As a professional, They should be capable of contributing to your child’s development in a meaningful way while providing organization, consistency, and fresh ideas to your home. This is their full-time job and they will depend on a set salary (paid on the books) and benefits. These nannies are in high demand and almost always found through quality employment agencies.

 

No matter what type of caregiver is the best fit for your family, its always important to make sure they are CPR certified and passed a standard criminal background and DMV check (if they’ll be driving your child).

 

If you have questions about what type of caregiver will provide the best support to your family, we would love to help. At British American Household Staffing, we specialize in matching experienced, educated full-time nannies with families like yours. For families seeking the highest quality career nannies or more personalized guidance through the process, we offer consulting services as well.


Ashley Mundt, M.Ed, CCLS
British American Household Staffing (www.bahs.com)
Nanny Consulting and Specialized Placements
Caregiver Education
917-975-0364


7 Common Breastfeeding Mistakes That New Mums Make

(http://www.kidspot.com.au/baby/galleries/baby-galleries/7-common-breastfeeding-mistakes-that-new-mums-make)

Most mums want to breastfeed their newborn, but while it seems like it should be a natural and easy thing to do, there are a few hurdles that can trip you up. Here’s what you need to know.

1. WORRYING ABOUT HOW OFTEN YOUR BABY IS FEEDING: Babies don't only feed because they're hungry. Your baby may be feeding more frequently because she's tired, thirsty, upset, overstimulated, getting sick, going through a developmental leap, or just for a bit of skin-on-skin. When you factor this stuff in, it's no wonder she seems to spend days on end with your boob in her mouth!

2. ASSUMING THAT SOFT BREASTS ARE A SUPPLY PROBLEM: Many mothers produce more milk than their baby needs in the early months. Their breasts feel full most of the time and often leak. By around six to 12 weeks a mother’s milk production has usually regulated to match her baby’s needs. At that time her breasts may infrequently feel full and seldom leak, depending on how frequently she feeds her baby. Soft breasts do not mean a mother is not producing enough milk to meet her baby’s needs.

3. WORRYING ABOUT HOW THE LATCH LOOKS: Babies, boobs, mouth and nipples come in a huge variety of shapes and sizes, so it's a little ridiculous that we expend so much energy analysing how a latch looks. Want to know the secret to a good latch? Focus on how it FEELS. You're the mother - if it feels good (as opposed to excruciating) it is good.

4. TRYING TO STICK TO A STRICT SCHEDULE: This may work if our babies only breastfed for nutritional purposes, but they're just don't. Babies use the breast as a pacifier, as a means of calming themselves when the big, bad world gets too overwhelming, and for those mums desperately trying for a 'Feed, Play, Sleep' routine, remember: trying to get a baby to 'Play' after a breastfeed is like trying play a hit the gym after a valium. It's just not meant to happen. Your milk is specifically designed to put that kid to sleep!

5. THINKING THAT EXPRESSING A LOW AMOUNT MEANS A SUPPLY PROBLEM: Some mothers can express a lot, other mothers express less – the truth is expressing is a really poor measure of how much milk you’re producing. A baby feeding on your breast triggers a letdown reflex that helps them get much more from your breast than a pump can. Don’t watch the millilitres in the bottle to figure out if your baby is getting enough to eat, watch the baby and look for things like plenty of wet nappies and consistent weight gain.

6. JUMPING TO SUPPLEMENTING WITH FORMULA: While using formula to supplement your breastmilk can be a necessity for many mothers, there are many more who supplement needlessly. If you'd like to continue to breastfeed, reach out to a lactation consultant before reaching for the bottle.

7. NOT ASKING FOR HELP: This mothering thing is natural, but that doesn't mean it isn't a tough gig. You're allowed to ask for help, you're encouraged to ask for help, so ask for help!

“You’re not alone,” says Jessica Leonard, breastfeeding counsellor for the Australian Breastfeeding Association (ABA). “Our breastfeeding helpline is a 24-hour 1800 number (1800 686 268) where you can be connected to a breastfeeding counsellor who’s qualified in breastfeeding education and who can talk you through any issues you’re having.”

 

 

http://bababynurses.com


What Type of Childcare Is The Best Fit For Your Family?

As all parents know, there is “one size fits all” approach to pretty much anything related to children. Each child is born with their own temperament, into your family’s unique circumstance, and with varying abilities.

 

Your idea of ideal childcare, like so many other things, will depend on your child, your family, your beliefs, and your needs. What is the perfect fit for one family may be a nightmare for another. There are many things to consider when hiring someone to help look after your kids and offer support to you as a parent.

 

The type of care provider is one of the most important factors to look at. Below are the different types of care providers and what you can expect from each:

 

Babysitter: This type of caregiver is often associated with date nights or occasionally standing in with the primary caregiver isn’t available. Babysitters are typically students or have other full-time jobs. They are great at entertaining your children and keeping them safe in your absence. This is not a caregiver who necessarily understands the full picture of your child or family dynamics or contributes to your child’s development in a meaningful way. Typically babysitters are hired as needed and found through referrals from friends and neighbors.

 

Mother’s Helper: Sometimes you just need an extra set of hands. Whether it is because you have multiple children going in different directions or you have obligations outside the home, even the most dedicated stay at home moms can need some help. A mother’s helper usually works alongside you and follows your lead. You are still making the decisions about the schedule, meals, and rules and should expect to provide direction and oversight. A mother’s helper typically has a set schedule and can be full-time or part-time. They may expect guaranteed hours each week or might be ok with working a flexible schedule. This type of support is often found through other parents, school referrals, or an agency (more common for full-time positions).

 

Nanny: The most common form of childcare of in-home childcare is a nanny. This is typically a caregiver who works full-time for your family. The education, experience, and abilities vary greatly in this group. A nanny will be more autonomous than a mother’s helper and be trusted to make decisions, take initiative, and be responsible for many child related duties (often including laundry, scheduling classes, and meals). Often, nannies won’t have formal education in childcare, but years of experience with other families or may be a parent themselves. Most nannies work 40-55 hours/week and depend on their salary as their main source of income.

 

Career Nanny: A career nanny has chosen to provide full-time, in home care as their career of choice. They are typically a primary caregiver who spends significant time with their charges. Often they have an educational background in education, development, or psychology. Their experience and knowledge makes them a valuable resource for advice and ideas. They should be able to not only promote and nurture your child’s development, but also articulate the reasoning behind what they do. They will also have previous experience working in private homes and are accustom to taking initiative, anticipating needs, and managing all things kids related. As a professional, They should be capable of contributing to your child’s development in a meaningful way while providing organization, consistency, and fresh ideas to your home. This is their full-time job and they will depend on a set salary (paid on the books) and benefits. These nannies are in high demand and almost always found through quality employment agencies.

 

No matter what type of caregiver is the best fit for your family, its always important to make sure they are CPR certified and passed a standard criminal background and DMV check (if they’ll be driving your child).

 

If you have questions about what type of caregiver will provide the best support to your family, we would love to help. At British American Household Staffing, we specialize in matching experienced, educated full-time nannies with families like yours. For families seeking the highest quality career nannies or more personalized guidance through the process, we offer consulting services as well.

 

 

Ashley Mundt, M.Ed, CCLS

British American Household Staffing

Nanny Consulting and Specialized Placements

Caregiver Education

917-975-0364


British American Newborn Care: Important advice for finding a qualified and safe baby nurse

www.bababynurses.com

Advice for finding your Baby Nurse/ Newborn Care Specialist

British American Newborn Care provides heavily screened and highly qualified Baby Nurses and Newborn Care Specialists in The United States and United Kingdom, all of whom are known for their incisive knowledge and expertise in the newborn and childcare industries. They recommend the following advice when hiring a Baby Nurse/Newborn Care Specialist (NCS):

 

First and foremost, have a list of questions ready to screen the Baby Nurse or NCS.  Your questions and their answers should be crosschecked with the American School of Pediatrics. Examples are:

 

At what stage do I start ‘sleep scheduling?

Correct answer: Not before 3.5 months- 5 months is recommended
Incorrect answer: From day 1, from 2-weeks, 8-weeks etc.

 

What can I do to help my infant sleep through the night without actually sleep scheduling?

Correct answer: Mum can stand beside the crib but don’t pick the infant up each time he/she cries.
Incorrect answer: Let the infant cry it out. Use feeding as a method to sleep schedule.

 

What are the reasons for colic and what can be administered for it?

Correct answer: There are many reasons for colic - the Mother’s diet (should be low in acid), the infant eating too quickly, food sensitivities on the infant’s side, etc.  Check with the pediatrician before giving anything to the infant
Incorrect answer: Gripe water from my country, advising any kind of medication administration whatsoever

 

We recommend you, the Mother, start searching for a Baby Nurse as early as possible.  Baby Nurses get booked up quickly throughout the year, so the sooner you start searching, the more choice you will have. Baby Nurses on the East Coast are often much more flexible with their schedule and are typically less expensive than those on the West Coast. West Coast based baby nurses (commonly termed Newborn Care Specialists in California) tend to be more professional, hold more certifications, and are often highly qualified. There are many Baby Nurses on the East Coast who match this level of expertise, but we recommend a mother use a trusted agency to ensure the unqualified and potentially dangerous caregivers are extracted from the mix.

 

British American Newborn Care recommends hiring two Baby Nurses to cover the 24-hour shift. This way, neither Baby Nurse is at risk of exhaustion and subsequently becoming unfit to care for your infant. The recommended length of time to keep a baby nurse is from 3-6 months.

This ensures proper transition to a Nanny (nannies rarely have hands-on experience with infants less than 3 months).

 

Interview carefully.  Evaluate certifications (which can include Infant Care Specialist, infant CPR, LPN, LVN RN), years of experience and skill level, and find out if this is somebody you are comfortable with.  The Baby Nurse should support your beliefs, providing they are safe.  Topics to cover include your ideas relating to breastfeeding and formula, sleeping, feeding, development etc.  NO Baby Nurse should try to alter your values or bully you into thinking their way.  If you feel the Baby Nurse is this type of caregiver during the interview process, RUN! Always check certifications and references, and run an all-State and Federal background check.  Finally, Google searching and social media searching is an imperative step all mothers should take.

 

The cost of a Baby Nurse can range from $25-60 an hour, or $350-$1,000 a day.  If you do hire a Baby Nurse for a 24-hour period, a minimum of 4-hours off each day to rest and recoup are required.

 

Lastly and most importantly, listen to your instinct - a mother’s intuition is rarely wrong.

 

Any questions in relation to hiring a caregiver, Baby Nurse or NCS, or any other household help (housekeepers, chefs, managers, personal assistants), email info@bahs.com or call (212) 966-2247 (BAHS)

 

Check out www.bababynurses.com for more details on Baby Nurses and Newborn Care Specialists through British American Newborn Care. 

 

Anita Rogers is the founder of British American Household Staffing (bahs.com), British American Newborn Care (www.bababynurses.com) and British American Yachts (bahsyachts.com).  


4 Things the Most Successful Young Adults Learn From Their Parents

Having worked with young people for decades, here are things a university president says parents should be teaching kids.

By Christina DesMarais for Inc.com

All good parents want their children to succeed, but some kids do better than others after leaving the nest. Paula Wallace, president and founder of the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), has some thoughts on the topic. With locations in Savannah and Atlanta in Georgia, Hong Kong, and Lacoste, France, she has spent four decades working with young people from around the world. Here's her advice on what parents can do to help their kids succeed in life.

1. Teach them to be resilient. Are your children practicing the ability to adapt to change, pivot quickly and otherwise stand strong in the face of adversity? The most accomplished young adults can deal with the inevitable curve balls life will throw them. Wallace suggests helping kids think in terms of improvisational comedy, which involves the rule of "yes, and," a rule she says was integral to her career as an educator and when founding SCAD. Essentially, it's adapting to any situation or dialogue with agreement and then adding something to the story. "When they want to quit ballet or the soccer team, do you compel them to stay with it through to the end? Do you ask them to do difficult chores around the house?" she says. "Grit starts at home."

2. Help them get comfortable with risk. In 1977 Wallace was teaching elementary school when she decided to resign from her secure post and start a college for the arts. Instead of wondering what a 20-something schoolteacher knows about starting a university, her parents invested a small portion of their savings into her idea. Wallace remembers that vote of confidence as an early reminder that even a little bit of help can bring a child's dream to life. "If your children show interest in a strange hobby--even something that sounds a little odd to you--surprise them and jump in with both feet," she says. "Or if your children express a desire to do something daring and unexpected... step aside and let them go for it. Your faith in them will last a lifetime."

3. Push them to engage people outside their immediate social group. Wallace says the most promising college students are those who can engage professors, university guests, and prospective employers with confidence and maturity. She says parents should be helping children find social groups outside high school, including relationships with older and younger people. Ideas for where to foster these connections include church, community theater and volunteering.

4. Practice regular visiting with family, even if it's via FaceTime. The happiest students are those who demonstrate an appreciation for family through consistent communication. Do you find ways to have real conversations with your kids every day? Are you prioritizing the practice of visiting grandparents and listening to their stories? "When I was in college, I called my parents every Sunday afternoon at the same time," she says. "[It] kept me grounded."

http://www.inc.com/christina-desmarais/4-things-the-most-successful-young-adults-learn-from-their-parents.html


Why We Must Lead By Example And Inspire Children To Be Kind To Others

(By Nicola J Rowley for Huffpost Parents)

There I was, sat on a packed Piccadilly tube train at the height of rush hour. All of a sudden as I looked down, I saw an A4 brown envelope wedged between my leg and the glass partition. It contained what looked like important documents. On closer inspection, there were some travel papers including flight tickets. The person who had just vacated the seat, was now long gone but their envelope remained behind. I turned to the passenger next to me and queried what they thought should be done?

Their reply was “just leave them there. It’s nothing to do with us.”

But the tickets were for a flight that was due to leave the UK that same week. I could have ignored it, but I wanted to help. In the moment before I arrived at my destination, I put myself in that person’s shoes. How would I feel if I had left those documents containing my name, email and flight tickets on the tube?

So I took those documents, and when I was home I contacted them, to let them know that everything was in safe hands. We arranged to meet at my workplace and I handed everything over. It was a small act of kindness, which was met with overwhelming gratitude.

“Did I realise what I had done?” And “I was “an angel”. I wouldn’t have gone that far, but it struck me, that whilst I had taken this path, others wouldn’t have done.

They would have kept their heads down, denied knowledge of the envelope’s existence, and not reached out to help that person as I had done. But if we opt for the former, what is the message we’re passing on to future generations?

My efforts made little to no difference to me, but changed someone’s day in a way that was unimaginable to them. His smile when he met me, said it all. And I have to say, it made me feel good and also put a smile on my face too.

Doing something unselfishly for someone else felt like the right thing to do. I believe that kindness can be addictive. Once you start reaching out to people, you realise how rewarding it can be. A simple smile as someone goes about their day can have an incredible impact.

Go on, try it. As this Sunday is World Kindness Day, why not use this occasion as an excuse to look up from your book, to see what is going on around you, and just smile at someone. It is a way of saying hello and reaching out. Who knows what type of day that person has had, or what reaction you will get?

You may well be pleasantly surprised.

I have been heartened by the news of 4 year-old Norah Woods in the US, who reached out to an elderly gentleman whilst grocery shopping with her mum on her birthday. It’s funny how uninhibited we are as children, but as adults we become so wary of letting anyone know what we’re thinking, or are able to act in the same way.

As a result of Norah’s inhibition and her reaching out to Mr Dan, she and her mum now visit the recently widowed pensioner on a weekly basis. That simple act of saying “hello, it’s my fourth birthday today”, has made a world of difference to both of them.

So as we approach World Kindness Day, let’s use Norah’s example as a way to reach out to each other, to not be afraid of the consequences. Help that little old lady who is struggling with her shopping, smile at the taxi driver, or just be kind to someone you know.

But most of all, let’s try and extend being kind to someone, every day of the year.

We’re all here together, and wouldn’t it be much better if we can have a child’s eye view of the world and simply spread some happiness?

 

 

 

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/nicola-j-rowley/why-we-must-lead-by-examp_b_12881972.html

What Type of Childcare Is The Best Fit For Your Family?

As all parents know, there is “one size fits all” approach to pretty much anything related to children. Each child is born with their own temperament, into your family’s unique circumstance, and with varying abilities.

 

Your idea of ideal childcare, like so many other things, will depend on your child, your family, your beliefs, and your needs. What is the perfect fit for one family may be a nightmare for another. There are many things to consider when hiring someone to help look after your kids and offer support to you as a parent.

 

The type of care provider is one of the most important factors to look at. Below are the different types of care providers and what you can expect from each:

 

Babysitter: This type of caregiver is often associated with date nights or occasionally standing in with the primary caregiver isn’t available. Babysitters are typically students or have other full-time jobs. They are great at entertaining your children and keeping them safe in your absence. This is not a caregiver who necessarily understands the full picture of your child or family dynamics or contributes to your child’s development in a meaningful way. Typically babysitters are hired as needed and found through referrals from friends and neighbors.

 

Mother’s Helper: Sometimes you just need an extra set of hands. Whether it is because you have multiple children going in different directions or you have obligations outside the home, even the most dedicated stay at home moms can need some help. A mother’s helper usually works alongside you and follows your lead. You are still making the decisions about the schedule, meals, and rules and should expect to provide direction and oversight. A mother’s helper typically has a set schedule and can be full-time or part-time. They may expect guaranteed hours each week or might be ok with working a flexible schedule. This type of support is often found through other parents, school referrals, or an agency (more common for full-time positions).

 

Nanny: The most common form of childcare of in-home childcare is a nanny. This is typically a caregiver who works full-time for your family. The education, experience, and abilities vary greatly in this group. A nanny will be more autonomous than a mother’s helper and be trusted to make decisions, take initiative, and be responsible for many child related duties (often including laundry, scheduling classes, and meals). Often, nannies won’t have formal education in childcare, but years of experience with other families or may be a parent themselves. Most nannies work 40-55 hours/week and depend on their salary as their main source of income.

 

Career Nanny: A career nanny has chosen to provide full-time, in home care as their career of choice. They are typically a primary caregiver who spends significant time with their charges. Often they have an educational background in education, development, or psychology. Their experience and knowledge makes them a valuable resource for advice and ideas. They should be able to not only promote and nurture your child’s development, but also articulate the reasoning behind what they do. They will also have previous experience working in private homes and are accustom to taking initiative, anticipating needs, and managing all things kids related. As a professional, They should be capable of contributing to your child’s development in a meaningful way while providing organization, consistency, and fresh ideas to your home. This is their full-time job and they will depend on a set salary (paid on the books) and benefits. These nannies are in high demand and almost always found through quality employment agencies.

 

No matter what type of caregiver is the best fit for your family, its always important to make sure they are CPR certified and passed a standard criminal background and DMV check (if they’ll be driving your child).

 

If you have questions about what type of caregiver will provide the best support to your family, we would love to help. At British American Household Staffing, we specialize in matching experienced, educated full-time nannies with families like yours. For families seeking the highest quality career nannies or more personalized guidance through the process, we offer consulting services as well.

 

 

Ashley Mundt, M.Ed, CCLS

British American Household Staffing

Nanny Consulting and Specialized Placements

Caregiver Education

917-975-0364


British American Newborn Care: Important advice for finding a qualified and safe baby nurse

www.bababynurses.com

Advice for finding your Baby Nurse/ Newborn Care Specialist

British American Newborn Care provides heavily screened and highly qualified Baby Nurses and Newborn Care Specialists in The United States and United Kingdom, all of whom are known for their incisive knowledge and expertise in the newborn and childcare industries. They recommend the following advice when hiring a Baby Nurse/Newborn Care Specialist (NCS):

 

First and foremost, have a list of questions ready to screen the Baby Nurse or NCS.  Your questions and their answers should be crosschecked with the American School of Pediatrics. Examples are:

 

At what stage do I start ‘sleep scheduling?

Correct answer: Not before 3.5 months- 5 months is recommended
Incorrect answer: From day 1, from 2-weeks, 8-weeks etc.

 

What can I do to help my infant sleep through the night without actually sleep scheduling?

Correct answer: Mum can stand beside the crib but don’t pick the infant up each time he/she cries.
Incorrect answer: Let the infant cry it out. Use feeding as a method to sleep schedule.

 

What are the reasons for colic and what can be administered for it?

Correct answer: There are many reasons for colic - the Mother’s diet (should be low in acid), the infant eating too quickly, food sensitivities on the infant’s side, etc.  Check with the pediatrician before giving anything to the infant
Incorrect answer: Gripe water from my country, advising any kind of medication administration whatsoever

 

We recommend you, the Mother, start searching for a Baby Nurse as early as possible.  Baby Nurses get booked up quickly throughout the year, so the sooner you start searching, the more choice you will have. Baby Nurses on the East Coast are often much more flexible with their schedule and are typically less expensive than those on the West Coast. West Coast based baby nurses (commonly termed Newborn Care Specialists in California) tend to be more professional, hold more certifications, and are often highly qualified. There are many Baby Nurses on the East Coast who match this level of expertise, but we recommend a mother use a trusted agency to ensure the unqualified and potentially dangerous caregivers are extracted from the mix.

 

British American Newborn Care recommends hiring two Baby Nurses to cover the 24-hour shift. This way, neither Baby Nurse is at risk of exhaustion and subsequently becoming unfit to care for your infant. The recommended length of time to keep a baby nurse is from 3-6 months.

This ensures proper transition to a Nanny (nannies rarely have hands-on experience with infants less than 3 months).

 

Interview carefully.  Evaluate certifications (which can include Infant Care Specialist, infant CPR, LPN, LVN RN), years of experience and skill level, and find out if this is somebody you are comfortable with.  The Baby Nurse should support your beliefs, providing they are safe.  Topics to cover include your ideas relating to breastfeeding and formula, sleeping, feeding, development etc.  NO Baby Nurse should try to alter your values or bully you into thinking their way.  If you feel the Baby Nurse is this type of caregiver during the interview process, RUN! Always check certifications and references, and run an all-State and Federal background check.  Finally, Google searching and social media searching is an imperative step all mothers should take.

 

The cost of a Baby Nurse can range from $25-60 an hour, or $350-$1,000 a day.  If you do hire a Baby Nurse for a 24-hour period, a minimum of 4-hours off each day to rest and recoup are required.

 

Lastly and most importantly, listen to your instinct - a mother’s intuition is rarely wrong.

 

Any questions in relation to hiring a caregiver, Baby Nurse or NCS, or any other household help (housekeepers, chefs, managers, personal assistants), email info@bahs.com or call (212) 966-2247 (BAHS)

 

Check out www.bababynurses.com for more details on Baby Nurses and Newborn Care Specialists through British American Newborn Care. 

 

Anita Rogers is the founder of British American Household Staffing (bahs.com), British American Newborn Care (www.bababynurses.com) and British American Yachts (bahsyachts.com).  


Why We Must Lead By Example And Inspire Children To Be Kind To Others

(By Nicola J Rowley for Huffpost Parents)

There I was, sat on a packed Piccadilly tube train at the height of rush hour. All of a sudden as I looked down, I saw an A4 brown envelope wedged between my leg and the glass partition. It contained what looked like important documents. On closer inspection, there were some travel papers including flight tickets. The person who had just vacated the seat, was now long gone but their envelope remained behind. I turned to the passenger next to me and queried what they thought should be done?

Their reply was “just leave them there. It’s nothing to do with us.”

But the tickets were for a flight that was due to leave the UK that same week. I could have ignored it, but I wanted to help. In the moment before I arrived at my destination, I put myself in that person’s shoes. How would I feel if I had left those documents containing my name, email and flight tickets on the tube?

So I took those documents, and when I was home I contacted them, to let them know that everything was in safe hands. We arranged to meet at my workplace and I handed everything over. It was a small act of kindness, which was met with overwhelming gratitude.

“Did I realise what I had done?” And “I was “an angel”. I wouldn’t have gone that far, but it struck me, that whilst I had taken this path, others wouldn’t have done.

They would have kept their heads down, denied knowledge of the envelope’s existence, and not reached out to help that person as I had done. But if we opt for the former, what is the message we’re passing on to future generations?

My efforts made little to no difference to me, but changed someone’s day in a way that was unimaginable to them. His smile when he met me, said it all. And I have to say, it made me feel good and also put a smile on my face too.

Doing something unselfishly for someone else felt like the right thing to do. I believe that kindness can be addictive. Once you start reaching out to people, you realise how rewarding it can be. A simple smile as someone goes about their day can have an incredible impact.

Go on, try it. As this Sunday is World Kindness Day, why not use this occasion as an excuse to look up from your book, to see what is going on around you, and just smile at someone. It is a way of saying hello and reaching out. Who knows what type of day that person has had, or what reaction you will get?

You may well be pleasantly surprised.

I have been heartened by the news of 4 year-old Norah Woods in the US, who reached out to an elderly gentleman whilst grocery shopping with her mum on her birthday. It’s funny how uninhibited we are as children, but as adults we become so wary of letting anyone know what we’re thinking, or are able to act in the same way.

As a result of Norah’s inhibition and her reaching out to Mr Dan, she and her mum now visit the recently widowed pensioner on a weekly basis. That simple act of saying “hello, it’s my fourth birthday today”, has made a world of difference to both of them.

So as we approach World Kindness Day, let’s use Norah’s example as a way to reach out to each other, to not be afraid of the consequences. Help that little old lady who is struggling with her shopping, smile at the taxi driver, or just be kind to someone you know.

But most of all, let’s try and extend being kind to someone, every day of the year.

We’re all here together, and wouldn’t it be much better if we can have a child’s eye view of the world and simply spread some happiness?

 

 

 

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/nicola-j-rowley/why-we-must-lead-by-examp_b_12881972.html


Parenting Tips: Toys And Educational Tools For Children Aged 0-5

By Tom Willis via Lifehack

Young children grow up fast. The many stages of development they pass through from birth to early school years requires a lot of keeping up and finding new ways to stimulate their curiosity and satisfy their daily needs. As a parent, this duty is a tough but rewarding task. Your child will benefit greatly from the toys and tools within their immediate environment, which, in addition to your emotional support, will help shape their development. Here is a guide to go by for choosing play items that can have a positive effect on a child’s health and mental progress from 0 – 5 years of age.

Toys for Young Infants (0 – 6 Months)

  • Babies like to follow people with their eyes. Bright colours and faces capture attention at this age. Scientific reports on parenting tell us it is common for them to turn their head towards sound, and put things in their hands and mouth.
  • Good learning and development toys include:
  • Toys to reach for, hold on to, suck on, shake, make noise with: baby rattles, shakers, rubber-edged shapes and soft balls (of a size too big to swallow).
  • Sounds to listen to: books with nursery rhymes and lullabies that will also ease them into a healthy sleeping pattern.
  • Items to look at: crib mobiles or playful interactive mirrors that make sounds when pressed or squeezed.

Toys for Older Infants (7 – 12 Months)

Older babies embrace their new-found mobility and have license to bounce, crawl, pull themselves up, and stand. As they grow, they begin to understand their own names, other common words, and objects. These types of toys are beneficial for strengthening larger muscles and joints in the body.

Good learning and development toys include:

  • Toys to play pretend with: baby dolls, puppets, plastic and wood vehicles, such as choo-choo trains and wagons.
  • Items to drop and remove: plastic bowls, large beads, and bouncy balls.
  • Toys to build with: large soft blocks and wooden cubes as part of a set.

Toys for 1-Year- Olds

At this age, a child can walk steadily and climb stairs. They take in stories and begin to say their first words between the ages of 12-24 months. Around this time they also like to experiment in their close environment.

Good learning and development toys include:

  • Board books with simple illustrations.
  • Photographs of real objects.
  • Recordings with songs, rhymes, or simple stories.
  • Items to create with: washable markers, crayons, and paper.

Stimulating a child’s cognitive skills helps them to make sense of their surroundings.

Toys for 2-year- olds (toddlers)

An age for learning language and doing a lot of physical testing such as jumping from heights, climbing, hanging by their arms, rolling, and rough-and-tumble play.

Good learning and development toys include:

  • Toys for building: transportation toys, construction sets, child-sized furniture kitchen sets, chairs, play food.
  • Items to create with: large paintbrushes and fingerpaint, chalkboard and large chalk, and musical instruments.
  • Pop-up books and picture books and with characters.

Encouraging a child to think for itself will increase mental agility and intuition.

Toys for 3- to 5-year- olds (preschool)

As a child’s attention span increases they start to talk more and ask questions. They begin to develop relationships with other children around them and can be held accountable for their actions.

Good learning and development toys include:

  • Toys for solving problems: 20+ piece puzzles, blocks that snap together, and small sorting objects.
  • Toys for pretending: dress-up clothes, dolls with accessories, and puppet theatres.
  • Items for kicking and throwing/catching.
  • Ride-on equipment including tricycle.

Toys that are collectables, particularly stuffed dolls and animal families, inspire children to take up entertaining and kickstart their imagination to invent scenarios and play environments in which they spend time with their favourite items. Such toys are beneficial for strengthening an emotional bond and bringing out character and personality in a child.

(source: http://bahs.com/login.php?/cp/content_publish/entry_form&channel_id=4) 


From Babies to Small Children: The Importance of Reading Exposure

(By Beth Hedrick, Source: Lifehack)

Children as young as 6 months old greatly benefit from being read to. You may not realize your baby is taking it all in as you talk about the pictures on each page, turn each page as they sit in your lap, and read the text to them, but they undeniably are soaking it all in. This is, in fact, a critical stage in your child’s reading development.

The Emergent Pre-Reading Stage

As the child is within the stage of emergent pre-reading (typically from ages 6 months to 6 years), he will listen intently to all of the multiple sounds you make, the words, descriptions of images, concepts of the book and print, and chatter from you. This is a highly critical stage, and more important than many parents of babies realize. Exposure to books and talking through the books effectively sets the stage for his future literacy. This can help your children develop the love for reading.

This is all that needs to be accomplished in this stage, as up to the ages of 4-5 years old, in many children, studies point to the fact that the teaching of actual reading is too early. Granted, there is a small percentage that may begin reading pre-kindergarten, but this is a very small percentage. Exposure is the key in this stage. With daily exposure to print and language from the parent or caregiver, the end of this time in the child’s life will consist of the child “pretend” reading, which is when a child looks at the pictures within a book and retells the story in his own words. He also may be able to answer questions about the book when read to, ask questions he is curious about, or even point to specific words in a book and know what they are. This is usually done with a book that they have been very much exposed to in repeated readings.

The Beginning Reader Stage

In this stage, patience is very essential. All children learn to read at very different rates. Although each stage is variably consistent within the age levels, it is important to understand that each child is unique and will learn at his own pace. Our society has put a lot of pressure on children learning to read very early, sometimes too early, when in fact, they may not be developmentally ready. You must understand different stages of development.

This stage is an amazing stage. Your child will amaze you with their growing knowledge of literacy. Exposing him to pictures and vocabulary will enrich his ability to connect spoken words to print.  In addition to pictures and vocabulary acquisition, teaching them how to listen for phonemes, or specific sounds in each word, is as significant as learning the alphabet. In addition to familiarizing him with the alphabet letters and sounds, simultaneously focusing on his listening of each distinct phoneme in words will aid him in putting it all together. For example, teaching him that the beginning sound in the word “dog” is not the letter “d”, but the sound that a “d” makes. The individual sound is just as important as identifying the letter.

Typically, children are taught to recognize the first sound they hear within words. The beginning sound is then followed by teaching them to listen for the ending sound of words. The medial vowel, or middle sound, is usually the last sound they really connect to a letter. This is why you see many very beginning writing by 5-year-olds with the beginning letter and ending letter, such as the word “dog” may be “spelled” d-g, leaving out the letter “o”.

Incorporating the meaning of stories as well as basic phonics, or appropriate letters of each word, is equally important in learning to read. In these beginning stages of literacy, building a strong foundation is directly related to successful literacy later on. With a strong foundation from the emergent and beginning stages of reading, the child will move forward in their literacy with the guidance of his parents, caregiver, and school teacher.

(http://www.lifehack.org/496742/from-babies-to-small-children-the-importance-of-reading-exposure)

 

#baby #babynurse #nanny #childhoodeducation #newyorkcity #nyc #nycnannies


The Surprising Link Between Spirituality & Fertility

By Dr Julie Von (source: MindBodyGreen http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-27255/the-surprising-link-between-spirituality-fertility.html)

After working with fertility clients for over a decade, I've learned that fertility depends on much more than age, hormone levels, or ovulation windows. Much of what is happening in conception is beyond our mental understanding and falls into the realm of the spirit. By using the tools of the spiritual, we can promote and nourish our fertility.

Spiritual techniques

There are a few simple spiritual techniques that help to balance the endocrine system and promote fertility. Meditation, visualization, and prayer have long been used for calling in a child's spirit. Some cultures use mantras or create songs and music that sweetly lull a spirit to earth from the heavens. These techniques bypass the rational mind and acknowledge that there are systems at work outside of one individual's experience. When the emphasis and focus is removed from a person's analytic mind, several things happen: The nervous system relaxes, stress hormones decrease, and positive feel-good neurotransmitters start to calm and regulate our minds and bodies.

Manifest and reproduce

Limiting belief systems can affect our capacity to manifest and reproduce. But how do you work with a force that hasn't occurred yet like pregnancy? In the current climate of the world, the keys to the sacred are not so obvious. They are hidden in the imaginative and the unseen, the spiritual, if you will. Its messages require developing a meditative and receptive space, so we can have the silence to hear and interpret.

In a recent conversation I had with a brilliant friend, she mentioned that until the mid-1960s, when you asked a women how many children she wanted to have, her answer would most likely be, "G-d knows." Ask the same question now, and most people have very specific numbers, sex and timing planned far in advance. Much of our modern society and culture is based on rational thought. It's not a bad thing, but sometimes it can limit our capacity to understand factors that are outside of our mental comprehension.

Delve deeper

I ask my clients to explore in mediation the person they feel they will be once they have a child. What will change in their life, relationship, and emotional state? Will they feel more complete? More fulfilled? Happy? We delve into these answers, unconscious and fear-based beliefs. We find a way to clear those thoughts and integrate their future self into their present self. It is literally magic! Once we identify the very thing we are externally looking for, we attract it into our life. And along the way, we create a better understanding of our desire and radiance.

Belief systems

Spiritual and meditative tools can also be defensive and protective of your fertility. The words and belief systems of those around us tend to affect us, especially when those words resonate with our deepest fears. Through mindfulness, we can cultivate an awareness of the people and energy in our lives that feel negative and make us doubt the intuitive knowledge of our body. When a person expresses a strong opinion about her experience within fertility that may be at odds with your current psycho/emotional state, step back, put that opinion in parentheses, and try to understand the context without making it your own.

Do not take it personally! Do not take it as law or fact no matter how much social authority they have. Observe the reaction it may elicit and put that into parentheses, too. Spiritual liberation often begins with liberation from language. This is a valuable skill to take into the terrain of fertility.

Using your toolbox

Sometimes the process of deciding to have a child, suffering from loss or infertility, or just preparing for pregnancy creates a feeling of isolation and confusion. It can be challenging to turn the experience into an empowered and healthy one. Using tools that help nourish and build receptive energy such as restorative yoga, meditation, and creativity connect you to the spiritual or unseen aspects of life.

Strengthening this connection provides guidance and clarity when you are faced with challenges. Every challenge we meet in life has the potential to help break us open and promote evolution. Creating a spiritual path within fertility balances the hormonal system and promotes healthy pregnancy.

----

Babynurses.com #babynurse #newborn #fertility #newborncarespecialist #babynurse #children #newmother


Expecting Mothers Should Opt for Pregnancy Friendly Exercises

(Source: Women Health News http://www.medindia.net/healthnews/Women-Child-Health-News.asp)

Exercise during pregnancy has tremendous benefits for the mother-to-be. Expecting mothers should go for pregnancy friendly exercises and should get comfortable maternity gear for working out, suggests an expert.

Yuvraj Randhawa, gym trainer and owner of Health Plus gym (H+), gives an insight on smart ways to exercise safely during pregnancy:  ‘Expecting mothers should go for pregnancy friendly exercises and should get comfortable maternity gear for working out, suggests an expert.’

* Don't lie on your back: Avoid exercises that require you to lie flat on your back, especially crunches after the first trimester. Lying on your back for an extended period could make you feel dizzy as this can decrease blood flow to you and to your baby. 

* Get maternity gear: Comfort and flexibility are must during workouts but the baby bump needs to be accommodated throughout your pregnancy. Look for workout wear that is specifically sized to your times, shoe and measurements. There should be nothing too constrictive, nor anything too loose. Make sure you don't get too warm, as over-heating can pose a threat to the baby. 

* Go for pregnancy friendly exercises: Walking briskly, swimming regularly and parental yoga are all very healthy and easy on baby. Remember that your joints become loose and your center of gravity shifts with pregnancy, so you cannot just scale down your usual routine. Seek out a moderate program that keeps you strong and fit in a relaxed and safe manner. 

* Get more rest than usual: Most expectant mothers need more sitting, napping and relaxing, but if you have got a healthy fitness routine going, you need even more time to recoup. Don't ever keep yourself in overdrive, no matter how much you have got going on or how great your love of working out may be. Keeping yourself fit during this time is a very healthy decision, but it also must be a wise one; listen to your body. 

* Be prepared to modify your routine: You may not be able to keep up that five mile run when you're pregnant, which is totally fine. Hormonal changes during pregnancy make you more flexible and your growing belly can throw off your center of balance, making your standby workouts more difficult. You may need to cut your workouts a bit short (take a 20 minute walk instead) or decrease your speed or resistance.

babynurse.com, #newborncare #babynurse #baby #newborncarespecialist #doula #prenatal #newmother


Common Sense C.P.R.

cpr_baby_2.jpg

British American Household Staffing is now offering a C.P.R. class in collaboration with Birth Day Presence

Common Sense C.P.R. will teach Infant CPR plus Relief of Choking to expectant and new parents, grandparents and caregivers. 
You will learn:

Infant CPR (age 0-11 months). You are encouraged to come while pregnant, but may come after the baby is born.
Relief of Foreign Body Airway Obstruction (Choking)
Taxicab and Car-Seat Guidelines
Extensive Baby Safety Tips

Each student will have a mannequin for ample hands-on practice. Students will leave with helpful handouts to keep at home. Babies who have not yet started crawling are welcome. To sign up: https://birthdaypresence.com/shop/infant-cpr-and-safety-ages-0-1-soho-2/

British American represents baby nurses in New York who are fully trained, vetted with excellent references and certifications.  They help both the parents and the newborn (infant) with development, care, sleep training and feeding.  Some baby nurses have doula certifications.  A high quality baby nurse will work with the infant and parents on sleep training when the doctor deems appropriate timing and the infant is the correct weight. Professional and high quality baby nurses support the mother in areas such as lactation, breastfeeding, lactation, latching and more.  Please contact info@bahs.com for more information regarding hiring a baby nurse in NYC and in the USA and UK.


Infant CPR

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British American Household Staffing is now offering a C.P.R. class in collaboration with Birth Day Presence

Common Sense C.P.R. will teach Infant CPR plus Relief of Choking to expectant and new parents, grandparents and caregivers. 

You will learn:
Infant newborn CPR (age 0-11 months). You are encouraged to come while pregnant, but may come after the baby -infant is born.
Relief of Foreign Body Airway Obstruction (Choking)
Taxicab and Car-Seat Guidelines
Extensive baby infant Safety Tips

Each student will have a baby infant mannequin for ample hands-on practice. Students will leave with helpful handouts to keep at home. Babies and infants who have not yet started crawling are welcome.

Baby nurses and newborn care specialists are trained and certified infant and newborn caretakers.  British American represents baby nurses in New York who are fully trained, vetted with excellent references and certifications.  They help both the parents and the newborn (infant) with development, care, sleep training and feeding.  Some baby nurses have doula certifications.  A high quality baby nurse will work with the infant and parents on sleep training when the doctor deems appropriate timing and the infant is the correct weight. Professional and high quality baby nurses support the mother in areas such as lactation, breastfeeding, lactation, latching and more.  Please contact info@bahs.com for more information regarding hiring a baby nurse in NYC and in the USA and UK. 

Click here to sign up.

*Use code bahscprmaysingle for $25 off to individuals* 

*Use code bahscprmaycouple for $50 off to couples*


New Services Offered at British American

2016 brings a specialized division of British American Household Staffing specifically related to high quality, trained and professional baby nurses and newborn care specialists.  British American Household Staffing has long wanted to provide for a much needed high quality channel for these services in the USA.  We are launching a website dedicated to these professionals and only a select few baby nurses and newborn care specialists will pass our rigorous interview and vetting processes. Baby nurses and newborn care specialists are trained and certified infant and newborn caretakers.  British American represents baby nurses in New York who are fully trained, vetted with excellent references and certifications, which can be rare to find, especially on the East Coast of the USA.  A top quality baby nurse will help both the parents and the newborn (infant) with development, care, sleep training and feeding and bring many other skills to the table.  Some baby nurses have doula certifications and all top quality professional baby nurses and newborn care specialists will be gentle, loving and a supportive presence in the home.  A high quality baby nurse will work with the infant and parents on sleep training when the doctor deems appropriate timing and the infant is the correct weight. Professional and high quality baby nurses support the mother in areas such as lactation, breastfeeding, latching and more.  Please contact enquiries@bahs.com for more information regarding hiring a baby nurse in NYC and in the USA and UK.

The start of a new year brings exciting developments for the British American brand. 2016 will see the launch of two specialist services separate from staffing: Talent Management and Art Consultancy, based in NY, LA and London. More information on our Talent Management and Production branch can be found at www.bahs.com/talent and more information on our Art Consultancy branch can be found at www.bahs.com/art.

If you are an agent, producer or casting director email us at: talent@bahs.com.

If you are an artist wishing to submit your information, email us at submissions@bahs.com.  We specialize in British and foreign artists in addition to US residents and citizens. 

To arrange a consultation at British American for art collection or investment advice, please email info@bahs.com.  We specialize in fine and traditional art.  Our expertise and access spans from emerging and mid-career artists to old masters.

11/9 Event for Alexander Beridze

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On the evening of November 9th, British American Household Staffing hosted an evening dedicated to concert pianist, Alexander Beridze, prior to his debut performance at Carnegie Hall. The evening was attended by a variety of business executives, artists of all kinds, and BAHS employees alike.

An up-and-coming private chef, Eric Post, provided a few select gourmet dishes for the evening, including a squash soup shooter and salmon tartare. The beautiful presentation of each dish was only matched by their masterful preparation.

The true crux of the evening came from the opera performances by mezzo-sopranos Heidi Skok and Anita Rogers and soprano Lydia Dahling. Heidi and Anita  performed “Io T’abbraccio” from G.F. Handel’s Opera Rodelinda. Lydia and Anita performed “Belle nuit, ô nuit d’amour” from J. Offenbach’s Tales of Hoffman.  The audience was captivated by the stunning performances and all  eagerly anticipated Alexander Beridze’s sold out performance at Carnegie Hall on November 12th.

The evening was a wonderful celebration of artistic talent.  British American Household Staffing is thrilled to continue the tradition of supporting the brightest and boldest of New York’s arts world in the European traditional “salon” style setting that BAHS is intent on reviving in New York City .

If you are interested in learning more about our events, please email us at events@bahs.com.


Burnished Heart | An Art Exhibition feat. The Rug Company

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On Tuesday evening, September 23rd, clients, friends, and BAHS employees alike gathered in the loft space at 77 Mercer Street to view artist Bryan Christie's exclusive show, "Burnished Heart." The show was crafted exclusively by Bryan for the event, and jointly sponsored by BAHS and local luxury business The Rug Company. Bryan's selected works comprised some of his finest and most thought provoking pieces, from larger silk on encaustic works to smaller works done on paper.

Potential buyers and art enthusiasts moved in and out of the space from 6:30 PM to late into the night, enjoying fine wines and cheeses sourced from local businesses and stimulating discussion on the nature of Bryan's work. The artist himself was in attendance, giving his unique artistic insight to all those interested parties.

The event was a great success thanks to The Rug Company's great eye for design combined with BAHS's beautiful SoHo loft space. BAHS looks forward to hosting more events of a similar nature in the future.

If you are interested in learning more about our events, please email us at events@bahs.com.


Burnished Heart | An Art Exhibition feat. The Rug Company

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Join BAHS and The Rug Company Tuesday, September 23rd for a night of fine art and rugs. Local artist Bryan Christie will be hanging some of his most dynamic pieces in BAHS's front space, and The Rug Company will be bringing a sampling of some of their finest rugs, all of which will be available for purchase. Wine and cheese will be served. Please send all RSVPs to events@bahs.com. We look forward to seeing you all there!


Art Exhibition: Cannon Hersey’s Silk Route

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British American Household Staffing's first major art exhibition event was a great success, with over 50 potential buyers viewing Cannon Hersey's 22 moving pieces.

Starting at 6 PM, guests started arriving to view the art and mingle with fellow fans of the artist’s work.  Friends, family and British American Household Staffing clients alike gathered to see his new work and hear about the creation process and deeper meaning of all of his culturally provocative work.  7 PM marked the private tour that revealed a cohesive and provoking thought process behind all of his diverse body of work.  Wang Rouying was kind enough to play the piano for the event; at only 13 years old, she performed a complex Rachmaninoff piece. The remainder of the event consisted of some wonderful socialization and discussion about the pieces.

Parenting Tips: Toys And Educational Tools For Children Aged 0-5

By Tom Willis via Lifehack

Young children grow up fast. The many stages of development they pass through from birth to early school years requires a lot of keeping up and finding new ways to stimulate their curiosity and satisfy their daily needs. As a parent, this duty is a tough but rewarding task. Your child will benefit greatly from the toys and tools within their immediate environment, which, in addition to your emotional support, will help shape their development. Here is a guide to go by for choosing play items that can have a positive effect on a child’s health and mental progress from 0 – 5 years of age.

Toys for Young Infants (0 – 6 Months)

  • Babies like to follow people with their eyes. Bright colours and faces capture attention at this age. Scientific reports on parenting tell us it is common for them to turn their head towards sound, and put things in their hands and mouth.
  • Good learning and development toys include:
  • Toys to reach for, hold on to, suck on, shake, make noise with: baby rattles, shakers, rubber-edged shapes and soft balls (of a size too big to swallow).
  • Sounds to listen to: books with nursery rhymes and lullabies that will also ease them into a healthy sleeping pattern.
  • Items to look at: crib mobiles or playful interactive mirrors that make sounds when pressed or squeezed.

Toys for Older Infants (7 – 12 Months)

Older babies embrace their new-found mobility and have license to bounce, crawl, pull themselves up, and stand. As they grow, they begin to understand their own names, other common words, and objects. These types of toys are beneficial for strengthening larger muscles and joints in the body.

Good learning and development toys include:

  • Toys to play pretend with: baby dolls, puppets, plastic and wood vehicles, such as choo-choo trains and wagons.
  • Items to drop and remove: plastic bowls, large beads, and bouncy balls.
  • Toys to build with: large soft blocks and wooden cubes as part of a set.

Toys for 1-Year- Olds

At this age, a child can walk steadily and climb stairs. They take in stories and begin to say their first words between the ages of 12-24 months. Around this time they also like to experiment in their close environment.

Good learning and development toys include:

  • Board books with simple illustrations.
  • Photographs of real objects.
  • Recordings with songs, rhymes, or simple stories.
  • Items to create with: washable markers, crayons, and paper.

Stimulating a child’s cognitive skills helps them to make sense of their surroundings.

Toys for 2-year- olds (toddlers)

An age for learning language and doing a lot of physical testing such as jumping from heights, climbing, hanging by their arms, rolling, and rough-and-tumble play.

Good learning and development toys include:

  • Toys for building: transportation toys, construction sets, child-sized furniture kitchen sets, chairs, play food.
  • Items to create with: large paintbrushes and fingerpaint, chalkboard and large chalk, and musical instruments.
  • Pop-up books and picture books and with characters.

Encouraging a child to think for itself will increase mental agility and intuition.

Toys for 3- to 5-year- olds (preschool)

As a child’s attention span increases they start to talk more and ask questions. They begin to develop relationships with other children around them and can be held accountable for their actions.

Good learning and development toys include:

  • Toys for solving problems: 20+ piece puzzles, blocks that snap together, and small sorting objects.
  • Toys for pretending: dress-up clothes, dolls with accessories, and puppet theatres.
  • Items for kicking and throwing/catching.
  • Ride-on equipment including tricycle.

Toys that are collectables, particularly stuffed dolls and animal families, inspire children to take up entertaining and kickstart their imagination to invent scenarios and play environments in which they spend time with their favourite items. Such toys are beneficial for strengthening an emotional bond and bringing out character and personality in a child.

(source: http://bahs.com/login.php?/cp/content_publish/entry_form&channel_id=4) 


From Babies to Small Children: The Importance of Reading Exposure

(By Beth Hedrick, Source: Lifehack)

Children as young as 6 months old greatly benefit from being read to. You may not realize your baby is taking it all in as you talk about the pictures on each page, turn each page as they sit in your lap, and read the text to them, but they undeniably are soaking it all in. This is, in fact, a critical stage in your child’s reading development.

The Emergent Pre-Reading Stage

As the child is within the stage of emergent pre-reading (typically from ages 6 months to 6 years), he will listen intently to all of the multiple sounds you make, the words, descriptions of images, concepts of the book and print, and chatter from you. This is a highly critical stage, and more important than many parents of babies realize. Exposure to books and talking through the books effectively sets the stage for his future literacy. This can help your children develop the love for reading.

This is all that needs to be accomplished in this stage, as up to the ages of 4-5 years old, in many children, studies point to the fact that the teaching of actual reading is too early. Granted, there is a small percentage that may begin reading pre-kindergarten, but this is a very small percentage. Exposure is the key in this stage. With daily exposure to print and language from the parent or caregiver, the end of this time in the child’s life will consist of the child “pretend” reading, which is when a child looks at the pictures within a book and retells the story in his own words. He also may be able to answer questions about the book when read to, ask questions he is curious about, or even point to specific words in a book and know what they are. This is usually done with a book that they have been very much exposed to in repeated readings.

The Beginning Reader Stage

In this stage, patience is very essential. All children learn to read at very different rates. Although each stage is variably consistent within the age levels, it is important to understand that each child is unique and will learn at his own pace. Our society has put a lot of pressure on children learning to read very early, sometimes too early, when in fact, they may not be developmentally ready. You must understand different stages of development.

This stage is an amazing stage. Your child will amaze you with their growing knowledge of literacy. Exposing him to pictures and vocabulary will enrich his ability to connect spoken words to print.  In addition to pictures and vocabulary acquisition, teaching them how to listen for phonemes, or specific sounds in each word, is as significant as learning the alphabet. In addition to familiarizing him with the alphabet letters and sounds, simultaneously focusing on his listening of each distinct phoneme in words will aid him in putting it all together. For example, teaching him that the beginning sound in the word “dog” is not the letter “d”, but the sound that a “d” makes. The individual sound is just as important as identifying the letter.

Typically, children are taught to recognize the first sound they hear within words. The beginning sound is then followed by teaching them to listen for the ending sound of words. The medial vowel, or middle sound, is usually the last sound they really connect to a letter. This is why you see many very beginning writing by 5-year-olds with the beginning letter and ending letter, such as the word “dog” may be “spelled” d-g, leaving out the letter “o”.

Incorporating the meaning of stories as well as basic phonics, or appropriate letters of each word, is equally important in learning to read. In these beginning stages of literacy, building a strong foundation is directly related to successful literacy later on. With a strong foundation from the emergent and beginning stages of reading, the child will move forward in their literacy with the guidance of his parents, caregiver, and school teacher.

(http://www.lifehack.org/496742/from-babies-to-small-children-the-importance-of-reading-exposure)

 

#baby #babynurse #nanny #childhoodeducation #newyorkcity #nyc #nycnannies


The Surprising Link Between Spirituality & Fertility

By Dr Julie Von (source: MindBodyGreen http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-27255/the-surprising-link-between-spirituality-fertility.html)

After working with fertility clients for over a decade, I've learned that fertility depends on much more than age, hormone levels, or ovulation windows. Much of what is happening in conception is beyond our mental understanding and falls into the realm of the spirit. By using the tools of the spiritual, we can promote and nourish our fertility.

Spiritual techniques

There are a few simple spiritual techniques that help to balance the endocrine system and promote fertility. Meditation, visualization, and prayer have long been used for calling in a child's spirit. Some cultures use mantras or create songs and music that sweetly lull a spirit to earth from the heavens. These techniques bypass the rational mind and acknowledge that there are systems at work outside of one individual's experience. When the emphasis and focus is removed from a person's analytic mind, several things happen: The nervous system relaxes, stress hormones decrease, and positive feel-good neurotransmitters start to calm and regulate our minds and bodies.

Manifest and reproduce

Limiting belief systems can affect our capacity to manifest and reproduce. But how do you work with a force that hasn't occurred yet like pregnancy? In the current climate of the world, the keys to the sacred are not so obvious. They are hidden in the imaginative and the unseen, the spiritual, if you will. Its messages require developing a meditative and receptive space, so we can have the silence to hear and interpret.

In a recent conversation I had with a brilliant friend, she mentioned that until the mid-1960s, when you asked a women how many children she wanted to have, her answer would most likely be, "G-d knows." Ask the same question now, and most people have very specific numbers, sex and timing planned far in advance. Much of our modern society and culture is based on rational thought. It's not a bad thing, but sometimes it can limit our capacity to understand factors that are outside of our mental comprehension.

Delve deeper

I ask my clients to explore in mediation the person they feel they will be once they have a child. What will change in their life, relationship, and emotional state? Will they feel more complete? More fulfilled? Happy? We delve into these answers, unconscious and fear-based beliefs. We find a way to clear those thoughts and integrate their future self into their present self. It is literally magic! Once we identify the very thing we are externally looking for, we attract it into our life. And along the way, we create a better understanding of our desire and radiance.

Belief systems

Spiritual and meditative tools can also be defensive and protective of your fertility. The words and belief systems of those around us tend to affect us, especially when those words resonate with our deepest fears. Through mindfulness, we can cultivate an awareness of the people and energy in our lives that feel negative and make us doubt the intuitive knowledge of our body. When a person expresses a strong opinion about her experience within fertility that may be at odds with your current psycho/emotional state, step back, put that opinion in parentheses, and try to understand the context without making it your own.

Do not take it personally! Do not take it as law or fact no matter how much social authority they have. Observe the reaction it may elicit and put that into parentheses, too. Spiritual liberation often begins with liberation from language. This is a valuable skill to take into the terrain of fertility.

Using your toolbox

Sometimes the process of deciding to have a child, suffering from loss or infertility, or just preparing for pregnancy creates a feeling of isolation and confusion. It can be challenging to turn the experience into an empowered and healthy one. Using tools that help nourish and build receptive energy such as restorative yoga, meditation, and creativity connect you to the spiritual or unseen aspects of life.

Strengthening this connection provides guidance and clarity when you are faced with challenges. Every challenge we meet in life has the potential to help break us open and promote evolution. Creating a spiritual path within fertility balances the hormonal system and promotes healthy pregnancy.

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Babynurses.com #babynurse #newborn #fertility #newborncarespecialist #babynurse #children #newmother


Expecting Mothers Should Opt for Pregnancy Friendly Exercises

(Source: Women Health News http://www.medindia.net/healthnews/Women-Child-Health-News.asp)

Exercise during pregnancy has tremendous benefits for the mother-to-be. Expecting mothers should go for pregnancy friendly exercises and should get comfortable maternity gear for working out, suggests an expert.

Yuvraj Randhawa, gym trainer and owner of Health Plus gym (H+), gives an insight on smart ways to exercise safely during pregnancy:  ‘Expecting mothers should go for pregnancy friendly exercises and should get comfortable maternity gear for working out, suggests an expert.’

* Don't lie on your back: Avoid exercises that require you to lie flat on your back, especially crunches after the first trimester. Lying on your back for an extended period could make you feel dizzy as this can decrease blood flow to you and to your baby. 

* Get maternity gear: Comfort and flexibility are must during workouts but the baby bump needs to be accommodated throughout your pregnancy. Look for workout wear that is specifically sized to your times, shoe and measurements. There should be nothing too constrictive, nor anything too loose. Make sure you don't get too warm, as over-heating can pose a threat to the baby. 

* Go for pregnancy friendly exercises: Walking briskly, swimming regularly and parental yoga are all very healthy and easy on baby. Remember that your joints become loose and your center of gravity shifts with pregnancy, so you cannot just scale down your usual routine. Seek out a moderate program that keeps you strong and fit in a relaxed and safe manner. 

* Get more rest than usual: Most expectant mothers need more sitting, napping and relaxing, but if you have got a healthy fitness routine going, you need even more time to recoup. Don't ever keep yourself in overdrive, no matter how much you have got going on or how great your love of working out may be. Keeping yourself fit during this time is a very healthy decision, but it also must be a wise one; listen to your body. 

* Be prepared to modify your routine: You may not be able to keep up that five mile run when you're pregnant, which is totally fine. Hormonal changes during pregnancy make you more flexible and your growing belly can throw off your center of balance, making your standby workouts more difficult. You may need to cut your workouts a bit short (take a 20 minute walk instead) or decrease your speed or resistance.

babynurse.com, #newborncare #babynurse #baby #newborncarespecialist #doula #prenatal #newmother


You Can Be a Mother and Still Be a Successful Artist

Thanks to Marina Cashdan at Artsy for this piece. 

“There’s an old-fashioned myth that having a baby is going to make it impossible to work,” says painter Nikki Maloof. “I had just started gaining a lot of momentum in my career when I found out I was pregnant, so it was scary.” Maloof’s fear could apply to any number of career-oriented women across numerous industries. A little over a year ago, I became a mother. It was an unknown that, while mostly exciting, was also terrifying. As a career-focused individual with a job that I love, I feared losing a sense of self and motherhood setting me back from all the hard work I had done—especially considering that men still make up more than 85 percent of top leadership roles in the United States.

But then my son came and that worry dissolved, because motherhood did not change my identity or curtail my ambition—it only reinforced it. While it did, of course, create logistical obstacles to navigate, it also made me more efficient with my time, and more motivated. I wasn’t just working hard for myself anymore, but now for my son, too. By and large, other art-world mothers I spoke with over the past year, and many artists I interviewed for this story, feel that parenting becomes one more life challenge to grapple with, but a choice that ultimately has enriched their lives and careers, more than hindering them.

So why, then, would this myth—that having children ruins a female artist’s career—still linger? Marina Abramović recently made headlines by telling German newspaper Der Tagesspiegel: “In my opinion [having children is] the reason why women aren’t as successful as men in the art world. There are plenty of talented women. Why do men take over the important positions? It’s simple. Love, family, children—a woman doesn’t want to sacrifice all of that.” Her sentiments sparked anger and heated debate. (Lest not we forget, other women artists have spouted similar sentiments, including Tracey Emin).

“It’s a very Donald Trump-ish kind of statement,” says Laurie Simmons, who has two daughters, Lena and Grace, ages 30 and 24. “That a woman without children would be making judgments about women with children is really inappropriate. This idea that there is this very precious thing, artistically speaking, inside a woman that will be broken by having a child is so archaic, primitive, prehistoric. I’ve never heard a male artist discuss whether or not he should have children.”

What defines success in the art world isn’t black-and-white, points out Tara Donovan, who has six-year-old twin boys. “While I understand the pressures of the art world all too well, the notion that women must sacrifice the pleasures of motherhood for the sake of a ‘career’ reflects insidious double standards from a bygone era. I think Abramović has chosen to operate in an art world that reflects the values of this bygone era, where masculinist hierarchies determine what constitutes ‘value’ and ‘success.’ This is the same art world that privileges male artists at auction with exponentially higher prices than women.”

Kara Walker also opted for both motherhood and an ambitious career as an artist. “Having children isn’t for everyone, but offering up old school sexism isn’t useful to anyone,” she says, pointing out that she had her daughter Octavia, now 18, in the same year that she received the prestigious MacArthur Foundation “genius” grant. “My daughter is now in college and someone there is teaching about my work. What can I say, I wanted a child and a career and I didn’t feel one took energy from the other.”

Most would consider Simmons, Donovan, and Walker successful artists: All are represented by important galleries (Salon 94, Pace, and Victoria Miro/Sikkema Jenkins & Co., respectively); all three have had exhibitions at major museums; and they all make a good living on their art alone. In fact, many of the world’s highest-grossing women artists are mothers, including Julie Mehretu, Marlene Dumas, Cecily Brown, and Chen Peiqiu. And the list of successful artists who are mothers continues, including Sarah Sze, Teresita Fernández, Wangechi Mutu, Phyllida Barlow, Cornelia Parker, Carrie Mae Weems, Lorna Simpson, and many more.

According to Abramović, would these women have been more successful had they abandoned family life and focused only on their careers? Or does this thinking hold women back and perpetuate another fantastical myth of the artist as loner, one who suffers for creativity? And yet while male artists can uphold this illusion of the creative loner while also being partners and parents—Jeff Koons, Damien Hirst, Ai Weiwei, John Currin, Olafur Eliasson, Chris Ofili, Alex Katz, and many more are fathers—female artists are expected to forgo children in order to meet the same standard. “I’ve spent my life rebelling against these identities that people foisted on me,” says Simmons. “And then when I understood that the art world includes gatekeepers—guys who didn’t think it was appropriate for women artists to have babies—I thought, ‘Fuck you! Not going to happen.’” 

In a recent interview about her work, Diana Al-Hadid, who gave birth to a son less than a year ago, was asked whether becoming a mother had changed her work. “I said, ‘No, my work hasn’t changed, and you wouldn’t ask a man that question,’” she says. “No one presumes it’s going to change [a man’s] work—their work is their work and their private life is their private life.” The double standard has certainly been salient over the course of art history, but the question of how much progress has been made today is debatable.

“There is a bias but I wasn’t too hung up on it,” says Al-Hadid. “It might just be the fact that I know that other moms ahead of me in the art world have done it, and I know that women around the world do it under much more difficult circumstances than I have. But I figure, ‘Screw ’em.’ You have to break that bias somehow and you do that by setting an example.” Al-Hadid points out that not only did her dealer (Marianne Boesky) have a child, but that many friends around her and artists before her had children with no negative impact on their careers. Maloof also felt supported by her dealer (Jack Hanley) and her peers, and believes the taboo has dissipated. “I don’t feel like anyone would discriminate against a woman who is having a baby.”

But artist Lenka Clayton disagrees. “In my experience,” she says, “it’s still a choice that people feel they have to make, the choice of: Can you continue to be taken seriously as an artist and be a mother? That’s not a foregone conclusion in any way.” Moving to the U.S. from the U.K. with her partner in 2009, Clayton found herself feeling not only unsupported by the U.S. system (a topic explored in many recent debates on health benefits, parental leave, and childcare), but also isolated as the primary caregiver after her first child was born. “Being exhausted, having no time, no space—there are shared experiences when you’re a new parent—and so I was really trying to find a way to help myself feel differently about it,” says Clayton.

In 2012, the artist created her work An Artist Residency in Motherhood in response to the experience of motherhood. “I went back to things that helped with my practice,” she says, “such as being an artist in residence where there’s a specific period of time and you work with a new material—everything feels so new and unusual.” Clayton undertook the project for three years, through the birth of her second child. Last spring, she opened up the residency as a public project with a dedicated website where artists can download a “residency kit,” complete with an official letter of invitation, amendable manifesto, and planning tools to help artists structure their residency. “It came out of this feeling of trying to do two things at the same time that didn’t feel like they could fit,” she says. “It’s come to completion for me, now that it’s something that anyone can take part in.”

Both Simmons and Clayton point out that biases still prevail in some quarters of the art world, propagated by antiquated statements like that of Abramović. “Recently two young women came to me who had great trepidations and lots of fears,” recalls Simmons, “and both of them had heard very critical things from their art dealers about having children and how it would impact their careers. They were criticized by the very people who represented them and are responsible for selling their work.”

What is arguably the most positive change to have taken place over the last 30 years is the increase in role models for female artists working today. “At a certain point, I felt like I had a responsibility to answer questions because I didn’t want younger women artists to be frightened,” says Simmons, whose prosperous career and two very talented daughters qualify her as an excellent role model. “I thought if I spoke out about it, it could make someone who was on the fence not seem so frightened about how their life or their work would change.” Other than Elizabeth Murray, Simmons didn’t have many artists to look to who were openly embracing motherhood when she herself was considering it. And building a strong support structure is, of course, key to all new parents, including artists—a partner who shoulders 50 percent of the parenting, a dealer who is supportive of his or her artist’s choice to raise children, and a studio setup that is flexible enough for the initial disruption of a new baby and the transition into a new schedule.

No one can pretend that having a child is easy; it is not. It can require a major shift in lifestyle, as well as being financially demanding, especially in the U.S., where there is no government-supported universal childcare system. This is especially challenging for artists. “I know that it’s hard for artist friends who don’t have a child to live in New York, so one can imagine with kids, it’s even more difficult,” says Maloof, who considers herself in a fortunate position, living in New York and receiving health-care benefits through her partner’s employment. “There’s never a great time but you make it work. That’s been my mentality.”

Al-Hadid has not slowed down her busy show season with the arrival of her son. “You adapt, and babies adapt,” she says; her son has been on over a dozen flights since his birth. “I’m still very focused on my career and work—it’s just about a different relationship to your work. And that changes whether you have a child or not. That might change depending on your financial situation, that might change depending on where you’re living at the moment, that might change if you have a death in the family. Your relationship to your work is amorphous.”

Simmons and her husband, the painter Carroll Dunham, shared the responsibility of taking care of their children—a pioneering attitude at the time, Simmons reminds me. She remembers that Dunham would bring their daughter Lena to the studio and wear her in a sling while he was painting. “We entered into a very equal partnership,” she says. “I don’t think it’s an accident that I found the appropriate partner—someone who I knew was going to support me as an artist and do anything to make sure I remained an artist.”

At an art fair, just after I returned to work from maternity leave, I noticed a dealer with his new baby strapped to him while he was dealing art in his booth, a curator and museum director couple pushing their infant through the fair, and young children perusing the aisles with their collector parents. The scene felt natural and accepted in this greater art-world setting. “I feel like when I go to a museum dinner and I’m seated next to a titan of industry and the next thing I know he’s pulling out his phone to show me pictures of his grandchildren, something is changing,” says Simmons. “But while there’s a softening, I still feel there’s a prejudice against women artists with children.”

My first year as a mother has been one of continuous transition—not to mention limited sleep, little personal time, and the anxieties that come with the responsibility of being a new parent. But the indescribable intensity of love and experience watching a human being grow exponentially in such a short period of time has impacted me, and my work, in a profoundly positive way. Every artist I spoke with for this story felt similarly—that having children benefited their work rather than detracted from it. “My children are a source of love and satisfaction that I consider to be one of the only true markers of ‘success,’” says Donovan. “I guess I have chosen to privilege my personal agenda over any agendas dictated by others, which I believe is a choice all successful people need to make.”

All women have the right to choose to have children, or to choose not to have children. And like their male counterparts, women artists who choose to have children need not feel they have to sacrifice their careers to do so.


A Love Letter To Nannies: Thank You For Loving Our Kids

Thanks to Sarah Tucker at Mom.me for this poignant piece on the impact that nannies can have on the families they work with. As the kids get ready to go back to school, there is no better time to enlist the help of an experienced and professional nanny. British American will help find the perfect fit for your family.

 

"We don't have to hire someone tomorrow," said my husband, gesturing at the local parents website with posts for available nannies on his computer, "But we do have to start looking."

I hugged our three-month-old daughter a little bit more tightly as I nodded at him, miserably. I was in one of the emotional black holes of new motherhood, which I'm pretty sure never ends: guilt vs. exhaustion. A huge part of me ached at the idea of being separated from our baby and leaving her with someone who wasn't a family member—so basically a total stranger! And yet, another small but undeniable part was yearning to return to my work as a writer, if only for a few days a week.

The idea of another person caring for my child, comforting her when she cried, learning her rhythms, being there to witness the new personality and skills she was acquiring every day, while I was absent and missing out, sent a knife-like guilt and pain shooting through my chest. But I knew I had to find a way to recharge my own batteries, to reconnect with my career path, and to bring in the extra income that was important to my family.

I knew my position was exceptionally privileged. The lack of legal and social support for parents in the US, including maternity/paternity leave policies, means that millions of women are forced to return to full-time work to support their families, often only a few weeks after giving birth.

Many others enjoy going back to fulfilling work and relish the socializing benefits that daycare and other childcare options provide for their babies. But I was looking for some kind of middle ground. While I was deeply grateful to have been able to spend the first few months of my daughter's life with her and wanted to continue as her primary caregiver, being a stay-at-home-mom full-time was not an option for me both financially and personally. And unfortunately, my husband and I didn't have a single family member within 2,500 miles who might have been able to help out.

Still, I stalled and hesitated for as long as possible. I was filled with fears about two equally awful fantasy scenarios. 1) That my daughter would hate the nanny, and I would never feel comfortable leaving them alone. Not helpful. 2) That my daughter would love the nanny and end up essentially preferring her to me. Not cool at all!

Nannies also seemed slightly mysterious to me. The playground across the street from our house was filled with nannies, skillfully caring for one, two, even three children at a time. They all seemed to know each other, and they settled in packs at the sand box or by the swings, gathering on blankets for group snack picnics.

In the beginning, I had made a few overtures, saying hello when I arrived with my stroller, attempting to chat with whoever was watching the toddlers who came over to investigate my daughter. But I was generally met with a wall of silence. It was like they were some kind of nanny mafia, and I was invading their territory. Or maybe that nannies and parents were on opposing teams, and I was sitting in the wrong section. I hadn't felt so excluded since a rough month in the sixth grade.

When finally, I couldn't avoid the issue any longer, we started interviewing. There was the nanny who wanted nothing to do with breastfeeding, and insisted that she couldn't care for a baby without being able to use a bottle. We parted ways. There was the one who was in school full-time and could only offer us a few hours a week in between classes. There were highly experienced nannies whose rates were beyond our means, and nannies without much experience who made me a little nervous. And then there was Jacinta. And from the moment she walked in and picked up my daughter, I was pretty sure we were going to be okay.

A mom friend who was searching for a nanny recently asked me what makes Jacinta so amazing, and I tried very hard to come up with a concrete list of reasons:

She is responsible, reliable, and incredibly smart—a natural problem solver.

She is deeply loving and sweet with our daughter without ever making us feel replaced or superfluous as parents.

She is very knowledgeable about babies, having worked with many families over a decade of nannying. (This means that when I completely freak out about something my daughter is doing, she is calm and has seen it all before.)

However, she believes every baby is different and really took the time to get to know our daughter's personality and our parenting style without imposing any ideas.

And then I ran out of reasons, because the rest is just a gut feeling. I trust Jacinta absolutely. She's an ally, a friend, a support, a parenting partner. Living so far away from my husband's family and my own, she has become a part of our little family. We are so grateful to have her in our lives.

With Jacinta's stamp of approval, the nanny mafia has gradually come to accept my presence. A few of them even smile and say hello when I show up at the playground, although they refuse to say my name and always refer to me as "Isabel's Mom." When I asked Jacinta about this, she tried to explain.

"They're afraid," she said. "They think you might report them for doing something wrong." I was stunned.

"Report them?! I don't even know any of those families. And it's none of my business. And they all seem so good at this. I have no idea how they handle all those kids."

Jacinta smiled. "That's what I told them. Don't worry, they'll come around."

"Do you talk to other parents in the playground?" I asked.

"Of course," she said. "I talk to everyone. How else can I make sure that person should really be there?"

Last month, one of the little girls from the playground moved with her family to another state. Her nanny Elena was one of the friendlier ones, who always talked to my daughter and invited her to play with them. A week later, I noticed Elena sitting on a bench, surrounded by her friends. She was in tears. I timidly approached the group and asked if she was okay.

"I miss Nora so much," Elena choked out. "I've been with her since she was a week old. I can't believe I won't see her anymore." She sobbed with grief.

"This is what it's like," another nanny said with sympathy. "We love them. And then they go."

All I can say is thank you to all the loving, dedicated nannies out there. Thank you for giving our kids so much of yourselves, knowing that someday, sooner or later, they won't need you anymore, and they will go. Thank you for being friends and heroes to so many moms who feel lost, confused and alone. Thank you.


Why Prenatal Yoga is Amazing for You and Your Baby

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Many thanks go out to Carriage House Birth and Neelu Shruti, a prenatal/ postnatal yoga teacher, birth doula and breastfeeding counselor based in New York City, for this introduction to the many benefits of prenatal yoga.

The benefits of yoga are far-reaching. In an hour of downward facing dogs, sun salutations, and other poses, we can find ways to build strength and flexibility while releasing stress and becoming more mindful. While we can all find benefits in the practice of yoga, there are exceptional benefits to the practice for pregnant women. The prenatal yoga sequence is modified to be safe, and designed to help a woman in all stages of her pregnancy, give her tools to aid in labor and delivery, and continue to be valuable to her after the birth of her child and throughout her recovery.

The benefits of prenatal yoga are too numerous to list, but to name a few, you’ll:

Get a good workout: Exercise is great for you and your baby! Whether you’re a regular runner, spin cyclist, or yogi, keeping up your active lifestyle can be more challenging when you’re pregnant. For starters, your tendons and ligaments become a lot more flexible during pregnancy due to the influx of relaxin in your body, and you’ll want to build muscular strength to prevent injuries. Prenatal yoga offers all of the benefits of maintaining your exercise routine (including helping to reduce stress, control weight, improve health and well-being, maintain a positive mood, boost energy, and get better sleep) while being safe for you and your baby. And if you’re not an exercise junkie, or have let your routine slip a little, now is a great time to start because the healthier you are and the better shape you’re in, the better it is for your baby! There’s even evidence, according to recent studies (http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/11/20/mothers-exercise-may-boost-babys-brain/), that exercising regularly when you’re pregnant can boost your baby’s brain function and make your baby smarter!

Strengthen your abdominal pushing muscles and learn to relax your pelvic floor: Another incredible benefit to prenatal yoga is that incorporated into the sequence are targeted exercises to help strengthen, and improve flexibility in key muscle groups. Doing crunches and plank is neither very comfortable, nor recommended when you’re pregnant, and prenatal yoga offers an excellent alternatives to tone your transverse abs (your deep corset pushing muscles) in a safe manner. Additionally, prenatal yoga targets the key muscle group known as the pelvic floor. The importance of both strength and flexibility in the muscles of the pelvic floor cannot be overstated. The pelvic floor muscles are hammock shaped muscles in the bowl of your pelvis. It is essential that they are strong enough to allow the baby’s head to rotate when descending to push out (like through a turtle neck sweater), and to prevent pelvic organ prolapse, but also that they are flexible enough to open and release to allow the baby through. Labor involves the unique combination of flexing and pushing with your abs while RELAXING your pelvis which can be tricky, and prenatal yoga incorporates ab work, Kegels, and breathing exercises, all of which can help accomplish this challenging balance during delivery. Not only are you learning how to target those areas, you’re learning how to synchronize them, while building strength and flexibility where you’ll need them most.

Learn to deal with discomfort: The therapeutic benefits of yoga are far-reaching. Prenatal yoga can help address common issues such a lumbar lordosis (lower back pain), sacro-iliac pain, sciatica and piriformis pain. The poses can also create space in the torso for better breathing, and include movements that can help to alleviate carpel tunnel syndrome and charley horses, as well as demonstrate positions for better sleep. By working through discomfort with breathing techniques and a focus on mindfulness, you are able to alleviate discomfort, and the practice of challenging yourself and building muscle strength builds your tolerance to pain. In prenatal yoga, the poses are designed to challenge, but not strain your body. Learning to breathe and maintain calm in an intense stretch teaches your body how to react to and manage a stress, so you’ll be better-equipped to handle stressful situations during your pregnancy, and of course, more prepared for labor.

Get your baby in the optimal position: Compared to the benefits of other forms of exercise, the really exceptional benefit of prenatal yoga, is that poses like down dog, cat/cow, and puppy pose gently guide your baby’s head down. That’s right, the more down dogs you do, the more you’re encouraging your baby’s head down toward optimal fetal position. Prenatal yoga counteracts the long periods of hanging out on your couch—which have the exact opposite effect and can encourage breech or posterior (sunny-side-up babies) and result in longer births times and sometimes lead to medical interventions—and helps have you and your baby exactly where you need to be when the time comes.

Learn to breathe: Often, we don’t pay attention to our breath which tends to be shallow as we go about our day-to-day activities. In yoga, we begin to pay attention to our breath, and to teach ourselves to focus on maintaining deep, full breathing. The benefit of the yogic breath is that we become aware of our diaphragm’s movements and begin to use our lungs to a greater extent, engaging their full capacity and allowing a larger intake of oxygen. This focused method of deep breathing calms our mind and allows us to relax and use our muscles more efficiently.

Bond with your baby: Recent studies have shown that the practice of mindfulness allows a mom to recognize, appreciate, and connect with her baby. Embracing a few minutes of quiet time where the distractions of the day fade away allows a mom to focus all of her attention inward and on the baby, and can help her to zoom out, see the big picture, and be less bogged down by the day-to-day frustrations. It also allows her to notice changes in the growing baby and in her own body. The practice of mindfulness builds bond and can even reduce post-partum depression.

Build confidence in your body: When dealing with a growing belly, hormonal changes, back pain, swollen feet, and constantly having to pee, it’s easy to get frustrated with the constant physical changes in your body. It’s important to remember that your body (even with all the discomfort you feel) is strong, healthy, and capable. Practicing yoga—whether it’s finishing your regular sequence, or doing a particularly challenging pose when you’re pregnant—can give you great feeling of accomplishment, and build your confidence and trust in your body and its innate ability to labor and give birth.

Be part of a community: The first few minutes of a prenatal class usually consist of introductions where you’ll be able to discuss issues, discomforts, and concerns with other expecting moms. As the conversation goes around the room, you’ll hear how other moms are dealing with the same issues that you’re facing. This creates a space for sharing and learning from each other, and also allows the instructor to customize each class to fit your needs. Most of all, you’ll meet other moms who are experiencing the same challenging, wonderful changes as you, while pursuing a practice that helps ensure the safest, healthiest, and most joyful outcome for you and your baby.

For more information on prenatal yoga classes, our friends at the Prenatal Yoga Center offer classes and workshops for new & expecting mothers.


Family Living Aboard

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Thanks to Brooke Morton at Yachting Magazine for this piece on the art of rearing kids on the water. 

 

Brittany and Scott Meyer were docked at Grenada when they learned she was pregnant. The pair, 36 and 38, had met while racing sailboats across Lake Michigan, so they didn’t blink at the prospect of raising a family aboard their Brewer 44 Asante. They became parents first with Isla, now almost 4, and later with twins Haven and Mira, now 2. With their handmade halyard swing and the unending sandbox that is the British Virgin Islands, the couple sees their decision to bring up all three babies aboard as the ultimate adventurous-life head start.

When did you decide to pull anchor from mainstream life? We knew before we married. Instead of registering for china and Egyptian cotton, we registered for winches and a windlass.

How did your cruising plans change after you had children? Long-distance sailing with three young children is not something we’re interested in. With Isla, we did a five-day sail from Florida to the Bahamas, and that was absolutely doable. But with three kids under 5, rough passages and overnights are really challenging.

Did you undertake any refits to accommodate the kids? We didn’t make permanent changes, but we added a few things, starting with netting around the boat’s perimeter. In the V-berth, we have a giant net made out of Phifertex mesh, the same material patio furniture is made of. The material is waterproof but breathable, and the net makes that space more contained than a crib. We’ve had 6-foot seas bashing into us and the babies sleeping soundly in there.

What’s the response been to your parenting choice? Some people think it’s amazing. Some say it’s selfish.

Selfish? Oh gosh, yes. Because of Brittany’s blog, Windtraveler, we get a ton of email. One lady asked how dare we glamorize boating with children and said we should add a safety disclaimer. She also criticized us for placing the kids on tethers. And Brittany wondered, Don’t most moms use car seats? Some people think we are at sea endlessly, and that is not the case. We spend a great deal of time at the dock at Tortola’s Nanny Cay marina.

What is a typical day like? Most days, the wind is blowing 20 knots. During the evenings, we come back from the beach, hose the kids off and eat dinner. Whatever the girls don’t finish on their plate, they throw overboard to the remoras — they’re squealing as they toss mac and cheese to fish that are going nuts. Then the sun starts to set and the kids wave goodbye. That’s one of the beautiful parts of life on a boat: You rarely miss a sunset. We always say to the sun, “Thanks for another great day.”

Baby Boating Gear: The Fisher-Price Booster Seat is great for keeping little ones restrained while we’re setting anchor. The West Marine infant harness and tether keep us from worrying about a baby going overboard. And Brittany is a big fan of baby wearing. The Ergo Performance baby carrier makes it easy to tote two — one on her front and one on her back — to the dinghy, dock and beyond.

Must-Have Toys: Everything has to pull double duty, like the girls’ wagon also carries boat stuff. As for toys, it’s all about size. Most need to be really compact. Legos are good. We love Magna-Tiles, a magnetic building set that stows flat. And books are crucial. We always make room for more books.


Packing Kids For A Trip: Tips & Tricks

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Special thanks to Eva Amurri Martino at Happily Eva After for this perfect piece that will help you be more than prepared for your last family trip before fall hits.

Last week, while packing Marlowe for our annual family getaway to Maine, I was reflecting upon all the lessons I’ve learned in the last year from packing and unpacking our daughter countless times.  We really do “get up and go” A LOT as a family– having a Daddy who’s gone half the week will do that to you! I’ve noticed that as long as you take your packing mistakes in stride and learn from them, you really can cut down on your stress level and pack the perfect suitcase for your little one fairly easily.  And, if I’ve said it once I’ve said it a thousand times: being prepared in advance makes all the difference when it comes to enjoying an experience.  You want a vacation to really feel like one! Today I’m sharing my Tips & Tricks for packing your child’s suitcase– and divulging some of my worst experiences!

I’ve outlined my personal packing list below.  This is what I pack Marlowe for a week long Summer trip! Read through for my favorite items,  my organization tips, little anecdotes, and a easy shopping widget to pick up some of our family faves:

CLOTHING
For a week, I pack Marlowe 9 outfits, 4 sets of Pajamas, and 3 Bathing Suits. This is considering the fact that we will have access to a laundry machine.  The times that we do not have access to a laundry machine, I pack two outfits per day that we are gone, plus 1 basic Tshirt and 1 basic pair of leggings that can pair with anything, in addition to the pajamas and bathing suits.

MAMA TIP:  Fold each outfit, and roll it up together.  Tie with a piece of ribbon, and clip any matching hair accessories on to the cloth.  This will enable you to pack them more easily, and find a clean outfit without rummaging through your child’s suitcase.

OUTERWEAR
In the Summer months, I pack Marlowe 1 light jacket and 1 cardigan.  Usually I bring her cardigan on the plane with us in case the air conditioning is too chilly.

SHOES
Normally, I pack Marlowe 4 pairs of shoes total: 1 pair of comfy sneakers, 1 pair of cute sandals, 1 pair of Mary Janes, and 1 Water Shoe for the beach or lake.  I usually have her travel in the bulkiest pair of shoes (sneakers) for the plane flights.

DIAPERING & BATHING
I pack 1 package of diapers, 1 package of swim diapers, and 1 package of wipes.  I purchase anything additional that I need while on the road.  I pack a toiletries bag just for Marlowe that has diaper ointment, a soap/shampoo, a body lotion, her hairbrush, her toothbrush + toothpaste, hair ties, and a bottle of children’s sunblock

LOVEYS
I always, always, always pack at least 3 Loveys.  One with us on the plane (this becomes the “street Lovey” and is the one that gets dragged around during the day, and at least two additional.  One for night time that remains in her travel crib (and stays clean), and one backup. I learned this the hard way…

NIGHTMARE TALE: Not too long ago, Marlowe got a violent stomach bug while on a trip to visit her grandparents in South Carolina.  She puked all over both of her Loveys within half an hour, and was absolutely inconsolable and miserable while the Loveys went through the washer and dryer for the next 90 minutes.  It took years off of my life.  Now I always pack at least three in case of emergency!

TOYS
When we travel, I always pack 5-7 Toys and 5 books.  The toys include a stuffed animal, a doll, a car or truck, and several plastic animal figurines.  I like these types of toys because they inspire creative play and can be used in different games for hours on end.  I can’t even tell you how many times Marlowe and I have built forts and homes in Hotel Rooms for her animal friends!

MAMA TIP:  Try to select toys and books that your child hasn’t played with or seen in a while.  It’s amazing how absence really does make the heart grow fonder when it comes to toys!

FIRST AID
I’ve learned to pack a little first aid kit when we travel with Marlowe.   You really never know when something will come up and you won’t have access to a medicine or product you need to help your child be more comfortable! Why do the worst fevers and illnesses always strike at night?! I put the kit in a ziploc bag so I can see all of the items well and access them easily.  Here’s what I keep in our Travel First Aid Kit: The NoseFrida, Infant Tylenol, Infant Benadryl, Homeopathic Cold Remedy, Saline Drops, Band aids, Neosporin, Lavender Essential Oil, On Guard Essential Oil, Tea Tree Essential oil, Thermometer.

NIGHTMARE TALE: When Marlowe was only a year and a half, we were traveling with Kyle on the road in the middle of winter, and she came down with croup.  Not only did we not know any doctors in the town, but it was the middle of the night and we were staying at a hotel in a snowstorm.  We ended up having to take an Uber at midnight to a 24 hour CVS very far away to find medicine to make her more comfortable until the morning when we were able to get to urgent care.  Now I travel with the essentials!

ZIPLOCK BAGS
I always pack 3 or 4 gallon sized Ziplock bags when we travel.  You never know what they’ll come in handy for, and are great for wet or dirty clothes that you need to bring home.  Kids always love taking that extra dip in the Hotel pool right before you pack up to leave…

BED TIME GEAR
The bed time routine is definitely the most important in our house.  It’s what keeps Lowie sleeping well, keeps her parents sane, and keeps our trips and vacations feeling “vacation-y”.  I ALWAYS make sure we have everything we need to recreate her normal nighttime experience while on the road.  Do it or suffer the consequences! Ha! For Marlowe’s bed time routine, I pack:

1 Travel Crib (she isn’t allowed to sleep in bed with us ever), 1 Sound Machine, 2 Sleep Sacks (one backup), 1 Mermaid Doll, 1 Baby Monitor, 1 Bottle. We use the baby monitor if we are at a house or someplace where her sleeping area is out of earshot.  It makes me able to relax more knowing I can hear her if she needs me, even if I’m in a different part of the house. We bring the bottle because Marlowe still has warm milk in a bottle at night before bed.  I’m planning on transitioning out of this when she turns two…which should be interesting… (YIKES)

NIGHTMARE TALE: We were traveling six or seven months ago, and I forgot to pack a bottle.  Cut to 9pm, my kid is still not asleep and freaking out because she didn’t have her bottle before bed.  The next day I set out to try to find a bottle but the only ones available had the infant flow nipples and frustrated her even more.  All in all a really terrible few nights of sleep for all of us! Yahtzee!

STOW ESSENTIALS IN A CARRY-ON
I have also learned this the hard way when our suitcase has gotten lost with all of my child’s perfectly packed and organized belongings.  Many thanks to Target for saving the day that day (about a thousand dollars later…) Now I bring a carry-on on the plane with us that has 24 hours worth of essentials.
1 swimsuit
1 change of clothes
1 set of pajamas
1 sleepsack
1 lovey
cribsheet
1 bottle
6 extra diapers

Of course I always remember to pack my adorable toddler as well.  She’s a little bulky and rambunctious, but she really does make our trips that much more enjoyable…most of the time.


8 Reasons You Need a Housekeeper

Thanks to Ilene Jacobs at Care.com for this piece:

If you've ever debated hiring a housekeeper, you might have come up with a list of reasons why you shouldn't: it's a luxury you can't afford or it's a sign of laziness. But have you ever thought about why you should?

Outsourcing your house cleaning is a way to manage your time more efficiently and it can be affordable, even for those on a tight budget.

Whether you're busy with a family and career, or just want some occasional help around the house, getting a cleaning service is not only practical, it be a lifesaver. Here are some valid reasons you may need to hire some help.

You Work Full Time 
After a busy 9-5, using your time off from work to clean the house depletes your energy and limits your availability to enjoy other activities. You might not need a daily housekeeper, but having someone clean once or twice a month will give you more time to do the things you enjoy or need get done.

Jennifer Thomas, a clinical psychologist and single mom from Minneapolis, Minn. says that without the help of her housekeeper, she would get less done and get much less sleep: "I have a housekeeper to free up my limited time to do important activities with my son and also take care of myself: doing yoga, walking outside, reading and spending time with friends and family."

You Have a Busy Family Life 
It's hard to find time or energy for family outings and date nights when you spend your time cleaning, cooking and taking care of your children. If your schedule is already overwhelming, keeping the house in order becomes a daunting task that can take a toll on your marriage, as well as your health.

Author Melanie Bowden from Davis, Calif., has her hands full between writing, teaching and being a mother of two. Housework was the main issue she and her husband fought over. "I felt very frazzled when I had to keep up with all of the cleaning without outside help and I grew resentful toward my husband that he wasn't doing more," she says. Hiring a housekeeper not only lowered her stress level, but also kept her marriage intact. "I just love coming home to a clean house on those days -- particularly when the bed sheets have been changed -- that's my favorite part," she adds. According to Bowden, having a housekeeper is a valuable time-management tool that everyone should consider.

You Enjoy Entertaining 
Whether you're putting on a large event or just having company over, you don't need to add cleaning to your to-do list. Save your time -- and your energy -- for the party by hiring someone to clean your home before and after the event. Even if you're just having people over for dinner or to spend the weekend, knowing your housecleaning is taken care of takes the load off of you, and leaves you time to prepare for their arrival and enjoy the visit.

You Don't Know How to Clean 
Remember all those times your mom tried to teach you how to clean? Good. Now, do you remember anything she actually said? We didn't think so. Cleaning isn't as easy as just turning on a vacuum. There are tips and tricks you learn with time or experience. Don't know how to clean your home? Hire a housekeeper to show you. She can clean it a few times and demonstrate the best methods. But be careful; you may like just having her do it -- and that's okay too!

You Don't Like Cleaning 
Who does? But some people are better at it than others. Just because cleaning isn't your forte, doesn't mean you're lazy. Why waste your time and efforts doing something you're not good at, when you can have someone else do it? If cleaning takes you hours and you hate every minute of it, hire a housekeeper and devote that time to something more productive. If hiring someone to clean weekly strains your budget, find someone to deep clean once a month. That way, you'll be better equipped to keep the house tidy the rest of the time on your own.

You Have Elderly Family 
You might not want or need someone to clean your own home, but your aging parents or other relatives might need help. As people get older, it becomes harder to take care of daily chores and housekeeping tasks. A disorderly home is a health hazard for the elderly. A cluttered floor can cause them to fall and eating from dirty dishes can make them ill.

Barbara Berta of Colorado Springs, Colo., hired a housekeeper to tidy her father's apartment once a week. "My dad had diabetes, so between his illness and his age, it was hard for him to keep his home as clean as he would have liked," she says. "I already had my hands full with chores around my own home, so the housekeeper was a huge help when it came to making sure my dad had a comfortable and clean living space."

If your aging parents need more help than just cleaning, hire a senior care aide who can care for them, run errands and provide light cleaning around the home.

You Have a New Baby 
A new baby in the house means lots of extra cleaning and laundry -- more than exhausted new parents may be able to handle. A housekeeper can help pick up the slack while you get used to your new routine. Family or friends want to pitch in and get you a gift? Instead of flowers, suggest they chip in for a housekeeper to help you out for a few weeks.

You Deserve a Treat 
Sometimes you just need a break. Manicures and massages are great, but you can also pamper yourself by hiring someone to clean every once in a while. It's a nice luxury that will give you some extra time to yourself. Go ahead, you've earned it!

Ilene Jacobs is a freelance writer in Dallas, Texas. 

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BAHS is planning upcoming events in this category. Details will be published here in the near future.

Please try selecting another category.

BAHS is planning upcoming events in this category. Details will be published here in the near future.

Please try selecting another category.

domestic staffing domestic staffing domestic staffing