NEIGHBORHOOD PARENTS NETWORK

August 31, 2011

When I was pregnant with my oldest daughter five years ago I received lots of advice from tenured Mom’s and Dad’s. The pearl of wisdom that came up often was, “You have to join the Neighborhood Parents Network At the time I had never heard of the network, but after about the 3rd recommendation I took the advice and became an NPN member. What I discovered was a valuable parent’s network where real parents share advice, information, and resources.

In August I was invited to write an article for their online blog. The article proceeds. Enjoy!

Having a Nanny is wonderful — but it can also be confusing, overwhelming, and downright scary at times. Here are some straightforward tips for for parents looking for a great nanny.

Q: What advice do you give parents looking to hire a nanny?

A: The first piece of advice I have is to first time Moms who’ve chosen to return to their careers. You must own your choices and tune into your emotions during this transition. If you are deeply conflicted about leaving your children with someone else it can create enormous emotional strain. You may get passive-aggressive with a nanny or be resentful of her for reasons that have nothing to do with the quality of the work she’s doing but instead result from the fact that you haven’t yet come to terms with the choices you’ve made. Work to get past the guilt, anguish and fear. Everyone involved will benefit.

Q: I’ve interviewed several good nannies and am having trouble choosing the right one.

A: Be brutally honest with yourself. What qualities are your truly seeking in your nanny? Are you seeking someone who’ll be your proxy or someone who has qualities you don’t have? It’s a hard thing to admit to yourself. Evaluate your own strengths and weaknesses and choose someone who will enrich and enhance the lives of your children. Get out a pen and pad of paper and write down your list of “must have” traits. Know what kind of person you are looking for so you’ll recognize her when you meet her.

Q: When should I hire a nanny?

A: If you are a new mom returning to work plan to launch your search at least 6-8 weeks before your return to work date. Another great tip – consider hiring a postpartum doula. When you leave the hospital after giving birth you are going to be tired. Around the clock feedings and sleep deprivation doesn’t have to eclipse the joy of new parenthood. Many couples will confess some of their biggest arguments came during the stressful first months after bringing home baby. An experienced Postpartum doula or caregiver is trained to care for mothers and their families in this time of need. They provide household help, advice in newborn care and feeding, emotional support, sibling care, meal preparation, and errand running. A lot of us who are working women may not have been steeped in the motherly arts the way we would have been thirty years ago — with sisters, aunts, and extended family holding our hands as we begin this journey. We don’t live up the street from our mothers anymore. You and your partner do not have to go at it alone.

Q: One of the biggest worries parents have is “How do I know I can trust this person”?

A: You must do your due diligence — check references, employment history, and conduct a thorough background check. Spend a few days at home going through the daily routine with the nanny and making the rounds with her. If your budget allows go through a good agency, it can be very helpful in screening out people. For example, my agency Cambridge Nanny Group rejects 95% of our applicants during the screening process for one reason or another. Most importantly trust your gut. Every major mistake I’ve made in my life is because I’ve ignored my intuition or blew past red flags. You should feel good, even excited , about your decision. If you are a spiritual person pray or meditate over the decision. If you have an unsettled feelings stop and reevaluate. Remember that doubt means don’t. If you are returning to work and still haven’t found “the one” consider hiring a temp while you continue your search for a permanent nanny.

Q: Why isn’t it a good idea to treat my nanny as a member of the family?

A: There is a tremendous amount of love being shared between families and nannies. That’s beautiful and it’s real. I’m all for that. I would never suggest that we should all be incredibly business like in our dealings with one another. However, I do think we have to be business like in the fundamentals of the job. You have to be clearly communicate your expectations and precisely outline duties and responsibilities. With that said, you also have to respect your nannies work and boundaries. The minute you disregard that or think that her love of your children is motivating her to do the job, you are making a mistake. It’s just the same in an office environment. We will go to extra lengths for a boss we respect and like. The bottom-line is that we’ve hired her to do a job, her time is precious, and it’s a tough job. Of course the best nannies are gifted caregivers, but I don’t ever make the mistake of thinking my nanny is with us just for the fun of it.

Ingrid Kellaghan is the founder and president of Cambridge Nanny Group. She is married with two smoochalicious daughters, ages 4 and 2. In her free time, which is rare, she enjoys a good nap.


Cambridge Nanny Group
4707 N Broadway
3rd Floor
Chicago, IL 60640
Telephone: 773-856-5525 

Website: www.cambridgenannygroup.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/cambridgenanny
Twitter: http://twitter.com/nanny_cambridge


Our favorite British Nanny – Rachel Waddilove

August 26, 2011

August 26, 2011

CAMBRIDIGE NANNY GROUP CHATS WITH RACHEL WADDILOVE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In America we love British Imports. Think: The Beatles, Nigella Lawson, Jamie Oliver, and JK Rowling. The current British sensation is Baby Guru Rachel Waddilove. Many Americans may have not heard of her…..yet.

Rachel Waddilove has cared for thousands of babies and her client families include British Royals, Member’s of Parliament, and the most famous and wealthiest families in the world – like the beautiful actress Gwyneth Paltrow and rocker husband Chris Martin, Minnie Driver and Sheryl Crow.

 

Why do those who can afford the very best newborn care seek her out? Rachel says, “It’s my down to earth practical advice based on my (40) years experience as a nurse, as a mother, and a grandmother.” She is no nonsense, humble, endearing, warm, and reassuringly calm. Her remarkably soothing voice – alone – could quite possibly soothe the fussiest baby.

Rachel’s life mission is not only caring for the babies but transferring her knowledge to the parents. She says, “I help Mom’s and Dad’s by teaching and guiding them. I am like an older sister or Mom. Many parents fear they are doing something wrong or not doing it right,” and their trepidation can eclipse the joy of the newborn experience. “I give them confidence”, she explains.

Rachel provides hands-on live-in 24-hour care for newborns for durations that last anywhere from 1 day to 6 weeks. Recently, however, she’s focused her attention on running a Baby and Childcare consultancy business called “Rachel’s Babies”. She has also written two books – ‘The Baby Book – How to Enjoy Year One’ and ‘The Toddler Book – How to Enjoy your Growing Child’.

Rachel also provides telephone consultations too for new parents, expectant parents, and all who want the best care for their children. Brilliant!
“It is amazing that phone consultations work so well”, says Rachel. “We talk through the problems and address all areas” including: needs for the nursery, coming home from hospital, breast feeding vs bottle feeding, establishing a routine, sleep, crying, and introducing solid food.

Rachel works very early on getting babies into a sleep pattern and regular feedings “It’s important that a baby has a full tummy. A baby without a full tummy won’t sleep. If a mother is breastfeeding and not producing enough milk by the end of the day I may suggest topping off with formula to ensure the baby is full” , says Rachel.

She pioneers her own approach of a unique routine which meets the needs of the parents and other children. She teaches babies to settle themselves as early as possible which means swaddling them (properly) and allowing them to wind down with what she smartly calls a “good shout”.

Gwyneth Paltrow has championed Rachel’s methods, saying “Rachel’s flexible yet structured schedule was just the thing for our daughter. Using Rachel’`s techniques, Apple was sleeping through the night at a six-seven hour stretch by six weeks, which afforded me freedom. She was a very happy and settled baby. I believe this is because Rachel put us in a routine so that Apple always felt that there was a loving structure around her. Rachel’s advice on everything from breastfeeding to parenting was invaluable.” Gwyneth liked Rachel so much she asked her back to care for her second child, Moses.

Although Rachel is in the business of nurturing and caring for others, she also understands the importance of taking time for herself. You can’t give to others what you don’t have yourself. “I am a Christian and my faith is very important”, says Rachel. “That has really been my rock” she explains.

Weekends for Rachel are reserved to refresh and renew. “I make sure to take time off on weekends. You have to have time where you can take a break. On Sunday, I simply do not turn the computer, literally. I use weekends to get refreshed by spending time with my family, friends, or on my own…It’s incredibly important” says Rachel. A message for all of us to remember.

Thank you Rachel for changing the world one baby at a time. Hugs from America.

Rachel lives in Devon, England with her husband John, a retired farmer. If you are interested in learning more about Rachel’s services or if you’re interested in a telephone consultation please visit her website Rachel’s Babies

You can also purchase her books online at Amazon or Barnes and Noble

 

Learn More:  http://www.rachelsbabies.com

 

Cambridge Nanny Group

4707 N Broadway
3rd Floor
Chicago, IL 60640
Telephone: 773-856-5525

Website: www.cambridgenannygroup.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/cambridgenanny
Twitter: http://twitter.com/nanny_cambridge

 

Chicago Indoor Play Ideas

INDOOR PLAY IDEAS

Never again listen to the words “I’m sooo bored”
Heard from a child who must stay indoors
Don’t let bad weather keep the fun away
Here is a list of great indoor spaces to play.

OPEN PLAY

Fantasy Kingdom
1422 N. Kingsbury St.

Family Grounds Café
3652 N. Lincoln Ave

Explore & Much More
3827 N. Southport

Hobbitland
1504 N. Western Ave.

Kid City
1837 W. Grand Ave.

Tot Spot (ages 4 and under)
Chase Park Buidling, Chicago Park District, 4701 N. Ashland Ave.

McDonald’s PlayPlace
Roscoe Village – 2608 W. Addison

Center on Halsted
Halsted. 2nd Floor Playroom (free)

Little Beans Cafe
1809 W. Webster

Skokie Exploritorium
4701 Oakton St Skokie, IL

SCHEDULED CLASSES GALORE…AND LIMITED OPEN PLAY

Gymboree Play & Music
3158 N. Lincoln Ave.
1030 W. North Ave.
600 W. Roosevelt Rd.

Bubbles Academy
1504 N. Fremont St.

My Corner Playroom
2121 N. Clybourn Ave.

My Gym
1880 W. Fullerton Ave.

Pump It Up
821 W. Eastman St.

Jump Ahead Academy
2260 N. Clark St.

MUSEUMS
Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum
2430 N. Cannon Dr.

Chicago Children’s Museum
700 E. Grand

The Field Museum
1400 S. Lake Shore Dr.

John G. Shedd Aquarium
1200 S. Lake Shore Dr.

Museum of Science & Industry
57th Street & Lake Shore Drive

Adler Planetarium
1300 S. Lake Shore Dr.
(Note: Be sure to stop by your local public library to pick up a FREE pass to any Chicago museum. First come first serve so call ahead to see what’s available. Although they do not reserve passes).

If you have a suggestion to add to this list please email laura@cambridgenannygroup.com and tell us why.


Cambridge Nanny Group
4707 N Broadway
3rd Floor
Chicago, IL 60640
Telephone: 773-856-5525 

Website: www.cambridgenannygroup.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/cambridgenanny
Twitter: http://twitter.com/nanny_cambridge


Goo-Goo-Ga-Ga Over Dapple Baby


We are thrilled to announce of product sample partnership with Dabble Baby. Dapple is a line of natural-based cleaning products for households with children. Dapple products are baby-safe and baby-specific using ingredients found in nature that are also proven to tackle unique baby cleaning challenges, dried milk on bottle to sticky fingerprints on toys.

Parents and caregivers who attend our Chicago family orientation or training programs will receive free samples. Don’t you love it! Thank you Dapple Baby!
Works for Baby. Works for You.
For baby…

At Dapple, we know that babies come with their own unique cleaning challenges – whether it’s trying to get rid of the milk, odor, and film you find on baby bottles, or keeping baby’s toys and hands clean without harsh chemicals.

Created with input from leading pediatricians and a team of chemists with expertise in green cleaning technology, each one of our products is specially formulated to solve a different baby-related cleaning problem, with natural-based ingredients that are baby-friendly – and designed to address the specific issue at hand.
For you…

Dapple takes the time, hassle, and worry out of cleaning and caring for your baby, with products that are gentle enough for baby, yet powerful enough for your everyday needs. Plus, Dapple products are safer for the environment, so you know you’ll be making things better for many generations of babies to come.
Try Dapple now!


Cambridge Nanny Group
4707 N Broadway
3rd Floor
Chicago, IL 60640
Telephone: 773-856-5525 

Website: www.cambridgenannygroup.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/cambridgenanny
Twitter: http://twitter.com/nanny_cambridge


A Note from our Founder

“When I first became a mom, I found a market full of “nanny services” – from online job boards resume databases, and employment agencies.  But there was nothing specific that met the caliber I wanted and needed. I met the same frustration my single girlfriends experienced when using online dating sites. Profiles didn’t match actual work experinces and photos often didn’t even resemble the actual person. I was always concerned about safety of the job board background checks and their ability to verify the actual person I was meeting. I also soon noticed that the process demanded a huge time commitment.  It became my mission to find a better way – and create a safe, trusted, and efficient way to find an experienced nanny and other domestic staff. Using expert recruitment and assessment best practices I perfected while managing human capital and talent management programs for Fortune 500 companies including Deloitte, United Airlines, and Microsoft/Razorfish, Cambridge Nanny Group was born.

Today, Cambridge Nanny Group offers a full line of services tailor-made for households with young children – including our flagship service, Cambridge View Virtual Introductions. Parents are now able to view video’s of prescreened candidates who match their job requirements from the comfort of their home or office 24/7 – from anywhere in the world. Hear and see candidate responses in their own words via high quality videos. Weeks of waiting for scheduling and coordinating of in-person interviews are shortened or eliminated with recorded virtual interviews. You may choose to pass on certain candidates or invite others to a formal in-person interview. Your in the drivers seat.  Cambridge Nanny Group only refers candidates who pass our rigorous background screening and selection process.

We’re so proud to be able to bring Cambridge Nanny Group to parents.  And there’s more services in the pipeline, as we continue to find new and better ways to tackle domestic help challenges!  Be sure to check back to our site as we add new services to the Cambridge Family, or join our mailing list to be notified of news and special offers as they happen.”


Cambridge Nanny Group
4707 N Broadway
3rd Floor
Chicago, IL 60640
Telephone: 773-856-5525 

Website: www.cambridgenannygroup.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/cambridgenanny
Twitter: http://twitter.com/nanny_cambridge


Are you the next Supernanny?

  

AMERICA’S SUPERNANNY NOW CASTING
Lifetime is searching the country for nannies, parenting coaches, teachers, and childcare experts for the all new AMERICA’S SUPERNANNY!

Producers of Super Nanny contacted Cambridge Nanny Group. The well-known cable

network, Lifetime, is launching the all-new unscripted series America’s SuperNanny, marking

the first true U.S. version of the hit global format that will feature an American homegrown

nanny. The producers of Lifetime’s parenting series AMERICA’S SUPERNANNY

are currently casting. They are sending casting teams around the country

to find the star of the show.  They will be conducting open calls and

interviews in Chicago, Boston, New York and Los Angeles.  If you are

interested in the show, please email the Casting Team ASAP and provide,

a little bit about yourself, your resume and a recent photo.  

Please E-mail the Casting Team directly at: KRapheal@ShedMediaUS.com


OPEN CALL INFORMATION: 

Los Angeles, CA                             
Saturday, August 20, 2011
10:00am – 2:00pm
Sheraton Universal Hotel 
 
Chicago, IL                                                               
Sunday, August 28, 2011
10:00am – 2:00pm                                                     
The Palmer House Hilton      
 
New York, NY 
Sunday, August 28, 2011
10:00am – 3:00pm
The Muse Hotel


 

Cambridge Nanny Group

4707 N Broadway
3rd Floor
Chicago, IL 60640
Telephone: 773-856-5525

Website: www.cambridgenannygroup.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/cambridgenanny
Twitter: http://twitter.com/nanny_cambridge

 

Separating from the Pack

August 19, 2011

We’ve recently wrapped filming Cambridge Nanny Group commercials and I’d like to take the time to thank some very special people:

Kevin – It all started with you giving us the Green Light. Thank you for championing our project.

Danielle – Where do we begin to say, “Thank you”? I’ll start with: wonderful, talented, poised, dedicated, and gorgeous inside and out. (Fans: you may recognize Danielle from her Volkswagen commercials. Yes, she’s THE Volkswagen girl.)

Drew: Thank your running the camera. You rocked it!

Jameson – Man of many talents and hats. You not only rounded out our production team but was instrumental in a successful shoot. Uber gratitude.

Jessica – | Hair Stylist | Makeup Artist. You are gifted at making people shine! Always a pleasure and your sweet presence brought such a beautiful energy to the set. Thank you

Danny and Nolan – You are digital geniuses. Thank you for all your hard work on our i-projects and thank you in advance for your post-production work on our website.

Macy’s Department store – Thank you for such beautiful dresses.
Ingrid – Executive Producer.

In my career I’ve always taken big risks. I believe your reality is what you make it and you have to make it happen for yourself, however, there seemed to be something greater than ourselves that brought this project and talent together. Thank you God.

Thank you to our brilliant technical team. A special thank you to our dedicated and hard working corporate staff. You joined Cambridge Nanny Group because you believed in the company’s vision and mission. You never worry about what others are doing – you are committed to pushing the envelope. Always forging into unknown territory. You’ve worked har It’s because of you Cambridge Nanny Group has earned success. Competitors can never duplicate our magic or passion for our own respective life’s work. I drive to work each and every day excited to come to work. I’ve dreamed of this for a very long time and thank you for helping make it a reality.

Thank you everyone for your phenomenal job well done.
xoxox
Ingrid


Cambridge Nanny Group
4707 N Broadway
3rd Floor
Chicago, IL 60640
Telephone: 773-856-5525 

Website: www.cambridgenannygroup.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/cambridgenanny
Twitter: http://twitter.com/nanny_cambridge