What is responsive caregiving and why does it matter?
This is when the caregiver is tuning into the baby's cues, thinking about what the baby is trying to communicate, and responding to the baby through words or actions or meeting their needs. It's critical that children experience this in their first 2 years to develop trust, interest in the world, and the ability to pay attention, and forms the foundation for all brain development. We tell our nannies that they are part of building that strong foundation to the other building blocks and skills we associate with intelligence and success.
Nanny 'n Me
Nearby schools & colleges
Zonnebloem College Estate
Wynberg Boys Junior School
Main Road Wynberg
Weekly hands on sessions for your nanny and baby or toddler. Nannies can walk to our venues and learn about play and development.
Children make their first friends! The session entails an hour of hands on training with your child run by an Occupational therapist. Your nanny learns about stimulating your child's development and how your child reaches their milestones through play. Your child makes something every week. You get a weekly email with photos plus home fun ideas for nanny to do together with your child. She receive
What is responsive caregiving and why does it matter?
Nanny 'n Me founder, Lara Schoenfeld is writing a book! Read below Lara's thoughts behind writing the book and a bit of what you can expect from it.
"Something is coming! It's been a lifelong dream to write a book and it's on its way! So far the title is "Great Nanny, Happy baby. The new mom's guide to returning to work with peace of mind." I started writing last year in May and it will soon be off to the publisher. What a wonderful process putting down what I've learnt over the last ten years working with moms, nannies, and precious little ones.
Why did I write a book?
Every child deserves the best start in life. Every working mom feels how can I possibly leave this little one in someone else's arms to care for. And I believe every family needs an incredible nanny to provide top-quality care to little ones. What is top-quality care? This happens when a baby forms a trusting relationship with a responsive caregiver in a safe, nurturing home environment, and is played with to stimulate the head and the heart. This book looks at how to find an amazing nanny, what to look for, what skills are critical and may need training, as well as how to hand over to a nanny once you have to leave for work." Lara Schoenfeld
One of our strap lines at Nanny 'n me is Inspired Nanny. Thriving Child. Confident Parent.
Through our weekly groups where babies explore through play guided by their nannies, they build not only the architecture of their brains, but also their bond. Your nanny is inspired to grow and develop herself and feels purpose in her work. She knows the critical role she plays in your baby's ability to thrive.
Quality early child care lays a foundation that affects all areas of lifelong wellbeing. And as a working mom, you can be certain your baby is happy, safe and stimulated whilst you're at work- confidence!
We are in week two of our first learning block of the year. SO exciting to see our nannies and babies from last year and LOTS of new faces too. This block is an overview on types of play and development, so that your nanny can learn the terms we use to describe development through hands on activities!
As we start the year we would like to encourage you to get off to a good start with:
1. Nanny contract - download here. https://nannynme.co.za/wp/for-employers-the-law/
2. Clarify expectations and ensure the job description is clear.
3. Set a lunch date with your nanny to have a performance appraisal.
4. Ask your nanny where she would like to grow this year.
For more information on how to thrive with your nanny, see our post series "How to have a great mom-nanny team"
"We’ve all been there - we are heading back to work but don’t yet have peace of mind that your little one is getting the care they need. That’s why I’m speaking at Return to Work: Preparing parents for going back to work - to share with you my knowledge and tips for ensuring your baby is loved, nurtured, and stimulated while in the care of a nanny, childcare worker, or preschool." Lara Schoenfeld, Founder of Nanny 'n Me
Here are the details to book:
When: 24 January 2023 @ 8pm SAST
Where: Online (you will receive a Zoom link on confirmation of booking)
It’s free to attend and we would love to see you there! Book your place now and come away empowered and inspired!
Book your spot here: https://bit.ly/3QAjha1
It's not too late to sign up your nanny and little one for one of our groups!
Head over to our website - www.nannynme.co.za - to find your nearest group and enquire. We look forward to hearing from you!
Every year I reflect on the last and always come up with 99 ways I could be doing things better, and at least half of those in some way seem to be related to wanting to be a better mom. Know the feeling? What if we celebrated all the ways we are great moms? I know my boys think I'm the best mom in the world to them - why am I so hard on myself?
As you enter 2023 fellow mom, let's focus on your strengths. I find this gives me the positive outlook I need to get through the million things that life throws at me while I work and parent! What are you great at?
Book a free session - We start groups on Monday the 16th with our "Introduction to development" and all things play block! Just type yes please, your email address and area in the comments 😃☑
Nanny 'n Me updated their info in the about section.
Happy New Year! As 2023 dawns, we hope it will be a blessed year for you and your family! Who can't wait for their nanny to return from leave?
Boxes are one of our favourite toys - we show nannies all through the year how to use them in all kinds of ways to stimulate very skill your child needs!! That is because boxes are open-ended and encourage a child's natural curiosity. There is no right or wrong way to play with a box, it can become anything you want it to be. A tunnel, a house, a cart, a posting box, something to scribble on!
This is what my son recently did with a box...
⭐️✨🎄Wishing you, your family, and all the nannies a truly blessed Christmas! For those who celebrate the birth of Christ, may you be reminded of how he entered the world as a baby, helpless and poor. ⭐️✨🎄
Faith makes all things possible,
Hope makes all things work,
Love makes all things beautiful,
May you have all three this Christmas
In our Amazing Nanny survey, many moms mentioned communication. Depending on your nanny’s educational background, written communication may be difficult, especially if your mother tongue is not her first language. But the ability to verbally communicate and operate as a team is essential regarding your baby’s day-to-day care. Research shows that babies need to have a continuum of care so that when there is a handover, the next caregiver understands the baby's state and can better interpret their cues. Ensure you have a mini handover every morning and afternoon with your nanny. Using Whatsapp is very helpful.
Book your space for 2023!
For NEW clients, activate the 10 % January discount. Type EARLYBIRD10 your email and suburb in the question box.
"When my boys were 3 and 16 months we did 1 6000 km journey to Botswana. I bought one of these (shorturl.at/apwA8) for the back of each front chair and attached it to my head rest and my hubbys. Little did I know that the front seat would remain vacant for most of the trip and I would be nestled between two car seats! Anyway what really did work were these shoe storage hangings. Each son also had a tray for their lap. I filled them with things like:
Paper and crayons
Magnetic shapes and a metal tray (stored under our seats)
Chalk and small chalkboard/whiteboard (reversible)
White board marker (give them a wet wipe to clean the board - they love this)
Posting pompoms or macaroni into a tissue box/wetwipe container
Some Duplo blocks
-Lara Schoenfeld, Founder of Nanny 'n Me
From our Amazing Nanny survey, the third consideration that emerged in employing an excellent nanny is personality fit. Moms in the survey expressed that they just had a gut feeling that this person was the right person. The nanny followed mom’s instructions from day one, but she wasn't too scared to sometimes say what she thought as well. As this is such a personal relationship that takes place daily in your home, this is a very important point. Maybe in the workplace, you have had the experience where you see someone's CV and think they will be perfect for the job. And then you meet them in an interview and realise that you just don't have the same values or outlook or you just know they won't be a good fit for the company. So trust your gut moms!
Early bird special!! If you have never been to a Nanny 'n Me group, here's your chance:) Watch the video to see how easy it is to sign up and use your 10% discount for January. Be sure to use the code in the Notes or Referrer boxes on our sign-up form. go to www.nannynme.co.za
Amazing Nanny 🤩🌸
As we posted last week, we recently surveyed our moms to find out what makes their nanny amazing. From the results the second category that emerge was their character. The top four traits that moms felt were essential in their nanny - she is trustworthy, reliable, takes responsibility and shows a willingness to learn. These may seem obvious - but the first three are the currency of trust in this relationship between parents and nanny. The last one is so important as many nannies may be a mother themselves and so know how to care for a baby - how to change a nappy, soothe and feed. The other critical skills are safety and stimulation. This info may help the mom out there who is deciding if she should train up her domestic worker to become their nanny. The answer is YES! If she exhibits all of these character traits and connects with your child, she can learn any skills.
Our first completed 'Growing Together' year with ten babies and ten toddlers with their moms in Khayelitsha. Amazing times of bonding and brain-building play, incredible growth - see what the moms have to say! If you would like to get involved or donate towards our work there, please be in touch. [email protected]
Baby Container Syndrome
"We have seen such an increase in issues arising from babies being put in devices for a prolonged period of time, that they’ve even given disorders associated with this the name “container baby syndrome”.
Babies are perfectly designed to develop according to the body’s requirements at that stage. When we look at the shape of the spine at birth, it’s very C-shaped. From learning to lift their own head, muscles get strengthened and then by the time a baby is walking, body weight will be shifted to the spine and create the correct shape in the spine for balance, flexibility and shock absorption. Placing babies into walking rings, jumpers and sitting devices puts their ligaments, joints and muscles under strain before they are ready. Some musculoskeletal conditions that may arise from container baby syndrome are tight muscles, joints that don’t move adequately, torticollis (spasm in one of the neck muscles causing the head to tilt to one side) and plagiocephaly (a flattened head).
Neurologically, babies need to move to learn about the world around them, but also to learn about their own bodies and their bodies’ position in space. This will help them go through the correct transitions and meet the important milestones of sitting, rolling, standing and walking, which all play a huge part in how they will grow, play and develop. When given opportunities for active movement, babies then have the opportunity to develop and use their OWN strength and this has been proven to benefit their muscles, joints and ligaments and also their brain development."
Dr Caitlyn Bauer
Amazing Nanny 🤩🌸
We recently did a survey, asking our clients what makes their nanny amazing...Let's look at the results over the next few weeks.
Number one is ‘A passion for children’. This may seem obvious, but moms expressed their nanny has an evident love for children, an ability to connect with children, and a real sense that this isn't just a job for this person. The nanny expresses that she feels that she was created to be a carer of children. This is confirmed by neuroscience and known as responsive caregiving. In the research, responsive caregiving has been found to improve physical, social and cognitive health for children, and has a lifelong impact on them (Sherer et al, 2019). Caregivers are able to read baby’s signals and importantly, are emotionally available to do so. They respond appropriately and positively. They help your baby to focus on a play activity, they express encouragement through their words and their own emotions. “More frequent displays of responsive caregiving in early childhood have been linked to lower amounts of behavioral issues at three years of age, higher intelligence at four and twelve years of age, and positive academic outcomes at seven years of age”. https://bmcpublichealth.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12889-019-6571-1
Are you a new mom needing to go back to work and wondering how to you find the best childcare for your little one? Join Lara Schoenfeld for a FREE live 90minute webinar this Thursday.
Lara will talk through her 5 S framework:
2. Sensitive caregiving
5. Switching gears
And so avoid making the top 3 mistakes when hiring a nanny.
We run this webinar weekly at 13:00.
Visit www.goingbacktowork.co.za to book your spot.
Know for certain that your baby is in excellent hands!
🌸Nanny appreciation 🥰
Here are 12 awesome ways moms shared how they show appreciation to their nanny in our recent 'Amazing Nanny' survey.
Time off when she needs it! Some days she finishes early
We tell her we love her constantly and we could not live without her.
We give her lifts to and from work.
Paying her properly as she looks after my most precious possession.
Kids send voicenotes to her when she is on leave or when we are away we video call to let her know we miss her
Including her and family in our child's 1st birthday thanking her in my speech
We send extra goodies and gifts for her kids
Supporting her children to thrive
Praise her verbally.
Buy her new bedding and decor for her room
For V's birthday, I send her to a salon for a manicure and a pedicure (and a half day off).
We share all the treats in the house and include her on the family WhatsApp group.
Yay! We just love getting busy with our babies and toddlers during this learning block as the nannies learn about big muscle development. We will be crawling, throwing, running, catching, and balancing in the jungle week by week! The importance of core muscles and how to develop them in your child will be a big focus through fun, playful activities. We love knowing that we help to ensure all the building blocks are in place for handwriting, reading and concentrating in school later!
Did you know we have location pages as well as our main page?
Why don't give your local group a follow too so that you can see what local events they have running and what they are up to?
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Is my toddler too clingy?
Do you sometimes feel you have a velcro baby? Did you think your toddler would have grown out of this by now? Do you worry your child isn't social enough? Three reasons why you shouldn't stress:
1. Between 9 and 18 months (but this may continue until 2 years of age) children naturally experience 'separation anxiety'. Baby's brain realizes that objects exist even when baby can't see them. This means when you are out of sight they are more aware of the fact that mommy is gone. This causes emotional upset which is normal. Try remember that your child's brain is changing and developing and read our article for strategies to help.
2. Baby's temperament. Babies have different sensory systems and some are 'underactive', meaning that baby doesn't register all the sensory info coming at them. They will either seek out more sensory info - which a busy social environment provides OR watch it go by. This shows up as two profiles a 'social baby' or a 'content baby'. Other babies are more 'over-reactive' and may therefore avoid sensory info - thereby sticking to mommy in a new place and calculating if it's a safe place OR becoming fussy and overstimulated easily. A social situation can feel a bit overwhelming and unpredictable for them. Give them time and use words to help them anticipate a new social scenario.
3. Social development stages. Babies are strongly connected to their caregivers and this is 100% necessary and appropriate for healthy socialization later on. Generally, children begin to actively socialise from the age of 3 years when they are using language and able to express themselves more. Healthy attachment to our caregivers helps us to develop trust and begin to venture beyond our 'safe place'.
Is Nanny 'n Me right for you?
If so, visit our website to book at a group near you, or at one of our virtual groups. Your first session is free! https://nannynme.co.za/wp/our-groups-view-by-map/
To read our blog post The First 1000 Days of Life click here: https://nannynme.co.za/wp/the-first-1000-days-of-life/
First Aid training for your nanny is essential. Remember to refresh every two years. Charlene from Safe Kids says: "Accidents happen quickly and unexpectedly, and it is vital that every nanny knows how to deal with a medical emergency around the home. This is why they should attend a basic CPR and First Aid course, to empower them with basic life saving skills and to give them the confidence to deal with an emergency."
Some First Aid courses we can recommend are:
Super Nannies SA
The Nanny Movement
Sharon Oates - Family Wellness Clinics
Vital Life Training
Hands on CPR
Myth 4 - My toddler will just LOVE their new baby sibling
As we looked at in Myth 2, sharing toys isn't easy for toddlers. Now imagine sharing mommy and daddy when a new baby comes along! It's such an abstract concept to little ones even if you have involved them in the pregnancy as much as possible prior to baby arriving. Try these:
Acknowledge their feelings and remind them that you love them.
Be sure to spend some one on one time with them, even 15 minutes of focused attention will fill their tanks.
Try to involve them if they are eager to help. For example getting things for baby. Praise them for being so helpful.
Have a goodie box set up for your toddler wherever you feed your newborn. Have some books, healthy treats, draw and wipe books, stickers. This will help keep your toddler busy when you are sitting down and feeding - often when they want you most!
Know that regression is normal. Consider getting your toddler a 'gift' from the baby. Say the baby loves their big brother or big sister.
Keep your toddler's routine as much as possible.
Children learn best from someone who knows just a bit more than they do. This is why siblings of older children often speak faster and have earlier movement milestones - they are trying to keep up! A famous child learning psychologist, Vygotsky, said that this is the zone of learning - the difference between what a child can do on their own versus what they need help with. That gap is the opportunity for learning. Younger children learn so much from observing older children and through imitation. An in-tune caregiver also scaffolds (another Vygotskian term) or supports development by providing the just right challenge for a child they know well. Our nannies learn this week by week in our groups - how to guide children in this learning zone without taking over play. Many parents worry about their child being the youngest or the oldest in a group - younger ones have rich learning experiences and older ones love taking the lead and 'teaching' younger little ones. They learn a lot when explaining or showing a skill to someone else! Playmates of the same age know just about as much as each other developmentally. In many of the best education systems in the world, mixed-age play is the norm until about 6 or 7 years.
Why certificates? Nanny 'n me isn't just a fun social outing for babies and nannies. Yes, we have a blast together but at the heart of our curriculum is equipping nannies to play at home. We train your nanny to see any activity for its potential to develop your baby's brain. To use activities to bond with your baby. To see the crucial role nanny plays every day, all day while mom is at work. To be creative! And every six weeks she receives a certificate to acknowledge her learning and the IMPLEMENTING she has done at home. True training inspires a nanny to love her work, to love seeing baby grow and glow!
What to do when a child chokes?
What is choking? When the airway is BLOCKED by an object.
If they are able to talk/babble/cough – encourage them to cough. They will most likely be able to cough the object out on their own. Do not pat them on the back – this may cause the object to fall back down into the airway.
If the airway is completely obstructed and there are no sounds or a high-pitched sound or not able to breathe then:
Kneel on the ground. Hold the baby face down over your forearm, resting on your thigh. Give 5 back slaps between the shoulder blades.
If unsuccessful, turn the baby over and give 5 chest thrusts between the baby's ni***es.
Repeat these 2 steps until the object comes out.
This is why it is important not to leave little ones on their own when they are eating so that you can be right there to help should they choke.
NB Reading this is not the same as going for a proper first aid course! Remember to follow up with a refresher course every 2 years. Practice this with a doll today!
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