Archive for June 2017

Make TLC the Best Part of Your Summer Vacation: Book Your Hotel Sitter Today!

Headed to Florida for vacation? There’s a lot of fun to be had for everyone! Kids – and adults – love traveling to new places and seeing all the cool things a different city can offer.  If you are

traveling to Miami there are so many fun places to go with your kids.  Check out some of our favorite family-friendly locations:

The Miami Museum of Natural Science , Miami Coral Castle Museum, Miami Metro Zoo, Miami Seaquarium  and  Jungle Island.

For kids one of the best things about vacation is the hotel.  I don’t know why but,  most kids LOVE the idea of staying in a hotel for a few days.

Parents, however, can find the hotel room a little cramped after a few days. Especially after long days and nights of sight seeing, parents can use a night away from the hotel and a  little time to relax and recharge.

TLC Family Care can help.  Our Miami office offers hotel babysitting in Fort Lauderdale,  Miami and the Palm Beaches!  Our hotel sitters are fun, reliable and screened.  They will come to the hotel with games and activities for the kids to do while parents enjoy an evening out. Your TLC Sitter will become your favorite part of vacation!

Visit our website to complete the hotel registration form.  TLC recommends booking your sitter prior to your arrival but last minute requests are welcome.

Vacation Travel Tips with an Infant

To Grandmother’s house we go! And you’ll be in the car for five whole hours! How can you make the trip enjoyable with a baby along? 

Learn about it

There’s no question: Marathon car trips with a baby on board take a good amount of planning and organization. But it can be done ~ and yes, it can even be fun!

Planning the trip

In the hustle that precedes a trip, it can be easy to let things happen, instead of make things happen. Be proactive in making your trip decisions. Contemplating these questions, and coming up with the right answers, can help make your trip more successful:

Does your baby sleep well in the car? If yes, plan your travel time to coincide with a nap or bedtime so your baby can sleep through part of the journey. If not, plan to leave immediately after a nap or upon waking in the morning. Don’t fool yourself into thinking your baby will behave differently than usual in the car just because it’s a special occasion.

  • Is it necessary to make the trip all at once, or can you break it up with stops along the way? The longer your baby is strapped in the carseat, the more likely he’ll become fussy. Planning a few breaks can keep everyone in a better frame of mind.
  • When estimating an arrival time, have you factored in plenty of extra time for unplanned surprises? A diaper explosion that requires a complete change of clothes or a baby whose inconsolable crying requires an unexpected 20-minute stop are just two of the things that can easily happen.
Do you have everything you need to make the trip pleasant? Items like:
  • Window shades to protect your baby from the sun and create a darker, nap-inducing atmosphere.
  • A cooler for cold drinks; a bottle warmer if needed.
  • Plenty of toys that are new or forgotten favorites saved just for the trip.
  • Baby-friendly music on tape or CD.
  • A rear-view baby mirror to keep on eye on baby (unless a second person will be sitting with your little one)
  • Books to read to your baby.

Read more tips from Elizabeth Pantley on how to make the road trip more enjoyable with baby! 

Tips for traveling with a nanny this summer

Our friends at Regarding Nannies have some great advice when traveling as a nanny.  

To some, it seems like the ultimate gig. You get to travel to tropical islands and exotic foreign destinations with all of your expenses included — plus your regular salary. But while outsiders may hear “all-inclusive trip to the Jamaica,” a nanny hears “a long flight, a new location, no toys and strange food.”

Though you may actually serve sandwiches on a blanket multiple times on the trip, being a travel nanny is no picnic; it’s work. And unlike your usual set up, where the parents go to work and you’re at home in familiar territory with the kids, it’s all new, to you and your nanny family. So before you pack your bags, it’s important to prepare, communicate and set expectations that will ensure that everyone has a successful trip.

Continue reading 5 Things You Need to Know When Traveling as a Nanny

Jump on over to our Facebook page and share with us what helps you when traveling as a nanny.

 

 

Screen Time & Development: Is too much screen time harming our children?

Our guest post comes from International Nanny Association

A recent study presented at the annual Pediatric Academic Societies Meeting in San Francisco revealed that too much time spent on a handheld device may delay the development of children’s expressive speech. For many childcare providers including parents, passing the smartphone or tablet to a child has practically become second nature. New research indicates that our willingness to utilize smart devices solely as a distraction or for entertainment has increased in recent years, and a marked decline in interpersonal communication and interactions have resulted.

Knowing the dangers of a developing brain being exposed to multiple forms of vivid, two-dimensional images and videos flashing erratically, many childcare professionals work diligently to reduce the amount of screen time that their charges are exposed to. This most recent research indicates that though screen time can indeed slow speech development when the child is left alone with the device, there is some evidence to show that the childcare provider interacting with the child and utilizing the device as a learning tool actually has a positive effect on that child’s communication and development.

Continue reading the full article. 

TLC For Kids, Inc. has been St. Louis’ premier nanny and babysitting agency for over 30 years. TLC For Kids’ dedicated staff is ready to assist you in finding nannies, tutors, newborn care specialists, sitters and more.  Reach us at tlc@tlcforkids.com or 314-725-5660

Creating a Safe Sleep Environment for Baby

Our guest post today comes from Newborn Care Solutions 

I sat down today to review a ton of information for a client I am seeing next week. I am going into the home of first time parents-to-be to teach them the baby basics; essentially a baby “boot-camp” if you will. I LOVE working with first-time parents—there is an amazement and wonder that they hold that just makes me smile and the confidence they gain in their newly learned skills is a fantastic site to behold!

However, as I reviewed information I have seen a thousand times at least, it reminded me that new parents are made every day, and safety is never out of style. So I want to talk about crib safety today.

Continue reading for guidelines are set forth by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and additional information from Newborn Care Solutions.

 

TLC Family Care is ready to assist you and your growing family. So, whether you are expecting and want to set up  a caregiver before your baby arrives, or already have a newborn and need help, call TLC Family Care today: (314) 725-5660 or tlc@tlcforkids.com

Colic – Does Your Baby Have It? What can you do about it?

You may have heard the term colic applied to any baby who cries a great deal. Not all crying babies have colic, but all colicky babies cry ~ and they cry hard. They may stiffen their little bodies, or curl up as if in pain. They may cry so hard that they don’t seem like they even know you are there. When babies cry like this, they take in a lot of air, which creates gas and more pain, which makes them cry even more.

Researchers are still unsure of colic’s exact cause. Some experts believe that colic is related to the immaturity of a baby’s digestive system. Others theorize that a baby’s immature nervous system and inability to handle the constant sensory stimulation that surrounds her cause a breakdown by the end of the day, when colic most often occurs.

Dr. Harvey Karp, in his book The Happiest Baby on the Block (Bantam Books, 2002) introduced a new theory. He believes that babies are born three months too early, and that some babies find their new world too difficult to handle. They yearn for the comforting conditions that occurred in the womb.

Whatever the cause, and it may be a combination of all the theories; colic is among the most exasperating conditions that parents of new babies face. Colic occurs only to newborn babies, up to about four to five months of age. Symptoms include:

  • A regular period of nonstop, inconsolable crying, typically late in the day
  • Crying bouts that last one to three hours or more
  • A healthy and happy disposition at all other times of the day
Can colic be prevented?

Given that we aren’t sure what causes colic, we don’t know if it can be prevented. Even if you do everything “right” and take all the steps to discourage colic, it still may happen. If you think your baby has colic, talk with your pediatrician and take your baby in for a checkup to rule out any medical cause for your baby’s crying. If your baby is given a clean bill of health, then you’ll know colic is the culprit in the daily crying bouts.

Since colic occurs in newborns, parents often feel that they are doing something wrong to create the situation. Their vulnerability and lack of experience puts them in the position of questioning their own ability to take care of their baby. Hearing your baby cry with colic, and not knowing why it’s happening or what to do about it is painful for you; I know this because one of my four children suffered with colic. Although many years have passed since then (Angela is now 15), I remember it vividly. Hearing my baby cry night after night and not knowing how to help her was gut wrenching, heartbreaking, and frustrating. The most important piece of research I discovered was this:
It’s not your fault. Any baby can have colic.

Things that may help your baby

Remember that nothing you do will eliminate colic completely until your baby’s system is mature and able to settle on its own. That said, experienced parents and professionals can offer ways to help your baby though this time ~ ask around! I did, and from what I uncovered, I compiled the following suggestions for helping your baby feel better. Look for patterns to your baby’s crying; these can provide clues as to which suggestions are most likely to help. Stick with an idea for a few days to see if it helps. Watch for any signs of improvement (not necessarily complete quiet). If the particular course of action doesn’t seem to change anything, don’t get discouraged ~ just try something else:

  • If breastfeeding, feed on demand (cue feeding), for nutrition as well as comfort, as often as your baby needs a calming influence.
  •  If breastfeeding, try avoiding foods that may cause gas in your baby. Eliminate one possible cause for a few days and see if it makes a difference.
  • The most common baby tummy offenders are dairy products, caffeine, cabbage, broccoli and other gassy vegetables. But don’t assume the culprit, if there is one, will be obvious: I know one mother whose baby reacted loudly and consistently after any meal that included eggplant, asparagus or onions.
  • If bottlefeeding, offer more frequent but smaller meals; experiment with different formulas with your doctor’s approval.
  • If bottlefeeding, try different types of bottles and nipples that prevent air from entering your baby as he drinks, such as those with curved bottles or collapsible liners.
  • Hold your baby in a more upright position for feeding and directly afterwards.
  • Experiment with how often and when you burp your baby.
  • Offer meals in a quiet setting.
  • If baby likes a pacifier, offer him one.
  • Invest in a baby sling or carrier and use it during colicky periods.
  • If the weather’s too unpleasant for an outside stroll, bring your stroller in the house and walk your baby around.
  • Give your baby a warm bath.
  • Place a warm towel or wrapped water bottle on baby’s tummy (taking caution that the temperature is warm but not hot).
  • Hold your baby with her legs curled up toward her belly.
  • Massage your baby’s tummy, or give him a full massage.
  • Swaddle your baby in a warm blanket.
  • Lay your baby tummy down across your lap and massage or pat her back.
  • Hold your baby in a rocking chair, or put him in a swing.
  • Walk with Baby in a quiet, dark room while you hum or sing.
  • Try keeping your baby away from highly stimulating situations during the day when possible to prevent sensory overload, and understand that a particularly busy day may mean a fussier evening.
  • Lie on your back and lay your baby on top of your tummy down while massaging his back. (Transfer your baby to his bed if he falls asleep.)
  • Take Baby for a ride in the car.
  • Play soothing music or turn on white noise such as a vacuum cleaner or running water, or play a CD of nature sounds.
  • As a last resort, ask your doctor about medications available for colic and gas.
  • Tips for coping

As difficult as colic is for a baby, it is just as challenging for the parents. This can be especially hard for a mother who has other children to care for, who has returned to work, or who is suffering from the baby blues or postpartum depression. Even if everything else in life is perfect, colic is taxing. Here are a few things you can do to take some of the stress out of these colicky times:

Know that your baby will cry during his colicky time, and while you can do things to make your baby more comfortable, nothing you can do will totally stop the crying.

This is not a result of anything you’ve done or not done.

When should I call the doctor?
  • Plan outings for the times of day when baby is usually happy, or if outings keep your baby happy, plan them for the colicky times
  • Take advantage of another person’s offer to take a turn with the baby, even if it’s just so that you can take a quiet bath or shower.
  • Keep reminding yourself that this is only temporary; it will pass.
  • Avoid keeping a long to-do list right now; only do what’s most important.
  • Talk to other parents of colicky babies so you can share ideas and comfort each other.
  • If the crying is getting to you and making you tense or angry, put your baby in his crib, or give him to someone else to hold for a while so that you don’t accidentally shake or harm your baby. (Shaking a baby can cause permanent brain damage, so if you feel angry, and colic can do that to you, put your baby down.)
  • Know that babies do not suffer long-term harm from having colic.

Anytime you are concerned about your baby, call your doctor. That goes for anything concerning your precious little one. In the case of colic, be sure to make that call if you notice any of the following:

  • Your baby’s crying is accompanied by vomiting.
  • Your baby is not gaining weight.
  • The colicky behavior lasts longer than four months.
  • Your baby seems to be in pain.
  • Your baby has a fever.
  • Your baby doesn’t want to be held or handled.
  • The crying spree isn’t limited to one bout in the evening.
  • Your baby does not have regular bowel movements or wet diapers.
  • You notice other problems that don’t appear on the previous list of symptoms.
  • Your baby’s crying is making you angry or depressed.

Reprinted with permission. Elizabeth Pantley, Excerpted with permission by McGraw-Hill Publishing from The No-Cry Separation Anxiety Solution (McGraw-Hill, 2009).

TLC Family Care is ready to assist you and your growing family. So, whether you are expecting and want to set up  a caregiver before your baby arrives, or already have a newborn and need help, call TLC Family Care today: (314) 725-5660 or tlc@tlcforkids.com