Archive

BABYSITTING SIBLINGS
sibling rivalry
OUR SITTER DATABASE INCLUDES
  • Babysitting Rate Calculator
  • Nation-wide Coverage
  • Thousands of Jobs
  • Thousands of Babysitters
  • Advanced Searching Capabilities
  • Quick Background Checks
  • Driving Record Checks
MOST POPULAR SERVICES
NannyPro.com

NannyPro is one of the largest online babysitter placement agencies with manual screening of all sitter and family profiles as well as free accounts for caregivers and a low annual rate for families.

eNannySource.com

eNannySource has been helping families find quality caregivers for over 15 years. They have thousands of jobs and active caregivers daily. In addition they offer the most thorough background checks in the industry.

Archive for September, 2012

30 Blogs for Quick and Easy School Night Meals

Sunday, September 30th, 2012

The often frantic pace of weeknights during the school year can leave parents scrambling for a healthy, tasty dinner that will please the whole family and doesn’t require hours in the kitchen. Thanks to the Internet and the worldwide community of food bloggers, it’s easier than ever to get ideas for quick, easy meals to please both kids and adults. These 30 dinners can be made in a snap and are sure to leave everyone asking for seconds.

Gluten-Free Dinners

Families with a member who suffers from celiac disease or other gluten sensitivities find themselves in the often difficult position of tracking down easy dinner recipes that will cater to everyone’s dietary restrictions. These five gluten-free dinner ideas are speedy and simple, allowing you to spend less time in the kitchen and more time with the people you love most.

Low Fat Dinners

For families that are more conscious of their fat and calorie intake, it can be fairly difficult to find dinner options that fit their diet. Pre-packaged convenience foods can be filled with empty calories and saturated fats, making them a less than ideal choice; these five easy recipes offer a great alternative.

Allergen-Aware Dinners

If your family is one of the many containing at least one member with sensitivities or food allergies, combing through the fine print on packaging can be a time-consuming chore. These five recipes take food allergies into account, helping to ensure that every meal you serve is safe, quick, and tasty.

Diabetic-Friendly Dinners

The number of people who suffer from diabetes is climbing rapidly for both children and adults alike. Preparing meals that are both satisfying and safe for the diabetic in your family doesn’t have to be a chore, however. With these five dinner entrees, you can rest assured that your family’s dietary concerns are taken into consideration without leaving you chained to the stove all evening.

Healthy, Quick Kid-Favorite Classics

It’s no secret that kids can be very picky eaters, and that their favorite fare is almost invariably unhealthy. These recipes offer a healthy spin on classic kid cuisine, are easy to prepare, and are sure to be met with approval by even the most finicky little diner at your table.

Kid-Approved Vegetarian

Adhering to a vegetarian diet isn’t always easy when there are children in the house who live in a world where hot dogs and chicken nuggets reign supreme. These five meals are meat-free, quick and easy offerings that the little ones in your family will be eager to eat.

Posted in Babysitting | Comments Off

10 Ways to Keep Your Child’s Bedroom Safe

Wednesday, September 26th, 2012

Your child’s room, whether he’s a newborn or a teenager, should be a safe haven for him to retreat to. Ensuring that his personal space is as safe and free from potential hazards as possible is a parent’s responsibility, and it can seem like a daunting one. While every room and every house will contain their own individual hazards and injury risks, these 10 tips can help you reduce some common dangers in your child’s room.

  1. Use Low-VOC Paints – VOCs, or volatile organic compounds, are harmful substances that evaporate from paint as it dries. Many of these are toxic to humans and can be released from the paint for years after it’s been applied, making it a dangerous choice for kids’ rooms. If you’re decorating a nursery for a brand new bundle of joy or painting your tween’s room in a new house, it’s best to opt for low-VOC paint to protect his respiratory system.
  2. Keep Crib Bedding Simple – Fluffy, elaborate bedding is the cornerstone of dream nurseries and is showcased prominently in decorating magazine nursery features. These soft pillows, snuggly comforters, and beautiful crib bumpers are all aesthetically pleasing, but they can also be deadly. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that bedding for babies be as simple as possible to reduce the risk of SIDS, so if you do opt for the elaborate bedding set you’ve been dreaming of, you should remove it all before putting your baby down for the night.
  3. Use Safety Rails on “Big Kid” Beds – When your toddler graduates to a “big kid” bed he should have safety rails on the bed until you’re absolutely sure that he won’t take any midnight tumbles. For older children with bunk beds, those rails should be in place for as long as the top bunk has any chance of being used. Even teens and young adults shouldn’t sleep in loft beds or top bunks with no safety rails.
  4. Install and Maintain Smoke Alarms – Smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are such obvious safety measures that they can simply slip parents’ minds. Be sure that you install and maintain these alarms, changing the batteries twice each year and testing them periodically to ensure their functionality.
  5. Anchor Shelves and Heavy Furniture to Walls – Children will, when left to their own devices, scale shelves, chests, and dressers to reach items that are calling to them from high off the ground. Because you can’t thwart this dangerous behavior 100% of the time, it’s best to ensure that all of these pieces of furniture are securely anchored to the wall to prevent them from tipping over and falling on your child as he climbs them.
  6. Choose Safe Window Treatments – While you should never place a baby’s crib or a child’s bed near the window, you should still make sure that all blind cords and curtain ties are out of reach to reduce choking and strangulation risks. There are cord winders on the market specifically designed to keep window treatments kid-safe.
  7. Keep Toys Age-Appropriate – When a friend or relative gifts your child with an expensive or heirloom toy, it’s tempting to put it in your child’s room before he’s quite old enough to play with it. If these toys have small pieces that present a choking risk, heavy pieces that could fall on him, or moving parts that could pinch, it’s best to keep them in storage until he’s old enough for those toys to be safe for him.
  8. Opt For Toy Boxes With Removable Lids – Old-fashioned toy boxes with hinged lids can crush your little one’s fingers if they fall, which isn’t altogether unlikely. To keep tiny hands safe, it’s best to opt for toy boxes with lids that are completely removed.
  9. No Locking Doors – Your child’s room should not have a door that locks if he’s very young, to prevent him from accidentally locking you out and finding himself stranded in his bedroom alone. If his doorknob does have a working lock, you should at least ensure that you can easily and quickly pick the lock yourself from the outside. If not, the knob should be changed.
  10. Choose Night Lights That Stay Cool – When little ones aren’t quite comfortable in the dark, a night light can be their best friend. Some models can generate quite a bit of heat, however, leaving the bulb hot enough to scorch sensitive skin. If your child needs a night light in his room, be sure to find one that stays cool to the touch. For all outlets, remove the standard outlet plate and replace it with a protective outlet cover. This will keep unused outlets secure and will automatically slide shut when cords are unplugged.

After setting up your child’s room, it’s best to walk through it with your eyes open to any possible safety hazards. Crouch, kneel, or crawl to get on your child’s level, paying close attention to anything that he can easily reach.

Posted in Babysitting | Comments Off

10 Foods to Think Twice About Before Giving to a Toddler

Thursday, September 20th, 2012

When your child begins to eat solid food, it’s important to remember that just because his palate is expanding, there are still a variety of foods that aren’t suitable for him to eat at such a young age. Due to choking hazards, allergy concerns, and your toddler’s nutritional needs, some foods should be banned from your little ones plate until he’s older. You should avoid giving these ten foods to your toddler, and should carefully consider whether you want to introduce some of them into his diet at all, even when he’s older.

  1. Tree Nuts – Tree nuts, like pecans, almonds, and walnuts, should never be given to a toddler. The reasons for this policy are two-fold, due to the choking hazard that they present and their place on the list of most common food allergens. Children with food allergies often react negatively to tree nuts, and it’s not a good idea to introduce them when your child is still so young, especially if tree nut allergies run in the family.
  2. Peanut Butter – Ingesting a small amount or coming into contact with peanut butter can be harmful or deadly to an allergic child, and peanut allergies are among the most common in young children. The thick consistency of peanut butter can also present a choking hazard to toddlers that don’t have any known peanut sensitivities, making it wise to hold off on introducing this kid favorite until your little one is a bit older.
  3. Soft Drinks – Keep Kids Healthy recommends that toddlers only have four to six ounces of fruit juice each day, and never soda or other soft drinks. These sugar-laden beverages can be harmful to little teeth, are filled with empty calories, and often contain caffeine – a stimulant your toddler probably doesn’t need.
  4. Hard Candy – Hard candies, which are usually little more than a mix of solidified sugar, artificial flavoring, and coloring agents, are an unwise choice for your toddler’s diet due to the high choking risk that they pose, as well as their lack of nutritional value.
  5. Hot Dogs – Generally made from highly-processed meat and filled with sodium and additives, traditional hot dogs may not be the best choice for your child’s diet. If you do decide to feed them to your toddler, however, it’s imperative that you slice hot dogs lengthwise before serving them. Coin-shaped slices, a popular choice because they’re easy for little fingers to maneuver, pose a very serious choking risk and are among the most common causes of fatal choking incidents.
  6. Low-Fat Milk – Seattle Children’s Hospital recommends that children under one year of age avoid having cow’s milk entirely, and that kids under two years of age steer clear of drinking low-fat, non-fat, or reduced-fat milk. Toddlers need some fat in their diets for a variety of reasons, not least of which is their neurological development. After your child reaches two years of age, your pediatrician may or may not recommend a switch to low-fat or skim milk.
  7. Popcorn – Popcorn can be tricky for adults to eat because of the pesky bits of kernel that can stick to your teeth and throat, and are even more dangerous for kids. Because partially-popped kernels can be very hard, and fully-popped ones can present a choking hazard as well, your toddler should not eat popcorn. Additionally, microwaveable popcorn brands are almost invariably awash in a sea of chemicals, some of which can be harmful.
  8. Eggs – Because egg whites can cause upset stomach and skin complaints in some toddlers and whole eggs are a very common food allergen, it’s best to avoid eggs until your child is a bit older and you can safely test for signs of an allergic reaction.
  9. Honey – While it’s not altogether common, honey contaminated with bacteria that causes botulism can lead to a very serious illness. After toddlerhood, the likelihood of your child contracting botulism from ingesting honey is very slight, but it’s best to avoid this natural sweetener altogether until then.
  10. Fish – Some types of fish can be quite high in mercury, and exposure to them can be toxic in large amounts. Fish is also a relatively common allergen, so it’s best to skip those fish sticks until your child is well past toddlerhood. Even then, opt for types of fish that aren’t known to be particularly high in mercury.

Because there are a variety of food items that can be somewhat controversial when it comes to being a regular part of a toddler’s diet, it’s best to consult with your pediatrician before introducing these foods, especially if allergies run in the family. When in doubt, it’s far better to consult a medical professional than to gamble on the health and wellbeing of your child.

Posted in Babysitting | 2 Comments »

How To Protect Kids From Bullying Without Turning Them Into A Bully

Monday, September 17th, 2012

While it’s something that has gained a lot of press in recent years, bullying is not a new thing. In past generations, it was considered a rite of passage, and was something that was simply expected. Today, however, we have a much better understanding of bullying and the lifelong effects of it on both the bully and the victim.

Bullying takes on many different forms. Verbal bullying includes intimidation and threats, name calling, insults about gender, race, sexual orientation, special needs, disabilities, or other personal characteristics, public humiliation, and spreading rumors.  Physical bullying includes tripping, pinching, hitting, pushing, and destroying or stealing personal property. Cyberbullying includes harassing emails, texts, and instant messages, and intimidating, harassing, or humiliating posts and pictures on Facebook, Twitter, blogs, and other websites. Cyberbullying can be especially damaging because it continues outside of school hours and off of school grounds, and has the ability to reach a large audience. These attacks can continue to circulate online long after the initial event.

If you think your child is being bullied, you’re not alone. Up to half of all children are bullied at some point during their school years, according to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Some of the possible warning signs that your child might be a victim of bullying are if your child:

  • Comes home with torn clothes.
  • Is missing sweaters, jackets, school supplies, or other things repeatedly.
  • Has unexplained cuts, bruises, and scratches.
  • Is afraid of going to school, walking to and from school, or riding the school bus.
  • Suddenly begins to do poorly in school.
  • Is sad, upset, angry, or depressed when she comes home.
  • Complains frequently of headaches, stomachaches, being tired, or other physical ailments that would prevent her from going to school.
  • Has few friends.

If you think your child might be being bullied, you’re not helpless. There are things you can do to stop the bullying, help your child deal with the after effects, and stop future attacks.

Encourage your child to share her feelings. It’s important that your child has a safe place to talk about what’s happening and how she feels about it. When your child opens up, listen without dismissing her feelings (e.g. “Oh, you shouldn’t get so upset about what she says.”), without downplaying the incident (e.g. “Don’t listen to what that boy says. You’re beautiful just how you are!”) or without assuring her things will immediately change (e.g. “I’ll talk to your teacher and it will be OK.”) Offer empathy and support, let her know you’re on her side, remind her that she’s not to blame for what happened, and work with her to find a solution.

Contact school administrators. You should report all bullying to your child’s school. Many schools have bullying policies already in place so you’ll have a good idea what to expect. Present as many details as you have and ask what actions will be taken. Make sure you follow up and stay up-to-date on how your complaint is being handled. Unfortunately not all principals and teachers take bullying seriously and you may have to be the squeaky wheel to get them to take meaningful action. If your child was physically attacked, talk to the school principal immediately to decide if the police should be involved.

Model an honest yet appropriate response. Of course you’re going to be angry if your child is being bullied.  Be honest with your child about how you’re feeling while letting her know that acting on anger, hurt, humiliation or other negative emotions doesn’t solve the problem. Put your energy into working with the school to stop the bullying behavior to ensure the bully is dealt with appropriately and to help your child deal with the emotional toll of bullying.

Boost your child’s self-esteem. There’s no such thing as a bully-proof child, but kids that have high self-esteem, are part of supportive friendships, and are involved in activities they enjoy and are good at are much less susceptible to bullying. In today’s world there’s a group, team, or club for pretty much any activity your child is interested in. Sports, volunteering, music, performing arts, chess, gaming, or outdoor adventure can all help your child avoid or successfully deal with bullying. If her school doesn’t offer anything your child is interested in, look in your local community.

Bullying is a problem that isn’t going away anytime soon. Public awareness, prevention programs, and progressive school policies are making it easier to identify and deal with bullies, but occurrences of bullying aren’t declining. In fact, cyberbullying is increasing at an alarming rate as smart phones become standard equipment for students. As a parent, you have the power to help your child to deal with bullying wherever and whenever she might encounter it.

Posted in Babysitting | 2 Comments »

All You Really Need to Know About Hiring a Babysitter

Tuesday, September 11th, 2012

Perhaps you’re not looking for a full-time nanny, but still need someone who can watch your children from time to time. A babysitter can provide the perfect option, offering supervisory care for your children on either an occasional or temporary basis. When conducting your babysitter search, it’s important to keep in mind that you’ll find babysitters with varying levels of experience and skill sets. Typically, the more experience and special skills a babysitter has, the more her hourly rate will be. The best babysitter for your family is one that has the level of experience you desire, the skill set you desire, and is within your child care budget.

During high school, many students begin taking on after school jobs as babysitters.  While high school babysitters typically have limited childcare experience (unless of course they’re an older sibling in a large family or have extensive babysitting experience), they tend to enjoy being around children and view babysitting as a great way to earn extra money. High school babysitters may be great for families who need afterschool care or for parents who need a responsible person to watch their children for short amounts of time. How much responsibility you give a high school babysitter will depend on her level of maturity and her experience. If you find a high school babysitter you like, encourage her to take a babysitting course from the American Red Cross.

College students interested in early childhood education often look to gain experience working with children through babysitting. For college sitters, babysitting not only serves as a great alternative to working a campus job, but can also provide for a wide range of child related experiences, as babysitters typically work for several families. College sitters will typically be more mature than high school babysitters and may have more babysitting experience.  College sitters also may have more developed skill sets. A college sitter who has an interest in education could be perfect for helping your children with homework. A college sitter who plays an instrument or sport that your child is interested in could enhance the time they spend together.

It’s not uncommon for a nanny to take on evening and weekend babysitting jobs to supplement her income. Nanny sitters typically have extensive child care experience and a working knowledge of child development. Nanny sitters typically charge a higher hourly rate than high school or college sitters, but may be better suited to provide intense care.    

Many parents prefer to outsource their childcare to friends and family. Leaving their children with friends or family typically brings a sense of comfort to parents because they already have an established relationship with the childcare provider. When having friends or family care for your children, it is especially important to clarify the expectations of both the sitter and parent when it comes to duties, responsibilities and pay.

For parents who just need an extra set of hands, a mother’s helper may be a suitable choice. Typically middle or high school students, or an individual looking to gain more child care experience, mother’s helpers assist the parents caring for children while the parents are in the home. Unlike a babysitter, a mother’s helper works with supervision and isn’t left to care for the children alone.

Regardless of the type of babysitter you choose, there are a few minimum requirements all childcare providers should meet. In addition to being a trustworthy person with good references and a personality you appreciate, your babysitter should be safety conscious, have first-aid and CPR certifications, and have a clean background check.

It’s also a good idea for parents to have a pool of pre-screened babysitters to call on when the need for childcare arises. Quality babysitters tend to be in demand and book their schedules weeks in advance. Having a pool of caregivers that you trust can ensure that you secure quality care when you need it.

Posted in Babysitting | Comments Off

After School Child Care Options

Friday, September 7th, 2012

Whether you’re a single, working parent or part of a two-working-parent household, the need for child care can be greatly reduced when your children reach school age. If you work full-time, however, the gap between the end of classes and your return home from work can create the need for at least part-time childcare throughout the week. Finding childcare for the afterschool gap isn’t always easy, but it is possible. Some of the options for after-school include:

  • School-Based Programs – Many school districts offer after-school programs specifically to meet the needs of parents who work a traditional, nine-to-five schedule. These programs can be geared towards academics and tutoring, offer homework help, or simply provide your child a safe and secure place to play and socialize with her peers for a few hours after classes end. Check with your child’s school or the local board of education to determine what, if any, programs of this type are available in your area.
  • Community Centers – Community centers like the YMCA often offer after-school childcare programs, with a wide scope of activities ranging from encouraging active play and fitness, arts and crafts or homework help. These programs are often included with the costs of membership, so they can provide kids with a safe place to spend time after school and family access to gym and fitness equipment, swimming classes and CPR instruction.
  • Dedicated Neighborhood Outreach Centers – In larger cities, there are many programs created solely to provide kids in the neighborhood with after-school care. Many emphasize the importance of education and provide homework assistance and tutoring in addition to childcare and, depending upon the particular program in your area, may even be free or quite inexpensive.
  • Extracurricular Activities – Sports, academic clubs and other extracurricular activities that have daily meetings or practice generally hold those sessions after school, which can provide your kids with the care that they need while also fostering an interest in a specific hobby. For older kids, this option can also help them avoid daycare centers and babysitters, which they may feel that they’re “too old” for.
  • Daycare “Big Kid” Programs – Many daycare centers have programs that cater to school-aged kids, even providing bus services or other transportation from school to the center. These programs often tend to be play-based, may not offer homework assistance or tutoring, and may be met with vociferous protests from older kids, but they do keep kids in a safe environment until your workday ends.
  • Private, In-Home Childcare – A full-time nanny may not be financially feasible if your children are gone for the bulk of the day, but a part-time nanny may be. This option can also help you establish a relationship with a nanny through the school year, who may be willing to work full-time during summer vacation and other school breaks.
  • Childcare Exchanges – If you’re willing to provide childcare for friends and neighbors on weekends or other times that fit your schedule, you may find that a stay-at-home parent is open to the idea of a childcare exchange. Because you’re trading childcare services as your schedules allow, exchanges are often the most economical choice for cash-strapped families, as they don’t require you to pay any daycare or sitter fees.
  • Extended Family Care – Families today are often separated from one another by significant distances, but if you’re lucky enough to have extended family nearby, you may find that they’re the ideal choice for after-school childcare. This arrangement will allow your kids to get in extra time with a favorite aunt or be spoiled by their grandma for a few hours, and will provide you with the peace of mind that comes with trusting their childcare provider completely.
  • Teenage Babysitters – Some parents find that a teenager in the neighborhood is the perfect choice for the few hours between the end of the school day and their return home. If there’s a sitter in your neighborhood that occasionally looks after your children for a night out or other engagements, she may be just what you’re looking for after school as well.

The options available to your household will depend largely on your community and what’s offered there, so make sure to check local message boards and connect with other parents in your community to stay abreast of any changes and discover programs that you may not currently be aware of.

Posted in Babysitting | Comments Off

How to Remove a Splinter Without Tweezers

Monday, September 3rd, 2012

Summer is, for many kids, the season of no shoes and outdoor play. While this heady combination is the stuff that memories are made of, it can also be a recipe for plenty of splinters. Any parent that’s ever approached a child with a pair of tweezers in hand to remove a dastardly splinter knows that the most likely reaction is a screaming panic; convinced that pulling a splinter out with tweezers will be excruciating, little ones do not take kindly to the very method of removal that’s usually most effective. If a child under your care gets a splinter that they simply will not let you approach with tweezers, here are a few other options that might roust out the sliver of wood without generating more hysterics.

  • Use a Credit Card – For splinters that protrude from the surface of the skin and enter at an angle, sliding the corner of a credit card, driver’s license or a laminated library card can allow you to grasp the end of the splinter that’s not lodged in your child’s skin between the card and your fingernail. Simply grasp the splinter and pull, and your little one will splinter-free in no time. Those of the particularly shallow variety might even be removed by gently flicking the splinter with the corner of the card, but be careful not to use so much force that it snaps the delicate piece of wood in half and buried in her skin. Also, be sure that you thoroughly clean any laminated card with rubbing alcohol to prevent infection stemming from any lingering bacteria on its surface.
  • Tape it Up – Applying a bit of tape over the end of a shallow splinter that isn’t fully embedded in the skin, then pulling in the direction that the splinter is burrowed into the skin can dislodge it painlessly; no tears, and no fuss. Transparent tape might not be quite sticky enough, so opt for a small piece of duct tape if the splinter seems to be firmly embedded. Rather than rooting around with a needle and extracting a piece of wood from your child’s skin, this method allows them to relax and even to see the splinter stuck to the tape. Packing tape is ideal for the task, as it’s a bit sturdier than garden-variety transparent tape but not quite as hearty as that of the duct variety.
  • Baking Soda Paste – Making a thick paste of baking soda and water that’s applied to the skin covering a splinter and bandaging it until morning can help to draw the splinter out. In many cases, you’ll find the tiny invader poking far above the skin’s surface and ready to be removed quickly and painlessly.
  • Hydrogen Peroxide – Soaking the splinter-afflicted area in hydrogen peroxide is another tried-and-true home remedy for drawing the splinter out of the skin without resorting to needles, tweezers and informal, impromptu surgical procedures. Most of the time, a peroxide soak brings a splinter to the surface in a couple of minutes.
  • Glue and Gauze – Apply a healthy drop of white school glue to the area of the skin from which a splinter is protruding, and allow it to dry. When the glue is thoroughly set, peel it off in the direction that the splinter is lodged. More often than not, the splinter will come out easily when the glue is removed. To make removal even easier, apply a small piece of gauze to the drop of glue; this will give you something to hold on to, rather than trying to grasp a tiny bead of glue on a restless little body.
  • Banana Peels – Banana peels might be the weapon of choice for cartoon tricksters, but they’re also rumored to be great at easing splinters from the skin. Cutting a piece of peel large enough to comfortably cover the afflicted area of the skin, then taping the peel down and leave it for ten to fifteen minutes. The enzymes in the peel will help to to draw the splinter out and promote healing for the tiny wound left behind.
  • Distraction – Rather than fighting the Great Splinter Battle, it might be more effective to simply wait until your child is engrossed in her favorite show or sleeping soundly to pull the marauding sliver of wood or glass from her skin. If you’re gentle and she’s a relatively sound sleeper, she’ll be splinter-free and none the wiser when she wakes the next morning.

Whichever method you choose, be sure to treat the area with antibiotic ointment and bandage it securely to prevent a potentially serious infection from taking hold.

Posted in Babysitting | Comments Off

YES, I am Ready to Find Babysitting or Nanny Jobs