By Anita Rogers
If you are considering hiring a night nurse, contact us here
You have a baby on the way. You and your family are excited, exhilarated, over-the-moon. Most new mums and dads start organizing everything in preparation for the birth as soon as the pregnancy test is positive. The questions you ask yourselves are endless: What will the baby be like? Are we ready? Should we move? Should our parents or family come and stay with us for the first few months? Can I handle my family living with us for the first few months? Will I be able to leave the baby and exercise? Should I study more about sleep training? What about breastfeeding? Should I pump? What if I can't? The questions continue. What many parents don't know is how much a night nurse or newborn care specialist (often called a baby nurse) can help your new baby as well as the parent or parents. A good night nurse or baby nurse will make sure you get enough sleep. Even more importantly, the night nurse or baby nurse will ensure the baby is on a schedule, feeds properly, regularly and correctly, helps the baby stay calm, reduces anxiety in the parents, which subsequently reduces anxiety in the newborn. An excellent baby nurse or newborn care specialist will understand how to make sure the baby rests but feeds enough to put on weight. They are experts. They teach the parents how to structure their baby's days and nights, resulting in a baby who enjoys the benefits of a sleep routine from very early on, which in return, will help them as a young-adults with sleep, structure and routine, invaluable for school age children, pre-teens, teens and later, adults. The baby nurse or newborn care specialist will keep your baby safe and teach you everything they know, giving you peace-of-mind when caring for your baby. The cherry on the top is that you, as parents, are able to be well-rested and enjoy the development of your baby without being sleep-deprived, anxious and exhausted.
There are several schedules and categories of newborn care specialists, sometimes referred to as "baby nurses", “night nurses” or "maternity nurses":
Night nurse: a newborn care specialist or baby nurse who works 12-14 hours overnight only
24/5, night and day nurse: a newborn care specialist or baby nurse who works throughout the night and day, takes a four hour break each day to rest and two days at home each week.
24/7, night and day nurse: a newborn care specialist or baby nurse who works throughout the night and day and takes a four hour break each day to rest. They usually go home for one day every two weeks to sleep enough to return in good form.
Almost all newborn care specialists or baby nurses are hired for a minimum of three months. The reason for this is sleep training, which is done using the light, not with feeding schedules, cannot be attempted until the baby is double the birthweight, according to the American School of Pediatrics. A baby is considered a newborn up until the baby is two and a half months old. Only when the baby reaches their correct weight can a newborn care specialist or baby nurse no longer feed the baby on demand and allow the baby to sleep through the night. The newborn care specialist or baby nurse understands infant whimpers and cries and they know when to allow the infant to self-sooth or when to rub the baby's back or when to actually pick the baby up, which means sleep-interruption. Most clients who work through British American keep their newborn care specialists or baby nurses for six to eight months, sometimes longer.
British American Newborn Care is known for only representing a select few of the best in the industry. Some are British but legal to work in the USA, many are educated in the USA and some do not hold degrees but have a resume, experience and references to match the more educated newborn care specialists or baby nurses on British American's roster. All of our newborn care specialists or baby nurses are the most sought after in the industry and have numerous excellent references from our previous clients. All of our candidates are fully background checked, in all US states and internationally (when they have lived abroad), have had their SSN researched, their driving checked and credit checks are conducted in states we are legally allowed to do so.
If you are a new parent, expecting parent or parents-to-be again, do not hesitate to reach out to our educated childcare specialists at British American. We have childcare specialists in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco. They all hold degrees in Childhood Eduction, have extensive nanny experience with newborns and understand the intricacies of newborn care development. We are newborn care and childhood development experts. We understand how to choose the highest quality and how to find the best newborn care specialist for new and expecting parents.
If you would like to speak to one of our in-house childcare specialists, contact us here or call 212 966 2248.
By Anita Rogers
“Estate Staffing” is a term used in the yachting world to describe the high-end category of domestic staffing. Essentially, a large yacht is run like an estate; the same level of service in a much smaller space. Yacht crew are some of the most sought-after candidates for estate staffing. They have adjusted to working long hours in a five-star hospitality setting. Yacht crew, often called "yachties", are educated and well-travelled with a deep understanding of service and luxury.
British American Household Staffing has an extensive roster of screened yacht crew, but very few want to transition to working on land. Most yachties are world travelers, for life.
Estate Staffing with BAHS
How do we staff an estate successfully? What domestic staff are needed in an estate? In San Francisco, we have been fortunate to staff many estates from ground-up. This means we started with the principals from scratch and found the experienced staff to manage and care for the entire home.
The technology boom on the West Coast has created many young new estate owners who need advice on how to set up their new life correctly. This is the ideal situation for our firm as we can handpick the best estate managers and house managers for the principals to ensure they are starting with an expert.
Once an estate manager is hired, we work directly with them on hiring housekeepers, a personal chef, a domestic couple if there are large grounds to maintain, and other staff depending on the needs of the principals. If the principals are starting a new family, we provide newborn care specialists and maternity nurses.
Generally, one should start with less and add more domestic staff as needed. This allows the principals to adjust to private help in the home, which can take time. The most common first hires after the estate manager are a personal chef and housekeepers.
On the East Coast we deal with a different type of estate staffing. New York, CT or Bedford and Katonah based estates are rarely new and most are fully-staffed. Some principals come to us with internal problems that usually stem from one or two long-term domestic staff employees causing issues with the rest of the domestic staff.
Similar to a corporation, an estate suffers at the core when the principals keep on members of the domestic staffing team who are not good team-players. Sometimes a housekeeper has been promoted to a manager but has no experience managing other staff. This can cause tension. Some of the staff members don't pull their weight but are kept on as they have been with the estate for a long time and the principals feel a loyalty to them. Again, like a corporation, bad employees only show their good sides to the upper management and principals.
Depending on the size of an estate, the domestic staff needed are usually hired in the following order:
- Estate Manager
- House Manager or Butler acting as a House Manager
- Personal Chef
- Three to six Executive Housekeepers
- Childcare (if required), Baby Nurse, Nanny, Tutor
- Domestic Couple to live on property and maintain the grounds
- Personal Assistant
In England, most estates hire a butler and a lady's maid for the principals, but British domestic staffing is very traditional. Most butlers have studied at a Butler school, hold a degree in hospitality and are often trained chefs and wine sommeliers. A lady's maid is often a housekeeper and laundress, understands formal service and maintains the lady's fine clothing. Most British nannies in an estate are also governesses, with degrees in teaching, education and finishing school, which teaches speech, manners, posture and formal home etiquette.
At British American Household Staffing, we are able to staff an estate almost anywhere in the world due to our national and international reach. We have staffed many estates in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, London, Palm Beach, Switzerland, Monaco and the Middle East. We have specialized consultants who work with our clients, helping and advising them on how to staff a new estate, replace or reduce staff in the estate, how to purchase a private jet and maintain the jet, how to buy or charter a yacht and the correct way to choose yacht crew and your captain.
Hiring a nanny is a huge commitment for a family and one that shouldn’t be entered lightly. British American Household Staffing (BAHS) is here to take the headache out of the entire process by providing personal attention, expert advice, and a roster of thoroughly screened nannies.
Below is a general outline of what to expect when you begin the process of hiring a nanny.
What Nanny Is Best For Your Child(ren) and Lifestyle.
Understanding your family’s specific needs are necessary in order to recognize your perfect nanny. A few questions to consider are:
What are the ages of your children?
Would a nanny specializing in education and tutoring be ideal?
Does your family travel extensively?
Do the children need full-charge care?
Would a high-energy nanny that can keep up with busy schedules be best?
Or would your children thrive with a calm, quiet presence?
Do you employ other staff in your home and need a team player, or a nanny that works best autonomously and knows what to do with little direction?
Beyond the basic nanny duties, many experienced candidates bring further expertise. Depending on your needs and a nanny’s qualifications, your home may benefit from one of the following kinds of nannies:
The most common kind of nanny is one that works full-time with one family. The nanny’s exact schedule depends on the family, but full-time nannies most often care for the children while the parents are at work and/or handling household management beyond childcare. A full-time nanny will be comfortable working with other household staff, coordinating calendars, planning activities for the children, preparing food for the children and keeping all of the children’s areas neat and tidy.
Part-time nannies offer much needed support for busy families that need afterschool or weekend childcare. Afterschool pickups and transportation for older children are usual responsibilities for part-time nannies.
Many of BAHS’s nannies have extensive backgrounds in education and childhood development. A nanny-tutor will be able to prioritize educational activities and work with each child’s unique learning styles to foster an engaging environment. Many nanny-tutors also speak a second or third language and can instill a multi-lingual environment for your child(ren).
For on-the-go families, a nanny well-versed in traveling is essential. A travel nanny will know how to pack, arrange travel, manage children through transit hubs and be able to problem solve in an unfamiliar environment when necessary.
The nanny that can take on personal assistant tasks can be a big help for busy families with older children that don’t need as much attention. Your nanny/personal assistant’s first priority will be childcare, but when the children are at school or afterschool activities, the nanny will be able to help out in other ways around your home. Errand running, calendar coordination and household organization tasks can be given to a Nanny/PA, sometimes called a Family Assistant.
Nannies that specialize in newborn care have extensive experience with newborns, infants and toddlers. They will understand the specific needs of each child’s development stage and be able to navigate each stage’s unique challenges.
How To Look At Nanny Resumes
Your BAHS recruiter will assess your specific needs and send resumes of qualified nannies for your review. This will give you a preview of each candidate and the time to decide who you would like to meet with. If you choose not to work with an agency, the nanny’s resume is your first impression of their qualifications and should be reviewed carefully.
When you are assessing a nanny’s resume, pay attention to the timeline. A good resume will show a clear story of the families a nanny has worked with through the years. It’s important to note the ages of children the nanny has experience with and specific duties that may align with your family’s needs.
Don’t be discouraged by short periods with one family or overlapping dates. A great nanny may not stay with a family after all of the children are in school and the family no longer needs the support. A qualified nanny may also work part-time with two families that don’t need full-time support. Neither situation should disqualify a potential nanny, but be sure to get clarity from the recruiter and nanny on each situation.
Red flags on a nanny resume would be three or more jobs that ended before two full years, gaps in the timeline with no explanation, name-dropping who they’ve worked for and excessive spelling and grammatical errors. Our recruiters work hard with each nanny to ensure their qualifications are exemplary and each resume you receive will be clear and easy to read.
Questions To Ask During a Nanny Interview
When you work with British American Household Staffing, every nanny you meet will be thoroughly vetted, experienced and knowledgeable on childcare. When you meet a potential nanny for the first time, the most important thing, is to gauge their personality and temperament and compare it with your family’s and your child’s.
We will present you only with experienced nannies, but the interview is also a chance for you to be comfortable and confident in a nanny’s skills. Ask any questions you may have about their past work and knowledge. For example, if your child has had complications from ear infections, ask any follow up questions you may have about a nanny’s experience with infant ear problems.
Keep questions open-ended and observe the nanny’s reaction and personality. Again, this interview is to asses if the nanny will fit your lifestyle and home as well as to understand her level of expertise.
Some examples of questions to ask to learn about a nanny’s personality are:
What have you found is the best way to communicate with parents?
How would you handle discipline problems with a child?
Tell me what you liked about the last home you worked in.
What is your favorite outdoor activity to do with children?
What is your favorite educational activity to do with children?
Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time?
Reference and Background Checks for Nannies
We cannot overstate the importance of doing due diligence in checking references and backgrounds of any household staff. A nanny may present perfectly polished in an interview, but to get a full understanding of their work ethic and demeanor, you must speak with a previous employer.
At British American Household Staffing, we personally contact past employers to get a full understanding of a nanny’s experience and temperament. Your recruiter will provide that information to give you a better understanding of a potential nanny.
Our screening process includes: federal and multi state criminal checks, SSN traces and where appropriate, driving record checks.
Hiring a Nanny and Drafting a Nanny Contract
Your nanny and other household staff are 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.
For nanny hires, you may need to amend your current insurance plan to ensure that you have umbrella coverage for anyone working in your home. Consult your agent to see if you need additional coverage.
The contract you will draft with your nanny is simply your employment offer and all details written out and signed by all parties. Your particular household structure will determine the details of your nanny contract, and should include the following:
- Nanny’s schedule
- General duties
- Employee benefits (if offered)
- Sick, holiday and vacation time
- Salary, pay period, how they will be paid and how to report hours
Like any agreement, having the details in writing will ensure there will be no confusion or problems in the future.
The Benefits of Working With a Nanny Agency
Because every family’s needs are different, our commitment as your nanny agency is to provide expert service that saves you time, ensures all details are in order and matches a nanny that compliments your home and unique needs. We believe that if both sides of the placement - family and nanny - are beyond satisfied in their placement, the relationship will be happier, more successful and longer-lasting.
Why work with a Nanny Agency?
At British American Household Staffing, our expert team sources qualified candidates and conducts a rigorous screening and interviewing process. Through our vetting process, you won’t waste time meeting nannies that are not a good fit for your family. Reference screening and background checks are also handled by our team to ensure only the highest quality candidates meet with our families.
Expert Attention to Details
A nanny placement agency acts as an abridged HR department dedicated to the success of your home. BAHS’s expert placement specialists will be able to understand your needs and help identify the traits to look for in a nanny. You will be supported through the entire hiring process; including advisement on salaries, benefits, schedule and any relevant tax information in your state.
Third Party Perspective and Personalized Care
BAHS’s belief in matchmaking sets us apart from other nanny agencies. Our recruiters will work with you to understand your family’s needs and match you with a nanny that can provide high quality service and care. For us, success is a placement that results in a contented family and a nanny who enjoys long-term job fulfillment.
British American Household Staffing had the pleasure of hosting the Association of Celebrity Assistants, Los Angeles chapter on March 28th at the Montage hotel in LA. Our California team met with members of the organization for a cocktail hour and presented some expert advice for career advancement in the private industry; including how to work with an agency to hire for one’s employeer and expectations when working in a private home. Early arrivals were able to network and have one-on-one access to our recruiting team before the event began.
The Association of Celebrity Personal Assistant’s Mission
To provide important information to our members by showcasing unique and high level service providers and resources. To empower our members through professional development programs, provide networking opportunities and a forum for the exchange of ideas.
When you begin your search for a personal assistant, take a general inventory of your needs. Different personal assistants will be experts in particular industries and tasks. So your search should focus on those that will best meet your particular needs. Do you travel often and need someone who can arrange and troubleshoot travel arrangements remotely? Do you own your own business that could benefit from having hands-on support? Could your family and household staff benefit from having a professional to maintain order? Do you need someone familiar with busy, celebrity lifestyles that can provide seamless, on-the-go support?
Whether you are a busy celebrity, need support for your business or family or are organizing your private estate, our recruiters will work to find you a qualified and professional personal assistant to support your life.
By Anita Rogers
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 answer is 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, groundsman 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 they 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, they will assist the chef for preparation 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. Duties may include laundry, deep cleaning, shopping, stocking, organizing, cooking and serving.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
- Alternate Feeding Methods
- Sleep Training
- 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.
Looking to set up your residence with the right domestic staff? Start by hiring an Estate Manager.
Benefits of Hiring an Estate Manager
Are you upgrading your home? Relocating? Restructuring? Here are some simple guidelines to help you see that your residence runs as smoothly as possible.
Running a home is like setting up a small business. The same structure, hiring, and operational complexities are involved when it comes to domestic staffing. As a business needs its CEO, the first thing your household needs is the Estate Manager.
The right one will depend on the size of your home and the number of homes you need managed. An Estate Manager works on setting up a solid daily structure for your home and also implements hiring practices for all other staff. The Estate Manager will assess your staffing needs and desires, outlining the positions you need filled, such as Nannies, Housekeepers, Chefs, House Managers, personal assistants, etc. The manager will know how to screen and hire the ideal staff for the schedule and size of the home.
The Process of Staffing Your Home
The best Executive Housekeepers tend to work eight-hour days, five days a week and slot in with each other. To attract the best Housekeepers, you want to pay market rate or above and ensure you hire Housekeepers on a live-out schedule, as those are the best candidates (good candidates have more options and will choose the job position that appeals to them the most). Market rate for a good Executive Housekeeper is $35 an hour, eight hours a day, and health insurance after three months of employment.
The Estate Manager will understand how to structure your home with the ideal schedules and number of Housekeepers, so the cleaning is done correctly and all shifts are covered. An Estate Manager will use a top-tier domestic staffing agency to send the best candidates. They will understand how to screen several Housekeepers, ensuring 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, if needed, the Estate Managers will work on childcare. This is a more complex hire, as the parents are usually more heavily involved. 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, ranging from specific language proficiency, special needs experience, twin experience, infant expertise, or school age and tutoring experience.
Nannies are hired with expertise in the age group of the children in the home. These Nannies will commonly have experience working with families who fly privately and often last minute, so organizing the children and packing correctly is something these Nannies do well.
Yacht travel experience is also something career Nannies will have experience with. They are expert swimmers and understand how to act and dress appropriately on a yacht. They are able to manage children safely on the water and help with sleep schedule issues that typically occur when traveling across time zones.
The best Nannies are found by appealing to their desired schedules and salaries. The ideal setup is live-out during the regular week and live-in while traveling. Depending on the number of children, the ideal Nanny arrangement is one career Nanny, Monday through Friday, 8am to 6pm, one Nanny-Housekeeper from 7am to 3pm, and another career Nanny to work on weekends, if needed.
It is best to pay a weekend Nanny very well, as good Nannies don’t like giving up their weekends. However, the weekend schedule could be ideal for a Nanny working as a teacher or completing her PhD or master’s degree.
A full-time career Nanny salary ranges from $80,000 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 an evening backup babysitter is a good option to slot in, as well. An Estate Manager will understand how to hire the ideal Nannies, specific to the family and children’s needs.
Hiring culinary staff can also be challenging, but, as with Nannies, the Estate Manager will hire Chefs who specialize in the dietary needs of the family, such as Paleo, Vegan, low calorie, pure foods, French, Italian, Austrian, etc. The Estate Manager will hire the Chefs once they have done a trial tasting for the family, ensuring the food is top-notch, and will also see that the Chef is flexible and easy to work with. This goes for not only Chefs, but all staff types. A good Estate Manager will always take soft skills, such as personality and demeanor, into consideration upon hiring. Many homes are unhappy homes due to one or two difficult personalities on staff. The Estate Manager ensures this doesn’t happy.
After setting up the home with the correct staff, the Estate Manager will do the same for other residences you may own. The Estate Manager will oversee current staff, deal with any gripes, and fire and rehire as necessary. It is important you listen to the Estate Manager because he or she will be able to identify problematic staff members or subtle inefficiencies that you would otherwise miss. 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 House Manager for the larger residence(s) to oversee schedules and daily issues concerning vendors, parties, Housekeepers, Nannies, and all other daily staff. The House Manager’s job is to report back to the Estate Manager, who will ensure the problems are solved. The Estate Manager then oversees all homes, the payroll, legal issues and financial concerns outside of the family office and accountants. He or she will create, implement, and continuously update processes and operations. The household manuals for each home will be in place and updated accordingly. The Estate Manager also manages private planes, yachts, and car collections to ensure all these are up to date, safe, and well maintained.
Begin Your Search to Hire a Quality Estate Manager
If you want a smooth-running home, start by hiring a top-quality Estate Manager, as this setup will ensure you don’t feel or hear of any problems. The secret to a happy home is having the right person in the Estate Manager seat to oversee hiring, training, implementation of processes, and legal compliance. Estate Manager salaries range from $150,000 to 400,000 a year.