Our Guest post today comes from Elizabeth Pantley, The No-Cry Solution 

“Trying to drive while your little one screams bloody murder is challenging to say the least. Even though it’s difficult to deal with, you must remember that you and your baby’s safety come first. No matter how tempting it may be, never take a crying baby out of the car seat. It’s extremely dangerous and counterproductive, making it even more difficult for your child to get used to riding in her car seat. Making poor driving decisions when your baby is wailing puts everyone in the car at risk. Either pull the car over and calm your baby down, or focus on getting safely from point A to point B—don’t try to do both.”

“The good news is that a few new ideas, a little time and maturity will help your baby become a happy traveler. Any one (or more) of the following strategies may help solve your car seat dilemma. If the first one you try fails, choose another one, then another; eventually, you’ll hit upon the right solution for your baby.”

Steps you can take to help your child be a happy traveler. 

Need an idea for  quick and simple motor skill play? Great here is a simple one- make a line!

We just put a long line on the floor with masking tape. Can be on carpet or hardwood (but check in a spot first that the tape doesn’t ruin hardwood in your home)

Then we hop on the line, hop over the line, skip on the line, dance on the line – you get the point. This is a great way to work on language skills as well as you can talk about over, on top of, as well as action words like crawling, skipping, hopping, tip toeing…..

Read more on Nannypalooza.com on getting kids active! 

Our guest post today comes from the International Nanny Association.

No matter what industry you are in, job searching is hard to do. Between researching job duties, meeting minimum requirements, and updating your resume, it seems like getting a job- can be its own full-time job! So when your job history read a little more like “for the time being” than “for the long term”, you may need some help making all those short-lived positions seem like an asset rather than a liability. Here are 5 good ways to persuade a future employer that your short-term positions are of high value:

  1. Acknowledge that you have a resume of short-term positions. Position yourself to professionally answer questions about your job history; being able to explain this over the phone, or in-person, is even better, so be proactive in making connections and seeking face-to-face contact. Whether you quit under good or bad circumstances, or were fired, “let go” or simply not needed anymore, you need to own this part of your individual professional package. Presenting a positive, optimistic attitude can go a long way in showing an agency or potential employer what kind of demeanor you have when going through a difficult situation. Staying honest when questioned about the amount of turnover in your positions, will show trustworthiness and transparency- traits that are highly favored by employers.

Read all 5 Tips from the International Nanny Association

This post originally appeared June 2011, but the information is still valuable. Reference checking can be a daunting task, but don’t delay in this important step in finding and hiring your nanny. 

As the Placement Counselor for TLC for Kids in St. Louis, I often take for granted the things I do everyday.  For example, this morning I was talking to a client who was ready to call references on a nanny she was interested in hiring.  She said that she had her questions ready – but just wasn’t sure how to go about it.  She didn’t know how to start the conversation and needed some tips.  It dawned on me that this is definitely a topic that St. Louis parents  are interested in learning a little more about.

When taking a childcare reference on a potential nanny:

  • Introduce yourself and explain why you are calling.  Let the person know you are a parent and the ages of your children.  Explain that you promise to keep confidential all of the responses and that the feedback of their former nanny/babysitter is extremely important to you.
  • When you ask the various childcare related questions, pay attention to the person’s voice inflection and pace of their  answer.  If the person answering the questions is hesitant or seems unsure of any of the answers, this is a definite red flag.  Many people are hesitant to talk negatively and this is when you must push a little and assure the reference that you are considering bringing their former nanny into your home.  You are counting on their honesty!
  • If the reference seems unsure of information or answers to the questions, something isn’t adding up.  This could indicate a false reference, which is something that is of course unacceptable.
    When in doubt, trust your gut instincts and make sure that you are 100% comfortable with the applicant you choose.  References are a great way to get a feel for the integrity and character, not to mention the experience level of a childcare provider.

At TLC for Kids, we love it when a parent gushes and is super excited to talk to us about their former nanny…usually, that means her other references are also stellar and she is a great find!

Good luck and if you have any comments or suggestions please let us know!

Jessica Friedman
TLC for Kids, Inc.

Our guest post today comes from HomeWork Solutions.

Most nannies and their employers have a very informal work relationship, without any formal written agreement. The work and pay related details that most employers take for granted – Paid Time Off (sick/vacation/personal) and vacation scheduling – are gray clouds over the nanny’s head. Many wonder, and are afraid to ask, will I be paid?

Most nanny employers have established rules in their workplace – paid holidays, a paid vacation policy, and colleagues to share the work load when one is absent. Nannies often have none of these things formalized.

As a rule of thumb, the full time nanny should be paid for any regularly scheduled day when she is available to work and the family, for any reason, decides they don’t need her. This includes holidays such as the 4th of July as well as the family’s beach week. The full time nanny should have an agreed number of Paid Time Off (PTO) or flex days available to her and reasonable latitude to schedule her personal vacation, etc. She may have some scheduling limitations, agreed to in advance, as to the timing and duration of vacation time, but should have reasonable discretion in the matter.

Continue reading for information on part-time and summer nannies.

Today’s guest post comes from Be The Best Nanny Newsletter 

Kids Don’t Naturally Know How to Delay Gratification

When I first started working as a nanny I found a lot of great ideas to use with my nanny kids from author Sheila Ellison.  I will share her clever ideas on how to teach children to be patient today.

The only way to teach children difficult coping, life skills is to practice using those skills as play or activities to do together. But, teaching kids who crave immediate gratification to be patient can be particularly tricky.

In her book 365 Ways to Raise Great Kids Ellison explains that a child that is patient can entertain herself while waiting and listen until she learns and understands.

She writes, “A child who learns patience has found a tool that will help greatly in overcoming the frustrations of life.”

Here are 5 ways Ellison recommends to teach kids to be patient …

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! 

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

Congratulations on your new baby!! Bringing home a new baby is a transition for everyone. Getting to know your little one and introducing them to the world is such a beautiful thing. However, there might be stressful times during those first few weeks and months. Mom is recovering, Mom and Dad are sleep deprived, and siblings want more attention.

TLC Family Care understands this  transitional period requires an extra set of hands.  So,  we are here to help everyone adjust to the newest addition to your family. Consider hiring a Newborn Night Nanny or Newborn Care Specialist to assist during this time.

1 .      Newborn Overnight Nanny.  At TLC Family Care, we have Newborn Overnight Nannies. An Newborn Overnight Nanny is a caregiver that comes to your house around bedtime and stays awake through the night (they are required to stay awake the entire time) to take care of the baby when he/she wakes up. The overnight nanny will feed the baby(or bring baby to mom for nursing), change, rock and put the baby back to sleep. This allows new parents to catch up on some much needed rest and enjoy a full night’s sleep because they know their baby is receiving the best care possible.

2.      Newborn Care Specialist.  If daytime help is what you need, TLC Family Care also offers child care providers who are newborn care specialists. Newborn Care Specialists help parents in their home the first few weeks or months of baby’s life in a number of ways. Newborn Specialists help with parent education, feeding/breastfeeding, basic baby care, and light housekeeping. Newborn Care Specialists can also help older siblings adjust to sharing mom and dad’s attention with a new baby in the house. Whether you are a seasoned mom or new to parenting, an NCS is a wonderful option to help your family adjust.

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

 

Give mom something she really wants for Mother’s Day … time! Book a sitter today and give mom a much needed day of pampering, lunch and movie with a friend, or make it just the two of you with a delicious brunch.

Our sitters will take care of the kids while you take care of mom.

Don’t forget that TLC is here to help you with all your in-home child care needs.  If you are interested in hiring  a full time, part time, summer or after school nanny visit our website at tlcforkids.com.

TLC for Kids is currently placing summer nannies in St. Louis and South Florida. If you need reliable, energetic, and professional child care this summer visit our website at tlcforkids.com Or, email us at tlc@tlcforkids.com.