Tips for Tackling Your Fussy Eater

Toddlers can be fussy eaters who refuse to try new food at least half of the time. Approximately half of all toddlers fit this description, so it is no wonder that food issues are a source of stress for parents.

Establishing healthy eating patterns is important to avoid problems such as obesity and eating disorders later in life. Various strategies can help your child accept a wider range of foods.  It may be necessary to offer food to your child as many as 10 different times before they choose to eat it. The problem is, many parents get frustrated and give up before the fourth or fifth try. 

Try to make food fun. Colorful foods like carrot sticks, raisins, apples, grapes, cheese sticks and crackers can all be fun and healthy choices for your growing toddler. Explain to them that eating good food is important so they’ll grow big and strong, and how it will help them run faster and play longer. 

Children learn behaviors from their parents. If you restrict yourself to a narrow range of foods, your child will take notice and mimic your caution. Don’t limit your child’s food variety to only those foods you prefer. It may be that your child’s tastes are different to yours, and perhaps you are simply serving them foods they don’t happen to like.  Try to set a good example and try a variety of foods in front of your child. It could motivate them to do the same. 

If your child seems healthy and energetic, then they are eating enough. If you are still concerned, keep an eye on how much food they actually eat over the day. Children tend to graze constantly, rather than restrict their eating to three meals per day like adults. You may be surprised how those little handfuls and snacks add up. For further reassurance, check your child’s growth and weight charts, or check with your child’s pediatrician. 

Try not to worry, and remember, that unless a child is ill, they will eat. Children are very good at judging their hunger and fullness signals. Try to stay relaxed about mealtime and offer your child a wide variety of foods, and most importantly, remember to set a good example by trying a wide variety of foods yourself.  You may discover you and your toddler share a new found favorite food!

 

The professionals at TLC Family Care personally assist nannies, babysitters and families in St. Louis, Atlanta, Chicago, Nashville, Memphis, Charlotte, Miami and Orlando to find the right childcare arrangement. Our mission is to provide a safe and personalized  approach for families and caregivers to connect with each other that is not an internet search. TLC has worked with families, nannies, sitters, newborn care providers, and tutors for over 35 years and looks forward to working with you! To find great nanny and babysitting jobs visit us at tlc@tlcforkids.com or Call 314-725-5660.

Is Make-Believe Healthy?

Young children take life literally. They view all situations as “good” or “bad.” Water is either “hot” or “cold.” Young children do not assign “degrees” to any situation, and in the young child’s world, everything is real. The three-year-old has absolutely no doubt that Sponge Bob or Dora the Explorer really exists. These characters are just as “real” to the child as Mommy and Daddy. Santa can circle the globe and visit every child on the planet in a single night and the Easter Bunny can deliver baskets of colored eggs just like Daddy can make the car go and Mommy can make food magically appear. 

In my opinion, make-believe is not only healthy, it is essential. Make believe helps a child to make sense of the world around him. He assigns his perceptions of a person, place, or thing with the help of make-believe.

There are those who advocate removing all make-believe from childhood. These experts tell us that make believe causes children to delay their perception of their reality. Shame on them! Too much “reality” isn’t good for adults much less little kids.

Grown-ups attend movies and plays and get caught up in the action on the screen or on the stage. Just for a moment, they believe what they are seeing and hearing. Adults, of course, can separate fact from fiction and fantasy from reality. Kids will learn to make those distinctions as they grow older. Meanwhile, that fantasy is helping them learn how to deal with life in a safe and nonthreatening way.

As long as the make-believe is healthy and doesn’t desensitize the child (make killing seem good and evil seem desirable), I see no harm in make-believe.

 

The professionals at TLC Family Care personally assist nannies, babysitters and families in St. Louis, Atlanta, Chicago, Nashville, Memphis, Charlotte, Miami and Orlando to find the right childcare arrangement. Our mission is to provide a safe and personalized  approach for families and caregivers to connect with each other that is not an internet search. TLC has worked with families, nannies, sitters, newborn care providers, and tutors for over 35 years and looks forward to working with you! To find great nanny and babysitting jobs visit us at tlc@tlcforkids.com or Call 314-725-5660.

The Nap-Resister: When Your Child Needs a Nap but Won’t Take One

The Nap-Resister: When Your Child Needs a Nap but Won’t Take One

By Elizabeth Pantley, Author of The No-Cry Nap Solution 

Daytime naps might last just a few short hours, but they can affect all twenty-four hours of a child’s day. Naps can improve a child’s mood and reduce fussiness, crying, whining, and tantrums. Studies show that children who nap daily get sick less often, grow taller, and are less likely to be obese when they grow up. Naps enhance attention span and brain development. Naps can also help make up for any shortage in nighttime sleep. Even a one hour shortage in overall sleep hours can have a negative effect on a child – compromising alertness and brain function, and increasing fussiness and fatigue.

There are many ideas for helping a child to take a nap, but the best idea in the world may not work for you if the solution doesn’t address the reason that your child won’t nap. There is not just one reason that babies and young children refuse to nap – there are hundreds of different reasons. Before you decide on a solution you need to understand your child’s motivation. Once you figure out the cause of your child’s “nonnappingness” you can put together a plan to overcome her resistance. Here are a few typical reasons kids won’t nap – and suggestions to solve each problem:

Problem: Has outgrown the current nap schedule

Solutions: Think about any changes in your child’s life, growth or development. Has he learned to crawl, begun to eat solid food or started daycare? Any change can also affect sleep patterns. Watch your child for signs of tiredness between naps and adjust your schedule to meet his new needs.

Problem: Nap schedule doesn’t match your child’s biological clock

Solutions: Naptime, bedtime, mealtime, exposure to light and darkness, and activity all can affect your child’s biological clock. Look at your child’s schedule to be sure these things occur at reasonable times every day. The improper order of things (such as active, brightly lit playtime just before bed) can affect your child’s rhythm. 

Problem: Nap schedule isn’t consistent from day to day

Solutions: If on weekdays nap times, bedtime and wakeup time are specific, but on weekends they’re hit and miss, then your child will be functioning with a constant bout of jetlag. Other inconsistencies can also affect this, such as when your child naps at a certain time at daycare, but a different time at home, or if he takes a nice long nap on days when you are at home but takes a short one in the car (or skips a nap entirely) when you are on the go. Set up a possible nap schedule for your child and do your best to stay within a half hour of the nap times that you have set up. 

Problem: Child is overtired and over-wired by nap time

Solutions: If you miss your child’s signs of fatigue he can quickly move past his tired spell, past overtired, and into a second wind – that state of artificial energy which often brings with it more crying, fussing, whining and tantrums. When you miss your child’s tired signs it also means he won’t be able to fall asleep when you do finally put him in bed.

To learn your child’s sleepy signs it can help to watch him in the hour after he first wakes up in the morning, when he is well rested. Compare this to his behavior during the time from dinner to bedtime, when most children show signs of fatigue. As his usual bedtime draws near, make note of how his behavior and body language differs from when he is alert and refreshed. Aim to put your child for a nap as soon as he shows signs of fatigue. A tired child will fall asleep easily and sleep longer and better.

Problem: Reliance on a specific sleep aid

Solutions: A child who is accustomed to falling asleep in one very specific way can easily become so used to this one method that if you try to have him nap under any other condition he would be physically unable to do so. The best way to understand a child’s association needs are to examine them from your own viewpoint. It’s possible that you sleep well in your own bed but struggle to sleep at a hotel or someone else’s home. Some children’s sleep associations are so strong it can only be compared to asking you to sleep on a roller coaster!

The most common nap-preventing associations are breastfeeding or bottlefeeding to sleep, being held by loving arms, or sleeping in a swing, bouncer or car seat. These are wonderfully comforting places for a child to nap – but when they become necessary for sleep then it’s likely to cause a problem for the parent who must provide naptime services. These associations are usually so necessary to your child’s sleep that they override every other reason or solution. Because these are complicated issues each of these associations has its own chapter of information and solutions in other parts of this book.

Problem: Sneaky micro-naps

Solutions: The very first stage of sleep can last as little as five minutes and can reduce feelings of sleepiness– it lifts the lid and let’s the steam out just enough. If your child hits a tired zone and is lying on the sofa, sitting in a swing, or going for a ride in the car, he may nod off for five or ten minutes. This micro-nap doesn’t give your child the full benefit of a real nap, but can be just enough to rejuvenate him and prevent him from being able to sleep when you put him in bed later for a nap.

To circumvent this problem, avoid putting your child in a nap-inducing environment, like a ride in the car, or time in his swing, at a time when he’s likely to need a nap, unless you can leave him for a full long nap.

Problem: Health troubles

Solutions: If any health issue is bothering your child it can definitely affect his sleep. Allergies and asthma are two of the most common childhood diseases. Both of these conditions can make it difficult for your child to breathe comfortably when lying down. Colic, reflux, ear infections and difficult bouts of teething are other conditions that can prevent a child from napping well.

If your child suffers from any medical issues good naps are especially important for his health. If this is the case with your child it will be helpful if you are very flexible and open to finding any solution that helps him sleep. Put aside any notion that your child must sleep in a certain place or a certain way, and open yourself to the concept that any nap is better than no nap at all.

At the same time, talk with various medical experts about your child’s health matters and look to find the best solutions for your child.

Tips for encouraging naptime

No matter why your child won’t nap, there are a few specifics that can be helpful as you encourage any child to take regular naps. Keep these basic principles in mind: 

  • Maintain a consistent daily schedule that works with your child’s natural body clock. Create a predictable pattern to the day – with meals and naptime happening at reliable times.
  • Modify your schedule according to your child’s sleepy signs. No matter what the clock says, it’s nap time when your child becomes quieter, loses interest in toys or playtime, fusses, stares off into the distance, rubs his eyes or ears, and of course: if he begins to yawn.
  • Have a relaxing pre-nap routine to cue your child that naptime is here and help him wind down and relax.
  • Set up a sleeping place that is cozy and that sets the stage for sleep. Dress your child comfortably for sleep.
  • Keep mornings bright and active, and the half hour before each nap session quiet, dimly lit, and calm.
  • Keep in mind that you cannot force a child to sleep, but you can follow the basic rules of biology, gauge your child’s sleepy signals, and create a setting that is inductive to sleep and relaxation.

~~~~~~

From The No-Cry Nap Solution: Guaranteed Gentle Ways to Solve All Your Naptime Problems by Elizabeth Pantley (McGraw-Hill, January 2009). Here is the link for information and more excerpts:  http://www.pantley.com/elizabeth/

The professionals at TLC Family Care personally assist nannies, babysitters and families in St. Louis, Atlanta, Chicago, Nashville, Memphis, Charlotte, Miami and Orlando to find the right childcare arrangement. Our mission is to provide a safe and personalized  approach for families and caregivers to connect with each other that is not an internet search. TLC has worked with families, nannies, sitters, newborn care providers, and tutors for over 35 years and looks forward to working with you! To find great nanny and babysitting jobs visit us at tlc@tlcforkids.com or Call 314-725-5660.

Teach Kids Important Values Through Activities: 6 Traits That Build Character

As a nanny, you have the opportunity to make a positive impact on the children you care for. You can act as an inspiration, example and a mentor for the kids, so they can learn important virtues. There are six main pillars of character– trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship. You can engage in different activities with the kids that will teach and test them in these areas. 

Provide anecdotes for each virtue-related activity, so the story can serve as an example and help to further understand why these are important values. Here are some of the ways you can instill the six pillars of character:

Trustworthiness

Trust is a vital foundation for every relationship. Explain that the child will receive more freedom and will be considered more mature in relation with their level of trustworthiness.

For older kids who receive homework, provide them with an initial independent studying time. Explain that this time can be used for organization of assignments and be clear that you expect a certain volume of homework finished by the time you check in with them. Leave the room and return at the agreed time and check whether or not they’ve completed their work. If they’ve engaged in other activities and distracted themselves, explain they must now be monitored for assurance that the homework is properly completed.

If you work with smaller children, play a board game with them and then leave the room. If the pieces on the board have moved, point this out to the children and ask why or how it happened. Read a story about honesty and trust to further illustrate your point.

Respect

Respect is seen in many forms — respect of the environment, respect of others and respect of yourself. Teach kids how they can respect the environment and create a compost bin at home. Explain how landfills overflow with trash and how their contents can be reduced through recycling and composting.

Teach the kids about respect for others and take them into a restaurant. Have them order for themselves and remember to say please and thank you to the server.

Explain the importance of self respect and create a list where they add a characteristic they like about themselves every day. They will gain a greater appreciation for their own self and through that positive reinforcement, they’ll have a solid foundation for self respect.

Responsibility

Responsibility teaches kids how they can muster willpower and why it is important to do tasks properly. Chores are an excellent introduction for the foundation of responsible behavior. Create a weekly chore list and post it in a visible area. Establish the expectation that the child must remember their chores and complete them.

Fairness

Explain that everyone must be treated equally — no one is more important than anyone else. Play a game together in which the kids can earn a prize, like 12 pieces of candy. Have one of the children divide the prize amongst all the players and make sure everyone receives the same amount. You can also put a child in charge of dishing up dessert and make sure he doles out the same amount for each person.

Caring

Caring and kindness reduces the negativity that is spread throughout school, the workplace or your personal life. Talk with the children about helping others and set up a time, every week, where you can volunteer within the community together. You can also utilize the Charity Miles app, where you and the child can take daily strolls and rack up points. The points turn into money that you can give to a charity that you choose together.

Citizenship

Children should understand at an early age that they are a citizen of their community, country and the world. Visit a variety of museums to help children see how people from all time periods and all parts of the world have contributed to civilization. Both art museums and natural history museums will provide children with enhanced worldly knowledge and instill the idea of citizenship.

 

This post originally appeared on RegardingNannies.com. Used with permission. 

 

The professionals at TLC Family Care personally assist nannies, babysitters and families in St. Louis, Atlanta, Chicago, Nashville, Memphis, Charlotte, Miami and Orlando to find the right childcare arrangement. Our mission is to provide a safe and personalized  approach for families and caregivers to connect with each other that is not an internet search. TLC has worked with families, nannies, sitters, newborn care providers, and tutors for over 35 years and looks forward to working with you! To find great nanny and babysitting jobs visit us at tlc@tlcforkids.com or Call 314-725-5660.

4 Car Safety Tips for Nannies to Follow

As a nanny, you’re not only investing in your childcare career, you’re also investing in the well-being and safety of someone else’s children. Your responsibility is to provide maximum care and the most hazard-free environment, which may include traveling via car. 

You may prefer to use your own vehicle for your job because you’re more comfortable and secure driving. But you’ll want to ensure your clients that your car is well-equipped to safely transport children with as minimal risk as possible. Here’s some guidance to follow if you choose to use your personal car to shuttle kids to and from as a nanny.

Establish Guidelines with Parents

Your clients entrust you to safeguard their children in their absence, which means you’ll both want to create a plan in advance to prevent surprises or accidents as much as possible, including these adhering to these steps.

  • Set up a work agreement with policies that include expectations on gas, parking ticket payment, limitations on how far the children can be driven and trip documentation.
  • Establish car safety standards, such as proper vehicle maintenance, secure car seats and liability insurance.
  • Discuss work-related reimbursements based upon the IRS nanny mileage reimbursement rate; these reimbursements may cover transportation for school, activities, errands, shopping, etc.
  • Agree on ways to keep kids busy in the car to help prevent crying or outbursts that can dangerously distract. This may include movies video games, books or car games

Find a Car with Top Family-Safety Features

If you’re just beginning as a nanny, you may want to invest in a family-friendly car to support your long-term career and appear as an attractive nanny candidate. U.S. News & World Report released its 2021 Best Cars for Families that fit all budgets and lifestyles. Your best bet? Choose a multi-purpose car or SUV that can serve both work and your personal life.

Invest in Quality Tires, Learn How to Change a Flat

Without proper tire maintenance or replacements, a tire is doomed to go flat. A flat tire can become a complicated situation with a newborn or toddler in the car, especially since it shouldn’t be driven on. If you get on, you should pull over immediately. AutoGuide.com explains that driving on a flat can lead to wheel and vehicle damage, resulting in risky vehicle handling and loss of control. Poor control can ultimately cause an accident or injury to passengers.

In case of an emergency, learn how to change a tire or invest in a AAA membership that allows you to receive free roadside assistance. Consumer Reports also offers a tire-buying guide highlighting tips on tire types, tread wear and tire-pressure monitoring systems when searching for brand-new, high-performance tires.

Maintain Your New Car with Regular Upkeep

Properly maintaining your vehicle ensures top reliability, supports longevity and helps reduce wear and tear. Consumer Reports recommends following these three top tasks:

  • Check the engine oil regularly for an oil leak or deficiency.
  • Check tire air pressure and inspect tires for premature, uneven or abnormal wear and tear.
  • Wash your vehicle routinely to remove dirt, debris and any interior trash accumulated from caravanning kids.

You may also want to schedule an appointment with a mechanic who can provide an in-depth inspection on your car’s air filter, brakes, exhaust system, fluids, battery and more. Have your mechanic routinely check on the cooling system, automatic-transmission fluid, drive belts and hoses and timing belt. You’ll keep you car in excellent condition for your own transportation, career and, most importantly, the little ones in your care.

this article originally appeared on RegardingNannies.com. Used with permission.

The professionals at TLC Family Care personally assist nannies, babysitters and families in St. Louis, Atlanta, Chicago, Nashville, Memphis, Charlotte, Miami and Orlando to find the right childcare arrangement. Our mission is to provide a safe and personalized  approach for families and caregivers to connect with each other that is not an internet search. TLC has worked with families, nannies, sitters, newborn care providers, and tutors for over 35 years and looks forward to working with you! To find great nanny and babysitting jobs visit us at tlc@tlcforkids.com or Call 314-725-5660.

Helping Kids Adjust to The End of Daylight Savings Time

Daylight Savings time ends this Sunday, November 7th. Most of us will “fall back” our clocks for an extra hour of sleep.  However, for most little kids this means an early rising. A child that wakes up at 6:30am  will now be waking up at 5:30am. Not the extra hour we parents need and look forward to!! 

Here are a few things you can do to help your little one adjust to the time change. For more information on kids adjusting to the time change or sleep training your baby visit the Sleeplady blog.

1. Make naps a priority. One key to a good night’s sleep is a well-rested baby.Keeping naps on schedule and giving your baby plenty of daylight in between naps will help with the adjustment.

2. Keep your bedtime routine consistent. Keeping your same bedtime routine will help your little one know it’s time for bed. Kids thrive on consistency and keeping with the routine is soothing to them.

3. Morning walks. If possible get outside and go for a walk in the morning. If it’s too cold to go outside open up the curtains and sit in the sunshine.

 

The professionals at TLC Family Care personally assist nannies, babysitters and families in St. Louis, Atlanta, Chicago, Nashville, Memphis, Charlotte, Miami and Orlando to find the right childcare arrangement. Our mission is to provide a safe and personalized  approach for families and caregivers to connect with each other that is not an internet search. TLC has worked with families, nannies, sitters, newborn care providers, and tutors for over 35 years and looks forward to working with you! To find great nanny and babysitting jobs visit us at tlc@tlcforkids.com or Call 314-725-5660.

Six Back-to-School Lunchbox Ideas

It’s time for your child to head back to school. You roll your eyes, because that means coming up with a new lunch five times a week, for the rest of the school year. What’s a parent to do? Here are some ideas for creative and healthy lunchbox ideas that you can send to school with your child.

  1. Bento Boxes

Bento boxes are originally from Japan, and they are a very creative way to serve your child food. There are containers especially made for this purpose, or else you can simply use a variety of boxes in an assortment of sizes that you already have.

Bento box food is generally shaped to look like flowers, animals or cartoon characters. The sky is the limit as far as creativity. There are plenty of websites dedicated solely to this artistic endeavor. Check them out and make your child’s lunch fun each and every day.

  1. Pasta

Pasta is an easy and quick lunchbox idea. Make a batch early in the week and then load it up with various vegetables and sauces to make many different options. You can pair spaghetti noodles with green peas and Parmesan, or add broccoli and a simple yet delicious tomato sauce to pasta shells.

  1. Sandwiches

Sandwiches have been an old lunch standby for as long as most of us can remember, but they are not to be scoffed at. There is almost nothing you cannot add between two pieces of bread that does not automatically become delicious. From peanut butter to BLTs, sandwiches filled the lunch boxes of our own childhood and continue to do so for our children.

Keep them fresh by storing any vegetables or other moist food in a separate container, so your child can put it all together directly before consuming it. Add new tastes to expand your child’s palate and prevent boredom, such as wasabi or sriracha mayo.

  1. Veggie Burritos

Why not turn an old favorite into a new lunch idea for your school-age child? Veggie burritos are easy to make and easy to store. What’s not to love about that? Simply choose a type each of beans, veggies, cheese and sauce, and then wrap it up. Your child will never get tired of all the options and combinations available.

  1. Soup

Soup is another great lunchbox standby. With all the thermoses and container options out there, it is easy to find something to keep it in, even keeping it warm until being eaten. A broth filled with numerous kinds of vegetables such as cauliflower, carrots, broccoli, zucchini and onions is healthy and lasts well in a lunchbox. Simply add a piece of bread and a few cheese sticks for a healthy, well-rounded meal.

  1. Salads

Salad is a great lunch option, and it does not have to be boring. Load it up with chickpeas, nuts, seeds, and top it off with a healthy dressing for a lunch your child will thank you for. There are now salad storage containers sold even at the big box stores that have special compartments to fit all the components of the salad – even tiny squeeze bottles for the dressing.

With all the options available, there is no reason for your child to get bored with their school lunches. Thanks to a variety of storage options, your child’s lunch can safely wait for lunch break and not even go bad. Fill up your child’s lunchbox with healthy meals to keep your child fueled all day long.

The professionals at TLC Family Care personally assist nannies, babysitters and families in St. Louis, Atlanta, Chicago, Nashville, Memphis, Charlotte, Miami and Orlando to find the right childcare arrangement. Our mission is to provide a safe and personalized  approach for families and caregivers to connect with each other that is not an internet search. TLC has worked with families, nannies, sitters, newborn care providers, and tutors for over 35 years and looks forward to working with you! To find great nanny and babysitting jobs visit us at tlc@tlcforkids.com or Call 314-725-5660.

Mindfulness for Kids

“When we teach mindfulness to kids, we equip them with tools to build self-esteem, manage stress, and skillfully approach challenges. Explore our guide on how to introduce mindfulness and meditation to your children—at any age.”

By teaching children meditation and mindfulness skills we help them increase their well-being and enable them to meet the stresses of the world with presence, self-compassion, and openness.

In order to help kids of all ages find their way into practicing mindfulness, it can be helpful to give them an easy definition they can relate to.

A Definition of Mindfulness Meditation for Children

Mindfulness meditation, at its simplest, is paying attention to what is happening in the present moment. It may be what you’re feeling, hearing, or anything else you notice. There’s no special place of calm you have to reach and it’s not about clearing your mind, it’s just an honest and kind look at what you’re experiencing in this moment.

 

Read the entire article on Mindful.org.  Check out our Pinterest board for more Mindfulness for Kids suggestions.

Helping Kids Get used to Masks

Whether you’re preparing for kids to go back to school or you’re taking them out in public, wearing a mask is recommended for everyone – even children. But getting them to keep them on while out or all-day in a classroom can be challenging and scary. 

The CDC recommendations are as follows:

COVID-19 can be spread to others even if you do not feel sick. A cloth face covering helps prevent a person who is sick from spreading the virus to others. Appropriate and consistent use of cloth face coverings is most important when students, teachers, and staff are indoors and when social distancing of at least 6 feet is difficult to implement or maintain.

Cloth face coverings should not be placed on:

  • Children younger than 2 years old.
  • Anyone who has trouble breathing or is unconscious.
  • Anyone who is incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the cloth face covering without assistance.

Appropriate and consistent use of cloth face coverings may be challenging for some students, teachers, and staff, including:

  • Younger students, such as those in early elementary school.
  • Students, teachers, and staff with severe asthma or other breathing difficulties.
  • Students, teachers, and staff with special educational or healthcare needs, including intellectual and developmental disabilities, mental health conditions, and sensory concerns or tactile sensitivity.

Additional information from KidsHealth provides info on WHY kids are afraid of masks, and offers tips to helping kids get used to wearing masks.

Finally, check out our Pinterest board for mask tips and some of our favorites for kids.

 

To assist with the current crisis, TLC is temporarily offering FREE MEMBERSHIP and DISCOUNTED AGENCY FEES to all Medical Professionals and First Responders. We know you cannot work at home and want to help you ensure you have solid care arrangements for your loved ones. Call TLC at 314.725.5660 to learn more and get started.

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 in Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, Ft. Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando, Palm Beach, Sarasota, St. Louis, Tampa and more!. Reach us at tlc@tlcforkids.com or 314-725-5660.

In Case of Emergency

This post originally appeared on Nanny Magazine, October 5, 2017.

It happened. In the blink of an eye, it happened. My two-year-old NK locked his baby sister in the car! It was unexpected and I couldn’t believe it happened. We were at a

Photo courtesy of Pexels.

grocery store, leaving to head home for naps, and he wanted to hold my keys to help. I put the baby in the car and shut the door. Then, we walked around to the other side of car, but the car door wouldn’t open. My heart immediately sank. When I discovered the door wouldn’t open, I asked him calmly about my keys and he told me in his sweet, little kid voice, “I help you,” and I knew in that instant, I needed to get ACTUAL help, right away! It hit me that in his effort to help me, in our excitement chatting about a video we were going to make for his parents when we got home, that he had put the keys in the car for me. He must have pushed the button to lock the doors when he set them inside, and I didn’t hear it. I knew I needed to act fast!

Within seconds of realizing he had locked her in the car, I realized that my cell phone was also in the car. I knew I needed to remain calm. I saw someone in their car chatting on their phone, so I walked over and asked them if I could use it to call 911. The man was super nice and handed the phone right over. I stayed calm, spoke to the operator, and within seven minutes both the police and fire department had arrived. It was a very warm day and my only concern was for the baby locked inside of the hot car. I didn’t care what my employers would think about the situation, or about the cost of fixing my vehicle; my only thought was for her safety. The firemen were very nice and offered me two options: call someone to come unlock the door (which would take 10-20 minutes), or break the window. I wanted to scream, “Just break it and get that baby out!” but I knew for my NK’s sake and for my nanny baby, I needed to stay as calm as possible. I told them to please break the window, as her safety was paramount. Within 10 minutes of being locked in the car, she was out safe and sound.

What a rush! I was so grateful to the fire department for getting her out so quickly. Once home, I made sure to call one of the parents to let them know what happened, as I felt it was important to tell them as soon as I could. Luckily, they also felt I had handled the situation correctly. What a relief! They even offered to pay for the window, which again, in that moment, I didn’t care about. I just cared about getting her out quickly and safely. But, having the support of my nanny bosses really helped in the aftermath.

After this happened, I knew I wanted to share my experience. This was an accident. This didn’t happen because I was neglectful or a “bad nanny.” It was something you can’t plan for or expect to happen, which is why we call it an accident to begin with. It definitely doesn’t make me less of a nanny; in fact, I feel even more confident in my role now because I know, in an emergency, I can keep my cool, stay calm, and do what needs to be done to ensure the safety of my nanny kids.

  • Make sure you keep a signed medical permission form for each child (this emergency reminded me that I only have one for my older NK and I needed to have the parents sign another one for the new baby). I keep one copy in my diaper bag and another in my wallet, just in case.
  • I keep a stocked first aid kit in my car at all times and a small first aid kit in my diaper bag; I also keep one or two band-aids in my wallet.
  • Sometimes my employers don’t answer the phone when I call; it’s important to know their office numbers or a back-up person to call, so that you can reach a parent ASAP in an emergency. It’s also beneficial to keep a written record of all important phone numbers (parents’ work, grandparents or other relatives, neighbors, pediatrician, etc.) in your wallet or diaper bag, just in case something happens to your cell phone and you can’t access an emergency contact.

Accidents are going to happen, but we can take steps now to ensure that when it happens, we know we can handle it. I’ll be the first to admit that it wasn’t a fun experience, especially having to call a parent and tell them what happened, but as a nanny, it’s my responsibility to keep my little ones safe and I strive to do that every single day. While I hope that we don’t have another accident or emergency anytime soon, I know that if something does happen, I have the ability to stay calm and be the best nanny I can be for my charges and their parents.

 

To assist with the current crisis, TLC is temporarily offering FREE MEMBERSHIP and DISCOUNTED AGENCY FEES to all Medical Professionals and First Responders. We know you cannot work at home and want to help you ensure you have solid care arrangements for your loved ones. Call TLC at 314.725.5660 to learn more and get started.

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 in Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, Ft. Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando, Palm Beach, Sarasota, St. Louis, Tampa and more!. Reach us at tlc@tlcforkids.com or 314-725-5660.