10 Tips for Sustainable Toxic-Free Cleaning

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photo from Mother Mag

article written by Anna Jacobs for Mother Mag

While summer about to come to an official close, there’s no time like the present to deep clean and refresh for the start of a new season. To make tidying up cleaner and greener, we’ve gathered together our favorite tips for eco-friendly cleaning that are safe for the environment and your family. With these tricks in your back pocket, you’ll be breathing easy as you tackle your biggest projects yet.

Use Dr. Bronner’s For, Well, Anything
What can’t you do with Dr. Bronner’s? You can wash your clothes, use it as shampoo, and even brush your teeth with this all-natural soap. Bonus: a little goes a long way, so one bottle will last you for months, saving you time and money. Check out the dilution cheat sheet for an extensive list of all the ways you can use this sudsy stuff. Committed to fair trade and organic materials, as well as social and environmental accountability and transparency, Dr. Bronner’s is a company you can trust.

Repair Old and Damaged Clothes
It’s easy to give up on old pieces of clothing and dump them in the trash. This year, consider mending clothes that are a little worse for wear, and test your hand at dying faded clothes to give them new life. Patagonia has pop-up mending shops around the country, or keep an eye out for clothing repair workshops at local stores wherever you live.

Keep and Eye Out for Green-washing
We’ve all been there. In a rush to buy a natural cleaning product, we’ve picked up a bottle of who-knows-what that’s plastered with pictures of the earth and words meant to fool you, like natural, green, and eco-friendly. After taking a closer look at the label, you’ve found the so-called “natural” ingredients, aren’t so natural after all. This year, take your time to do some research on eco-friendly products ahead of time, so you can find products that suit your family best. Head over to the Environment Working Group’s Food Score website to learn about the products and companies you’re supporting, as well as which toxins are most important to avoid.

Ditch the Plastic Wrap
We’ve all heard it before, but we’ll say it again: plastic is bad for you and bad for the environment. Let’s commit to ditching our unsustainable habits and commit to using less plastic. Thankfully, the folks behind Beeswrap have done the hard work for us, crafting a reusable alternative to plastic wrap made of beeswax-coated fabric. It’s easy to clean and comes in a variety of sizes. While you’re at it, swap out plastic Tupperware for the stainless steel variety, and buy linen food covers to slip over uncovered bowls and dishes.

Turn to Your Kitchen Cabinets
We’re willing to bet your kitchen cabinets are full of ingredients that can clean a gnarly mess just as easily as they can add flavor to your cooking. Vinegar is a versatile cleaner that can do just about anything—dilute it for a simple, nontoxic window cleaner, mix with baking soda to remove the most stubborn carpet stains, and try it out as a shampoo alternative to get rid of product build up. Baking soda works wonders on dirty floors and tarnished silver—mix with a bit of water and do a little scrubbing for some seriously shiny results.

Host a Clothing Exchange
Call up your friends to come over on a weekend afternoon for a clothing exchange. You’ll get rid of clothes you’re tired of wearing, and add a few new additions to your closet. Try it out with children’s clothing, too. The best part? It’s free! Leftover clothes can be donated to Goodwill, or a similar organization. Consider sending your gently used bras to The Bra Recyclers, where they distribute lightly used bras to women and girls who need them.

Change Your Light Bulbs
Are you still using incandescent light bulbs? Stock your garage shelves with energy-efficient bulbs so that next time a light goes out, you’re prepared for a sustainable switch. LEDs, halogen, and compact florescent bulbs are stocked at most home goods stores. These bulbs use significantly less energy than the incandescent variety and last much longer, saving the planet and your wallet.

Invest in Solar Panels
If you’re up for a larger home project, consider investing in solar panels for the ultimate form of spring-cleaning. Save money on your electric bill, while significantly reducing your carbon footprint. Bonus points if you also drive a hybrid or electric car.

Ditch the Toxins
Take a look at your cleaning products in the kitchen and bathroom. If they have scary labels that say “danger”, “caution”, or “warning”, it’s time to get that stuff out of the house pronto. Call your recycling center to find out the date of the next hazardous pickup day to responsibly dispose of any toxic products you have lying around. Replace your cleaning products with the nontoxic, natural variety, so you never have to worry about your kiddos’ safety when it comes to cleaning.

Check Out Your Sponges
Kudos if you’re already using sponges to clean your countertops instead of using paper towels or wet wipes. Sponges are wonderful minimal waste to clean, but they can get pretty nasty after months of hard work and frequent use. Toss your stinky sponges, or if they’ve got a little life left in them, stick them in the microwave for a few minutes (make sure they’re wet before you do this). If you’re starting fresh, pick up some biodegradable sponges, so you can compost them once they’ve outlasted their use.


HOW TO CARE FOR YOUR NANNY

From The Washington Post (Leslie Kendall Dye)

 

As a parent, I do many things. I work, I clean, I cook, I worry, I dote on and discipline a person who is younger and shorter than I am. I am also an actress, a dancer and a human being.

Buried among the other items on my resume is this one, of which I am particularly proud: I was a nanny. A part-time nanny, but nonetheless, I cared for at least 100 children over the better part of a decade. Some were one-night stands — an agency would send me to a hotel to care for the spawn of tourists. Many were regulars —  New York City families who needed evening care. And then I had about 10 families whose children I cared for each week. Of those families, six became family. By this I mean they treated me as such. The mutual rewards of this bond are (almost) immeasurable.

One might think that when I hung up my nanny cap and became a mother, I would no longer identify with nannies. That I would begin to see things from the other perspective. That I would soften in my understanding of certain injustices I had faced in countless households.

I thought I would shift, but I was wrong. If anything, I identify with babysitters and nannies even more now that I have a child of my own.

She is 4 now. We don’t have the means for a nanny and we rarely use a sitter — mostly because I won’t pay less than the going rate for babysitters in a city where one must sell a kidney to purchase a bottle of soda. But when I can, on occasion, welcome a sitter into our home, we love to talk sho

I thought I would shift, but I was wrong. If anything, I identify with babysitters and nannies even more now that I have a child of my own.

She is 4 now. We don’t have the means for a nanny and we rarely use a sitter — mostly because I won’t pay less than the going rate for babysitters in a city where one must sell a kidney to purchase a bottle of soda. But when I can, on occasion, welcome a sitter into our home, we love to talk shop.

Did you know there are books that devote whole sections to training babysitters and nannies? Of course you do; they overflow from every parenting book section in every book store the country over.

Let’s take the particularly odious book “City Baby, New York: The Ultimate Guide for Parents, from Pregnancy to Preschool.” I had morning sickness when I stumbled on this gem, but I don’t think it was the hormones that made me ill.

I opened it and skimmed the contents. I came across the “nanny training” chapter. My heart sank. My blood pressure rose. I’d seen the book at my obstetrician’s office, I’d seen it on display at every baby supply store and it had a million stars on Amazon. I shook as I read it. It was nothing more than a spotlight fixed determinedly on why things go wrong between nannies and their employers. It might as well have been a guide to losing your nanny. Disregard for a nanny’s humanity is clearly a deep-rooted weed in the world of childcare.

“You may want to tell your nanny that you have a camera so that she is always on her best behavior,” the book advises.

“We have changed nannies several times … The most important person in your child’s life is you, the parent. Kids eventually adjust to a new nanny or caregiver,” it says.

“We are big on giving a nanny a trial period. Take this opportunity to observe her with your baby,” it continues.

I read the entire chapter and I couldn’t find one sentence that didn’t seem designed to set up an antagonistic attitude toward “the help.” I’m not arguing for or against nanny-cams, and I’m not saying that parents aren’t entitled to maintain their role as primary love objects for their little ones (and fear not, no one can replace you — really!). I am also not saying that all nannies are fabulous and that they never need to be replaced.

I am arguing that nanny-training books fan the flames of misunderstanding between a nanny and her employer by embedding a patronizing point of view in a parent’s mind. From the start, a tragic dynamic is set in motion. And how unfortunate for that family, because they will often lose their nanny and have no idea why.

It is hard enough to be pregnant and hormonal and terrified of becoming a mother. It is hard enough to say goodbye to a small baby and leave her in the hands of another person. Must guide books intensify this terror by warning parents that nannies may be performing acts of witchcraft in the living room or feeding their children non-organic produce? (True story: an East Side mother once admonished me for buying a banana for her child from a street cart. It was definitely not organic.) If a parent has checked references and spent some time getting to know the nanny as a person while they pass the baby back and forth, his or her diligence is plenty thorough.

A guide book should encourage parents to establish loving and considerate relationships with their nannies. I searched cover to cover for even one paragraph on being respectful toward your nanny. I think you can guess if I found one. Expectant parents are reading toxic bunk that may damage one of the most important relationships they will ever have.

As an alternative, I’ve compiled some suggestions for parents who have nannies and babysitters in their homes.

Remember that you were not always a parent. Being a parent does not need to change you. You can and should remain the warm and caring person you are. It is okay to see a nanny as a friend; it will not diminish your authority. Actually, it will make it easier for you to express your needs and concerns.

Taking care of your nanny is much like taking care of your kids. Fight the urge to ask how the kids are every time you call. First, ask the nanny how she is feeling. Is she tired? Did she get enough to eat? Did the kids give her a hard time today?

Don’t think nannies are as replaceable as batteries.You might need to replace one at some point, but respect their place in your child’s heart and the time they have been in your home.

Don’t think of the relationship as the same type of professional one you might have with office staff.Caring for a child is a deeply intimate experience. Talking to a nanny is not like running a corporate meeting. Laying out rules and asking questions in a business-like manner can make a nanny feel like she is under the command of a drill sergeant. Marching orders don’t make for nannies who obey commands. Mr. Banks, after all, had no luck with that. Remember when Mary Poppins took the children on their first outing? They jumped into a painting and ate (non-organic) candied apples.

Further, keeping the relationship “strictly professional” ensures that a discussion of delicate topics such as domestic chores or safety concerns is awkward. Think of how you treat raising a delicate matter with a friend. Your friend has feelings, and so do nannies. You may feel an issue is resolved because you have formally discussed it. But your nanny may feel admonished rather than respected. That resentment usually festers. Yes, she works for you and you have a right to ask that things to be done in a certain manner, but it isn’t easy to feel good will toward people who treat you like a servant. Sometimes, tone is everything. Your house is not Downton Abbey.

Also, be open to the notion that each caregiver has a unique way of relating to a child, and special ways of nurturing that child. Give your nanny space to do her work; that’s what you are paying her for. She may do things a bit differently than you would, but that’s often a good thing. Children benefit from receiving different kinds of care and listening to other viewpoints.

Remember that nannies spend all day nurturing. They get depleted. When nannies are refueled by being nurtured in return, they go above and beyond. I have scrubbed kitchens, organized bookshelves, taken photos of my charges and framed them for their parents and brought picture books and treats to houses where I am treated like family. And it’s a pleasure. Ask your nanny how her day was. Ask her about her life. Did she do well on that test? How is her boyfriend? How is her father’s health? Where did she get that nice dress? She may not give you long answers, but she will greatly appreciate your genuine interest in her life, which extends beyond the care of your child.

Keep in mind that many families are eagerly searching for a nanny like yours. If you allow hurt to build up, if you step on her toes too often, if you forget her humanity, it is easier for her to replace you than vice versa.

***

I miss one particular family whose three children I cared for. They used to live on the Upper West Side. The mother gave me all her maternity clothes when I was 20 weeks along. She exemplified the kind of parent I hoped to be. She didn’t mind if her children wanted to sleep in her bed sometimes, or fall asleep next to their nanny, or try a sip of beer, or jump from great heights for fun. She was comfortable with herself; she was comfortable in general.

She trusted me. And because of that, I became even more trustworthy.

Leslie Kendall Dye is an actor and dancer in New York City. 

 

www.washingtonpost.com/news/parenting


Should You Hire a Baby Nurse?

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Hiring the right baby nurse will ensure you are trained on sleep methods, how to recognize development and most of all have peace-of-mind that your infant or infants are safe, cared for and in the care of a professional who works with the parents in a cohesive team for correct development during the first year.

An average cost of a baby nurse is $20-35 an hour.   Email us at info@bahs.com for a list of questions to ask the baby nurse during the interview process

British American Newborn Care (bababynurses.com) has the highest quality professional and screened newborn care specialists/baby nurses/night nannies on the East and West Coasts of the USA as well as the UK.  Whether you are looking for a long or short term with a night nanny/baby nurse or a British materntiy nurse, we can help you find your perfect solution.

Should You Hire A Baby Nurse?

If this is your first pregnancy stop worrying about labor and giving birth. The real exhaustion of childbirth comes afterwards; even if you have a perfectly normal delivery, expect at least a two-week recovery period. Not only will you not feel well, you will have a little baby to take care of and probably limited experience with newborns. Many New York couples survive this time and enjoy their child's first few weeks of life with the help of a baby nurse. 

What is a baby nurse and what does one do? She is an experienced nanny with training in newborn skills. She is responsible for the care of your baby 24 hours a day. She will get up for nighttime feedings while the new mother gets her much needed rest. If the baby is breastfeeding, the nurse will get up with the new mother, help position the baby, and carry him back and forth. 

A baby nurse will do the baby's laundry everyday and help with light housekeeping and snacks. She will teach you to change diapers, bathe, and feed the baby, or she will do it all for you. She will answer your questions. She will hold the baby throughout the day providing security and affection when you need a break. She will keep you company, or disappear when you want to be alone with your new family. 

When interviewing a potential baby nurse, tell her your expectations. One friend who stops pregnant women on the street to recommend her baby nurse said she wanted to feel like a Victorian lady. She wanted her little one brought to her clean, fed and ready to sleep on her lap. She wanted the baby taken away to be changed and brought back in a fresh, new little outfit. 

Baby nurses take a tremendous burden off new fathers who may not feel capable of providing the nurturing a new baby and recovering wife need. If a husband can't take time off from work, he knows he is not leaving his wife to fend for herself. 

Can't family help? Your mother or mother-in-law may be selflessly offering to stay with you as long as you need at no cost to you. Is it wise in your postpartum emotional state to have the woman who told you what to do your whole life living with you? If you think a baby nurse will intimidate you or force her childrearing ways on you, it won't compare to what your mother can do, - this is her grandchild. If you don't like the idea of a stranger knowing your family business, remember that she leaves in two weeks and doesn't have any stake in your life. 

If your relationship with your mother or mother-in-law is such that you have no problem with her staying with you, by all means graciously accept her help. If this is her first grandchild, you may find a completely different woman in your house. 

When you have family help, you will be open to receiving visitors or risk hurting someone's feelings. But you may not feel like being seen or you may want to spend at least the first week enjoying your new immediate family. You probably don't want a lot of people holding your baby, but if you have visitors you will oblige them. Avoid the situation altogether. Tell everyone, including grandparents, you'll see them next week. 

The doula option Depending on what you expect of your childbirth experience, you may consider hiring a doula. - a woman who provides the mother with support before, during and after childbirth. She will help you come up with a birth plan and be in the delivery room with you if you want. Most New York area doulas, however, specialize in the postpartum period. They offer the new mother guidance and encouragement. Some are even lactation specialists. The idea is to nurture the new mother, they do not take care of your baby. 

The duties of a baby nurse are more flexible. She can offer you advice and teach you parenting skills. If you are too tired or too overwhelmed to learn anything, take advantage of the nurse's willingness to take care of your baby while you recover. 

So how do you find a baby nurse? Everyone I asked said through word-of-mouth. Ask couples with children in New York City. Someone will have used one. Most nanny agencies can help you find a baby nurse; some specialize in them. 

Every pregnancy is different and you can't predict what kind of recovery you will have. Hiring a baby nurse is like buying an insurance policy. It can ensure that you and your baby come home to a calm environment where you can enjoy every moment as a new family. 

By NYMetroparents 

 


 


Hiring Seasonal Domestic Staff

Hiring the right temporary domestic staff for your summer home is a large project for any principle or family. This article discusses why this can be so challenging and offers potential solutions to common problems I have seen every season. I am someone with extensive experience in the luxury hospitality and staffing industry and I have run British American Household Staffing and British American Yachts, the leading domestic staffing and yacht crew agency in the USA and UK as well as British American Newborn Care, which works with the best childcare professionals in the USA and UK. Most agencies have a roster of recurring staff in all the domestic staff categories. The earlier you start the hiring process the more likely you will secure the most qualified candidates. If you have very specific requirements and early start will help you find the ideal person for a potentially harder match to find.

A family looking for a live-in housekeeper-cook for their Hamptons home should look at contacting agencies in New York as well as the Hamptons, but nowhere too far for the housekeeper-cook to travel back and forth to on their days off (for instance New Jersey is too far from Easthampton, one full day off will be used for traveling). A live-in housekeeper-cook for the Hamptons will have to drive so this is a challenging order as many domestic candidates don’t want to live in and many housekeepers do not like to cook, especially cook the volume needed for the summer season, which is typically filled with parties and extra guests.

The best solution is to do the following: - Start the hiring process early - Contact high end agencies only, both local and non-local (as it is live in) - Set a salary range that is generous to allow you to find the best fit more easily - Make sure you have set an appealing schedule so you open-up the pool of qualified candidates. The schedule should always have 2 consecutive days off and usually a Sunday is given as a day off, in conjunction with Monday or Saturday - Phone screen the candidates first - Check their level of experience - Check they have been a flexible worker in the past.

One of the most common recurring issues for larger estates lies in the team of domestic staff. Staffing a larger home or estates is like running a small business in your home. The pyramid model works well for estate staffing. Start by hiring a house manager or a butler house manager. This person can then help you screen the rest of the staff, which helps them establish their authority with the staff you decide to hire for the summer that this house manager will be overseeing. This is the most important hire you will make over the summer, so screen this person for the following qualities:

- Ask their management style and ask for two or more references from staff they managed previously - Find out why they are looking for the summer only - Hire someone who has experience in the area they will be working - Ensure they have estate staff management experience - Once you hire them, hire the domestic staff with them and keep an open line of communication with the staff in case there are revolving door problems and it is the fault of the house manager - Make sure they have relationships with the top agencies in the area and ask who they liaise with at those agencies - Ensure they understand scheduling for staff - Pay them very well with the promise of a bonus at the end of the season In case you are doing the hiring alone or with a remote house manager, you will need to know how to attract the best staff (housekeepers, chefs and nannies) for your summer home Housekeepers: - Other than nannies, most high quality domestic are looking for a secure full-time job position, preferably with benefits. This is something every principle hiring only for the summer with deal with and lose staff too.

The best solution for this is to hire the best local candidates on a lower full time salary, offer benefits and give them a bonus at the end of the summer. This is the best solution for retaining top talent in a seasonal area such as the Hamptons - Housekeepers, more than any other domestic staff category, like a regular schedule with overtime, which is the law. A constant live in or Wednesday to Sunday schedule is always unpopular, but more-often-than-not needed for summer hires, especially in the Hamptons. Hire one more extra housekeeper than you need so each housekeeper gets one weekend of a month. This will attract the best talent - A standard and suggested formal housekeeper salary is $70,000 plus benefits and overtime.  A seasonal housekeeper is $35 to $40 an hour.

 

Chefs: -

Chefs often like a temporary position that helps them earn a solid income and allows them more freedom to freelance during the year, or travel etc. - Yacht chefs are some of the best chefs you can find and they are accustomed to short-term gigs, long schedules, catering to large formal parties in a small space and working 7 day or more stretches. I would recommend this direction if you can accommodate a live- in chef. - Use an agency that works with both yacht and domestic staff - Top chefs are often happy to do the Hamptons in between jobs. Again, starting this search early and constantly checking in is an excellent way of increasing your chances of securing the best private chef for the summer - Suggested salary for a summer chef is $8-12,000 a month.

Nannies: -

Nannies fall into many different categories: 1. Career nannies 2. Mother’s helpers 3. Nanny/housekeepers 4. Second language nannies 5. Newborn Care Specialist nannies 6. Travel nannies Childcare is the most delicate of all domestic hires to make, as they need to be fully-qualified for your particular childcare situation. I recommend using an agency with a specialized childcare department. Screen the head of the department and make sure they are qualified in childhood education and development and hold the appropriate degrees (and newborn care specialist should be an expert in their field and should have experience training, screening and offering certificates to newborn care specialists). If your children are older (3 and up) a travel nanny or student nanny could be a great option. These nannies are often students, actresses, singers, writers or have another unrelated career during the year. They must be experienced nannies with your children’s age group and this should be screened by the agency childcare branch. This can be a good option if they are able to tutor and educate your children over the summer, or teach them a musical instrument etc. This is the more economical option, with a salary usually starting at $25 an hour plus overtime. Travel pay is not a legal prerequisite but overtime pay is. If you have an infant, or infant twins, a certified and educated newborn care specialist or baby nurse is the best option. A regular nanny (career nanny, nanny/housekeepers, second language nanny, mother’s helper or suchlike) will be looking for a permanent position, so they are harder to pin down for the summer. If you do, the career nannies will likely be expensive at $35-45 an hour. Some will accept a summer position in between jobs but this is rare. For all childcare positions we highly recommend going through the childcare division at a reputed agency. Again, screen the person who heads this branch.

 

Examples are British American Household Staffing (bahs.com) and British American Newborn Care (bababynurses.com). Ashley Mundt and Katie Morin are both childhood and infant development specialists and highly certified, their bios below. For more information on domestic staffing, temporary or permanent, feel free to reach out to me at: info@bahs.com

By Anita Rogers www.bahs.com www.babynurses.com

 

Childhood development specialist and nanny hiring specialist for British American Household Staffing

Ashley Mundt, M.Ed., CCLS Nanny Consultant Ashley is our child development expert and nanny specialist. She has a strong academic background and years of hands on experience working with children and families in private and group settings. She received both a B.A. in Sociology and Youth and Human Services from Pepperdine University and an M.Ed. in Applied Child Studies from Vanderbilt. Her training as a Certified Child Life Specialist enables her to support and guide children and families during medical interventions, chronic illness, and family/home crisis situations. Although she has worked in many different settings throughout her career (including homes, schools, camps, and hospitals), her passion, and bulk of experience, is working directly with families in private homes. Over the past 15 years, she has worked as a highly sought after nanny, childcare consultant, parent educator, and caregiver trainer. Ashley's background of extensive developmental education and hands on experience in luxury homes puts her in a unique position to understand the needs of families, caregivers, and (most importantly) children.

 

Infant development specialist and baby nurse and newborn care specialist hiring specialist for British American Household Staffing and Newborn Care Katie Morin, ACNCS, NCSE Newborn Care Consultant and Placement 

Katie began her career in childcare over 20 years ago. She has been extremely fortunate to have worked with some amazing families along the way. One of her first and most memorable experiences with multiples (a set of newborn triplets) was 28 years ago. It was then that she realized her passion for working with children. It was then that she also realized her passion for caring for multiples. Katie has a degree in Child Development and Psychology and has countless certificates including being Advance Certified through the Newborn Care Specialist Association. Through the years, Katie has been a career nanny, a daycare owner, a preschool teacher and a Certified Newborn Care Specialist. She also has had great success in matching NCS candidates with amazing families worldwide. She does not consider these positions just a job, they are a passion and what she loves to do. It allows her to meet incredible people, all with different personalities and aspects of life. This experience gives her the ability to educate and assist new parents during the most amazing part of their life. To date she has worked with over 40 sets of twins, 9 sets of triplets and quadruplets. She has also worked with dozens of preemies (some born as early as 26 weeks) as well as newborns with special needs.   

 

www.bahs.com

www.bababynurses.com

www.bahsyachts.com


8 Ways to Have a Great Relationship with Your Nanny

Advice for talking to and interacting with nannies.

By Ellen Seidman

I have two loves of my life: My husband and my nanny. She's been with us since my son was born seven years ago, and I do everything I can to let her know how much I adore her. Take the other evening, when I went to an event thrown by a local mom's group. It was "spa night," and we were treated to manis, pedis and massages. We could also make our own bath salts, poured into a little glass jar and tied with a ribbon. I knew right away what I was going to do with mine: I came home and handed it to our nanny. "It's for you, so you can take a relaxing bath -- you deserve it," I said. 

Granted, I sure could use a relaxing bath (or twenty) myself. But I'm always trying to make sure our nanny feels cared for. This is the woman who I trust to take care of my kids. She's my partner, my copilot, my wing-woman in parenting. I want to keep her happy -- and I want her to do good by my kids and me, too. And just like having a good relationship with my husband, that takes time and attention. Plenty of other moms I know feel the same -- and have their own smart strategies. Read for yourself about the ways they've built great relationships with their nannies.


1. Make Expectations Clear From Day One
"If you want your nanny to help with dinner or do laundry or light cleaning -- and she'll have the time free during the day to do them -- let her know from the start," says Betsy, a mom of one. "You don't just want to spring major new demands on a nanny, because then she'll feel taken advantage of." Some moms refuse to ask their nannies do housework, as tempting as it may be. As Judy, a mom of one, says, "Sure, I'd like some help, but I don't want to send the message that my baby isn't the top priority. She is."

 

2. Care -- Really Care -- About Your Nanny
"I care about my babysitter's mental and physical health as much as I care about my family's," says Denise, a mother of two. "I do it because she's part of my family, and I want her to feel that way. Also, the healthier she is, the better she'll be able to take care of my kids."

 

3. Pamper Her
"My babysitter has been with us since Brodie was 11 months old -- now he's five! -- and I try to help her enjoy herself. You know, like giving her job perks!" says Dani. "I'll tape some of her favorite shows on TiVo so she can watch them when Brodie's asleep, and make sure I have her favorite snacks around." Adds Betsy, "On my nanny's birthday, I give her a personal gift -- like a scarf -- and some cash in an envelope, and I'll have Melinda draw her a card. Really, she's like my child's other mother!" Hedy, a mother of two, goes even further: "I buy my nanny's two kids presents for the holidays. It makes her really happy, too."

 

4. Don't Get in Her Way
"My sitter has raised her own kids, so I generally give her a lot of autonomy," says Kara, a mother of two. "Even if she does some things differently than I do, I figure it worked for her, no harm done. And we always make sure that our kids, who are two and five, know that her word is final when we're not home. This has gotten important now that my oldest is playing more with kids in the neighborhood and asking them to go over, or to go to their house. Whatever Cynthia says goes! It conveys respect and also makes things run more smoothly."

 

5. Be Generous
Most moms give their nannies an end-of-year bonus (sometimes, as much as an extra week's salary), plus an annual pay raise. "I believe really strongly in not nickel-and-diming my sitter," notes Jessica, a mother of two. "If she works an extra half-hour, I'll round up to an hour. If she bought my kids a $6 lunch, I'll reimburse her $10. My friends think I'm crazy, but I see the payoff. She always comes when I need her, and more importantly, she's happy and cheerful and works hard to make our lives better in every way."

 

6. Pick Your Battles
"I avoid speaking up about minor stuff that bugs me," says Kara. "Like, my babysitter has a habit of opening the microwave without first pressing 'Stop.' I think it could screw it up and if my husband did it, you'd better believe I'd ask him to stop! But I've held back. My philosophy is that the less I critique and make requests, the more impact it will have when I have an important change I want her to make."

 

7. Speak Up About Big Issues
"If I have to talk with our nanny about something I'm not happy about, I try to get home from work early so we can talk before she leaves, or I'll ask her to come in a few minutes early in the morning," says Joanna, a mom of two. "Leaving notes about biggie things is not okay -- your nanny, and your children, deserve a discussion. If you leave a note, your nanny might feel attacked. It's so easy to read the wrong tone in a note."

 

8. Help Her Stay Organized
"I have a large calendar hanging on the kitchen corkboard where I write down the kids' activities and playdates," says Hedy, a mother of twins. "That way we can remember what's happening when. It keeps us both sane!" 


What To Expect When You Are Expecting

Via Ashley Ann Photography

When I was pregnant with my oldest, I scoured this book every night.

EVERY NIGHT.

How big is the baby now?

What is growing?

How are things changing?

What am I supposed to be feeling?

Is this normal?

What are the warning signs?

40 weeks…isn’t that 10 months not 9 months?

What is the earliest time the baby could safely arrive?

How close are we to the end?

EVERY NIGHT I read that crazy book. I read the chapter that dealt with where I was at in my pregnancy, but also the next chapter. It was like I’d read one night and then hope that when I read it the next night I was somehow so much closer to the Bringing Baby Home chapter. I could tell you exactly how many weeks and days I was pregnant. I could tell you if the baby was the size of a pear or a melon…and exactly which kind of melon.

I think I picked it up once during my second pregnancy and then never again.

Now I have a new version that is getting a lot of use these days:

We are finishing up a couple of things for our dossier (the big packet of everything that goes to our agency and then to China). We’ve been in the busy stages of gathering and compiling all kinds of things. Now we are just waiting on things. Waiting for a fingerprint appointment. Then we’ll wait for approval of those fingerprints. Then we mail off our dossier and really begin the long months of waiting.

I’m just as emotional this round as I was with our other four kids. There is a commercial of a mom giving a baby boy a bath. She says something about how her type is the chubby bald kind (referring to the baby). I used to cry when I saw that commercial because I understood that feeling of giving a tiny little guy a bath and being overcome with love. Now I cry…thinking of all the baths I am missing. There is a lot of grieving that takes place with adoption – I am only beginning to understand this.

There are so many uncertainties. So many question marks. One thing we don’t question…don’t waver on….we have a little one in China. God clearly, so very clearly to us, marked this path. THIS SPECIFIC PATH. OUR CHILD. And right now I may not have a name or face, but I’d move heaven and earth to get my little one home.

So in the wait, we’ll keep talking about our little one across the ocean. I’ll probably keep checking my timelines. And one day, I’ll stop checking those timelines. Just like I stopped reading that pregnancy book. I’ll be at the Bringing Baby Home chapter…..

My 2 & 3 year old were playing. He said, “Let’s pretend it’s our baby in China and I go get the baby and I give the baby to you. You can be the mommy.” Of all our kids, he talks about his sibling in China the most. Several times a day.  If he understood timelines, he’d probably be reading them with me tonight….


10 Parenting Tips For Raising Unspoiled, Thankful Kids

In my private practice I often see affluent families struggling with wanting to raise "grateful and unspoiled children" despite being wealthy, going on lavish vacations, having beautiful homes and owning the latest gadgets, toys and luxury cars. They ask me if it is really possible and my answer is "Yes, but you are going to have to work hard at it." I call it intentional parenting and it takes a lot of discipline to pull it off.

So, here is my list of the top 10 things around which you and your support group need to have clarity and consistent follow through in order to raise unspoiled children.

And at the end of the day, if you have a spoiled child—one who relentlessly nags, cries and throws a huge fit when they do not get what they want—you only have yourself to blame! Stop giving in and start applying most if not all of these values and approaches. Start being a great example. You will have greater enjoyment in being a parent, your child will be happier and better adjusted and there will be greater peace and love in your home. And that is something money cannot buy.

1. Say no...often. 

Practice delayed gratification and simply not always giving your children what they want, even if you can easily afford it.

2. Expect gratitude.

Go beyond teaching your child to say please and thank you. Also teach them eye contact, a proper hand shake, affection and appreciation for the kind and generous things that are said and given to them. If this does not happen, have them return the gift (either to the person or to you for safe keeping) and explain that they aren't yet ready to receive such a gift.

3. Practice altruism yourself.

Donate clothes and toys to those in need (not just to your neighbors when it's easy and they have younger children!) and have your kids be a part of that process. Do this regularly as a family and sort through, package and deliver the goods together so the kids really see where their things are going. Do this often and not just around the holidays.

4. Be mindful of the company you keep. 

If you only hang around other affluent families who are not raising their kids with intention, you may be surrounding yourself with those who will not help out with what you are trying to accomplish. Be sure family or friends you are spending significant time with have similar values to yours, otherwise you are going to feel defeated after a while.

5. Write thank you cards. 

Yes, handwritten on paper with a pen! Kids these days generally have shorter attention spans, are easily distracted and aren't taught to take careful time and attention to express their appreciation. This simple yet important act can go a long way as a skill to teach expression of feelings and thoughtfulness.

6. Don't catch every fall.

Practice natural consequences from an early age — share some of your own experiences and teach them lessons such as "life is not fair." In addition, don't over-protect them from disappointments. You have to really understand and believe that failing and falling is a part successful childhood development.

7. Resist the urge to buy multiples of things.

Just because you can doesn't mean that you should! Don't buy four American Girl Dolls—buy just one and have your child love and appreciate what they have.

8. Talk to their grandparents and explain your intentions to them.

Share with them your desires to have respectful, appreciative, kind and responsible children and the ways in which you are going to achieve that goal. You will need their help in doing this if they are like most grandparents who want to spoil their grandkids! Ask them to spoil them with love, time, affection and attention—not toys, treats and money.

9. Teach them the value of money.

Have your child manage their money through saving, giving to charity/others and then spending.  If you do this from an early age you are truly setting a foundation of responsible wealth management.

10. Share your story.

Last but not least, you should tell your kids the legacy of your family's fortune. When I say wealth or fortune, that is all relative. If you come from significant wealth tell the story of how that was earned and created. If you are self-made, tell that story too—just don't forget that "giving your kids everything that you didn't have" is not always a good thing. There is probably a lot that you learned along the way by stumbling to make you the person you are today.

 

By Sheryl Ziegler


Choosing the Right Child Care After Baby Number 2

Thanks to WhatToExpect.Com

Child care may not be on the long list of things you’re thinking about now that you’re pregnant with baby number 2 — after all, you nailed that down the first time around, right? But sometimes the option you chose back when your first child was born is no longer the best one for you. It all depends on your needs, your preferences and your budget.

And even if you decide not to change your approach, it’s always a good idea to have a conversation with your child care provider about your expectations when their responsibilities have increased after your second baby comes along. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you mull over your child care options.

DAY CARE CENTER

The cost: 

A day care center can be expensive. In fact, the annual average cost of day care for an infant is higher in many states than a year’s tuition at a four-year public college.

And while day care is generally less costly than a sitter, if you have two children enrolled, the savings are not as great. There are sometimes price breaks for siblings — find out if one is offered at the center you currently use or any you are considering — but they they tend to hover around just 10 percent.

In the beginning, expect to pay anywhere from just under $4,000 a year to just under $23,000 a year on your infant’s day care. Costs vary wildly depending on where you live and whether your day care is home- or center-based.

And remember that with two kids, the chances that one will be sick at any given time are relatively high, so you’ll need to plan for a reliable backup if you decide to go with day care.

Other things to consider:

Getting your infant and older child up, dressed, fed and out the door every day can be twice as crazy-making as it is with one. If baby number 1 is starting to age out of a day care facility and will need someone to take him or her back and forth to school soon, a nanny may be a better bet.

But don’t discount the benefits of built-in socialization and education that come along with day care centers. Some even offer a preschool curriculum, so your older child could stay at the same location once he or she is ready to learn the ABCs.

The bottom line:

Day care for two might not be the bargain that it was for one. But if you do your homework, you have a good shot at winding up with an option that's safe, dependable — and still cheaper than a full-time nanny.

HOME OR FAMILY DAY CARE

The cost:

Home-based day care is generally less expensive than a nanny or a child care center— around 25 percent cheaper than the latter, whether you have one kid or two. So if you're looking for ways to cut costs now that you have a pair of little ones, this might be a good option, particularly if the facility offers a sibling discount.

Other things to consider:

Many states don't require a family day care to be licensed unless it takes on a certain number of children, so background checks are crucial. Perform them on the owner and the owner’s employees just as you would with a sitter.

You'll also want to make sure the facility is safe and thoroughly child-proofed, and find out about its policy for those times when an employee is sick. Some don’t have the same kinds of reliable back-ups that day care centers do.

And you'll want to look into what kinds of activities and learning exercises the home child care you're considering provides. They're often not as extensive as what you’d find at a center, which may or may not work for you and your children.

The bottom line:

A family day care can offer a homey, personal setting for a lower cost than a day care center or a nanny — and with more flexibility when it comes to how many days a week you use it.

Just be sure to carefully investigate the home-based facilities you're considering and realize that they may not have as many bells and whistles as a center does. Read our tips on how to choose a day care center or home day care if you need more help.

NANNY

The cost:

This tends to be the most expensive child care option: A full-time nanny will cost on average $705 a week, or $36,660 a year, but it can be more or less depending on where you live, his or her level of experience and other factors.

The upside? The price per child drops by the time your nanny starts looking after two. Unlike a day care center, where the cost for two children can be twice what it is for one, you generally only pay a nanny a few dollars more per day to take care of a new baby in addition to your older child.

Other things to consider:

Whatever price you negotiate for your duo, you’re paying for convenience, flexibility and extra help with the kids (and even chores) that other child care arrangements don't provide.

A nanny can get an older child to school while caring for a younger one. And a nanny offers one-on-one (or in this case, one-on-two!) attention. Maybe yours will even be willing to do the laundry and some light housework while the kids are napping or in school.

Just keep in mind that nannies get sick and take vacations, too, so you’ll need a back-up plan. And you will, of course, want to perform due diligence: Get plenty of recommendations on all your candidates and check their backgrounds thoroughly.  

If it’s relevant to the age of your older child, make sure the sitter you hire or are thinking of hiring is as good at going over homework as he or she is at rocking the baby to sleep.

The bottom line:

If you already have a nanny taking care of one child, then you won’t have to pay much more to keep the same arrangement for both your kids — while still getting the perks you’ve come to depend on. The issue is ensuring that your nanny has the skills and energy to handle two little ones at different developmental stages. If you need more help, try some of these tips on how to find a nanny.

RELATIVE CARE  

The cost:

Usually, this one’s free! Whether you have one child or two, Grandma probably won’t be charging you anything to look after them. Beyond your undying gratitude, the only thing you might have to give her is a car seat for her car.

If you're lucky enough to have a relative nearby who’s willing and able to care for your kids for nothing, then cost isn’t really an issue unless you decide to offer a small weekly stipend, which some parents do. Regardless of the deal you work out, you’ll want to be clear from the start about pay (if any), hours and duties.

Other things to consider:

Before you ask your mom or mother-in-law to step in as a full-time sitter or step up her duties from caring for one to caring for two, ask yourself if she can really handle both children — especially if one is an energetic toddler who loves to run, climb and throw things into the toilet.  

Have a frank talk with any relative who currently watches your kids — or might call in the future —and don’t be shy about asking if she might see two as more of a burden than she bargained for. Still stumped? Tap into this guide to vetting relatives as sitters.

The bottom line:

The benefits of having a sitter you trust implicitly who charges nothing are obvious. But doing business with family can be fraught with challenges you may not anticipate, so keep the lines of communication open on both sides and realize that sometimes it’s best to make this a temporary solution.

A MIX-AND-MATCH CHILD CARE ARRANGEMENT

Many parents, especially those with more than one child, cobble together a few of these options — a part-time nanny plus day care a few days a week, for instance.  Maybe your mom or dad can look after the kids for half the week but would prefer not to do more than that. Or maybe your budget allows for a part-time nanny and day care to supplement the days he or she isn't working. Sometimes combining different options is a good way to save a little money on child care and get the best of both worlds.

Check to see how flexible your current provider is about part-time care and then figure out whether a mix of child care choices might work well once you're a mom of two.

SETTING EXPECTATIONS

No matter what kind of child care you settle on after baby number 2 comes along— the same as you used with your first child or something completely new — now is a good time to review those added responsibilities, revised expectations and issues that have cropped up with your current situation. 

Is your older child anxious about the new arrival? Let your day care director and teachers know. Perhaps you want your nanny to schedule fewer playdates in those first weeks that she’s bonding with the new baby and trying to pay attention to both kids. Maybe you're worried that you'll be so frazzled after a long day back at work that you’d love it if she could start dinner for you before you get home.

Having those discussions early on to address your needs and concerns will go a long way in helping prevent problems down the line. No matter what, you'll figure out the best child care solution for you and your two (!) little ones and with time and patience, you'll all adjust to and feel comfortable with whatever choices you make for your family.


The Difference Between a Nanny and a Babysitter: 5 Myths Explained

By Ashley Brooks

Nannies are just glorified babysitters, right? Wrong! Nannies are hard-working child care professionals, yet they’re subject to a long list of stereotypes from people who don’t understand what the job really entails.

So what’s the difference between a nanny and a babysitter? A nanny’s duties go well beyond making mac 'n' cheese and popping in the latest Disney DVD. Nannies do everything from planning educational activities to providing discipline when necessary, according to the International Nanny Association (INA).

Don’t get caught believing the stereotypes! We enlisted a few seasoned nannies who are ready to set the record straight. You just might want to pursue this fulfilling career once you’ve heard their side of the story!

5 myths every nanny wants to debunk

 

1. Nannies are just babysitters who work longer hours

Any nanny will tell you there’s a world of difference between their job and babysitting. A babysitter’s main task is to supervise a family’s children for a short period of time. Their job is over after microwaving frozen corndogs and playing a few rounds of Monopoly®.*

Nannies, on the other hand, are actively involved with the children they care for day in and day out. “They’re responsible for the emotional, physical and intellectual growth of the child,” says Helen Adeosun, veteran nanny and founder of CareAcademy.

A good nanny will be attentive to what’s happening in a child’s development and will make adjustments based on the child’s needs. A nanny’s day might include inventing a game to help a toddler work on her gross-motor skills, teaching a preschooler to identify letters, or noticing that a baby is showing signs of readiness to start solid foods.

2. People become nannies because they couldn’t find a “real job”

“Our job is not taken seriously and it isn’t viewed as important,” says Melissa Martz, a full-time nanny with 18 years of experience. Adeosun agrees that people are often quick to assume nannying isn’t a legitimate job. Yet nannies spend their days doing hard work with specialized knowledge, often earning the benefits to prove it.

Many full-time nannies receive similar benefits to traditional employees working for a company, according to the INA. In addition to a salary that adheres to the Fair Labor Standard Act, nannies can expect to receive paid holidays, sick days and vacation, as well as a portion of their health insurance premium covered. Some families may award their nannies bonuses and reimburse them for professional conferences or training as well.

3. Anyone can be a nanny

Some people think that no special skills or training are necessary to care for children all day. Those people have obviously never spent eight hours with a two-year-old. In reality, many nannies are highly educated childcare workers who deserve respect for their specialized knowledge.

The INA has identified five educational competencies for nannies, including skills related to children’s developmental and physical needs. They also note the importance of a nanny’s ability to interact professionally with the employing family.

“Ongoing professional development legitimizes a very important job,” says Adeosun. She found it shocking that teachers were expected to engage in ongoing education but nannies weren’t offered the same type of training. It was that realization that led her to launch CareAcademy.

Some of the skills and certifications parents look for in a nanny include:

  • CPR and first-aid certification
  • Early childhood education or other teaching degree/experience
  • Child nutrition training
  • Sign language
  • Water-safety certification
  • Professional nanny certification

4. Nannies watch cartoons with the kids all day

It might be OK for a babysitter to plop the kids on the couch for a movie marathon, but nannies know their work involves much more than that. “As a nanny, I’m invested in the child’s upbringing, development and well-being,” says Martz.

That’s why she makes an effort to enroll the kids in her care in various community activities, from library programs to swimming lessons. Martz also makes sure to introduce early childhood learning concepts through finger plays, reading books and asking open-ended questions. That’s a far cry from sitting on the couch!

“Being engaged in the community and in community programs is what helps raise a well-rounded child,” says Martz. By keeping the kids in her care involved in these types of activities, she’s making sure their physical, physiological and social needs are met—something you can’t achieve by watching Frozen for the 100th time.  

5. Nannies don’t work hard

A nanny’s work may not involve sitting at a desk in a big corporation, but they exert a lot of energy to provide the best care possible for their kids. “You're planning, monitoring and interacting in a very close way with the child in your care. It’s amazing and can be profoundly hard work,” says Adeosun.

Nannies don’t get to run on auto-pilot if they’re tired or having a bad day. Any nanny can tell you there’s never a dull moment when they’re on duty. “A nanny is a critical thinker, a problem solver and someone who’s very anticipatory,” says Adeosun.

Nannies are experienced, trained professionals who use their skills to do everything from cooking a nutritious meal to mediating fights between siblings. Lazy folks should steer clear of a position that encompasses this much work!

The career behind the myths

Now you’re well aware of the difference between a nanny and a babysitter. There’s no question that being a nanny takes a lot more work, but our experts agree that it also reaps a much bigger reward. 

Investing your energy into nurturing one group of children and watching them grow and develop can be extremely satisfying. You essentially become a member of the family, making it feel less like work and more like home.


6 Workouts You Can Do During Every Stage of Pregnancy

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By Jenny Jin

If you need any motivation to get moving while pregnant, perhaps it’s this: According to a study in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, exercising during pregnancy can help your body prepare for labor and recover more quickly after giving birth. Here, six workouts you can do throughout your pregnancy. (As always, just make sure to talk to your OB-GYN beforehand.)

PRENATAL YOGA

If you’ve never tried yoga before (or are still relatively new to it), find a trainer who can guide you through the moves and keep an eye on your form. This is especially important as your pregnancy progresses. By the second trimester, you should skip any positions that require you to lie flat on your back (it could place too much pressure on the vena cava, the main vein that carries blood to your baby) and avoid any moves that really challenge your balance.

BARRE CLASSES

The low-impact, controlled nature of barre classes (think small, repetitive movements rather than big bursts or bouncing around) make them perfect for expecting moms. You should be OK to continue your regular regimen through the first trimester, then ask your instructor for modifications for any moves that require you to lie on your back, twist from the waist up or balance precariously on the barre itself.

SPINNING

Major plus: It’s the only workout that has a built-in seat waiting to support you when needed. The bike’s handlebars can also help stabilize you as your belly grows. Just make sure to stay hydrated throughout the class, keep an eye on your breathing (you shouldn’t be panting or gasping) and avoid bouncing and sit-stand routines in your third trimester. Finally—and we can’t stress this enough—go at your own pace. You can stop whenever you need.

SWIMMING 

Exercising in the water gives you a full range of motion without putting any pressure on your joints. (Plus, it’s the rare moment during pregnancy where you feel light and practically weightless.) Always enter the pool slowly and stick to a stroke that feels most comfortable to you. The breaststroke is a popular pick because it doesn’t require you to rotate your torso or belly to do it.

RUNNING

Yes, it may get increasingly difficult as you grow, but it’s still possible to run throughout most of your pregnancy. Just be mindful of your speed and distance—even if you are a seasoned runner. You’re carrying a lot of extra weight, so that ten-minute mile that used to be a breeze might feel a tad too challenging. Listen to your body and settle into a light jog (or a fast walk) if needed. (Another tip: Plan your runs so you always have a bathroom within close proximity. The jostling of running can push down on your bladder.)

WEIGHT TRAINING

Using heavy weights—particularly in the third trimester—is probably a bad idea, but body weight workouts (like squats or wall push-ups) can help you maintain strength throughout your pregnancy. Might we suggest some low-weight, high-rep arm exercises (like bicep curls using five-pound dumbbells) to help you build strength to carry your tot?

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).  


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.

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

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

Please try selecting another category.

6 Workouts You Can Do During Every Stage of Pregnancy

BARRE.jpg

By Jenny Jin

If you need any motivation to get moving while pregnant, perhaps it’s this: According to a study in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, exercising during pregnancy can help your body prepare for labor and recover more quickly after giving birth. Here, six workouts you can do throughout your pregnancy. (As always, just make sure to talk to your OB-GYN beforehand.)

PRENATAL YOGA

If you’ve never tried yoga before (or are still relatively new to it), find a trainer who can guide you through the moves and keep an eye on your form. This is especially important as your pregnancy progresses. By the second trimester, you should skip any positions that require you to lie flat on your back (it could place too much pressure on the vena cava, the main vein that carries blood to your baby) and avoid any moves that really challenge your balance.

BARRE CLASSES

The low-impact, controlled nature of barre classes (think small, repetitive movements rather than big bursts or bouncing around) make them perfect for expecting moms. You should be OK to continue your regular regimen through the first trimester, then ask your instructor for modifications for any moves that require you to lie on your back, twist from the waist up or balance precariously on the barre itself.

SPINNING

Major plus: It’s the only workout that has a built-in seat waiting to support you when needed. The bike’s handlebars can also help stabilize you as your belly grows. Just make sure to stay hydrated throughout the class, keep an eye on your breathing (you shouldn’t be panting or gasping) and avoid bouncing and sit-stand routines in your third trimester. Finally—and we can’t stress this enough—go at your own pace. You can stop whenever you need.

SWIMMING 

Exercising in the water gives you a full range of motion without putting any pressure on your joints. (Plus, it’s the rare moment during pregnancy where you feel light and practically weightless.) Always enter the pool slowly and stick to a stroke that feels most comfortable to you. The breaststroke is a popular pick because it doesn’t require you to rotate your torso or belly to do it.

RUNNING

Yes, it may get increasingly difficult as you grow, but it’s still possible to run throughout most of your pregnancy. Just be mindful of your speed and distance—even if you are a seasoned runner. You’re carrying a lot of extra weight, so that ten-minute mile that used to be a breeze might feel a tad too challenging. Listen to your body and settle into a light jog (or a fast walk) if needed. (Another tip: Plan your runs so you always have a bathroom within close proximity. The jostling of running can push down on your bladder.)

WEIGHT TRAINING

Using heavy weights—particularly in the third trimester—is probably a bad idea, but body weight workouts (like squats or wall push-ups) can help you maintain strength throughout your pregnancy. Might we suggest some low-weight, high-rep arm exercises (like bicep curls using five-pound dumbbells) to help you build strength to carry your tot?


Tips for Traveling With Kids from Parents Who’ve Been on the Road for 1 1/2 Years

By Susan Johnston Taylor for Today

If you think packing up the minivan for a weekend at grandma’s is overwhelming, try prepping for 1 1/2 years on the road. Jessica and Garrett Gee have been traveling with their two kids, Dorothy, 4, and Manilla, 2, since August 2015.

After Garrett sold Scan Inc., an app he co-founded, to Snapchat for $54 million in 2014, he and wife Jessica decided to invest their earnings, sell most of their worldly possessions and travel the world using the money they made — roughly $45,000 — from their giant garage sale.

The family chronicles their adventures on the Bucket List Family blog, as well as on Instagram and YouTube, including diving with seals in Australia, swimming with the pigs in the Bahamas and surfing in Fiji.

The Gees are also committed to philanthropic work. Inspired by prayer flags in Nepal, they designed “adventure bands” that can be used as a scarf, headband or armband, and sell them through their website to raise money to build a school in the landlocked Himalayan country in South Asia. The first batch of bands sold out within three hours, raising $10,000.

In addition to supporting charities, they take nominations from their community and surprise other families with travel experiences. “We’ll be surprising a family to join us in Bali, where we’re volunteering at an orphanage,” Garrett, 28, said. “It’s this community effort to pick a family and send them somewhere incredible.”

Here’s a look at what they’ve learned and how they’ve handled the logistics of long-term travel with kids.

1. Kids don’t need that much stuff.

Jessica, 30, says she made the mistake early in their travels of packing everything they might need, including a double stroller and extra clothes and towels. They’ve since pared down. The family still carries a small travel stroller that folds down and fits in the overhead compartment, but for most other things they’ll buy or rent it once they get there. They don’t travel with a car seat, because island destinations don’t involve much driving. When they fly to Europe and rent a car, they’ll also rent a car seat. “Everything else, like diapers, we buy those wherever we go because people have kids everywhere,” Garrett said.

2. You don’t need a fancy cellphone plan.

When the Gees first hit the road, they agreed to a tight travel budget. They decided to stick to living off the proceeds from their big garage sale, and not touch their savings or the money earned from the sale of Garrett's company. If they ran out of money, the couple would stop their journey. But they now make enough money as a traveling family, working with brands and companies through their social media accounts, to extend their travels.

One expense that had to go? International cellphone plans. Instead, the Gees use their iPhones when they have access to Wi-Fi. The couple say this budget cut has had an unexpected benefit: feeling more balanced and present with the family. “When we were out of the house, we didn't ever use our phones because they didn't work,” said Jessica. “So we would spend the majority of the day disconnected from phones and enjoying our family adventures, conversations, and you know, old-fashioned good stuff.” When they’re on Wi-Fi at a hotel or temporary rental, they stay in touch with friends and family members using Skype, Facetime or Google Hangouts.

3. Other countries have decent (and affordable) medical care.

The only recurring bill the Gees have is medical travel insurance in case someone gets sick or injured. They take care of routine doctor and dentist visits when they return to the U.S. at Christmastime, but both children have had emergency room visits for stitches on the road.

4. Kids are remarkably adaptable.

Garrett says their kids have enjoyed trying new foods and exploring new cultures. “One of my favorite things as a parent is to see this effect that traveling has had on our kids,” he said. “I think kids are just going to grow accustomed to their surroundings. If you let them be high maintenance, they’ll be high maintenance.”


Why Nannies Should Be Vaccinated

Why Nannies (Newborn Care Specialists and Baby Nurses) Should Be Vaccinated

Professional Child Care Providers Should Be Vaccinated

More and more parents and nanny agencies are requiring nanny candidates be vaccinated for the flu, whooping cough, and measles.

While some people may have allergies to specific vaccines and cannot get vaccinated, the Center of Disease Control (CDC) shows why child care providers should be vaccinated.

Even healthy people can get very sick from influenza (the flu) and spread it to others. The CDC lists that hundreds of thousands of Americans are hospitalized each flu season and that flu viruses circulate at higher levels in the U.S. population.

Each year, millions of children get sick with seasonal influenza; thousands of children are hospitalized and some children die from flu.

Children younger than 5 years and especially those younger than 2 years are at high risk of serious influenza complications. Newborns and infants are most at risk.

An annual seasonal flu vaccine is the best way to reduce your risk of getting sick with seasonal flu and spreading it to others. When more people get vaccinated against the flu, less flu can spread through that community and protect our newborns, infants and children.

Pertussis, also known as whooping cough, is a highly contagious respiratory disease. Pertussis can affect people of all ages, but can be very serious, even deadly, for babies less than a year old.

There are whooping cough vaccines for babies, children, preteens, teens, and adults.

The CDC urges all caregivers and family members that come in contact with a baby make sure they get a pertussis vaccine at least two weeks before meeting a baby.

Measles is a very contagious virus that is particularly dangerous in children under age 5. The disease can be spread to the fetus of pregnant women, threatening the fetus. It is easily spread through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Measles can easily be prevented by receiving the MMR vaccine.

In 2014 there were 667 cases of measles in 27 states and in just one month, 121 new cases of measles were reported in the United States. In February 2015 a total of 125 measles cases had been confirmed linked to two Disney theme parks in Orange County, California. The majority of people who got measles were unvaccinated.

Vaccinations have been a polarizing subject because of a discredited report in the Lancet about 18-years ago. Some believe the MMR vaccine causes autism. This belief has been discredited by scientific study. Even those who authored the study have discredited their findings.

Therefore, the overwhelming majority of doctors and public health officials agree the vaccine is safe and recommend everyone who can be vaccinated with the MMR vaccine be vaccinated.

Clearly the vaccine works. The chart above shows that measles rates have plummeted after the introduction of the vaccine.

While many workers may be required to be vaccinated, the nanny industry is unregulated. So, it is a personal decision parents to require their nannies be vaccinated, or not.

Nannies, newborn care specialists and baby nurses may lose job opportunities if parents and agencies require their job candidates be vaccinated. So it’s in their best interest to be immunized.

Of course some people cannot get immunized due to allergies. Concerned nannies, newborn care specialists and baby nurses should discuss their worries about vaccines with their doctor. They can ask their doctor for a MMR Titer Test to see if they need the vaccine.

From bethebestnanny.com


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


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)

 

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