Hiring A Domestic Couple

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A Wise Domestic Staffing Hire From British American 

Do you have a second or third home you need maintaining? The question many multiple home owners ask me is "what is the best domestic staffing hire for my vacation home?".  The best choice is to hire a domestic couple.  Why is hiring a domestic couple a better choice than a single housekeeper? A domestic couple is a long-term hire.  They are usually married with grown children and they are seeking a position to take them into retirement.  Once a domestic couple accepts a position, they often live on property or nearby and create a life for themselves in the area and they rarely leave the position for other opportunities.  

 

There are two types of domestic couples, the most common being a housekeeper/cook and a houseman or maintenance man.  Both parties usually drive, and they are able to maintain a large home together.  This kind of domestic couple do all of the housekeeping, laundry, cooking, grounds man duties, they take care of the external and internal work needed in the home. The houseman or maintenance man will take care of the landscaping, any plumbing or HVAC issues, and he will be in charge of the structure of the home and he is able to keep the home maintained and safe, concentrating on the upkeep.  The housekeeper/cook will manage all cleaning and stocking and the housekeeper/cook will cater to parties, help prepare and serve meals in a formal or informal setting.  If there is a large dinner party, the housekeeper/cook will assist the chef for preparation and the housekeeper/cook with usually serve and have a strong background in formal serving.  When the family is in residence the domestic couple of this type will work many hours and keep all aspects of a busy home running.  Laundry, deep cleaning, shopping, stocking, organizing, cooking and serving.  Both parties are able to drive the family and any guests if this is needed.

The other category of domestic couple is an estate couple.  They typically work in larger estates overseeing staff.  They do not deep clean or serve but they will manage the staff in the home, oversee and manage schedules, organize the staff to prepare them for any extra guests and dinner parties, manage the financial aspect if needed.  One member of an estate couple will often be a chef and can prepare specialty meals for guests, family or just the principal.   An estate couple may have worked on a yacht together and they will want to settle down and retire on land.

To summarize, a domestic couple is an excellent hire for any vacation home or large estate. They maintain the property on both a micro and macro level, depending which type of domestic couple is hired.  The likelihood of longevity is high.  They have often relocated to live on property for the job position and as they are usually a married couple, they tend to make the area and job their life. The domestic couple typically aim to retire in a job position where they are able to work together. If you have a home or estate you need managing, we highly recommend hiring a domestic couple for peace of mind. This is the ideal domestic staffing hire for a second or third property or large estate.

More information on hiring a domestic couple here


What Is the Process of Hiring Household Staff?

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Running a home is like setting up a small business. The same structure, hiring processes, and operational complexities are involved when it comes to employing domestic staffing.

 

Just like a business, legal issues and logistical details are important when bringing on new employees. In the United States, domestic staff are required to pay taxes and report their income. This means complying with federal and state labor laws. These laws can be complex and are often overlooked. Hiring undocumented workers or not paying household staff in a legal and fair way may lower the immediate bottom line, but have serious legal and financial consequences.

 

 

What Constitutes Household Staff?

 

 

Household staff are hired to work in a private home. What differentiates domestic employees from contract workers is how autonomously they work. An independent contractor will work within their own schedule, use their own tools and operate within their own guidelines. For example, a plumber would be an independent contractor. Domestic employees work on a set schedule and process determined by the employer or homeowner. For example, your housekeeper working to your schedule and using the tools provided would be a domestic employee. This distinction applies whether an employee is live-in or live-out, part-time or full-time, hourly or salary.

 

Common staff positions in large and small homes are:

Estate Manager – individual managing multiple large properties and all land, vineyards, private jets and yachts.

House Manager – individual managing a single property and all staff employed there.

Chauffeur – individual hired to drive a principal and family. A chauffeur may also have a background in security.

Lady’s Maid – individual that attends to the lady of the house.

Private Chef – individual that prepares meals on a long term basis for a household. A private chef may also manage other kitchen staff and plan events.

Butler – individual in the home dedicated to service. Duties of a butler may range from household management to wardrobe care.

Houseman – individual provides deep cleaning for the home and serves a single, usually male, principal.

Personal Assistant – individual working to support a single principal or family. A personal assistant will be able to run errands, book appointments and travel and manage accounts.

Executive Housekeeper – individual who manages other house cleaning staff. An executive housekeeper may also coordinate vendors and repairs for the property.

Housekeeper – individual responsible for cleaning the home. A housekeeper will be well-versed in maintaining fine furniture, caring for artwork and antiques and cleaning and ironing fine clothing.

Nanny – individual dedicated to caring for the children of the home.

Governess – individual dedicated to caring and educating the children of the home. A governess will have a background in education and focus on teaching and instruction as a primary responsibility.

Private Jet Staff

Private Yacht Staff

 

See more information on duties and responsibilities for these and other domestic staffing positions.

 

 

What Are the Benefits of Having Household Staff?

 

 

The organization and make-up of your home staff is unique to your individual needs and lifestyle. Having the right support in place saves you time and worry and ensures the smooth running of your homes.

 

The idea of employing “help” is not reserved for the ultra-wealthy or Downton Abby anymore. For many of today’s families, having household staff is essential to their lives; whether its childcare, home management or the supervision of multiple properties.

 

Working with a domestic staffing agency can ensure expert attention is given to the details of hiring. British American Household Staffing is able to provide advisement on salaries, benefits, schedule and any relevant tax information in your state.

 

 

What Are Tax and Labor Laws for Household Staff?

 

 

Your household staff is employed by you. Many families organize payroll and taxes through their business office or a third party service. Whether you operate with a home office, business office or third party, you must have an employer identification number, confirmation that the employee is allowed to work and all relevant tax forms completed for each member of your staff. This includes W4 and I-9 forms.

 

For tax or legal guidance specific to your estate and state’s laws, please consult your financial team. For example, some states require worker’s comp to be provided for all domestic staff. Most states require detailed records of payroll and income to be kept. Setting up your hiring process the correct way will save time and money for all future hires and ensure that you avoid any legal issues in the future.

 

New York labor laws for domestic staff

California labor laws for domestic staff

 

 

How To Set Up Your Household Staff?

 

 

Once your household staff is hired, it is important to begin the relationship in the best way. Using an employee contract that is signed by all parties can eliminate miscommunication and establish clear expectations.

 

The nature and atmosphere of your home or estate is unique to your family and lifestyle. Some homes require formal staff with white glove service, while others operate best with a relaxed and easy-going setting. No matter the level of formality, it’s important for both you and your staff that clear boundaries are in place. Smooth running residences operate with clear and specific expectations for all staff.

 

Delegating staff management to an estate manager or house manager can eliminate difficult situations between employer and employee. A qualified manager will be able to assess your staffing needs and desires, outlining the positions you need filled, and screen and hire the ideal staff for the size of the home. They will be able to address problems as they arise and lead by example. For other staff, a trustworthy manager is a great asset to communicate the wishes of the principal and set clear expectations.

 

*This introduction is presented as a resource for staffing your home. For tax or legal guidance specific to your estate and state’s laws, please consult your financial team.


How Long is Recovery after Childbirth?

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In a recent article, Baby Caravan founder, Jennifer Mayer dives deep into just how long it takes to recover after childbirth.

 

“In the US' medical system, it’s common practice for mothers to receive postpartum care up to six weeks following the birth of their baby. Yet, multiple research studies have shown that it takes up to a whole year to fully recover from pregnancy and childbirth. It would be wise for the medical community to extend postpartum health care beyond six weeks, and provide a year of coverage for women to improve health outcomes.”

 

Every body will recover from childbirth differently and at the pace it needs to. Looking at the physical and emotional stress labor and delivery can put on a body can help dictate what postpartum care is best.

 

Physical Recovery After Childbirth

With celebrities posing in bikinis on social media weeks after giving birth, it may feel like your recovery is stalling. It’s important to understand that every body is different and to allow your body the time it needs to recover from bringing a new life into the world.

 

A study from the University of Michigan found stress and injury to the pelvic floor of the women in their study that experienced high risk deliveries. These stressors may be missed without MRI scans in routine checkups after birth. For the most part, bodies are able to heal on their own, but it takes more than six weeks to do so. If you are still experiencing pain in your pelvic area or during sex after three months, see your doctor to monitor your recovery and recommend treatments.

 

Another study found high levels of exhaustion, back pain, urinary incontinence, sexual problems and perineal pain at six to seven months after giving birth. Again, slow recovery is not a sign of a problem. Be sure to keep your doctor up-to-date on how your body is feeling and adjusting.

 

Emotional Recovery After Childbirth

It is perfectly normal to feel a rush of new emotions after giving birth. Mood changes, restlessness, insomnia and outright sadness may last up to two weeks after childbirth, are caused by the drastic shift in hormones and may be exacerbated by a slow physical recovery.

 

While the “baby blues” are normal for new moms, talking with a spouse, doctor or counselor can aid in the process of emotional recovery. If these feelings persist or worsen after two weeks, talk to your doctor. Postpartum depression may occur immediately after giving birth or even up to one year after delivery. So be honest with yourself and your doctor about your mental and emotional health. Just like your body should have all the time it needs to health, so should your emotional well-being.

 

Support for your Recovery After Childbirth

Your postpartum care plan is just as important as your birth plan. So consider ways to integrate support before baby comes so you can recover physically and emotionally at the rate you need while caring for your new baby. Always remember there is no set timeline for “bouncing back” and no shame in asking for help when you need.

 

Basic self-care principles can help support recovery:

 

Sleep – Getting plenty of rest is a laughable idea when baby is up every 2-3 hours, but getting sleep is crucial to your well-being. “Sleep when baby sleeps” is a good plan to start with.

 

Eat – Keeping your health and energy up is important when you are caring for a new baby. So be sure you’re eating regularly and healthily, but not worrying about dieting too soon after giving birth.

 

Exercise – Always talk with your doctor about when your body is ready to start exercising. You don’t want to push too soon after delivery, but getting up to walk or move around can help your physical recovery and feelings of restlessness.

 

Accept Help – Don’t neglect your rest and care, even if that means bringing in family, friends or hiring help. The most important thing right now is to take care of you and baby. So accept help when it’s offered. Having family care for older children or caravan food to your home leaves more time to rest and bond with baby.

 

Hire Help – For many new parents, hiring help is the best option to provide support for postpartum care. Newborn care specialists, also called baby nurses or maternity nurses, specialize in infant and newborn care during the first months of a baby’s life. Their main priority is the infant’s care as well as coaching and supporting parents.

 

Typically a specialist will work either a 12 or 24-hour shift to provide support for a mom’s physical and emotional recovery after giving birth.

 

For new parents, the specialist will help teach infant-care and child development while guiding them on taking charge of the infant’s schedule, safety and well-being so that they will be autonomous when the specialist’s term is up.

 

See more about hiring a Newborn Care Specialist with BAHS.

 

Your Postpartum Care Plan

Whatever you decide is best for you and your family, it’s important to remember that recovery after childbirth is unique to you and could take anywhere from the standard six weeks to an entire year. Allow yourself that time and don’t hesitate to talk with your doctor about your physical recovery, emotional health or baby’s development.

 

Baby Caravan

British American Household Staffing is proud to partner with Baby Caravan to provide families the resources and help they need in pregnancy, birth, recovery and care.

 

Baby Caravan is a full service doula agency supporting families with Birth + Postpartum Doulas, Private Childbirth, Newborn Care, Breastfeeding Education, and Back-to-Work coaching and classes for mothers leaving maternity leave. Their mission is to support and embrace their clients - both as mothers and professionals as they make their way through the journey of childbirth into motherhood. Baby Caravan understands that women are more than their pregnancy and postpartum experiences; they are business owners, CEO’s, heads of departments, employees, partners, best friends, sisters and mothers. With an open mind and judgments left at the door, they hope to guide each one of their clients lovingly into motherhood and back out into the world where she can feel creative, confident and grounded in her identity.


Duties of a Modern Butler

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What comes to mind when you think of a butler? Is it the formal, British domestic service staff from Downton Abbey? Or do you think of Alfred’s stoic and tech-savvy service to Batman and Wayne Manor?

If you are looking to hire a butler for your home, it is important to understand the modern butler’s duties and how one may support your unique household.

A butler is usually a valet or major domo for the gentleman of the house or the entire household. He or she will hold a certification from a Butler school, often from England or the Netherlands and will be well-versed in wines and may hold a culinary degree.

In the late twentieth century, the number of homes employing butlers decreased dramatically. In response, the role evolved to extend beyond valeting and serving and began to take on more managerial responsibilities. Due to this change and a boom in household income, especially in countries like China, hiring a butler has once again become a common solution to household staffing.

 

Traditional Butler Duties

The term “butler” at its conception, referred to the middle-ranking servant of a home who was in charge of the wine and liquor stored in the buttery. In early America, the butler’s duties were still focused on the wine cellar and food storage, especially before refrigeration became common. He also cared for valuable china, crystal and other silver and gold items in the home. As the world adopted Victorian standards, the butler’s role became more formal and included managing other members of the household staff as well.

 

While the British butler is most common in cultural portrayals, the occupation is much more French in its origin. Modern butlers are most often employed in the USA and the Middle East, and a large majority of those butlers are Swiss. The premier butler school is located in the Netherlands.

 

The traditional butler may be thought of as a formal, British, male staff member; however, female butlers are gaining popularity. Depending on the cultural traditions and preferences of the family, a female butler or manager may be preferred over a traditional male professional.

 

 

Modern Butler Duties

Regardless of how the role of the butler has changed over time, the position is dedicated to discreet and competent service.

 

Modern butler duties vary and may include, but are not limited to, managerial responsibilities, keeping accounts, marketing, and maintaining the wardrobe for the Master of the house. A butler will be well versed in etiquette and serving and have a thorough understanding of formal home care. In many cases, he or she may speak several languages.

 

In many households, the role of butler and house manager may be combined or overlapped, depending on a home’s particular needs. A butler/house manager is typically responsible for a family and staff schedule, household finances and all household-staffing issues. They deal with vendors, pre-empt maintenance issues and ensure the smooth running of the household.

 

 

A Butler’s Role in a Fully Staffed Home

The modern butler’s role is more fluid and specific tasks are determined by home size and location. Because of the role’s Swiss-Army-Knife-like functionality, many smaller estates employ only a butler to oversee the management of the home and serve the principal/s.  

 

He or she may be the only staff in a small home serving an individual or couple. In larger homes, the butler usually serves as a house manager or right below the house manager. Tasks may include supervising staff, hiring and training staff, compiling and organizing the household manual, seeing to maintenance and repairs, planning events and menus, and caring for fine clothing and managing wardrobes.

 

 

Hiring a Butler for Your Home

Your butler will quickly become essential to the smooth running of your home. They have intimate knowledge of all structures, staff and principals and dedicate their energies to operating efficiently and without difficulties. This means that the process of hiring the right household butler for your family and home should be approached with care and patience.

 

Knowing what needs are particular to your home

Understanding the needs of your home and lifestyle will be critical to finding the right butler. As every home and family is unique it is important that your butler not only be experienced but a fit in expectations and demeanor. When working with an agency like British American Household Staffing to hire a butler, the first step will be to discuss your needs and expectations so that you are only presented experienced, professional butlers that match your criteria.

 

Average compensation for a butler

The average butler works 60 or more hours a week. Depending on location and specific responsibilities, a butler may make anywhere from $70,000 – 150,000 as an annual salary. Living accommodations or stipends are often offered to aid in expenses and contribute to a lower offered salary.

 

Experience level and training also play a role in a butler’s requested rate. Those trained in the British butling style or those who have experience in formal, fully-staffed homes are often paid at a higher rate for their expertise.

 

Working with BAHS to hire a butler

We are proud to be the leading agency for butlers and formally trained household staff in the United States and England. We have a roster of trained butlers, many of whom are valets, chefs and house managers. Our offices serve the New York City area, including southern Connecticut, Los Angeles and Santa Barbara, the San Francisco Bay Area and Palm Beach, Florida. Our international team serves the UK, Europe and the U.A.E.

 

Our expert team sources qualified candidates and conducts a rigorous screening and interviewing process. Reference screening and background checks are also handled by our team to ensure only the highest-quality candidates meet with our families. For us, success is a placement that results in a contented household and a butler who enjoys long-term job fulfillment.

 

Learn more about our standards or contact our office to begin the process of hiring a butler.


Sleep Training Baby with a Newborn Care Specialist

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What is Sleep Training?

Sleep training, sometimes referred to as sleep teaching or sleep learning, is the process of helping your baby learn to fall asleep and stay asleep through the night. Some babies develop these sleeping habits on their own while others may need structured help to establish healthy sleeping. Every baby and family is different and there is no one right way to sleep train.

 

Why is it Important?

New parents can attest to the strenuous schedule of having a newborn. Once a baby is old enough to begin following a structured sleep schedule, it is important for both the child’s development and the health of the household to implement a plan to help baby sleep through the night.

A 2007 study from the National Institute of Health associated critical brain development with adequate sleep. Having a structured sleep schedule will benefit a baby’s development.

Sleeping through the night will not only help your baby grow and develop, it will allow everyone in the house to be better rested and attentive to the baby’s development.

 

Popular Sleep Training Methods

There is no one right way to sleep train. Every baby and family is different and should adhere to the method that works best for their unique lifestyle. Some common sleep training methods outlined by The Bump explain the range of approaches.

 

1. No Tears Method - Also known as the no-cry method, this technique involves subtle shifts in the child’s sleeping habits. For example, if baby is always rocked to sleep, the parent would shorten the time rocking little by little until baby can be put down without it.

2. Cry it Out (CIO) Method - This method is based on the belief that baby can learn to soothe herself if left alone. Baby is closely monitored to ensure that no physical need (feeding, changing, etc.) is present, but not interfered with while she’s learning to fall asleep.

3. Weissbluth Method - Similar to the CIO method, the Weissbluth method recommends using a structured bedtime routine (bath, rocking, lullaby) before putting the baby to sleep. Then parents leave the room and do not re-enter until the next morning. From The Bump:

 “I tried this, and the first night was awful,” says Jen, a mom of one, who did the Weissbluth method at 4 months. “I turned on the shower and sat in the bathroom so I wouldn’t hear my son cry. But I was watching the baby monitor and saw that after an hour, he found his thumb and fell asleep. The next night was maybe 40 minutes of crying, then 20 minutes the night after that. He’s always happy in the morning, and I feel this was the right choice.”

4. Ferber Method - Also known as timed-interval sleep training, modified sleep training or graduated extinction sleep training. This method involves putting baby down and returning to check on him at different intervals. Begin with 5-10 minutes checks, verbally soothing but not picking up, then gradually move to longer intervals of time between checks until baby is sleeping through the night.

5. Chair Method - This method can be useful for older babies who may suffer from separation anxiety. It involves sitting in a chair next to baby’s crib until she falls asleep. Each following night, the chair is moved farther away from the crib until parent is no longer in the room.

6. Pick-Up-Put-Down Method - This sleep training method is essentially the Ferber method of checking on baby at gradually longer intervals. Unlike the Ferber method, you can pick up baby to comfort him for a few minutes before putting him back down.

 

Find more information on these sleep training methods at The Bump.

 

Is it Better to Hire a Professional to Help with Sleep Training?

There are many different options for sleep training and the best option for you is as unique as your family. Deciding on and implementing the right sleep training method for you and your baby can seem like a daunting task. For first time parents, or those with busy lifestyles, we recommend working with a qualified newborn care specialist from birth.

 

What is a Newborn Care Specialist?

Newborn care specialists, also called baby nurses or maternity nurses, specialize in infant and newborn care during the first months of a baby’s life. Their main priority is the infant’s care as well as coaching and providing support to parents. Typically a specialist will work either a 12 or 24-hour shift depending on the needs of the family.

For new parents, the ultimate goal is to help teach infant-care and child development while guiding them on taking charge of the infant’s schedule, safety and well-being so that they will be autonomous when the specialist’s term is up.

 

What Can a Newborn Care Specialist Do Beyond Sleep Training?

Newborn care specialists can assist with the full spectrum of newborn care and may be certified in areas including but not limited to:

  • Breastfeeding
  • Alternate Feeding Methods
  • Sleep Training
  • Bonding
  • Lactation
  • Psychological Development

 

More often than not, baby nurses and newborn care specialists are experts with concentrated populations such as twins and triplets, premature infants, newborns with special needs, mothers interested in surrogate pregnancy options, and any other newborns who might need extra attention. They can range greatly in their education levels and skill sets. Some have worked in a hospital’s newborn care unit, as a midwife, as a doula, in an alternative birthing center, or as a baby nurse in a private home.

 

When Should You Hire a Newborn Care Specialist?

It is good practice to hire your newborn care specialist when your doctor confirms your due date. Most are booked up to a year in advance, so planning early will make certain you are matched with the ideal care-giver. Arranging your care early will also mean more time to enjoy pregnancy or preparation time for the family. Specialists typically schedule their booking to be on call 2 weeks before and 1 week after a baby’s due date to ensure availability.

See Frequently Asked Questions on hiring a newborn care specialist or baby nurse.

 

Hiring a Newborn Care Specialist with BAHS

British American Household Staffing provides high quality, professional, certified and trained newborn care specialists and baby nurses to families based in the United States and Europe. Our nurses fully encourage the parents while assisting in all forms of infant care and development.

Average salaries range from $30 to $60 an hour. Tenure can vary in range from four weeks up to one year. Contact our office to speak with a recruiter about your needs and ideal schedule.


Setting Up Your Residence With The Right Domestic Staff - Hiring An Estate Manager

Are you upgrading your home? Relocating or just thinking of restructuring? Here is an article to help you make the right choices so your residence runs as smoothly as possible.  Running homes well is like setting up a small but growing business.  The same structure, hiring and operational complexities are involved when it comes to domestic staffing.  Setting up homes isn’t unlike setting up a corporation.

First hire an estate manager, the right one will depend on the size of your home and the numbers of homes you need managed.   This person is the equivalent to a CEO for the residence/s. 

An estate manager will work on setting up a sold structure for your home and understand how to hire correctly and implement processes to ensure the daily structure covers all areas necessary.  The estate manager will assess your needs by discussing your desires and necessities such as nannies, housekeepers, chefs, house managers, personal assistants and more.  The estate manager will know how to screen and hire the ideal staff for the schedules and size of home.  The best executive housekeepers tend to work 8 hour days, 5 days a week and slot in with each other.  To attract the best housekeepers you want to pay market rate or above market rate and ensure you hire housekeepers on a live-out schedule, as those are the best candidates (good candidates have more choice and will choose the job position that appeals to them the most). Market rate for a good executive housekeeper is $35 an hour, for 8 hours a day and health insurance after 3 months of employment.  The estate manager will understand how to structure your home with the ideal schedules and amount of housekeepers so the cleaning is done well, correctly and all shifts are covered.  Examples are two or more housekeepers on Monday to Friday, 7am to 3pm, one housekeeper from 11am to 7pm or Tuesday to Saturday, 12pm to 8pm and a weekend housekeeper to cover the weekends, which are traditionally busy and often involve dinner parties, which call for later shifts on the weekends to cover serving a clean-up.  An estate manager will use a top-tier domestic staffing agency to send them the best candidates.  They will understand how to screen several housekeepers to ensure they work well together, and understand how to manage laundry, organizing, serving, art and antique care and deep cleaning.  Once the housekeepers are set up, the estate managers will work on childcare, if needed.  This is a more complex hire and the parents are usually more heavily involved in this hire.  Career nannies have experience working in larger residences.  They understand childhood development and will ensure the right nannies are hired for the principal’s needs.  These could be specific languages, special needs experience, twin experience, infant experts or school age and tutoring experience.  Nannies are hiring with expertise in the age group of the children in the home. These nannies will often have experience working with families who fly privately and often last minute, so organizing the children and packing correctly is something these nannies do swiftly and well.  Yacht travel experience is also something a career nanny will have experience doing and they will be expert swimmers and understand how to correctly and dress on a yacht, how to manage children safely on a yacht and is able to help the children with sleep schedule issues that usually occur when traveling to a different time zone.  The best nannies are found by appealing to the schedules and salary they are able to get.  Depending on the number of children, the ideal nanny set up is one career nanny, Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm.  A nanny housekeeper to help the children set up for school form 7am to 3pm.  Another career nanny to work on weekends if that is needed. Live out is ideal and live in for all nannies when traveling.  It is best to pay a weekend nanny very well, as good nannies don’t like giving up their weekends.  Ideally, a live out weekend nanny could be a teacher or completing her PhD or Master’s degree, so the weekend schedule is ideal for them. A full-time career nanny salary ranges from $80,000 a year to $150,000 a year, depending on their experience and skill-set.  A French speaking career nanny is always heavily in demand so offering them a competitive salary and schedule is the wisest approach.  Sometimes and evening back up babysitter is a good option to slot in with the weekday nanny and weekend nanny.   An estate manager will understand how to hire the ideal nannies for the set up necessary and number and ages of children.  Hiring chefs can be challenging and the estate manager will hire a chef or chefs who specialize in the dietary needs of the family.  This could be a chef experienced in Paleo, Vegan, Low calorie, pure foods, French, Italian, Austrian and more. The estate manager will hire the chef once they have done a trial tasting for the family to ensure the food is top-notch.  The estate manager will also hire the chef depending on the personality, to ensure they are flexible and easy to work with.  This goes for all staff types, nannies, housekeepers – a good estate manager will hire on personality, references as well as skill set and experience. Many homes are unhappy homes due to one or two difficult personalities in the home.  The estate manager will ensure this doesn’t happen. Lastly, after setting up the home with the correct staff, the estate manager will do the same for other residences you may home.  The estate manager will manage current staff, deal with any gripes and fire and rehire if necessary.  It is important you listen to the estate manager and they will see a difficult or ineffective staff member who may be close to one of you/the principals and not show you their real self.  The estate manager will have an open dialogue with all the domestic staff and know where the issues lie.  Lastly, the estate manager will hire a housemanager for the larger residence/s to oversee schedules and daily issues like vendors, parties, overseeing the daily details of the staff, report problems back to the estate manager and manage all the detail overseeing of housekeepers and nannies.  The housemanager’s job is to report back to the estate mangers, who will ensure the problems are solved.  A butler is often a housemanager while he also looks after service, serving, the principal’s wardrobe needs and more.   The estate manager then oversees all homes, the payroll, legal issues and financial concerns outside of the family office and accountants.  They will create, implement and continuously update processes and operations.  The household manuals for each home will be in place and updated according to the growth and needs. The estate manager also managers private planes, yachts and car collections to ensure all these are up to date, safe and well maintained. If you want a smooth-running home, start by hiring a top-quality estate manager and this set up will ensure you don’t feel or hear of any problems and the home runs like a 7 star resort.  The secret to a happy home is having the right person in the estate manager seat to oversee hiring, training, implementation of processes and constantly overseeing legal compliance.  Estate Manager salaries range form $150,000 to 400,000 a year.  If you want to hire the best domestic staff, contact British American Household Staffing and we can start fixing any issues to ensure your home is perfectly optimized. www.bahs.com


This mom creates amazing and educational DIY activities for her kids

By Chelsea Frisbie for WYFF4.

Andrea Yi studied engineering in college, then spent a decade working with fashion designer Donna Karan. After having her fourth son, she realized there was a gap in the marketplace for fun, educational activities that incorporated both the left and right brain.

About a year ago, she was having so much fun creating activities involving both sides of the brain with her boys Nate, Dylan, Oliver and Alexander that she decided to share them online. She created “Raising Dragons,” a website dedicated to helping other parents and educators come up with fun science, technology, engineering, art and math activities.

Most of her science experiments are modern updates on the classics, like the baking soda volcano. The materials she uses are usually items she finds around the house.

Her kids still use technology, like tablets and other gaming devices, but she says they’re only allowed a little bit of screen time each day. “Yet another reason why I like doing these STEAM activities — to give them other options than screen time.”

Out of all of the projects, Andrea’s kids like the science experiments the most. “One of my sons asks me to make potions every day. He loves to mix different liquids and powders and see what happens,” she said. 

Andrea enjoys sharing her family’s ideas with others, but they’re not all winners. 

“I try to feature simple activities I think most people would be able to pull together in a few minutes. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen a cool craft or activity, and by the second step, I’m like, ‘Nope, too difficult.’ I try to keep mine super simple so busy parents will say, ‘I can do this,’” she said.

Doing these homemade STEAM activities has even helped kids in the classroom. “It’s gotten them much more interested in science, and for my five-year-old, it has definitely helped him learn his letters and numbers,” Andrea said.

Since the creation of the blog, Raising Dragons has amassed nearly 500,000 followers. Their videos have been viewed more than 50 million times by over 100 million people. Andrea recently published a book called “STEAM for Babies,” which became the No. 1 new release in the STEM category in its first week on Amazon. 

We can’t wait to see what Andrea and the kids come up with next!


10 Must-Watch Documentaries That Will Inspire Your Kids to Change the World

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By Sara Ahmed

If your kids have any kind of device — phones, gaming systems, tablets, what have you — it can feel like you're constantly fighting for their attention. It becomes harder and harder to share experiences with them, but one thing they usually can't deny? Movies. Sure, watching a big blockbuster is always fun, but documentaries can be an incredible way for a family to connect.

Watching these films with your children is a compelling way to help nurture their sense of curiosity and compassion without feeling tedious (or, God forbid, educational). From inspiring stories of Muslim high school football players in Michigan to the haunting tale of Tilikum, the killer whale in captivity, a good documentary can alter your child's perception through the power of empathy. Keep reading for a list of the most powerful documentaries to watch with your kiddos during your next movie night.

  1. He Named Me Malala: 

    He Named Me Malala tells the poignant story of a young Pakistani girl and her fight for education. Your kids won't fuss about going to school after watching this documentary.

    Appropriate For Ages: 12+

  2. March of the Penguins: 

    This harrowing and stunning documentary shows penguins during their annual march from Antarctica. The beautiful narration from Morgan Freeman just adds to the majestic quality of the film. 

    Appropriate For Ages: 6+

  3. Fed Up: 

    This is a must-watch for all parents struggling with their children's sugar habits (so, pretty much everyone)! Your kiddos won't beg for any dessert after watching the perils of what sugar does to our bodies.

    Appropriate For Ages: 10+

  4. Wings of Life: 

    Disney's documentary about pollinators such as bees, bats, butterflies, and birds is a riveting surprise.

    Appropriate For Ages: 6+

  5. Bully: 

    An intense but important documentary for teens to watch about the effects of bullying.

    Appropriate For Ages: 12+

  6. Planet Earth II: 

    This sequel to BBC's incredible series about our planet continues to show breathtaking wonders from around our world.

    Appropriate For Ages: All ages

  7. Blackfish: 

    This heartbreaking tale of a killer whale is not an easy watch but is definitely life-altering.

    Appropriate For Ages: 13+

  8. I Am Eleven: 

    A lovely documentary that offers incredible insight through the eyes of 11-year-olds from around the world.

    Appropriate For Ages: 10+

  9. Dancing in Jaffa: 

    This tells a beautiful story of interfaith compassion when Palestinian and Israeli children come together for a dance in the world's most religiously torn city: Jerusalem.

    Appropriate For Ages: 12+

  10. Fordson: Faith, Fasting, Football: 

    Fordson: Faith, Fasting, Football is a captivating documentary that shows the love a Muslim-American community has toward football, country, and God.

    Appropriate For Ages: 12+

     

     


Which 30 Retailers Are Protecting Your Family From Toxic Chemicals?

Courtesy of Mamavation

The Top Grades For Safer Chemicals Go To…

 

This time, some retailers were rushing to make sure that safer chemicals were used in both products and packaging. Winners with a grade of B+ or better included:

  • Apple–A
  • Wal-Mart Stores/Sam’s Club–A- (up from a B+ last year and is in position #2. Way to go, Wal-Mart!)
  • CVS Health–B+
  • IKEA–B+
  • Whole Foods Market–B+
  • Target–B+ (Graded up from a B, now ranks #6. Come on Target…You know you want to beat out Walmart…let’s do this!)

This is great news and shows that retailers of nearly every stripe can get on board to ensure shoppers can bring home moms safer products for our families.

But that’s not all the good news. Amazon, who received that “F” grade last year, Walgreens and Staples are all developing chemicals policies, and Kroger is reviewing options for future chemical policies as well. Now on to the not-so-good news…

Middle of the Road Retailers:

Some retailers scored in the middle range, with Best Buy getting a B and Home Depot getting a C+. We’re happy to learn that both Costco Wholesale and Albertsons/Safeway/Vons have now received solid C- scores, improving a lot over last year’s “F” grade. Let’s hope they move up to B range next year!

  • Best Buy–B
  • Costco Wholesale–C+
  • Albertsons–C-
  • Safeway–C-
  • Vons–C-

Unfortunately, a large group of solid D grades came from the following brands:

  • Rite Aid–D
  • Buy Buy Baby–D
  • Bed Bath & Beyond–D
  • Cost Plus World Market–D
  • Staples–D [the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) offgassing in this store gives me a headache everytime btw]
  • Amazon–D: an improvement from F, but they could do better as Costco and Albertsons have proven. (Note this grade is separate from the grading of Whole Foods Market, which they recently acquired. Let’s hope that is step in the right direction for Amazon.)
  • Sephora–D
  • Dollar Tree–D
  • Family Dollar–D
  • Kroger–D
  • Harris Teeter–D
  • Ralphs–D
  • Walgreens–D
  • Lowe’s–D
  • Ulta Beauty–D
  • Macy’s–D
  • Bloomingdales–D
  • Bluemercury–D

Retailers That Are Failing:

The bad news? Across all the retailers graded, the average grade was a D+. In fact, two-thirds failed to implement safer chemical policies for our families. Overall, 40% of the retailers earned “D” grades, and 30% earned “F” grades.

Who were scored the worst? The following companies got a 0 out of a possible 135 points! In other words, these companies are to date taking no steps to protect you from unsafe chemicals and I’d recommend you tell them this is important to you:

  • Ace Hardware–F
  • Food Lion–F
  • Stop & Shop–F
  • GIANT–F
  • Dollar General–F
  • Kohl’s–F
  • Office Depot–F
  • Office Max–F
  • Sally Beauty–F
  • TJX Companies–F
  • TJ Maxx–F
  • Marshalls–F
  • HomeGoods–F
  • Toys”R”Us / Babies”R”Us–F
  • Trader Joe’s–F

Grading Criteria for Retailers:

You might be upset upon seeing your favorite stores on that failing list, but what does this report card really mean? Let’s take a look at some of the criteria that Mind the Store grades retailers on, to get a better idea of what stores are doing or not doing to protect consumers and keep our families safe. Retailers were scored on whether or not they are taking action on the following basic items:

1. Creating and writing policies to avoid chemicals of high concern (CHCs). These are chemicals that are technically legal to use but are not individually tested for safety can pose health problems. Retailers should also be aiming to reduce or eliminate these chemicals from their shelves within 3 years.
2. Engaging key staff to implement those policies.
3. Making sure their supply chain and any third party providers also adhere to safer chemical standards as well as requiring suppliers to report the chemicals that they use.
4. Evaluating safer alternatives to CHCs without inserting a substitute that is just as dangerous.
5. Demonstrating transparency and public disclosure so that consumers know they are moving in a positive direction and can keep them accountable.
6. Evaluating their own chemical footprint for improvement.

These criteria are broken out into 9 categories for scoring. Mind the Store also grants “extra credit” points for the following:

  • Joint public announcement of a commitment to safer chemicals.
  • Continuous improvement towards their goals, like Costco and Albertsons.
  • Programs in place to promote safer products in stores and/or website.
  • Actively collaborates with others to promote safer chemicals.
  • Invests financial resources into research supporting safer alternatives or green chemistry solutions.

 

Regrettable Substitions and Cheating the System:

Another issue that this year’s report uncovered is called regrettable substitutes. This is when a company or industry removes a toxic substance and replaces with something just as bad or even worse, like when BPA is replaced with BPS or BPF. Mind the Store found that very few retailers at all did well on this, with only Apple scoring the full set of points.

However, Target did write Mind the Store that it “aspires to make breakthrough progress on safer alternatives.” They said they will work on contributing resources and expertise to this and committed to support innovation through green chemistry, by investing up to $5 million to that end by 2022. Yeah Target! Thank you!

 

Different Sectors, Different Grades:

You might have gathered by looking at the grades that not all types of stores graded the same. The retail sectors that did the best were drugstores, electronics, furniture/home goods and groceries.

Unfortunately, baby and children’s product, apparel and beauty/personal care products averaged a D+. The worst industries were home improvement, office supplies, dollar stores (not surprising) and department stores. It should be concerning to all moms that baby stores and personal care products have shown no initiative in pursuing safer chemicals in their products. Babies are the most are the most vulnerable of our population so protecting them from hormone disrupting chemicals is of the utmost importance.

 

Are Our Retailers Protecting Us?

With so many American children suffering chronic diseases, the rise in allergies, and all the behavioral issues that may be caused or triggered by environmental toxins, parents need to be vigilant about what products they buy. In fact, it’s estimated that medical costs and loss of productivity due to endocrine disrupting chemicals is costing the United States over $340 BILLION per year. Shouldn’t we also be diligent in supporting those companies that care about our health and safety too?

The bottom line is that while a few retailers are working hard on ensuring that safer chemicals are on their shelves, most still have a long way to go. Some of our largest retailers, like last year’s top scorers Wal-Mart and Target as well as last year’s failing scorers, Albertsons and Costco, are leading the way and racing ahead to ensure safer chemicals can be found on their shelves. While this is great news, with so many retailers doing very little or nothing at all, we to keep pressure on these companies in order to protect our families.


Bilingual Baby: Second Language Boosts Cognitive Skills

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By Chaunie Brusie for Very Well Family

Many families are choosing to raise their children to know how to speak two languages, whether that be for cultural reasons, educational purposes, or to enrich their life experience. And while having two languages under your belt might be a wonderful skill to have in general, one study has shown that it also has a major benefit for babies' brains especially.

Benefits of Being Bilingual

Previous studies have confirmed that there are benefits to being bilingual, such as that it boosts cognitive ability, especially problem solving.

Knowing two languages also has economic, social, and communicative benefits. The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association lists several important advantages of being bilingual that are especially helpful for babies such as:

  • The ability to pick up new words quickly
  • Skill with rhyming words
  • Teaching how to break down words by their sounds as they learn to speak and read
  • Boosting the ability to learn new information
  • Category-grouping
  • Problem solving
  • Improved listening skills
  • Empathy and connectedness to others who speak the same language

Currently, about 12 percent of people over the age of 5 are bilingual, but experts predict that the number of individuals who speak two languages will only to continue to grow. So it only makes sense that parents may want to consider teaching their baby a second language very early on, because studies have shown that learning a second language is much easier at an earlier age.

It's easier for a baby to learn two languages at once than it is for an adult to try to learn a second language later on in life.

Can You Teach Your Baby to Be Bilingual?

While many parents and experts recognize the benefits of having their children learn two languages (or more!), actually teaching children to learn two languages can be a little challenging.

Babies that grow up in households where two languages are spoken by their parents or caregivers tend to learn a second language very easily and naturally. But babies who don't have the advantage of bilingual parents or caregivers can still get the benefits from learning two languages.

To try to determine exactly how much exposure to a second language a baby actually needs to learn the language, experts in Madrid, Spain conducted a study on children who ranged in age from 7 months to 33.5 months old to see how teaching them English affected their language development. The experts studied children at four public infant education centers in Madrid, where the babies were given daily hour-long group English sessions from tutors who spoke English as a first language. The sessions ran over a period of 18 weeks total.

The study found that children in the group sessions did better than other methods of teaching English and the infants retained the new words and comprehension of the English language longer than their peers as well, even as long as 18 weeks after the study was completed.

How Babies Learn To Be Bilingual

Studies show that the earlier you can introduce your baby to a second language, the greater their chance of being bilingual is.

One study found that even by 12 months, babies' perception of how to hear words narrows down to their first language. Babies are born with the ability to hear sounds from all types of languages, but as they near their first birthday their focus narrows down so they start to only "hear" the sounds of their primary language.

The key to learning a second language during your child's baby years is that their brain's networks and pathways haven't fully formed yet, so their brain is able to set up the "network" for both languages at once while they are babies, something that adult brains just can't do.

Thus, it's important to expose your baby as early as possible to both languages that you want him or her to learn, especially before his or her first birthday. If you've missed that deadline, however, don't worry. Children who are exposed to two languages before the age of 5 also reap some major benefits in their brain development.

Teaching Children to Be Bilingual

So we know that being bilingual is great and that it's best if babies can pick up on a second language from birth, but how exactly do you teach a child to be bilingual?

Researchers have found that a baby learns to be bilingual through both the quantity and quality of the second language being spoke around them. Babies learn best in person-to-person setting as opposed to a video or streaming service that teaches a second language. And as the study demonstrated, babies 9 months and under do especially well in play-based language sessions with a live tutor just as well as they would by learning the language in a natural environment at home.

How much exposure in a group session would your child need? Previous studies have found that 12 sessions over 5 weeks—a total of only 6 hours of foreign language exposure—was all babies needed to start setting those brain development pathways down to learn a second language. (Yes, babies' brains are amazing.) There seems to be a major link between a social setting and the language, so babies love to learn in a social or playful environment.

The tutors in this study also used infant-directed speech, that infamous "parentese" that parents and caregivers naturally use when talked to babies that has simple grammar, a higher voice, and long-drawn out vowels. This natural way of speaking to babies actually helps their brains learn language better. Babies' brains tend to focus on sounds at first, so the higher pitch and exaggerated, slower sounds makes it easier for them to learn those sounds first, which are then translated into words.

For older infants, aged 7 months and up to 33.5, the Madrid study found that 1 hour daily play sessions in a social environment with English tutors for 18 weeks led to "highly significant gains in foreign language comprehension and production." Perhaps most importantly, the researchers re-tested the babies 18 weeks after they completed the tutoring sessions and after they had had no other exposure to English and found that their brains were still able to retain the knowledge, new words, and sounds that they had learned. This showed that early exposure in a play-based setting with a tutor helped boost the brain's ability to retain language too.

In short, all it took was one hour a day of a baby playing with someone else who spoke a different language to learn.

A Word From Verywell

Teaching your baby a second language can benefit him or her in many ways. Not only will you set your baby up for success later in life with the skill of having a second language, something that is very desirable in a global economy and can set a job candidate apart, but being bilingual changes the way your baby's brain develops too.

If you can, it is best to expose your baby to two languages as early as possible in infancy, as babies' brains start focusing on one type of language by the age of one. However, children's brains are still able to learn and retain language better by the age of five. All children will benefit from increased brain development if they are exposed to two languages, so don't be afraid to encourage your child to learn a second language no matter what age they are. Babies learn best through play, and a group session or tutor session with a real person is the most effective way to teach your baby to learn a second language if you don't speak a second language yourself.

Sources:

Ferjan Ramirez, N. and Kuhl, P. (2017), Bilingual Baby: Foreign Language Intervention in Madrid's Infant Education Centers. Mind, Brain, and Education, 11: 133–143. Retrieved from http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/mbe.12144/full

The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. (2017). The advantages of being bilingual. Retrieved from http://www.asha.org/public/speech/development/The-Advantages-of-Being-Bilingual/

10 Mistakes Parents Make With Newborns—And How To Avoid Them

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By Sandee LaMotte, CNN

Bringing a new baby home can be nerve-wracking for any parent. If it's your first, the fear of making a mistake can be overwhelming. It's inevitable you won't do everything just right, but read on and you can cross these common mistakes off your list.

1. Car seat safety

Some parents make the mistake of not practicing various baby care chores before the baby comes. While how to change a diaper many be intuitive for most, not everything is. Take car seats, for example. "Since hospitals require you to take baby home in an appropriate car seat, be sure you have it installed before delivering," said pediatrician Dr. Jennifer Shu, co-author of "Heading Home with Your Newborn." "Enlist the help of a child passenger safety technician, if needed."

Figuring out how to correctly -- and safely -- install car seats can be a real challenge for many parents, so much so that many fire stations used to help parents with it. Today, fewer do so, but you can find a trained technician through the National Child Passenger Safety Certification site.

But even while parents may have purchased the seat, and even learned how to install it properly, birth educator Polly Gannon finds that some haven't gone to the trouble of using it before the baby comes.

"Some parents haven't even put a stuffed animal in there before the baby comes so they know how to get a newborn in there comfortably," said Gannon, who works at Calabasas Pediatrics in Calabasas, California. "Most hospitals, for legal reasons, cannot put the baby in the car seat for you, or even show you how to use it."

A 2016 study of nearly 300 families, published in the Journal of Pediatrics, found 91% of those parents made serious mistakes while installing their car seats or putting their newborns into those seats. Eighty-six percent of those errors were in positioning the newborn in the seat, and most of those mistakes were "critical" and increased the child's risk for injury in any accident. Over half of the families had older children, which should have given them practice for the task.

For newborns, parents should make sure their infant's head doesn't flop forward, which could restrict breathing. That involves installing the seat at the correct angle to keep the baby's feet up, with the body reclined so baby can turn her head to the side and breathe normally.

If the baby slouches down or to the side in the seat, the American Academy of Pediatrics suggests placing a tightly rolled receiving blanket on both sides of the baby, or using the newborn insert made for that car seat brand -- do not mix or match with other manufacturers. Don't place a blanket or roll across the top of the baby's head or put padding under your infant.

 

2. Back to sleep

The national "Back to Sleep" campaign of the 1990s brought a great deal of attention to SIDS, or sudden infant death syndrome, and other sleep-related deaths among infants. Guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics insist that every baby should sleep on their back, in their own crib, without any toys or soft bedding. During and after the campaign, sleep-related deaths sharply declined, but recent data shows the risk continues. Each year, some 3,500 babies continue to die from sleep-related causes.

A 2015 study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found one in five mothers report putting their baby to sleep on their side or stomach, and 39% of mothers said they use soft bedding in the crib with the baby. 


"Wow, that's alarming because you'd think everyone would know the recommended way to put their baby to sleep," said pediatrician Dr. Tanya Altmann, author of the new book "Baby and Toddler Basics." "But what a lot of parents still don't know is that you should not use bumpers anymore, and you don't want pillows, toys or extra stuff in the crib."

 

3. Not feeding on demand

Some new parents make the mistake of letting baby sleep too long between feedings, likely due to exhaustion and their own need to get a bit of rest. But that's a mistake, say experts.

"The first few weeks, the baby does need to be fed ... every two to three hours, even if they don't demand it," said Altmann. "But once they have regained their birth weight and you get your pediatrician's OK, it's fine to cross your fingers and hope that you get a stretch of three to five hours without the baby waking to be fed. But in the first few weeks, babies do need to be woken up."

If you're doing everything right and your baby is growing and developing well, said Altmann, it's perfectly possible to get a baby to sleep through the night by 2 or 3 months of age. But be aware that some babies regress between three and four months and begin to wake up more frequently and feed more often.


"If you jump in and turn on all the lights, start playing with them, and basically have a party in the middle of the night, they will continue to wake up," Altmann said.
"I usually tell parents if every time you wake up there was chocolate cake on your nightstand, you would start eating it every night and you would wake up expecting it," she said. "Same with babies, right?"
 

4. Not burping baby properly


One of the key mistakes many new parents can make is failing to take the time to properly burp their newborn. 
"I think many new parents are nervous about handling their newborn," said Gannon. "They will often put the baby down quickly after feeding because they are scared they aren't holding it properly."

The result of failing to burp is that the baby may spit up and gag, losing some of that precious milk, or wake up in an hour or so screaming in pain. 
"I'm getting calls all the time where parents say that the baby is really peaceful after feeding, but then baby wakes up screaming and is up for the next 2 1/2 hours," added Gannon. "My favorite line is 'cheat the baby, cheat yourself.' If you cheat the baby out of a good burp and fail to get all of that air out, you and the baby are both going to suffer."


There are several burping techniques you can try until you find the one that works best for your baby. In the most well-known, the-over-the-shoulder burp, you place your baby high on your chest with her chin resting on your shoulder and face turned to one side, tummy firmly against the chest. Pat or rub the baby's back gently until she burps. 
"It might take you an additional 10 minutes at the end of the feed," said Gannon, "but the baby will be happy."


Another common technique is to place baby face down across your lap, and pat and rub. Other techniques include baby exercises. Lay them on a blanket on the floor and begin bicycling their legs, or moving their legs up and around in a circular motion in each direction.

Gannon finds that a sitting posture works best for her clients. She places the baby sitting upright on her lap, facing the side. Using one hand to support the baby's head in the front (making sure to avoid holding the neck) she puts her other hand on the baby's back.

"Keeping the baby's bottom firmly planted on my lap I move their whole body in a small, slow circular motion to the left for a while, then to the right for a bit," explained Gannon. "I sit the baby upright a few times, and usually get a good, hearty burp, even without a gentle pat on the back."

 

5. Failing to pre-burp


Most of us think about burping after the baby eats. But experts say that you should also take the time to pre-burp your baby.


"I try to pre-burp baby for at least two minutes before starting any feeding," Gannon recommended. "This helps eliminate the common spitting up and gassy problem that newborns often have for the first 30 days."
"If you start out without gas in the stomach, and then do a really good feed and get the gas out at the end, they are going to be much more comfortable and more likely to be happy and content on their own," added Altmann.

6. Mistakes in mixing formula or breastfeeding​
 

Making a mistake measuring formula and water happens often enough in her practice, said Altmann, that she makes it a practice to quiz parents on how they prepare baby's meals. She asks the same of breastfeeding moms, too.

"When I have new babies come into my practice," said Altmann, "whether they are breastfeeding or formula feeding, I take a step back and ask these questions: 'Exactly how are you feeding your baby -- what do they look like when they are latched on? How are you mixing the formula? How are you putting it in the bottle?'"

On occasion she finds that one of the parents might be mixing formula wrong, by making it too concentrated or dilute.


"Usually, it's too dilute," said Altmann. "Then the baby isn't getting enough nutrition and that's when they fail to thrive. You always want to be sure you're reading and following the directions on the formula properly."
And some moms may not have the baby fully latched onto the breast, so while the baby looks like it's nursing, he or she isn't actually swallowing and feeding, said Altmann.
 

"It's a good idea for breastfeeding moms to check in with a lactation consultant if they have any concerns or pain during feedings," said Altmann. "Then check in with your pediatrician regularly to make sure your baby is gaining weight appropriately."

7. Not enough tummy time

Altmann says an unfortunate mistake many new parents make -- and continue to make as baby grows -- is keeping baby constrained in a car seat, bouncy seat or other sleepers.


"I'll see parents out with their baby, at a restaurant, at the park, talking to friends, and they are carrying the baby in the car seat," said Altmann, who is also a spokeswoman for the American Academy of Pediatrics. "I'm always telling parents, 'Car seats are for cars, but don't carry them to and fro in the car seat.'"
Not only can spending too much time reclining create a soft spot on the back of their head, says Altmann, but not interacting with the baby can cause language delays and other issues due to a lack of stimulation. 
"When your baby is not sleeping or not in the car traveling, they really should be on their tummy or held by a parent," Altmann said. "They shouldn't be strapped down, they need to move, stretch, roll and push their head up."
 

8. Under- or overreacting to a fever

Fevers in newborns can be serious. If your baby is younger than three months and develops a fever of 100.4 or higher, call your pediatrician or medical professional immediately. But when it comes to a fever in babies and children older than that, the advice is more complex.

"For the older babies, I'm usually telling parents not to freak out by what the number says on the thermometer," explained Altmann. "Instead, take a close look at your child to figure out what is happening with them, because not every fever needs to be treated."

Look at your baby and observe. Are they drinking fluids? Are they happy and playing? Are they sleeping OK? Are they having any trouble breathing? Those are the questions to ask yourself, Altmann said. Experts say most fevers are harmless, and likely the result of a mild infection.

"Don't just treat the number on the thermometer," Altmann added. "It doesn't matter if it's 101 or 103.5, it's more important how they are acting."

9. Proper temperature for baby in the home


Another concern for parents: how warm or cool their baby should be. Shu said she is often asked by parents for the proper temperature setting for the home. The answer, she says, depends on the time of year and the insulation of the home, but in general "a thermostat setting around 68 to 72 is probably comfortable for baby."

While Shu says she thinks many parents keep baby too warm, Gannon has found the opposite. At homes in her practice, she said, new parents may have their baby in a T-shirt and diaper, unswaddled. She said a baby's skin should always be warm, not hot or cold, to the touch.


"If the baby is chilled, then his body will need to burn extra calories to raise his body temperature, instead of those calories going toward a healthy weight gain," said Gannon. "So even if the baby is feeding well, he or she may not be developing properly because they have to burn a lot of calories trying to get warm."

Shu warns that newborns don't have good circulation at first, so "having cool hands and feet is normal."

10. Taking newborns into crowded places​

Some parents want to take their newborn to a large family gathering so everyone can ooh-and-awww over their tiny miracle. That could be a mistake, experts said.

"It does scare me a bit when I see newborns out and about, especially during cold and flu season," said Altmann. "The first two months of your baby's life, you really need to protect them from exposure to germs and people that are potentially sick. Your baby's immune system is weak, and still growing and developing."


That doesn't mean you can't leave the house, however. Experts encourage daily walks and say it's fine to sit in your backyard or on the front porch.
"But don't take them to crowded spaces," Altmann said. "That's when you can expose them to people who potentially have the flu or another contagious illness that could spread, even if they are a few feet away."
 


Hiring a Personal Assistant

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Life is busy.  The more hours we work, the more hours we lose for doing personal administration and other important life tasks. Regardless of the lifestyle you lead, more and more people are looking to hire a part time personal assistant to help ease their admin and workload.  But what are the benefits of hiring a part time personal assistant?  Do you need to be a multi-millionaire to afford one?  What gains will you see?

Here is our guide and industry secrets in hiring an incredible part time personal assistant and how it will change your life!

Time is Precious

There are only 24 hours in the day, and unless you’ve created a magic remedy to stop us sleeping, half of these hours are lost to sleep.  The remaining hours consist of family life, work and play.

In modern households, families and individuals look to maximise their time, and most importantly their free time to focus on the things that they enjoy most.  Looking for help and support in the household is a valued and respected request.

Looking for help and support in the household is a valued and respected request. 

For example, families will hire Housekeepers (part time and full time) to look after their homes, Nannies to help care for their children, Chefs to help with daily cooking and Chauffeurs to help with driving.  So what benefit does a part time personal assistant bring?

Flexibility

Hiring a part time personal assistant gives you flexibility.  With a modest budget of £50 a week, you could hire a remote PA to manage 5 hours of your diary/emails and other ‘life admin’ duties.  They don’t have to come into your property, with the digital world we operate in, most things can be done remotely.

The part time personal assistant can dedicate this time to freeing up yours, giving you those precious hours back to spend time with your family, relax or focus on your business and work.  Some clients with a higher budget look to hire a PA for 10, 15, 20 or even 25 hours a week.

Typically in the UK, expect to pay between £10-20 per hour depending on the role and where the position is based.

How to Hire a Part Time Personal Assistant?

Decide what you need.  Is it 5 hours support or 25?  Does the PA need to be based in your property or office, or can they work remotely?  Write down everything you need in the part time personal assistant.
Identify your biggest time drains.  Once these are identified then a part time personal assistant will be able to focus on these tasks in order to best free up your time.
Write a job spec.  It’s important it’s clear and the more detail you include, the easier the candidate will be able to apply. If you are self-recruiting, make sure you check references and fully vet the candidate.  Alternatively, you can work through a professional agency to give you peace of mind.
Interview.  Create a shortlist of candidates and then interview each one.  The part time personal assistant will often represent you – they will be your voice and send emails on your behalf, so it is important you feel that they reflect you and your brand.
Trial.  Give them a short trial.  This is key to identifying if they are the right person for the job.
Offer them a contract.  Give them job security, and in return, they will give you job commitment.  Ideally, you want them to commit to a long term position as it will take your time and energy getting them to speed. And hiring a replacement is also very time consuming.

Some Extra Tips

Always look to develop your communication.  Your part time personal assistant can only be as good as the communication they receive, especially if they are working remotely. It’s vital you clearly communicate what you need and ensure that clear follow-ups are made, otherwise, they could lose precious time doing tasks which aren’t relevant.
Incentivise in positive ways.  This could be small gifts or bonuses or just regular reviews and positive feedback. All personal assistants like to feel they are doing a good job, and if you reward them with your gratefulness they will reward you with hard work!
Do things by the book.  Depending on the country you reside in, guidelines will vary when hiring a part time personal assistant. Make sure you check with your local government guidelines and do things by the book!

So what are you waiting for?  Now is the time to find a wonderful part time personal assistant and see the major difference it can have on your personal and business life.  We’d love to hear from you, so why not drop us a line and we can chat through how best we can help you.

Polo and Tweed


The Phenomenon Of Baby Nurses

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By SARA BERMAN | March 11, 2008
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Tomorrow will be my baby nurse's last day with my family. I'm not sure whom I feel worse for: myself or the baby. Six weeks into this gig, I hope the baby hasn't become completely accustomed to twice-daily baths, around-the-clock attention, careful burping, and long massages. But Nate, like his brothers and sisters before him, will survive on fewer baths, fewer massages, and — there's no delicate way to say this — far, far less attention.

According to an agency that places baby nurses in the tristate area (British American Newborn Care) a baby nurse is a non-medical newborn specialist who is highly experienced in infant care. Baby nurses work in private homes and care for newborns typically from the day the baby arrives home through a period of several weeks or months. Normally, they provide 24-hour care and "assist new and experienced parents in every aspect of newborn care and may also help establish eating and sleeping patterns."

In other words, they're glorified, uniform-clad nannies who diaper, burp, bathe, swaddle, rock, and if you want, feed the baby 24 hours a day. They are not — in case you were confused — nurses.

If there is one peculiar element to having a baby in a certain slice of New York, it is the assumption that you will have a baby nurse. If you type the words "baby nurse" into any search engine, you will see that the majority of the links are in the tristate area. They may have baby nurses in California and Georgia, but those baby nurses are, in fact, likely to be registered nurses — and their employers are more likely to be having triplets than single births.

At roughly $200 a day, though, having a baby nurse can really add up.

"Worth every penny," an acquaintance told me about her baby nurse. "We could barely afford our rent when we had our first child. But neither of us had any family in New York. And neither of us had ever changed a diaper. The grandparents pooled together and gave the baby nurse as a gift. It was the best gift ever."

Cramped city living, not exactly conducive to having the in-laws move in for a week or two, is compatible with a baby nurse, who shares the room with the newborn. Giving the gift of a baby nurse is one way to make nice with your daughter-in-law.

One couple with far greater means never let the baby nurse go. "The baby was going to be a year old," the father of three said about his first child, "and we still had the nurse. The nurse would go on and on about what a hard night she had had with the baby, and I'm thinking, suuure you did. Finally, I convinced my wife that enough was enough. But sure enough, when we had our second child, the same baby nurse just moved back in. This time, she stayed for eight or nine months. I'm pretty embarrassed to admit that," he said, while calculating how much he paid the baby nurse over the course of his three children: at least $200,000.

My question is this: Who assists new and experienced parents in every aspect of newborn care across the rest of the country?

"When I was pregnant with my first, I had heard of people using baby nurses," a friend who had her first two children in Chicago said. "But I didn't really know any myself. My mom came and stayed with us for the first week or two. She showed me how to diaper and bathe the baby. And then my mother-in-law came for a few days. I've never been so sad to see my mother-in-law leave. All of a sudden, I was on my own, and it was pretty brutal."

A mother of three who lived in different parts of the South when she had her children said that no one she knew used a baby nurse. "Having a lot of help is normal in New York, but it isn't in most parts of the country," she said. "That's partially economic and partially cultural. I had help when I had my third baby, but that meant I had someone come to clean my house, or baby-sit my other children."

There are plenty of New Yorkers who'd rather spend the money on anything but a baby nurse. "I don't really understand why people have baby nurses," an Upper West Side mother of three said. "The baby and baby nurse sleep all day, while you cook and clean and look after the other kids. For a lot less, you could find someone who does a lot more."

I happen to think that if you can afford it, a good baby nurse does wonders to smooth the transition for the first few weeks of a baby's life — for the baby and for the entire family.

A few weeks ago, my 5-year-old daughter, Kira, heard the baby nurse coo to Nate, "You are so cute, I could eat you up."

"Go ahead," Kira said, deadpan. When the baby nurse later teased that she was going to take Nate home, you can imagine Kira's response.

"Good," she snarled.

Perhaps it is Kira's mental state that I should be worried about on Thursday — not the baby's.

bababynurses.com 


Your Newborn: 30 Tips for the First 30 Days

From parents magazine

Breastfeeding

It's been six weeks since our daughter, Clementine, was born. She's finally sleeping better and going longer between feedings. She's also becoming more alert when she's awake. My husband and I, on the other hand, feel like we've been hit by a truck. I'm amazed that we've muddled through. Here are tips from seasoned parents and baby experts to make your first month easier.

Hints for Nursing

Babies eat and eat and eat. Although nature has done a pretty good job of providing you and your baby with the right equipment, in the beginning it's almost guaranteed to be harder than you expected. From sore nipples to tough latch-ons, nursing can seem overwhelming.

1. Women who seek help have a higher success rate. "Think of ways to ensure success before you even give birth," suggests Stacey Brosnan, a lactation consultant in New York City. Talk with friends who had a good nursing experience, ask baby's pediatrician for a lactation consultant's number, or attend a La Leche League (nursing support group) meeting (see laleche.org to find one).

2. Use hospital resources. Kira Sexton, a Brooklyn, New York, mom, says, "I learned everything I could about breastfeeding before I left the hospital." Ask if there's a nursing class or a lactation consultant on staff. Push the nurse-call button each time you're ready to feed the baby, and ask a nurse to spot you and offer advice.

3. Prepare. At home, you'll want to drop everything to feed the baby the moment she cries for you. But Heather O'Donnell, a mom in New York City, suggests taking care of yourself first. "Get a glass of water and a book or magazine to read." And, because breastfeeding can take a while, she says, "pee first!"

4. Try a warm compress if your breasts are engorged or you have blocked ducts. A heating pad or a warm, wet washcloth works, but a flax pillow (often sold with natural beauty products) is even better. "Heat it in the microwave, and conform it to your breast," says Laura Kriska, a mom in Brooklyn, New York.

5. Heat helps the milk flow, but if your breasts are sore after nursing, try a cold pack. Amy Hooker, a San Diego mom, says, "A bag of frozen peas worked really well for me."

6. If you want baby to eventually take a bottle, introduce it after breastfeeding is established but before the 3-month mark. Many experts say 6 to 8 weeks is good, but "we started each of our kids on one bottle a day at 3 weeks," says Jill Sizemore, a mom in Pendleton, Indiana.

Sleeping

If your infant isn't eating, he's probably sleeping. Newborns log as many as 16 hours of sleep a day but only in short bursts. The result: You'll feel on constant alert and more exhausted than you ever thought possible. Even the best of us can come to resent the severe sleep deprivation.

7. Stop obsessing about being tired. There's only one goal right now: Care for your baby. "You're not going to get a full night's sleep, so you can either be tired and angry or just tired," says Vicki Lansky, author of Getting Your Child to Sleep...and Back to Sleep (Book Peddlers). "Just tired is easier."

8. Take shifts. One night it's Mom's turn to rock the cranky baby, the next it's Dad's turn. Amy Reichardt and her husband, Richard, parents in Denver, worked out a system for the weekends, when Richard was off from work. "I'd be up with the baby at night but got to sleep in. Richard did all the morning care, then got to nap later."

9. The old adage "Sleep when your baby sleeps" really is the best advice. "Take naps together and go to bed early," says Sarah Clark, a mom in Washington, D.C.

10. What if your infant has trouble sleeping? Do whatever it takes: Nurse or rock baby to sleep; let your newborn fall asleep on your chest or in the car seat. "Don't worry about bad habits yet. It's about survival -- yours!" says Jean Farnham, a Los Angeles mom.

Soothing

It's often hard to decipher exactly what baby wants in the first murky weeks. You'll learn, of course, by trial and error.

11. "The key to soothing fussy infants is to mimic the womb. Swaddling, shushing, and swinging, as well as allowing babies to suck and holding them on their sides, may trigger a calming reflex," says Harvey Karp, MD, creator of The Happiest Baby on the Block books, videos, and DVDs.

12. Play tunes. Forget the dubious theory that music makes a baby smarter, and concentrate on the fact that it's likely to calm him. "The Baby Einstein tapes saved us," says Kim Rich, a mom in Anchorage, Alaska.

13. Warm things up. Alexandra Komisaruk, a mom in Los Angeles, found that diaper changes triggered a meltdown. "I made warm wipes using paper towels and a pumpable thermos of warm water," she says. You can also buy an electric wipe warmer for a sensitive baby.

14. You'll need other tricks, too. "Doing deep knee bends and lunges while holding my daughter calmed her down," says Emily Earle, a mom in Brooklyn, New York. "And the upside was, I got my legs back in shape!"

15. Soak to soothe. If all else fails -- and baby's umbilical cord stub has fallen off -- try a warm bath together. "You'll relax, too, and a relaxed mommy can calm a baby," says Emily Franklin, a Boston mom.

Getting Dad Involved

Your husband, who helped you through your pregnancy, may seem at a loss now that baby's here. It's up to you, Mom, to hand the baby over and let Dad figure things out, just like you're doing.

16. Let him be. Many first-time dads hesitate to get involved for fear of doing something wrong and incurring the wrath of Mom. "Moms need to allow their husbands to make mistakes without criticizing them," says Armin Brott, author of The New Father: A Dad's Guide to the First Year (Abbeville Press).

17. Ask Dad to take time off from work -- after all the relatives leave. That's what Thad Calabrese, of Brooklyn, New York, did. "There was more for me to do, and I got some alone time with my son."

18. Divvy up duties. Mark DiStefano, a dad in Los Angeles, took over the cleaning and grocery shopping. "I also took Ben for a bit each afternoon so my wife could have a little time to herself."

19. Remember that Dad wants to do some fun stuff, too. "I used to take my shirt off and put the baby on my chest while we napped," say Bob Vonnegut, a dad in Islamorada, Florida. "I loved the rhythm of our hearts beating together."

Staying Sane

No matter how excited you are to be a mommy, the constant care an infant demands can drain you. Find ways to take care of yourself by lowering your expectations and stealing short breaks.

20. First, ignore unwanted or confusing advice. "In the end, you're the parents, so you decide what's best," says Julie Balis, a mom in Frankfort, Illinois.

21. "Forget about housework for the first couple of months," says Alison Mackonochie, author of 100 Tips for a Happy Baby (Barron's). "Concentrate on getting to know your baby. If anyone has anything to say about the dust piling up or the unwashed dishes, smile and hand them a duster or the dish detergent!"

22. Accept help from anyone who is nice -- or naive -- enough to offer. "If a neighbor wants to hold the baby while you shower, say yes!" says Jeanne Anzalone, a mom in Croton-on-Hudson, New York.

23. Got lots of people who want to help but don't know how? "Don't be afraid to tell people exactly what you need," says Abby Moskowitz, a Brooklyn mom. It's one of the few times in your life when you'll be able to order everyone around!

24. But don't give other people the small jobs. "Changing a diaper takes two minutes. You'll need others to do time-consuming work like cooking, sweeping floors, and buying diapers," says Catherine Park, a Cleveland mom.

25. Reconnect. To keep yourself from feeling detached from the world, Jacqueline Kelly, a mom in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, suggests: "Get outside on your own, even for five minutes."

Out and About with Baby

26. Enlist backup. Make your first journey to a big, public place with a veteran mom. "Having my sister with me for support kept me from becoming flustered the first time I went shopping with my newborn," says Suzanne Zook, a mom in Denver.

27. If you're on your own, "stick to places likely to welcome a baby, such as story hour at a library or bookstore," suggests Christin Gauss, a mom in Fishers, Indiana.

28. "Keep your diaper bag packed," says Fran Bowen, a mom in Brooklyn. There's nothing worse than finally getting the baby ready, only to find that you're not.

29. Stash a spare. Holland Brown, a mom in Long Beach, California, always keeps a change of adult clothes in her diaper bag. "You don't want to get stuck walkingaround with an adorable baby but mustard-colored poop all over you."

30. Finally, embrace the chaos. "Keep your plans simple and be prepared to abandon them at any time," says Margi Weeks, a mom in Tarrytown, New York.

If nothing else, remember that everyone makes it through, and so will you. Soon enough you'll be rewarded with your baby's first smile, and that will help make up for all the initial craziness.

Heather Swain is a mother and writer in Brooklyn, New York. Her novel is Luscious Lemon (Downtown Press).

more in baby care basics


Q&A with Brianne Manz of Stroller in the City

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Chandler Scyocurka, part of British American's Marketing and PR team, sat down with Brianne Manz of Stroller in the City for a Q&A focused on being a mommy blogger and raising children in the bustle of New York City. 

Brianne, who was once a fashion showroom owner, now dedicates her time to motherhood and blogging. Here, she shares some tips on how to perfectly balance being a great mother all while making the most of living in the city. 

Q: Raising children in the city is inevitably difficult. What are some of your tips to new mothers in New York City, in particular?

A: I always say this but the ability to be flexible and go with the flow is key. And make time for yourself! I learned a weekly yoga class so I can just calm my mind, works wonders. And allows you to handle the chaos.


• Q: What do you think is most important when raising a family in New York?

A: Take advantage of what this city has to offer. We have museums and galleries and amazing parks right outside our door. We are surrounded by different cultures and backgrounds—we hear dozens of different languages a day. We wouldn’t have this if we lived anywhere else. It is important to appreciate it and not let the grind overshadow how culturally diverse and wonderful this city is.


• Q: What are your favorite places in or around New York City when looking to spend quality time with your little ones and family?

A: We live in an amazing neighborhood. Battery Park City has so many parks and playgrounds…waterfront views, the promenade, great restaurants. This is the perfect neighborhood to spend time with the family. Plus, I also love the West Village—it still feels like old New York on some of those blocks.


• Q: How do you balance being a mom and a blogger? What do you feel like it means to be a mommy blogger in the social media age?

A: I recently wrote a post about balancing, and for me there’s no such thing. It’s about the juggle. I’m lucky enough that my job involves my family, but I do need to set work hours for myself where I am just working on writing, and other times when I cannot answer emails or phones while I am toting my littles to their after school activities.  

Social media is a huge part of what I do, and I have a very supportive and loving community of followers so I always feel safe sharing our lives. I have always been pretty honest in my posts so I hope I don’t contribute to the staged and unattainable idea of perfection that stresses moms out. I am pretty real, our photos are real—our life is real. I want to continue to promote the honest side of motherhood.


• Q: Have you ever used or considered using a baby nurse or nanny?

A: My husband travels for work constantly so I definitely need some help—especially when I have three kids in different schools in different neighborhoods!! We have a babysitter four days a week to help with school drop offs and pick-ups…and she watches the kids when I have important events and meetings. My family lives nearby so they are always available to help with the kids. I am not opposed to hiring help! Raising children while working full-time is challenging—you always need help, and shouldn’t be afraid to ask for it! 


TEACH YOUR BABY TO READ

TEACH YOUR BABY TO READ

Can Babies Really Learn To Read?

Yes, They Can!     

All babies are Einstein’s when it comes to learning to read. Your baby can actually learn to read beginning at 3 months of age.  Research shows that from this early age, babies have the ability to learn languages, whether, written, foreign or sign language with ease.  It requires no effort for the developing baby to learn languages.  They actually just absorb the language that surrounds them.

Window of Opportunity     

Babies have an advantage over the rest of us.  They have a rapidly developing brain.  This allows them to effortlessly learn and absorb mass amounts of information, all before their 5th birthday.  The experts refer to this period of intense brain development as a “Critical Period” or a “Window of Opportunity”. That simply means that during this period of time, it is considered the ideal time to introduce certain things.  Skills, such as learning to read, are acquired with the least amount of effort during these periods.
 
The brain grows through use.  By stimulating your baby you are growing and strengthening the brain and its connections, called synapses. These are all very important in the development of your child’s intellect.  We can do this by providing rich, stimulating environments for our babies.  We can expose them to foreign languages and sign language.  We can also teach them to read.
It’s Easy!     

Teaching your baby to read may be the easiest of the above choices.  You may not know any other languages.  You may not know how to sign and you may not have the time or resources to learn.  That is why teaching babies to read is so easy and so rewarding.  Since you already know how to read, it is a natural step to teach your baby to read as well.
 
The System     

Babies learn to read using the whole-word method, also called sight reading.   Thousands upon thousands of babies have learned to read using this simple and amazing system.  Babies that learn to read using the whole-word method, naturally learn the rules of phonics on their own or with very little exposure to phonics lessons.  However, we recommend that parents of children ages 4 years and up use a phonetic system to teach reading.
 
How It Works     

Teaching your baby to read must be fun for your baby.  The idea is to keep their interest in what you are presenting.
 
​   -The first rule in teaching babies to read is to make the words big.  Their developing visual pathway does not allow them to read words at the font size we are accustomed to reading.
 
   -Secondly, you have to show them the words very quickly.  They are learning at incredible rates.  When we teach babies to read, we must keep in mind that they can be learning to speak Chinese, French, Spanish and English with no effort, all in the same day.  You must also show the baby the words very quickly.  If we try to teach a baby to read by having them stare at words they will lose  interest.  It takes a split second for your child to process the word you are presenting to them.
 
   -Thirdly, you must speak the word in a clear voice.  It is best to use a slightly higher-pitched tone, which comes naturally to most people when they speak to babies anyway.
 
   -The last step for success in teaching your baby to read is frequency.  You must present the words often in order for your child to master them.  As your child progresses in their program, they will master new words at an incredible rate.  In the beginning of your baby’s program, you will need to present a word between 15 and 20 times in order to assure mastery.  As your program progresses, your child will master new words after viewing them only 2 or 3 times.
 
How They Progress      When teaching babies to read, we begin with single words.  After we have taught between 30 to 50 words, we begin to combine the words to form couplets or word pairs.  From there we progress to phrases, sentences, and then book.
 
We recommend that after your child has learned to read many words that you do introduce them to phonics.  
It is very exciting to hear your baby read their first word.  Of course, you will not hear your baby reading until your baby can speak.  This does not mean that you have to wait until your baby can speak in order to teach reading.  As you read this article you are most likely not reading aloud, yet you are still reading. 
 
Proof     

If you are doubtful that babies can read, go to You Tube and type in babies reading.  You will see lots of videos of babies reading as soon as they can speak.
 
In order to start teaching your baby to read, all you need is a marker and some cardstock.  You can begin by teaching your baby to read their name, your name and other words they hear regularly.  
Now, We Have Made It Easy For You.  The MonkiSee product line has been specifically designed to assist you in teaching your baby to read.  We have a fantastic DVD Collection and five sets of flash cards that are all you need to start on this exciting journey to give your baby a head start in life. The MonkiSee product line is very different from other products on the market.  The MonkiSee DVDs are educational, yet very entertaining.  We are sure your child will have a fantastic time learning to read with these products.  Your baby will be enthusiastic and in love with learning to read.  There is no other program on the market that makes learning to read this much fun.
Visit our store to discover a great selection of products that can aid you in teaching your baby to read.  We have carefully selected some of the best products we believe will enhance your teaching experience.

by intellbaby.com

Contact us to hire a nanny at info@bahs.com


Get the Royal Treatment at Provence’s Historic Château Fonscolombe

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article by Jessica Benavides Canepa for Robb Report

Queen Elizabeth stayed in this opulent 18th-century estate—and now you can too.

Ensconced in the heart of Provence’s mystical wine country sits a stately residence, home to the Marquis de Saporta and his family for more than 300 centuries. The collection of fountains, stone sculptures, and ancient arboretum pepper the grounds, serving as a reminder of the grandeur of this estate and the lavish parties once held there. As a private château, only royals, VIPs, and dignitaries—most notably Queen Elizabeth—were privy to an overnight stay.

Then, in June 2017, after 18 months of construction and painstaking renovation, Château Fonscolombe was reborn as a 50-room hotel, opening its storied doors to a new generation of discerning guests. Built in the Italian Quattrocento style popular during the 18th century, the main estate features 13 chateau-style bedrooms, each are adorned with a wide spectrum of period touches, from ornate ceiling detailing and hand-painted Chinese wallpaper to chiseled frescos, manicured lawns, Genoa leather tapestries and original terracotta-hued floor tiles. There’s also a small spa (located in the castle’s former boudoir), a winery (dating back to Roman times), and sprawling gardens set over more than 20 acres.

Careful additions have been made as well: The L’Orangerie Restaurant—a rustic-chic dream of high wood-beam ceilings and velvet seating topped with Provençal print cushions—serves a singular combination of traditional “ancestral bourgeois” cuisine with a contemporary flair. There’s also a new swimming pool and deck, as well as an annex housing 37 rooms, each of which presents a modern take on castle décor with stark walls adorned with fashionable photo prints and ceramic cricket wall art.

 

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A Scottish Castle Fit for Interior-Design Royalty

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article by Jennifer Fernandez for Architectural Digest

photo by Luis Ridao

Farrow & Ball co-owner Tom Helme transforms an Edwardian estate into a modern yet historically resonant family home

Scotland is a place shaped by myth and legend, where every crag and castle tells a story. On the remote Kintyre peninsula, nestled among rural farms and the west coast’s pounding waves, one rambling property has the sort of dreamlike atmosphere that feels straight out of a fairytale.

“While its remoteness is a refuge, its great beauty is a neverending source of happiness,” says Tom Helme, the former decoration advisor to the National Trust and onetime co-owner responsible for reviving cult-favorite paint company Farrow & Ball, who purchased the 7,500-acre Carskiey estate with partner and design collaborator Lisa Ephson on more than just a whim. Helme had grown up holidaying in Scotland, and he almost closed on a similar home in the area years earlier. “Tom was looking for somewhere where proper farming communities still survive, within view of the ocean—not to mention the incredible light that the west coast of Scotland is famous for,” says Ephson of the cliffside property, whose nine miles encompass a 1908 Edwardian mansion, a shore cottage, and an Aberdeen Angus cattle farm that abut the sea.

Thankfully, the house’s bones remained structurally intact, its slate roof kept in place over the last century thanks to solid copper nails and its sturdy oak and stone flooring blissfully free of rot—even on these damp shores. The only concessions to modern life: fully updated plumbing, electrical, and heating systems—even so, using thoughtfully restored radiators—as well as an aesthetic overhaul that manages to maintain the Edwardian spirit of the property.

For a historical preservationist, there is perhaps no greater joy than bringing an old house to life, and Helme relished articulating his signature style to the 19,000-square-foot mansion, which was fittingly built by textiles heiress Kate Boyd and her industrialist husband James. Relying on his Farrow & Ball background, Helme mixed a series of custom paints that give each room warmth and historical resonance. “The look is based on a wish to be welcoming and hospitable, not stuffy or formal,” says Helme. “The most important thing for me in decorating is that it not feel intimidating.” To that end, he and Ephson, a former fashion insider, incorporated much of the existing furniture—four-poster beds and upholstered armchairs—adding modern pieces like the B&B Italia sofa in the living room, a Fortuny stage lamp on a stair landing, and a collection of Fornasetti printing plates, and supplemented what tapestries and materials they could salvage with more approachable hand-drawn fabrics from Fermoie, the textile company Helme founded with school friend and former Farrow & Ball co-owner Martin Ephson.

Indeed, that lack of formality shines in how Ephson and Helme spend their time at Carskiey: “going out in our lobster-potting boat, shooting the creels, and cooking the catch; sitting in the upstairs library at sundown, looking over green fields and sea to Sanda Island and Ailsa Craig; hosting a full house and enjoying beach barbecues and bonfires,” says Ephson, also noting that the property has been used as the backdrop for magazine photography shoots and advertising campaigns, as well as by holiday renters: “We’ve never felt anything other than utter madness upon leaving.” The spirit of former proprietress Mrs. Boyd has also been known to drop in from time to time. This is Scotland, after all. Even the ghosts have their own stories.


All of the Halloween Movies You Can Stream on Netflix with Your Kids

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article by Alessia Santoro for PopSugar

photo from Today's Parent

Halloween movie marathons take over many television channels once Fall officially hits, but the major downfall to watching all of your favorite movies on TV with your little ones? The commercials. (Not to mention having to either DVR the movie or get your whole family in front of the TV and settled with blankets and snacks before the movie starts — godspeed.) There's a reason kids' shows don't have commercials in the middle of them — younger kids' attention spans aren't very long — but more than that, there's no bigger buzzkill than ad breaks when you're trying to have a cozy movie marathon with your family.

Our solution? Netflix, baby. Avoid ruining the illusion during a spooky family flick with the following movies that you can stream with your kids on Netflix this October (and beyond!).


Hotel Transylvania 2

Rating: PG

Age of kids who can handle it: 5+

Why it's scary: Although this sequel doesn't hold up quite as strong as the first Hotel Transylvania, it's still a laugh-out-loud family movie (with mild jokes, but some minor language). Some of the violence toward the end of the movie (Dennis falls off a tower and a car explodes, for example) might be scary for toddlers, but it's mostly slapstick and manageable.

Watch it here (until Oct. 27)!


The Nightmare Before Christmas

Rating: PG

Age of kids who can handle it: 7+

Why it's scary: This Tim Burton classic isn't so much scary as offbeat; however, younger children may be frightened by the fact that Jack is a skeleton or by the other Halloweencreatures.

Watch it here!


Spooky Buddies

Rating: G

Age of kids who can handle it: 8+

Why it's scary: For younger kids, the fact that there's a scary giant dog, a ghost puppy, a freaky black cat, and a bunch of zombies might be unsettling. The villains — Halloween Hound and Warwick the Warlock — turn people and puppies alike into stone and rats, take puppies hostage, and suck out puppies' souls. To be honest, that in itself sounds awful, but if your kid can handle it, who doesn't love watching cute puppies (even if they are in pretty sticky situations)?

Watch it here!

 

Scooby Doo

Rating: PG

Age of kids who can handle it: 9+

Why it's scary: In true Scooby-Doo fashion, there are plenty of monsters, zombies, spirits, and ghosts in this flick, but for the most part, the violence is tame and slapstick, which will elicit laughs from your big kids. There are a few references to Shaggy being a pothead, which will likely go over most kids' heads (he says Mary Jane is his favorite name and smoke is coming out of his van while a questionable song plays low in the background), as well as some mild language.

Watch it here!

 

Coraline

Rating: PG

Age of kids who can handle it: 9+

Why it's scary: This fantasy flick will definitely scare littler kids. Coraline is trapped in a scary and dangerous place where people have frightening buttons for eyes, and the movie is dark and creepy in general. It's a safer bet for your tween to watch this one.

Watch it here!


The Addams Family

Rating: PG-13

Age of kids who can handle it: 10+

Why it's scary: This movie is a fun one based on the classic 1960s sitcom, but it is still a bit scary for younger children. A ton of different weapons and torture devices appear throughout the film (though no one gets hurt), and even though the characters are hilarious and likable, their personalities are a little disturbing, so make sure your child will be able to find the humor in this film before letting them watch.

Watch it here!


Corpse Bride

Rating: PG

Age of kids who can handle it: 10+

Why it's scary: In typical Tim Burton fashion, even the most lovable characters in this movie are creepy. The bride is an actual corpse, the adorable puppy is actually a skeleton, and there are a ton of other types of dead people throughout the movie — but it's all in good fun if you think your little one can handle it.

Watch it here!


Young Frankenstein

Rating: PG

Age of kids who can handle it: 10+

Why it's scary: Because this one isn't animated, some of the (old) special effects and the dark eeriness might spook younger kids. There's some language (sh*t and son of a b*tch, for example), a sexual innuendo or two, and some (mostly slapstick) violence.

Watch it here!


Gremlins

Rating: PG

Age of kids who can handle it: 11+

Why it's scary: Although the gremlins themselves are pretty gross looking, the poor things get chopped up by knives, blended in the blender, and microwaved — but they are also pretty brutal to the humans, so it's a trade-off, I suppose? And a side note: this movie will ruin Christmas for your family if your little one still believes in Saint Nick.

Watch it here!


Digital Detox: 5 Resorts Offering Unplugged Luxury

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article by Necee Regis for Robb Report

photo from The Ranch Mailbu

Shut down and recharge while in the lap of luxury.

The Ranch Malibu

Step off the grid and into nature at The Ranch Malibu, a 200-acre wellness resort located high above the Pacific Ocean in Southern California’s stunning Santa Monica Mountains. With a focus on its serene environment, the 18-cottage retreat maintains a strict no-smartphone-use policy during daily activities and meals. The Sunday-to-Saturday minimum stay encourages guests to reset their minds and bodies with yoga, meditation room, personal training, hiking, and spa treatments.

Tierra Patagonia Hotel + Spa

Disconnect from the digital world on the southernmost tip of Chile at the Tierra Patagonia Hotel & Spa, a sublime retreat perched on a bluff overlooking Lake Sarmiento and the mountain peaks of Torres del Paine National Park. Adventurous outdoor excursions liking hiking and horseback riding are complemented by a luxurious spa and cozy rooms with picture-perfect views of the magnificent landscapes outside. The experience is all the more relaxing without the use of your smartphone—which won’t have service or Wi-Fi this far out in the middle of nowhere anyway. (If you must plug in, Wi-Fi is available in some public areas.)

Nimmo Bay Resort

The only way to reach Nimmo Bay Resort is by helicopter, seaplane, or boat. Located at the base of Mt. Stevens in the middle of the Great Bear Rainforest, the resort is nestled in a small ocean bay on the mainland coast of northern British Columbia. The nine-cabin resort exists completely off the power grid, and for nine months of the year, it runs on clean hydro energy produced from an on-site waterfall. Heli-fishing, hiking, guided kayaking, whale-watching tours, and other outdoor adventures distract visitors from the lack of cell service (though satellite telephone is available by request) and limited-bandwidth Internet.

Walig Hut

The elegant Gstaad Palace offers something far off—and above—the beaten path: the charming and rustic Walig Hut, a truly back-to-nature experience in the Swiss Alps. The lofty aerie, located 5,000 feet above the picturesque valleys of Gstaad and Saanenland, features solar-powered electric lighting, running water (cold only!), and a traditional wood-burning stove—but no cell service or Internet connection. Of course, if all that disconnection has you itching for something more civilized, Gstaad Palace can whisk guests back to the resort for multicourse meals and indulgent spa treatments.

Brenners Park Hotel + Spa

Set along the banks of the Oos River in the foothills of Germany’s Black Forest, Oetker Collection’s Brenners Park-Hotel & Spa offers the perfect escape from technology with its Villa Stéphanie suites. Coated copper plates embedded in each room’s walls block electronic signals, allowing guests to flip a switch at their bedside table and completely disconnect from Wi-Fi. An additional switch disconnects electricity to the entire room, guaranteeing a perfect night’s sleep.

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


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).  


Common Sense C.P.R.

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

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

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

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

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


Infant CPR

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

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

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

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

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

Click here to sign up.

*Use code bahscprmaysingle for $25 off to individuals* 

*Use code bahscprmaycouple for $50 off to couples*


Common Sense C.P.R.

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

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

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

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

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

Click here to sign up.

*Use code bahs to save $15 on registration*


Taverna Rebetika

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Live traditional Greek music from 1940's Greece on Thursday, December 10th at 77 Mercer Street, 2N, SoHo: From 6PM to 2AM where there will be plenty of Retsina, Greek food, and space to dance.

Traditional Rebetiko:  Anita Rogers is singing, Dimitris Mann plays the bouzouki, Beth Bahin Cohen plays the violin and Vasilis Kostas plays the guitar.

Μια μοναδικη βραδυα με Ρεμπέτικα και Σμυρνεικα τραγούδια σας περιμένει στις 10 Δεκεμβρίου 2015 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

 

-----

 

British American Household Staffing services the NY and CT areas, including 10013, 10012, 10003, 10023, 10024, 11211, 10014, 10021, 06807, 06831,  06836, 06870,06878, 06830

As well as the San Francisco Bay Area, including 94027, 94028, 94061, 94062, 94301, 94302, 94020, 94129, 94123, 94115, 94109, 94114, 94131, 94105

As well as the Los Angeles, Santa Barbara and Malibu areas, including 90210, 90069, 90028, 90263,90264, 93101, 93109, 93121, 90291,90401, 90409, 94513, 90272, 90402

As well as Palm Beach and Miami, including 33480, 33111, 33109, 33139, 33401, 33407, 33402, 33405, 33409

As well as London, England, including SW7 1DG, W1J 8LR, W1J 8 A J, W1J 8NL, W1J 8ET, W1J 8ET,  W84 AP, W84 AS, W8 4AQ, W8 4 AE, W8 4 AA, W8 4BA, NW3 1AA, NW3 1AL NW3 1AW


British American Child Development Education Workshop

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Please join British American Household Staffing for a free child and infant development education event on Tuesday, December 1st. We will be introducing the newest addition to our team, Ashley Mundt, M.Ed., CCLS, previewing curriculum for our brand new child development education and caregiver (nannies, newborn care specialists, baby nurses) training services, as well as presenting a short lecture on the significance of incorporating sound developmental knowledge into daily care. In addition, we will be offering priority registration and a discounted fee for all caregiver training workshops, developmental education series, and private in-home sessions to those in attendance.
 
The goal of these new services is to provide educational opportunities for those who care for, and work with, children. Classes and workshops have been designed to provide a general understanding of child and infant development (taught in age specific lessons) along with practical ideas and strategies for incorporating this knowledge in order to elevate the quality of care children receive. Our classes and workshops are not meant to teach strict protocols or a provided a step-by-step guide to caring for children. We respect that each child and infant is unique and there is no “one size fits all” approach that is applicable to all children and infants, families, or caregivers (nannies, newborn care specialists and baby nurses). Instead of an instruction manual for childcare, we want to provide caregivers (nannies, newborn care specialists and baby nurses) with a tool box full of information, proven strategies, and activity ideas that they can draw on to best support and nurture children and infants’s development and handle challenges that will inevitably arise.
 
In creating the materials for this program, we have drawn information and resources from professional experience, current research, and leading experts in the fields of child development and developmental psychology. Our lessons are comprised of carefully curated current evidence-based information and expert advice on a wide variety of topics relevant to caring for children of all ages. Each lesson provides clear, simple developmental information and concrete examples of how this can inform the way caregivers interact with and respond to children and infants on a day-to-day basis.
 
Heading up our child and infant development education and caregiver training services will be Ashley Mundt, M.Ed., CCLS. Ashley has a strong academic background and years of hands on experience working with children, infants 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, infants 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. She has worked as a highly sought after nanny, childcare and infant 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 (nannies, newborn care specialists and baby nurses) and (most importantly) children and infants.
 
We invite you to come and learn about these exciting new educational opportunities we are offering for our BAHS caregivers and families. In order to accommodate as many clients and caregivers as possible, we will host both a daytime (11:30-1:00) and evening (5:30-7:00) event on Tuesday, December 1st. Please RSVP to anita.rogers@bahs.com to take advantage of this wonderful opportunity to preview sample materials, meet Ashley, learn about the importance of developmental education, and take advantage of priority registration for upcoming caregiver class series and workshops. We will also be offering special discounts and giving away a limited number of free sessions to those in attendance.


Italian Opera and Business

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British American Household Staffing's president, Anita Rogers performed Italian classical arias with Craig Ketter for the Italian Chamber of Commerce and the BAB (British American Business) on April 7th, 2015.  The event was a huge success with an audience of over 150 attendees.  Craig Ketter is a well-known pianist as well as one of the top vocal operatic coaches in the United States, specifically well-known in New York.  He often collaborates with the Metropolitan Opera and works with some of the best-known principal voices of today.  Anita sang Vaga Luna, Che Inargenti by Vincenzo Bellini and Io T’Abbraccio by G.F. Handel from the opera Rodelinda with Heidi Skok.  

Anita Rogers, a mezzo-soprano, had performed and trained classically in England, Italy and Ireland prior to coming to the United States twelve years ago where she has performed opera and lieder extensively, as well as more esoteric repertoire.  Heidi Skok has been singing at the Metropolitan Opera for twelve years and is now pursuing a solo career in opera as a mezzo-soprano.  Heidi has performed throughout the United States and is currently recording an album.  Craig Ketter is a well-known pianist as well as one of the top vocal coaches in the United States.  He often collaborates with the Metropolitan Opera and works with some of the best-known principal voices of today.  

The evening was a celebration of the arts through business, and British American Household Staffing, known for placing the best quality domestic staff in New York and California, is proud to continue the tradition of supporting the New York’s arts world.  The audience and artists enjoyed cocktails, networking, and a live opera recital as they met new contacts in the stylish setting of one of the largest luxury apparel showrooms in New York.


1/10 Greek Music Event

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British American Household Staffing hosted an informal late afternoon and evening of Greek music and dancing on January 10th, 2015.  

Beth Bahia Cohen and Adam Good played live music, and Anita Rogers sang and played the guitar. The group played a large selection of Rebetika and Smyrnaika while the party of over 100 attendees danced late into the evening hours. Traditional Greek food and drink was provided by Pi, a Soho, New York based Greek restaurant. 

This evening was a great success for British American Household Staffing and represented one of many artistic ventures British American Household Staffing aims to support and promote. 

British American Household Staffing is a proud patron and supporter of the arts and supports an eclectic selection of artistic forms, ranging from fine art and opera to folk and historic music traditions. 

Rethinking Toddler Nutrition

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By Katelyn Philipp for Parenting

Fruits and veggies are a good start, but most toddler diets are missing a key nutritional element.

Family meals should feel more like bonding opportunities than chores or ordeals. But to make mealtime more positive, you have to serve foods that both meet your kids' nutritional needs and are tasty enough for children to actually eat and enjoy.

Proper nutrition involves more than fruits and vegetables, says Dr. Scott Cohen, a pediatrician, father and author of "Eat, Sleep, Poop: A Common Sense Guide to Your Baby's First Year." He says DHA is another critical component. DHA is an omega-3 fatty acid beneficial to brain development and cognition.

"Eighty-five percent of brain growth happens in the first three years of life," Cohen says. Infants receive vital nutrients through breastfeeding and fortified formula, but their supply dwindles when children begin eating solid food.

In fact, toddlers only average 25 percent of the recommended daily DHA intake, which is 70 to 100 milligrams. It can be easy to reach the allowance, but DHA-rich foods aren't popular items on toddler's plates. Major sources include fish, such as tuna, salmon and trout. 

To improve your child's nutrition, Cohen recommends a five-item nutrition checklist:

1. Find a DHA source that works for your family

Increasing DHA in your child's diet doesn't have to be difficult. Cohen recommends trying DHA-friendly options, such as fish, or DHA-fortified foods such as pasta and milk. "One size doesn't fit all," Cohen says. "Any way toddlers can get it is good."

2. Say cheese

Cohen says toddlers should consume two to three dairy sources each day for strong bones, muscles and teeth. Common child favorites include milk, yogurt and cheese, but fortified orange juice can also do the trick.

3. Concentrate on protein

"A lot of kids don't like typical protein sources," Cohen says. Look at protein alternatives instead of battling over eggs, fish or meat your picky eater won't try. Soy products and beans are subtle substitutes.

4. Teach healthy habits

While each meal can be a step in the right nutritional direction, Cohen recommends looking at the big picture. "It's more important to teach healthy eating habits than to concentrate on volume," he says. Proper routines set children up for a lifetime of nutrition success.

5. Mix it up

Introduce a variety of food to children beyond standard favorites. "Offer three or four different options in the hope that they will eat one of them," Cohen says. Don't give up if children resist at first. It can take 10 to 12 tries before they develop preferences. "They might like it next week," he says. "The bottom line is not to stress too much. Every healthy child grows, no matter what."


Is It Safe to Lift Weights While Pregnant?

By Amy Rosoff Davis, Charlotte's Book

Q—CHARLOTTE’S BOOK READER

I’m pregnant and definitely want to keep working out, but I’m curious: is it safe for me to use weights?

A—AMY ROSOFF DAVIS, CELEBRITY TRAINER

Yes! I used 2-3 pound weights almost five days a week my whole pregnancy. Whether you do exercises or just take those things on a brisk walk with you, it’s good to keep strong arms (you will need them to hold your baby) and a strong core (which you need during delivery). While you don’t want to attempt to build muscle, it’s important to build stamina (which is also needed for delivery)!

Lifting weights also helps keep your body toned, and helps your body maintain a healthy weight. All good things! I also did a bunch of arm dancing both on my own and with clients during my pregnancy. Arm dancing is also great for stamina (remember to keep breathing through the pain) and also keeps long lean and toned arms. Arm dancing is also a great postpartum exercise—you can do it sitting in bed!


The Phenomenon Of Baby Nurses

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By SARA BERMAN | March 11, 2008
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Tomorrow will be my baby nurse's last day with my family. I'm not sure whom I feel worse for: myself or the baby. Six weeks into this gig, I hope the baby hasn't become completely accustomed to twice-daily baths, around-the-clock attention, careful burping, and long massages. But Nate, like his brothers and sisters before him, will survive on fewer baths, fewer massages, and — there's no delicate way to say this — far, far less attention.

According to an agency that places baby nurses in the tristate area (British American Newborn Care) a baby nurse is a non-medical newborn specialist who is highly experienced in infant care. Baby nurses work in private homes and care for newborns typically from the day the baby arrives home through a period of several weeks or months. Normally, they provide 24-hour care and "assist new and experienced parents in every aspect of newborn care and may also help establish eating and sleeping patterns."

In other words, they're glorified, uniform-clad nannies who diaper, burp, bathe, swaddle, rock, and if you want, feed the baby 24 hours a day. They are not — in case you were confused — nurses.

If there is one peculiar element to having a baby in a certain slice of New York, it is the assumption that you will have a baby nurse. If you type the words "baby nurse" into any search engine, you will see that the majority of the links are in the tristate area. They may have baby nurses in California and Georgia, but those baby nurses are, in fact, likely to be registered nurses — and their employers are more likely to be having triplets than single births.

At roughly $200 a day, though, having a baby nurse can really add up.

"Worth every penny," an acquaintance told me about her baby nurse. "We could barely afford our rent when we had our first child. But neither of us had any family in New York. And neither of us had ever changed a diaper. The grandparents pooled together and gave the baby nurse as a gift. It was the best gift ever."

Cramped city living, not exactly conducive to having the in-laws move in for a week or two, is compatible with a baby nurse, who shares the room with the newborn. Giving the gift of a baby nurse is one way to make nice with your daughter-in-law.

One couple with far greater means never let the baby nurse go. "The baby was going to be a year old," the father of three said about his first child, "and we still had the nurse. The nurse would go on and on about what a hard night she had had with the baby, and I'm thinking, suuure you did. Finally, I convinced my wife that enough was enough. But sure enough, when we had our second child, the same baby nurse just moved back in. This time, she stayed for eight or nine months. I'm pretty embarrassed to admit that," he said, while calculating how much he paid the baby nurse over the course of his three children: at least $200,000.

My question is this: Who assists new and experienced parents in every aspect of newborn care across the rest of the country?

"When I was pregnant with my first, I had heard of people using baby nurses," a friend who had her first two children in Chicago said. "But I didn't really know any myself. My mom came and stayed with us for the first week or two. She showed me how to diaper and bathe the baby. And then my mother-in-law came for a few days. I've never been so sad to see my mother-in-law leave. All of a sudden, I was on my own, and it was pretty brutal."

A mother of three who lived in different parts of the South when she had her children said that no one she knew used a baby nurse. "Having a lot of help is normal in New York, but it isn't in most parts of the country," she said. "That's partially economic and partially cultural. I had help when I had my third baby, but that meant I had someone come to clean my house, or baby-sit my other children."

There are plenty of New Yorkers who'd rather spend the money on anything but a baby nurse. "I don't really understand why people have baby nurses," an Upper West Side mother of three said. "The baby and baby nurse sleep all day, while you cook and clean and look after the other kids. For a lot less, you could find someone who does a lot more."

I happen to think that if you can afford it, a good baby nurse does wonders to smooth the transition for the first few weeks of a baby's life — for the baby and for the entire family.

A few weeks ago, my 5-year-old daughter, Kira, heard the baby nurse coo to Nate, "You are so cute, I could eat you up."

"Go ahead," Kira said, deadpan. When the baby nurse later teased that she was going to take Nate home, you can imagine Kira's response.

"Good," she snarled.

Perhaps it is Kira's mental state that I should be worried about on Thursday — not the baby's.

bababynurses.com 


Q&A with Brianne Manz of Stroller in the City

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Chandler Scyocurka, part of British American's Marketing and PR team, sat down with Brianne Manz of Stroller in the City for a Q&A focused on being a mommy blogger and raising children in the bustle of New York City. 

Brianne, who was once a fashion showroom owner, now dedicates her time to motherhood and blogging. Here, she shares some tips on how to perfectly balance being a great mother all while making the most of living in the city. 

Q: Raising children in the city is inevitably difficult. What are some of your tips to new mothers in New York City, in particular?

A: I always say this but the ability to be flexible and go with the flow is key. And make time for yourself! I learned a weekly yoga class so I can just calm my mind, works wonders. And allows you to handle the chaos.


• Q: What do you think is most important when raising a family in New York?

A: Take advantage of what this city has to offer. We have museums and galleries and amazing parks right outside our door. We are surrounded by different cultures and backgrounds—we hear dozens of different languages a day. We wouldn’t have this if we lived anywhere else. It is important to appreciate it and not let the grind overshadow how culturally diverse and wonderful this city is.


• Q: What are your favorite places in or around New York City when looking to spend quality time with your little ones and family?

A: We live in an amazing neighborhood. Battery Park City has so many parks and playgrounds…waterfront views, the promenade, great restaurants. This is the perfect neighborhood to spend time with the family. Plus, I also love the West Village—it still feels like old New York on some of those blocks.


• Q: How do you balance being a mom and a blogger? What do you feel like it means to be a mommy blogger in the social media age?

A: I recently wrote a post about balancing, and for me there’s no such thing. It’s about the juggle. I’m lucky enough that my job involves my family, but I do need to set work hours for myself where I am just working on writing, and other times when I cannot answer emails or phones while I am toting my littles to their after school activities.  

Social media is a huge part of what I do, and I have a very supportive and loving community of followers so I always feel safe sharing our lives. I have always been pretty honest in my posts so I hope I don’t contribute to the staged and unattainable idea of perfection that stresses moms out. I am pretty real, our photos are real—our life is real. I want to continue to promote the honest side of motherhood.


• Q: Have you ever used or considered using a baby nurse or nanny?

A: My husband travels for work constantly so I definitely need some help—especially when I have three kids in different schools in different neighborhoods!! We have a babysitter four days a week to help with school drop offs and pick-ups…and she watches the kids when I have important events and meetings. My family lives nearby so they are always available to help with the kids. I am not opposed to hiring help! Raising children while working full-time is challenging—you always need help, and shouldn’t be afraid to ask for it! 


Get the Royal Treatment at Provence’s Historic Château Fonscolombe

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article by Jessica Benavides Canepa for Robb Report

Queen Elizabeth stayed in this opulent 18th-century estate—and now you can too.

Ensconced in the heart of Provence’s mystical wine country sits a stately residence, home to the Marquis de Saporta and his family for more than 300 centuries. The collection of fountains, stone sculptures, and ancient arboretum pepper the grounds, serving as a reminder of the grandeur of this estate and the lavish parties once held there. As a private château, only royals, VIPs, and dignitaries—most notably Queen Elizabeth—were privy to an overnight stay.

Then, in June 2017, after 18 months of construction and painstaking renovation, Château Fonscolombe was reborn as a 50-room hotel, opening its storied doors to a new generation of discerning guests. Built in the Italian Quattrocento style popular during the 18th century, the main estate features 13 chateau-style bedrooms, each are adorned with a wide spectrum of period touches, from ornate ceiling detailing and hand-painted Chinese wallpaper to chiseled frescos, manicured lawns, Genoa leather tapestries and original terracotta-hued floor tiles. There’s also a small spa (located in the castle’s former boudoir), a winery (dating back to Roman times), and sprawling gardens set over more than 20 acres.

Careful additions have been made as well: The L’Orangerie Restaurant—a rustic-chic dream of high wood-beam ceilings and velvet seating topped with Provençal print cushions—serves a singular combination of traditional “ancestral bourgeois” cuisine with a contemporary flair. There’s also a new swimming pool and deck, as well as an annex housing 37 rooms, each of which presents a modern take on castle décor with stark walls adorned with fashionable photo prints and ceramic cricket wall art.

 

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British American Household Staffing services the NY and CT areas, including 10013, 10012, 10003, 10023, 10024, 11211, 10014, 10021, 06807, 06831,  06836, 06870,06878, 06830

As well as the San Francisco Bay Area, including 94027, 94028, 94061, 94062, 94301, 94302, 94020, 94129, 94123, 94115, 94109, 94114, 94131, 94105

As well as the Los Angeles, Santa Barbara and Malibu areas, including 90210, 90069, 90028, 90263,90264, 93101, 93109, 93121, 90291,90401, 90409, 94513, 90272, 90402

As well as Palm Beach and Miami, including 33480, 33111, 33109, 33139, 33401, 33407, 33402, 33405, 33409

As well as London, England, including SW7 1DG, W1J 8LR, W1J 8 A J, W1J 8NL, W1J 8ET, W1J 8ET,  W84 AP, W84 AS, W8 4AQ, W8 4 AE, W8 4 AA, W8 4BA, NW3 1AA, NW3 1AL NW3 1AW


A Scottish Castle Fit for Interior-Design Royalty

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article by Jennifer Fernandez for Architectural Digest

photo by Luis Ridao

Farrow & Ball co-owner Tom Helme transforms an Edwardian estate into a modern yet historically resonant family home

Scotland is a place shaped by myth and legend, where every crag and castle tells a story. On the remote Kintyre peninsula, nestled among rural farms and the west coast’s pounding waves, one rambling property has the sort of dreamlike atmosphere that feels straight out of a fairytale.

“While its remoteness is a refuge, its great beauty is a neverending source of happiness,” says Tom Helme, the former decoration advisor to the National Trust and onetime co-owner responsible for reviving cult-favorite paint company Farrow & Ball, who purchased the 7,500-acre Carskiey estate with partner and design collaborator Lisa Ephson on more than just a whim. Helme had grown up holidaying in Scotland, and he almost closed on a similar home in the area years earlier. “Tom was looking for somewhere where proper farming communities still survive, within view of the ocean—not to mention the incredible light that the west coast of Scotland is famous for,” says Ephson of the cliffside property, whose nine miles encompass a 1908 Edwardian mansion, a shore cottage, and an Aberdeen Angus cattle farm that abut the sea.

Thankfully, the house’s bones remained structurally intact, its slate roof kept in place over the last century thanks to solid copper nails and its sturdy oak and stone flooring blissfully free of rot—even on these damp shores. The only concessions to modern life: fully updated plumbing, electrical, and heating systems—even so, using thoughtfully restored radiators—as well as an aesthetic overhaul that manages to maintain the Edwardian spirit of the property.

For a historical preservationist, there is perhaps no greater joy than bringing an old house to life, and Helme relished articulating his signature style to the 19,000-square-foot mansion, which was fittingly built by textiles heiress Kate Boyd and her industrialist husband James. Relying on his Farrow & Ball background, Helme mixed a series of custom paints that give each room warmth and historical resonance. “The look is based on a wish to be welcoming and hospitable, not stuffy or formal,” says Helme. “The most important thing for me in decorating is that it not feel intimidating.” To that end, he and Ephson, a former fashion insider, incorporated much of the existing furniture—four-poster beds and upholstered armchairs—adding modern pieces like the B&B Italia sofa in the living room, a Fortuny stage lamp on a stair landing, and a collection of Fornasetti printing plates, and supplemented what tapestries and materials they could salvage with more approachable hand-drawn fabrics from Fermoie, the textile company Helme founded with school friend and former Farrow & Ball co-owner Martin Ephson.

Indeed, that lack of formality shines in how Ephson and Helme spend their time at Carskiey: “going out in our lobster-potting boat, shooting the creels, and cooking the catch; sitting in the upstairs library at sundown, looking over green fields and sea to Sanda Island and Ailsa Craig; hosting a full house and enjoying beach barbecues and bonfires,” says Ephson, also noting that the property has been used as the backdrop for magazine photography shoots and advertising campaigns, as well as by holiday renters: “We’ve never felt anything other than utter madness upon leaving.” The spirit of former proprietress Mrs. Boyd has also been known to drop in from time to time. This is Scotland, after all. Even the ghosts have their own stories.


All of the Halloween Movies You Can Stream on Netflix with Your Kids

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article by Alessia Santoro for PopSugar

photo from Today's Parent

Halloween movie marathons take over many television channels once Fall officially hits, but the major downfall to watching all of your favorite movies on TV with your little ones? The commercials. (Not to mention having to either DVR the movie or get your whole family in front of the TV and settled with blankets and snacks before the movie starts — godspeed.) There's a reason kids' shows don't have commercials in the middle of them — younger kids' attention spans aren't very long — but more than that, there's no bigger buzzkill than ad breaks when you're trying to have a cozy movie marathon with your family.

Our solution? Netflix, baby. Avoid ruining the illusion during a spooky family flick with the following movies that you can stream with your kids on Netflix this October (and beyond!).


Hotel Transylvania 2

Rating: PG

Age of kids who can handle it: 5+

Why it's scary: Although this sequel doesn't hold up quite as strong as the first Hotel Transylvania, it's still a laugh-out-loud family movie (with mild jokes, but some minor language). Some of the violence toward the end of the movie (Dennis falls off a tower and a car explodes, for example) might be scary for toddlers, but it's mostly slapstick and manageable.

Watch it here (until Oct. 27)!


The Nightmare Before Christmas

Rating: PG

Age of kids who can handle it: 7+

Why it's scary: This Tim Burton classic isn't so much scary as offbeat; however, younger children may be frightened by the fact that Jack is a skeleton or by the other Halloweencreatures.

Watch it here!


Spooky Buddies

Rating: G

Age of kids who can handle it: 8+

Why it's scary: For younger kids, the fact that there's a scary giant dog, a ghost puppy, a freaky black cat, and a bunch of zombies might be unsettling. The villains — Halloween Hound and Warwick the Warlock — turn people and puppies alike into stone and rats, take puppies hostage, and suck out puppies' souls. To be honest, that in itself sounds awful, but if your kid can handle it, who doesn't love watching cute puppies (even if they are in pretty sticky situations)?

Watch it here!

 

Scooby Doo

Rating: PG

Age of kids who can handle it: 9+

Why it's scary: In true Scooby-Doo fashion, there are plenty of monsters, zombies, spirits, and ghosts in this flick, but for the most part, the violence is tame and slapstick, which will elicit laughs from your big kids. There are a few references to Shaggy being a pothead, which will likely go over most kids' heads (he says Mary Jane is his favorite name and smoke is coming out of his van while a questionable song plays low in the background), as well as some mild language.

Watch it here!

 

Coraline

Rating: PG

Age of kids who can handle it: 9+

Why it's scary: This fantasy flick will definitely scare littler kids. Coraline is trapped in a scary and dangerous place where people have frightening buttons for eyes, and the movie is dark and creepy in general. It's a safer bet for your tween to watch this one.

Watch it here!


The Addams Family

Rating: PG-13

Age of kids who can handle it: 10+

Why it's scary: This movie is a fun one based on the classic 1960s sitcom, but it is still a bit scary for younger children. A ton of different weapons and torture devices appear throughout the film (though no one gets hurt), and even though the characters are hilarious and likable, their personalities are a little disturbing, so make sure your child will be able to find the humor in this film before letting them watch.

Watch it here!


Corpse Bride

Rating: PG

Age of kids who can handle it: 10+

Why it's scary: In typical Tim Burton fashion, even the most lovable characters in this movie are creepy. The bride is an actual corpse, the adorable puppy is actually a skeleton, and there are a ton of other types of dead people throughout the movie — but it's all in good fun if you think your little one can handle it.

Watch it here!


Young Frankenstein

Rating: PG

Age of kids who can handle it: 10+

Why it's scary: Because this one isn't animated, some of the (old) special effects and the dark eeriness might spook younger kids. There's some language (sh*t and son of a b*tch, for example), a sexual innuendo or two, and some (mostly slapstick) violence.

Watch it here!


Gremlins

Rating: PG

Age of kids who can handle it: 11+

Why it's scary: Although the gremlins themselves are pretty gross looking, the poor things get chopped up by knives, blended in the blender, and microwaved — but they are also pretty brutal to the humans, so it's a trade-off, I suppose? And a side note: this movie will ruin Christmas for your family if your little one still believes in Saint Nick.

Watch it here!


Digital Detox: 5 Resorts Offering Unplugged Luxury

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article by Necee Regis for Robb Report

photo from The Ranch Mailbu

Shut down and recharge while in the lap of luxury.

The Ranch Malibu

Step off the grid and into nature at The Ranch Malibu, a 200-acre wellness resort located high above the Pacific Ocean in Southern California’s stunning Santa Monica Mountains. With a focus on its serene environment, the 18-cottage retreat maintains a strict no-smartphone-use policy during daily activities and meals. The Sunday-to-Saturday minimum stay encourages guests to reset their minds and bodies with yoga, meditation room, personal training, hiking, and spa treatments.

Tierra Patagonia Hotel + Spa

Disconnect from the digital world on the southernmost tip of Chile at the Tierra Patagonia Hotel & Spa, a sublime retreat perched on a bluff overlooking Lake Sarmiento and the mountain peaks of Torres del Paine National Park. Adventurous outdoor excursions liking hiking and horseback riding are complemented by a luxurious spa and cozy rooms with picture-perfect views of the magnificent landscapes outside. The experience is all the more relaxing without the use of your smartphone—which won’t have service or Wi-Fi this far out in the middle of nowhere anyway. (If you must plug in, Wi-Fi is available in some public areas.)

Nimmo Bay Resort

The only way to reach Nimmo Bay Resort is by helicopter, seaplane, or boat. Located at the base of Mt. Stevens in the middle of the Great Bear Rainforest, the resort is nestled in a small ocean bay on the mainland coast of northern British Columbia. The nine-cabin resort exists completely off the power grid, and for nine months of the year, it runs on clean hydro energy produced from an on-site waterfall. Heli-fishing, hiking, guided kayaking, whale-watching tours, and other outdoor adventures distract visitors from the lack of cell service (though satellite telephone is available by request) and limited-bandwidth Internet.

Walig Hut

The elegant Gstaad Palace offers something far off—and above—the beaten path: the charming and rustic Walig Hut, a truly back-to-nature experience in the Swiss Alps. The lofty aerie, located 5,000 feet above the picturesque valleys of Gstaad and Saanenland, features solar-powered electric lighting, running water (cold only!), and a traditional wood-burning stove—but no cell service or Internet connection. Of course, if all that disconnection has you itching for something more civilized, Gstaad Palace can whisk guests back to the resort for multicourse meals and indulgent spa treatments.

Brenners Park Hotel + Spa

Set along the banks of the Oos River in the foothills of Germany’s Black Forest, Oetker Collection’s Brenners Park-Hotel & Spa offers the perfect escape from technology with its Villa Stéphanie suites. Coated copper plates embedded in each room’s walls block electronic signals, allowing guests to flip a switch at their bedside table and completely disconnect from Wi-Fi. An additional switch disconnects electricity to the entire room, guaranteeing a perfect night’s sleep.


How to Prepare Your Skin for a Treatment

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article by Gloria Cavallaro for charlotte's book

photo from charlotte's book

The big events in your life require their fair share of prep-work. As such, having a treatment done, particularly of the more intensive kind, like Fraxel resurfacing, medium or VI peelsmedical facials, and dermal fillers, is no exception. And while noninvasive treatments aren’t as monumental as, say, your run in the New York Marathon or the launch of your new company, the days before any rejuvenating aesthetic treatment (even so mild as microdermabrasion) require your utmost attention and preparation, just as well. We spoke with Julie Russak, MD and Dr. Amanda Doyle of Russak Dermatology Clinic in New York City to make sure you get the most of your treatments.

BE MINDFUL OF YOUR INTAKE

Optimal preparation for treatment isn’t limited to external measures, especially when it comes to injectables and other treatments that have a tendency to cause bruising. According to Dr. Russak, “It is actually very important to avoid certain foods and supplements a few days before and after treatment, like fish oil and red wine, which are blood thinners.” She says this because blood thinners increase chances of bruising and slow down the healing process. In fact, alcohol in general has been shown in studies to be a blood thinner, with red wine causing the most negative effects on coagulation. So it’s best not to consume any alcohol, particularly red wine, several days before intensive treatments. But when it comes to facials and peels, there are no food alerts. So, beyond a basic facial or peel it’s best to be cautious and speak with your doctor or esthetician about your routine diet, supplements, and prescriptions to know what you should avoid that might interfere with your treatment.

PLAN AHEAD

Most treatments require small changes in your normal routine, so giving yourself ample prep-time is ideal. Dr. Russak recommends, “Normally, 4 days prior to treatment is plenty of time to prep.” To ensure you’re able to make the necessary adjustments, book your appointment at least a week out, and be sure to ask your doctor or aesthetician about the preparation needed for your specific treatment well in advance.

TAKE A PILL

Certain treatments, like lasers or fillers, can cause minor discomfort, and taking an over-the-counter pain reliever prior to treatment can be very helpful. “Tylenol before a treatment is always a good pain reliever and anti-inflammatory,” Dr. Russak says. But the pros don’t put the responsibility of pain management in your hands alone. “Depending on the treatment, there are many options we offer to provide the highest level of comfort, such as numbing cream and ice packs.” Taking an Advil or Tylenol may give you confidence you need to endure the pain, but be assured that the experts will do their best to maximize your comfort.

SIMPLIFY YOUR SKINCARE

Sometimes, the at-home products that wield that best results are the ones with harsh ingredients that can cause more harm than good when applied before treatment. That is why it’s best to set them aside in the days leading up to your appointment. Do not use Retinoids and stronger HA (hydroxy acids) 3 days prior to a facial. The reason is that Retinoids and HA work wonders but they can make your skin red and sensitive. Even some medical grade facials I combine with peels of varying strength, 30% Lactic, 2% Salicylic, or 20% Glycolic, for example. Peels have so many benefits: great for acne, sun damage, fine lines, and wrinkles. They make your skin softer, smoother, and give you a glow, but if a client’s skin is sensitive, I can’t provide these benefits.


29 Halloween Party Ideas Kids Will Love

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article by Katherine Stahl for PopSugar

photo by Ella Claire Inspired

Hosting a kid-friendly Halloween bash? Look no further for some spook-tacular ideas that will appeal to children of all ages and their parents. While candy and other sweets (we've got you covered more than 100 party-ready Halloween treat ideas) are a must, if you want to make your event truly memorable, it's time to think beyond the candy bowl. From cute ways to turn your home into a not-so-scary haunted house to games featuring monsters, mummies, and more, the following 31 ideas are sure to take your party from "boo" to boo-tiful! Get ready to impress all the little witches, superheroes, and princesses in your life!

1. Mummy Door

Wrap your front door with medical gauze and stick on some big yellow paper eyes for an undead welcome.

2. Monster Toss

Get inspired by this DIY monster toss board, which also makes for a fun cornhole idea!

3. Skeleton Backdrop

No Halloween party is complete without a frightfully fun photo backdrop, and this chalk one is positively bone-chilling.

4. Silly (Not Scary) Food

According to Pinterest, all Halloween food needs to look like severed fingers or mummies. If your toddler is like ours, they won't eat something if it looks at all different than what they expect. For young kids, it's probably better to avoid anything too creepy or outlandish — consider the goal is to keep them fed and satisfied and parents relaxed. Comforting a terrified toddler should not be on the menu.

5. Halloween Books

Sometimes kids need a space to sit back and relax, especially in social settings. Consider having a few Halloween-inspired books out. This will give children a chance to recharge and parents a chance to read and bond with their child over a new story. If you're feeling really generous, these would also make great party favors, so if a book happens to get chewed on a little, it won't be a big deal.

6. Mummy Mason Jars

No need to be crafty for this Halloween project! All you need are a few glass containers, googly eyes, and a bit of gauze to create mummy jars for holding candy or candles or for being centerpieces.

7. Dangling Doughnuts

The kids will love the treats, and you'll get a kick out of watching them try to eat them. See more of the dangling doughnuts game.

8. Bobbing for Apples

Just because it's an oldie doesn't mean it's not a goodie! See more bobbing for apples here.

9. Mummy Pumpkins

Mummy pumpkins are adorable indoors or out. Make them in advance as decor or get your guests involved and turn it into a fun activity.

10. Pumpkin Ring Toss

Pumpkins of any size will do the trick. See more pumpkin ring toss ideas.

11. Balloon Spiders

These giant balloon spiders will scare unsuspecting trick-or-treaters and party-goers.

12. Pin the Spider on the Web

This is an easy DIY, or check out the free printable. See more of the pin the spider on the web game.

13. Decoupage Leaves Pumpkin

Use the abundance of Fall foliage to inspire your kiddo's pumpkin. Let them go on a scavenger hunt for their favorite leaves before crafting their unique decoupage pumpkin.

14. Mummy Hot Dogs

Store-bought dough and hot dogs quickly become edible mummies with this clever recipe from We Know Stuff.

15. Pumpkin and Skelton Balloons

Create these spookily easy jack-o'-lantern, ghost, and skeleton balloons for Halloween party decor that packs a big punch.

16. Witch's Brew

There's no way your little one will be able to resist the radioactive green color of this lime Jell-O and Sprite mocktail. (Skip the vodka, of course.)

17. Doughnut Pumpkins

Not in the mood for carving pumpkins at your party? These doughnut pumpkins are an adorable alternative.

18. Monster Tote

This stylish monster tote bag DIY is perfect for Halloween and beyond and makes the perfect party favor.

19. Spooky Piñata

Just in case the kiddos need an opportunity for even more candy — or an outlet for their sugar-induced energy — consider letting them swing at a seasonal piñata ($52).

20. Barfing Pumpkin With Dip

Give crab dip (or any dip your kiddos love) a fun spin with this exploding pumpkin. It's a little gross in theory, but hey, kids love gross things.

21. Halloween STEM Games

Teaching kids how to think critically is a big element of the Common Core and STEM programs. Just because a party is supposed to be fun doesn't mean you can't dip their toes into the learning pool. Have kids guess the weight of various pumpkins or how many candy corn pieces are in a jar. Prizes and bragging rights will ensure that toddlers will not want to wait for next year's party.

22. Homemade Face Paint

Make your own homemade paints and set up a face-painting station.

23. Pumpkin Halloween Surprise Balls

These adorable little crepe pumpkins hide a sweet surprise!

24. Fang Cookies

Your guests will love sinking their teeth into these vampire-inspired fang cookies.

25. Pumpkin Patch Stomp

The kid who can stomp the most in a certain amount of time wins! Trust us — it's harder than it sounds. See the pumpkin patch stomp game.

26. Pumpkin Lollipop Holder

This creative lollipop holder can be made with a synthetic foam pumpkin and a treat of your choice.

27. Mini Cat Piñata

You know what's better than one big piñata? Three mini ones! Etsy seller CactusPears's mini cat piñatas ($27 for three) mean more of your little guests can get in on the fun. Each piata has a trap door so you can fill it with confetti and candy.

28. Pumpkin Run

Grab a bunch of mini pumpkins and you instantly have a fun activity. See more mini pumpkin games.

29. Skeleton Party Crackers

These skeleton party crackers ($22 for six), made by party company Meri Meri and sold through Land of Nod, will start the Halloween fun off with a bang. Each cracker contains a temporary tattoo, a party hat, and a joke.

Common Sense C.P.R.

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

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

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

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

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

Click here to sign up.

*Use code bahs to save $15 on registration*


British American Child Development Education Workshop

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Please join British American Household Staffing for a free child and infant development education event on Tuesday, December 1st. We will be introducing the newest addition to our team, Ashley Mundt, M.Ed., CCLS, previewing curriculum for our brand new child development education and caregiver (nannies, newborn care specialists, baby nurses) training services, as well as presenting a short lecture on the significance of incorporating sound developmental knowledge into daily care. In addition, we will be offering priority registration and a discounted fee for all caregiver training workshops, developmental education series, and private in-home sessions to those in attendance.
 
The goal of these new services is to provide educational opportunities for those who care for, and work with, children. Classes and workshops have been designed to provide a general understanding of child and infant development (taught in age specific lessons) along with practical ideas and strategies for incorporating this knowledge in order to elevate the quality of care children receive. Our classes and workshops are not meant to teach strict protocols or a provided a step-by-step guide to caring for children. We respect that each child and infant is unique and there is no “one size fits all” approach that is applicable to all children and infants, families, or caregivers (nannies, newborn care specialists and baby nurses). Instead of an instruction manual for childcare, we want to provide caregivers (nannies, newborn care specialists and baby nurses) with a tool box full of information, proven strategies, and activity ideas that they can draw on to best support and nurture children and infants’s development and handle challenges that will inevitably arise.
 
In creating the materials for this program, we have drawn information and resources from professional experience, current research, and leading experts in the fields of child development and developmental psychology. Our lessons are comprised of carefully curated current evidence-based information and expert advice on a wide variety of topics relevant to caring for children of all ages. Each lesson provides clear, simple developmental information and concrete examples of how this can inform the way caregivers interact with and respond to children and infants on a day-to-day basis.
 
Heading up our child and infant development education and caregiver training services will be Ashley Mundt, M.Ed., CCLS. Ashley has a strong academic background and years of hands on experience working with children, infants 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, infants 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. She has worked as a highly sought after nanny, childcare and infant 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 (nannies, newborn care specialists and baby nurses) and (most importantly) children and infants.
 
We invite you to come and learn about these exciting new educational opportunities we are offering for our BAHS caregivers and families. In order to accommodate as many clients and caregivers as possible, we will host both a daytime (11:30-1:00) and evening (5:30-7:00) event on Tuesday, December 1st. Please RSVP to anita.rogers@bahs.com to take advantage of this wonderful opportunity to preview sample materials, meet Ashley, learn about the importance of developmental education, and take advantage of priority registration for upcoming caregiver class series and workshops. We will also be offering special discounts and giving away a limited number of free sessions to those in attendance.

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

Please try selecting another category.

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

Please try selecting another category.

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