Archive for the ‘childcare’ Category

Upper East Side and Inwood Groups and Events

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010

Metro Minis: New Mom’s Support Group- with Jessica Shapley

Wednesdays at 12pm starting April 14 at 12pm
6 session series

Bread and Yoga: New Mom’s Support Group - with Jessica Shapley

Tuesdays at 12:30 – Spring session begins April 20th

For moms and their babies, newborn-6 months

Topics in the group include: Mom and baby  wellness, breast  feeding,  bottle  feeding, sleep issues, staying at home versus working outside the home, isolation, childcare, family life, self image & more. Be a part of a growing community of new  families right here in  your neighborhood

Sleep Workshop – Tuesday, April 6th at 11am

Explore sleep solutions for the whole family. A talk for parents with babies newborn-12 months. We’ll talk about schedules techniques for calming age appropriate expectations and more……..plenty of time for questions

Infant Massage Workshop - Sunday, April 18th at 2pm

For parents and caregivers with babies newborn to pre-crawling
Massage is great addition to your toolbox of techniques to soothe and bond with your baby. Massage assists with sleep, colic, communication and relaxation.  Learn the techniques, routine and benefits of massaging your baby.
Infant Massage is taught in a relaxed, hands-on, one hour session. It is a gift each parent will be able to share with their child throughout a lifetime.
  • Please bring and extra blanket
  • dress your baby in 2 piece outfit
  • bring food grade vegetable oil (ie. olive oil, grape seed oil)

Babysitters…….even tweens can do it!?

Saturday, March 27th, 2010

Received this on a local yahoo group I moderate. Liked it and want to pass it on! Enjoy.

Lessons from The Baby-sitters Club
Posted: 24 Mar 2010 09:56 PM PDT
Hi Folks! Here’s a lovely essay by The Wall Street Journal’s Laura Vanderkam
about, well, the cultural significance of The Baby-sitters Club.

Yes, I know how ridiculous (or at least American Studies for Dummies) that
sounds. And yet — you don’t sell 176 million copies of any series without making
some kind of impression on society. And the impression young readers got from
the girls in the Club was that kids their age could actually be responsible and
make money. Like adults! As Ms. Vanderkam puts it:

Hidden in the plots that show that friendship is good and that teasing, racism
and bossy boyfriends are bad, [author Ann M.] Martin imparts two more important
messages that modern readers need to hear: Teen girls are capable of handling
far more responsibility than we give them credit for, and they, like the rest of
us, can choose to make their own way in the world.

Right on! One of the Free-Range notions is that kids long to be adults, and
that’s a good thing. The human desire to grow up motivates kids to learn and
strive and get a paper route. (Remember paper routes? Remember papers?) It is
our job to help them along that path, rather than putting up a big, “CAUTION!”
sign and marching them back to the ExerSaucer.

About a year ago I posted a query on this site asking, “What age did you babysit? And what
age babysitter would you hire now?” The discrepancies amazed me. Grown women who
had cared for kids, even infants, at age 10 or 11 now wouldn’t let their
13-year-old stay home for an hour alone at night. And they sure wouldn’t trust
their toddlers to a 12-year-old.

Scholastic’s Baby-sitters Club, about to be re-issued (with a new prequel,
too!), reminds us that not very long ago at all, we trusted “tweens” to do more
than just text. God, maybe we didn’t even call them tweens. — Lenore

Calender of Events:

Thursday, February 18th, 2010

Sleep Workshop: Feb 22 at 12pm $20

for parents with babies newborn to 1. Talk about schedules, age appropriate expectations, calming techniques, identifying sleep windows and more.  Plenty of room for questions.

At: Discovery Program 251 w 100th street  (Morningside Heights)

Register with Discovery Program: 212 749 8717

New Mom Support Group: in Morningside Heights at Discovery Program. For Moms with babies newborn-6 months

Topics include: mom and baby wellness, sleep, bottle feeding, breast feeding, changes within yourself, changes within your family, childcare, returning to work and more

8 session series introductory fee of $120

At: Discovery Program 251 w 100th street  (Morningside Heights)

Register with Discovery Program: 212 749 8717

Mom’s Group for mothers with babies 6-12 months: Prenatal Yoga Center on West 72nd street.  212-362-2985
8 session series


Monday, January 25th, 2010

Childcare, it’s one of the biggest issues personally and professionally. I will say, once the childcare piece is in place you can concentrate on the here and now, which is your baby.

Giving yourself enough time to find someone and hire them before you actually have to return to work , should leave you feeling much more confident in your decision.
For all parents,  the overwhelming question of  “how do I begin this search” is often coupled with a fear of leaving their baby with a “stranger”. Good and affordable childcare is an emotional and financial issue for all parents.

A part time babysitter can run $12-15 an hour.  A nanny (full time sitter) can range in price from $400-700.  Referrals come from all sorts of places; neighbors,  friend’s babysitters, the playground, a bulletin board,  your friends. If you are looking for a part time or occasional sitter, you might try calling Cabrini High School at 212 923-3540, talk to the dean of students.  They have identified good candidates for babysitting and will help match a student with a family.  Barnard Babysitting Service is another option.  Their telephone number is 212-854-2035.  For a low fee they will try to match a student with your family’s part-time needs. You also might try posting in the lobby of Columbia’s School of Nursing student service board.  Fax over your job description (212-305-3680) .

Before you interview the perspective nanny/babysitter you might want to find out their past experience and describe what you’ll need. Check references first then have a face to face.  When talking to past employers ask if they’d hire them again.  Find out how they found her and when and why she left.  When interviewing the candidate clearly state what your expectations are and find out how flexible she is. Discuss safety issues and setting limits. Try to figure out what your views on TV or phone use would be, you expectation around nap schedules or housekeeping.  Legally, you can ask anything you might feel is pertinent, from their health or medications they take to their own childcare needs. You can also ask to see an ID or driver’s license. You’ll  want to be up front about vacations, sick days, travel expenses and general expectations. Some families write up agreements that all parties sign.

If a full time sitter is not affordable, Family Daycare, tends to be a less expensive option. Word of mouth and resources such as the Day Care Council of NY ( can provide licensed listings.  Licensing requires 1 adult per 6 children (2 of which can be infants). Group Family Day Care requires 2 adults (1 provider and 1 assistant) for up to 12 kids, 4 of which can be infants.

Family day care can be a lovely option. Find out if they are licensed, what the ratio is, how the space accommodates both toddlers and infants, ask around and observe. The Department of Health can provide information on reported violations.  For local listings of childcare resources you can look up  and click on resources and then click on childcare and you will find centers in the area.

Remember, who you hire now might not be the person you have in 6 months, 1 year or 3 . Your needs might change and your child’s needs might change. Factor in a trial period. From my experience there are more good childcare providers than bad. The more time you can have with this person or place before returning to work, the more comfortable you’ll feel leaving your baby.  The relationship, ultimately, can be an enriching and loving experience for your baby and an asset to your family.

Thursday, January 14th, 2010

Winter Newsy-Ness…

I am bringing New Mom’s Groups and New Parent Programing to you.  My goal is to connect mothers and families, answer questions and ease transitions.  I provide sleep workshops, teach infant massage and facilitate new mother support groups around the city, in a neighborhood near you.

I am thrilled to add The Discovery Program in Morningside Heights to my list of venues.  This is a wonderful program that has provided programing for families for over thirty years. Morningside Heights has continued to grow into a wonderful family centered community.  I am happy to join their commitment to serving new moms and families in and near Morningside Heights.  With the New Mother Support Groups moms will find their power to embrace the journey.  See you in the neighborhood.


Schedules: Programs and Places

Discovery Program Morningside Heights
New Mom Support Group
251 West 100th Street
New Mom’s Support Group
Wednesday February 3 at 12:30
Attention: This is NOT a drop-in class! | Pre-registration required

Prenatal Yoga Center: UWS
West 72nd Street

  • New Mom Support Group for moms with babies newborn-6 months

Attention: This is NOT a drop-in class! Pre-registration required
Mondays Class
Thursdays Class
both 2:30-3:30pm | 8 weeks | $155
Next Monday group: February 8 – April 19 (no meeting 2/15, 3/1, 3/29)
Next Thursday group: March 11 – May 6 (no meeting 4/1)


  • Mom Support Group- Settling Baby: Settling Mommy(for moms with babies 5-12 months)

Attention: This is NOT a drop-in class! | Pre-registration required
$155 for new participants | DISCOUNT! $135 for returning 0-6 month group members
Mondays, 4-5pm | 8 weeks
February 8 – April 19 (no meeting 2/15, 3/1, 3/29)
212-362-2985 for discount!

Kripalu Lenox Ma
The Pelvic Floor and More

Bread and Yoga Studio Inwood
4951 Braodway at 207th 212 569 4112

  • Sleep Workshop Jan 12
  • Infant Massage January 26th at 12:30 to registser call 212 569 4112  $25 in advance, $30 at door
  • New Mom’s Support Group Feb 2 at 12:30. This is not a drop in class $125 to register call 212 569 4112
    ask about discounts if you sign up for more than one of Jessica

Wiggles and Giggles Playhouse Washington Heights
West 181st St at Riverside Dr 212 543 2393

  • Sleep Workshop for babies newborn-1 year January 21 at 12:15 register with Wiggles and Giggles 212 543-2393
  • New Mom’s Support Group Weds 11:30-12:30 Feb 3 $125 8sessions
  • Infant Massage

Metro Minis: UES
821 Park Ave at 75th
212-313 9600

  • New Mother’s Support Group begins March 1 at 11:30 $125 Register with momsupport 212-781-6368
  • Sleep Workshop January 27 12:30 ($20 pre pay, $25 at door)
  • Infant Massage January 30 3pm

Program Descriptions:

  • New Mother’s Support Groups: 8 session series for moms with babies newborn-5 months

A facilitated support and discussion group for moms with their babies (newborn – 6 months)
Find the power to embrace the journey of motherhood with confidence and connect with new moms just like you. Share experiences, ask questions, and make supportive friendships.
Topics include:
mom and baby wellness
breastfeeding/bottle feeding
introduction to solids
sleep issues
staying at home versus working outside the home
family life
self image, and more.

  • Settled Mother’s Support Groups: 8 sessions series for mothers with babies 5 months to 12 months

A weekly facilitated discussion on the journey from infancy to babyhood into toddler-hood. Connect with other moms and discuss:
-Sleep issues
-Behavioral issues
-Eating solids
-Breastfeeding or weaning
-Introduction of siblings
-Childcare solutions
-Returning to work
-Family dynamics
-Tapping into your own personal growth

  • Sleep Workshops: 1 to 2 hour group sessions for parents with babies newborn-1
  • What does a schedule even look like?
  • My spouse comes home in the evening and riles up the baby.
  • Is it OK to rock my baby to sleep?
  • Should I put my baby on a schedule?
  • How do I cut down on night-time feeding?
  • Can I sleep with my baby?
  • I feel guilty asking my partner to help at night.
  • My baby is 3 months, can I still swaddle her?
  • Is crying it out the only way?

Your questions and opinions are welcome!

  • Infant Massage: For precrawling babies

Massage is great addition to your toolbox of techniques to sooth and bond with your baby. Massage assists with sleep, colic, communication and relaxation.  Learn the techniques, routine and benefits of massaging your baby.

Infant Massage is taught in a relaxed, hands-on, one hour session with  Jessica Shapley, certified infant massage teacher, practitioner and licensed social worker.

Infant massage is a gift each parent will be able to share with their child throughout a lifetime.

Returning to Work

Tuesday, December 1st, 2009

I always thought I would return to work after my maternity leave.  Why wouldn’t I?  It was a no brainer. (I also thought I could “throw” the kid in the back pack and hike the Himalayas….not so much!)

After a  fearful start to motherhood which included  lactation issues, heightened anxiety and sleeplessness (duh)- 3 months came around and I was gearing up to return to work and low an behold, I was beginning to feel more comfortable in this foreign role as mom.  While trying to wrap my head around leaving my baby for a full time job (i did not love) was daunting and I was given the opportunity (family support) not to return to work and that became the “no brainer”.

This isn’t always possible. Moms return to (outside of the house) work in all sorts of ways;  Full time, part time, staying at home, daycare,  babysitter etc. As I often tell the women in my New Mom’s Groups: “No camp is perfect”. There are often challenges and positive parts to whatever we end up doing. For example, if you are at work all day and come home at the end of the day- you have a different freshness for being home with your little one.  You are able to be in that moment with your baby that  perhaps staying home all day and trying to get anything else done at home can actually keep you out of all those “baby moments”.  While working all day and missing the details of your baby’s day can be painful, some people use skype, a communication log and phone call updates to get them through the day.  My friend, who returned to work after her 3+ months off, told her babysitter “please don’t tell me when my baby does something new.  I want to discover it for myself. “  I also will add, after a year, back at work, she quit her job and stayed home full time (she had a second baby and gave birth to a second career, since).

There is  a lot of new that comes out of being a new mom, of course I haven’t even brought up work/career/identity/identity integration (that’s another blog entry).  I also have not mentioned the logistics, including  pumping and introducing bottles for breast feeding moms.  Often thinking outside the box, can be helpful (think flexible hours and schedules or  job sharing, babysitter shares).

No matter what, when deciding to return to work childcare is one of the main issues. I will say that once this is in place (and hopefully somewhat in advance of your first day) the focus then can turn to enjoying your baby, processing your torn feelings of sadness about leaving  her or perhaps  guilt about feeling excited about returning to your work environment (one you hopefully enjoy). It takes a lot of advance thought to figure out when you’ll pump, how your day is going to look and will your baby be happy that cannot be predicted it has to be experienced.

The New York Times recently had an article about returning to work (and even being pregnant at work) that addresses some of these issues  Also a book that I recommend is Nursing Mother Working Mother by Gale Pryor.

Whatever you decide to do, whatever you have to do, you’ll make it work out.  It might not be what you had originally in mind, but it might be what evolves as your are paying attention to the details of your decisions. Oh, and by the way- it actually is not a no brainer