Parent-nanny communication is key, and that starts with a comprehensive employment contract. This template really does cover everything, including nanny responsibilities, wages, time off, benefits, schedule, confidentiality, phone policy, and more. Considered the industry standard, this tool will help avoid misunderstandings and hurt feelings down the road. Visit the website for more information and to purchase.
This blog, run by a former early-childhood educator turned stay-at-home parent, has simple, educational, engaging activities for toddlers using materials you probably already have. You can browse activities by skill area—math, literacy, science, art, or fine/gross motor skills—or by activity type—messy, bath time, indoor/outdoor, and more.
Debi Baer, R.N., aka "The Car Seat Lady," is an authoritative expert on child passenger safety; click here to check out her and her team's credentials. The site has information on choosing, installing, and using car seats, boosters, and strollers, including reviews and recommendations for specific models. In addition to the website, the company offers in-person car seat lessons and installations in New York and Baltimore; click here to book.
Children are born innately knowing how to eat. A lifetime of hearing "clean your plate," "eat your vegetables first," and other messages surrounding food erases this knowledge and creates power struggles at mealtimes. Nutritionist Ellyn Satter's philosophy will help you raise well-nourished children who enjoy and have a healthy relationship with food. Buy on Amazon, or check out the Ellyn Satter Institute website, which has most of the information you need to know. (A great companion book geared towards adults is Intuitive Eating by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch; learn the 10 principles here.
Everyday Feminism is an intersectional-feminist online magazine with tons of information on children and bodily autonomy, race, gender, sex, and relationships. It's an amazing resource for raising decent humans decently. Follow on Facebook for compelling articles, cartoons, and infographics.
Young children are particularly vulnerable to food-borne illnesses; according to the World Health Organization, one-third of food-poisoning deaths are in children under five, although they make up less than a tenth of the world's population. Scientific knowledge indicates that most instances of food poisoning can be traced to improper food handling and storage. This site explains four important food-safety steps (clean, separate, cook, and chill), debunks myths, and identifies common mistakes.
Happiest Baby on the Block and Happiest Toddler on the Block are two of the best new-parent instruction manuals available. Author Harvey Karp, M.D., co-founded Happiest Baby in 2001 with his partner, Nina Montée Karp. Dr. Karp also maintains a blog with advice on infant/toddler sleep, health and safety, and general care. (Just be prepared for the website to sell you heavily on the Snoo, a $1,200 bassinet that promises to promote safe sleep and induce the calming reflex with three of the 5 S's.") Purchase Happiest Baby on the Block here.
The American Academy of Pediatrics runs this site, making it an encyclopedic reservoir of evidence-based tips and guidelines on pediatric health and safety. Use the search feature to answer questions such as, "How long should my child sit rear-facing in the car?" "Are crib bumpers safe?" Or, just browse. The site addresses everything from childhood illnesses to choking hazards to time-outs to toilet training. It's easy to fall down the rabbit hole on this site; for example, this page on setting up an effective bedtime routine for your child has additional links on sleep, early literacy, and oral health.
Author Tovah Klein, Ph.D., aka "the toddler whisperer," heads the Barnard College Center for Toddler Development in Manhattan. Her book is a must-read for anyone going through the terrible twos... or threes, or fours, or fives. Buy it on Amazon.
A Mighty Girl is a comprehensive media guide "for smart, confident, and courageous girls." The site also has a parents' guide on topics such as bullying, life skills, self-esteem, and body image. Follow on Facebook for a daily dose of girl power in your newsfeed.
"Stranger danger" is a thing of the past—teach your children about "tricky people" and follow these safety rules to protect your little ones from predators. Featured on Good Morning America, CNN, and MSNBC, Safely Ever After founder Pattie Fitzgerald has been teaching predator-safety awareness since 2001. This program is effective but not fear-based; in fact, the safety tips advise a calm, laid-back approach. Especially in a city where we're constantly out-and-about and on the go, this preventative education just makes good sense. It also teaches children bodily autonomy, a key concept in sexuality education and self-care.
Tribeca Pediatrics is famous for founder Michel Cohen, M.D.'s sleep training philosophy featuring "le pause." Pamela Druckerman wrote about this in her 2012 book, Bringing Up Bébé. Though controversial, this sleep training method is extremely effective if you must have your baby sleeping through the night. Tribeca Pediatric's website explains the method and has a fairly comprehensive pediatric health and safety guide called "The New Basics: A to Z Baby and Childcare." Dr. Cohen's similarly named book was released in 2004.
Robin Einzig runs this consultation/parent-education service focusing on mindful/proactive parenting. The blog and Facebook discussion group are amazing resources for caregivers who follow the RIE philosophy.
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