Jacalyn Burke

Building Your Baby’s (or Charge’s) Library one great book at a time

Building Your Baby’s (or Charge’s) Library one great book at a time

By Jacalyn S. Burke What’s in a book? (I mean a real book made from trees, no batteries required) How many of us can truly remember those first few books that our parents read to us? I have vague memories of Winnie the Pooh but much more memorable is the feeling of being held and read to, and of being read to before bedtime. My love of books was nurtured diligently by both parents and it is a life-long gift. Thank you Mom and Dad! But choosing books can be overwhelming especially when you’re newly pregnant. There is so much to do: putting together a nursery, finding a good diaper-changing table, a crib, not to mention the tons of clean onesies and the diaper pail, the diapers, sterilizing equipment, breast-pumps … but what about that bookshelf next to the nursing rocker? It needs stocking too – the dilemma is, with what? Often relatives and neighbors will gift books for newborns but parents will want to have some say in what their little munchkin sees and listens to for his first few years. I have over a decade’s worth of experience working with infants, toddlers and small children. I have tried and tested most Picture books on the market. I am an avid collector of exceptional books. I love nothing more than to curl up on a sofa and to read to my favorite children. So this post is a labor of love…. Books like all things come in a few basic varieties.

    Welcome to the New Direction ….

    Welcome to the New Direction ….

    Hi it’s nice to meet you. My name is Jacalyn S Burke and I spent 10 years working as a Manhattan nanny to wonderful families. I wrote under the alias Nanny X because I wanted the freedom to explore childcare issues without drawing attention to myself as an individual and to protect the families I worked with. I have never written about ‘my families’ it was my code. But I was able to observe trends and behavior amongst all kinds of people: nannies, employers, agencies, the domestic workers movement and society at large.  So why am I coming out now? Well for one, I have a book coming out in June 2015, via Praeger (ABC-CLIO) that kind of drills down as a prescriptive read for anyone connected to the Childcare industry. It’s appropriate now for me to drop my mask and stand behind a decade writing about unlicensed childcare. =&0=& The posts on this site will now be original provided by experts of providers. I want to keep up the Problem Page, I think it’s a good resource for nannies and employers alike. As always those emails/issues are 100% confidential. So please do write in and share your issues. I also am developing a more comprehensive website that will allow me to stream many more services: free downloads or guides, promotions for authors and service providers in childcare, forums for nannies and employers to chat, and share their info.  =&1=& I would love to have Childcare experts, agency owners and professional nannies have their say! My platform is a great way to get your message across. Please contact me about your ideas or business.  thenannytimebomb@gmail.com =&2=& =&2=& =&4=&

    So back in 2009 this was my first post as a writer/nanny exploring the world of childcare …

    “Nanny Time Bomb signing in.

    Inspired by Julie & Julia I begin a blog unsure as to where this will lead. In conjunction withTwitter and Facebook, I attempt to make

    Nannies: Get Cover For Your Sick Day

    Nannies: Get Cover For Your Sick Day

    By Nanny X

    One of the biggest grievances for employers is when their nannies suddenly take a day or even a week off sick.  It’s not that ordinary people don’t understand that everyone from time to time becomes unwell. In particular, nannies who work with young children are routinely exposed to all kinds of infections.  No … it’s more the fact that many employers crisis-manage: that is, deal with an issue when it arises. They also don’t like last-minute surprises – you know, that 7 am call Monday morning when you’re due in at work by 8:30 am. Some of us genuinely can’t help a last-minute call but let’s be honest, it’s rare.  Most of us begin to experience symptoms before we become incapacitated.  If we think our symptoms are getting worse we should mention it to our employer – just to give them a head’s up. We should also help our employer have a plan B. It’s smart to bring the subject up. It shows you are invested in the position, that you care about your employer’s own job and that you think outside the box. What’s my Plan B? Your plan b should be a person or a few persons that you know very well (not an acquaintance) who could jump in at a moment’s notice in your absence.  Most of us know someone who works piece-meal or is in-between positions or works an unorthodox schedule or who is retired and doesn’t need to work full-time.  It might even be a relative. The main point is that the person is a good, safe childcare replacement. The person should be introduced to the family prior to any emergency. Perhaps your family could give her a trial on a date-night or a weekend? Why have a back-up Plan?
    • It shows you are proactive
    • It demonstrates your long-term commitment to the position
    • It takes care of a potentially big problem for your employers
    What about Pay? My advice is NOT to complicate things. I’d arrange to pay my stand-in the pay I would normally receive for that day. I wouldn’t ask an employer to deal with what is an essentially private arrangement of convenience. Wait – that means I don’t get paid? The odd sick day with plenty of notice I’m sure an employer would cover as per your contract however I’m talking here about a sudden sickness.  The type of absence that is a real problem for working parents to cover without having to call in sick themselves. =&0=&
    Monday Problem: Nanny not keen on Attachment Parenting

    Monday Problem: Nanny not keen on Attachment Parenting


    Disclaimer: all emails are abbreviated and edited for clarity. When you submit to The Nanny Time Bomb please note that there will be edits. All names and info kept confidential. 

     
    Dear Nanny X,
     
    I recently began working with a new family who practice attachment parenting which basically breaks down to this:
     
    1. Pick baby up when ever he cries
    2. Wear baby at all times unless he is asleep in his crib
    3. Feed on demand
    4. Respond to his every need immediately
    5. Let him nap no matter what time it is or takes
    I have 15 years of experience working with small children and I feel like this type of childcare approach is going to make problems later on. I want to tell the parents that gently introducing structure around meal-times, naps etc will help the baby to self-soothe and gain control over his impulses. How should I approach this subject?
     
    Nanny M.D
     
     
    Dear Nanny M.D,
     
    attachment parenting is a childcare choice made by parents and as caregivers we should always defer to our charge’s parents when implementing caregiving techniques. 
     
    What is attachment parenting or AP?
    “Attachment parenting, a phrase coined by pediatrician William Sears,[1] is a parenting philosophy based on the principles of attachment theory in developmental psychology. According to attachment theory, the child forms a strong emotional bond with caregivers during childhood with lifelong consequences.[2] Sensitive and emotionally available parenting helps the child to form a secure attachment style which fosters a child’s socio-emotional development and well-being. Less sensitive and emotionally unavailable parenting or neglect of the child’s needs may result in insecure forms of attachment style, which is a risk factor for many mental health problems (e.g. depression, anxiety and eating disorders).[3][4] In extreme and rare conditions, the child may not form an attachment at all and may suffer from reactive attachment disorder.[5] Principles of attachment parenting aim to increase development of a child’s secure attachment and decrease insecure attachment. When parents are taught to increase their sensitivity to an infant’s needs and signals, this increases the development of the child’s attachment security.[6] Sears’ specific techniques of attachment parenting remain under study. The Baby Book by William and Martha Sears.,[11] sometimes referred to as the ‘Bible of attachment parenting’[12] gives practical attachment parenting advice in the form of the following ‘seven baby B’s of attachment parenting’:
    • Birth bonding: The first few hours after birth are regarded as very important to promote attachment.
    • Belief in the signal value of your baby’s cries: Parents are encouraged to learn to understand their baby’s cries and respond quickly and appropriately to them.
    • Breast-feeding: This is regarded to have physical and psychological advantages to both mother and child.
    • Baby-wearing: The term was first used by Dr. Sears and it means carrying the baby in a sling or other carrier, close to the body of the caregiver.
    • Bedding close to baby: Sleeping in the same room and preferably in the same bed as the baby is encouraged, as is frequent (breast)feeding at night.
    • Balance and boundaries: Appropriate responsiveness (knowing when to say yes and when to say no) is needed to keep a healthy family alive.
    • Beware of baby trainers: Instead of taking advice about how to ‘train’ the baby to make it cry less and sleep for longer stretches, parents are encouraged to listen to their own instinct and intuition.
    According to attachment parenting advocates this advice helps parents to respond quickly and sensitively to their baby’s needs, thus facilitating development of secure attachment. Childcare Attachment parenting proponents value secure attachment between children and a primary caregiver, preferably a parent or guardian. Secure primary or secondary attachments may also be formed with other caregiving adults and should be supported by the parents. From the biological point of view, caregiver and infant have evolved a coordinated relationship in which the infant seeks to maintain proximity to the carer who responds to its overtures and signals of distress or fear and provides a secure base for exploration. The type of attachment formed by the infant and child is influential in the formation of the internal working model and thus the child’s functioning throughout life. The secure attachment, formed when a carer is appropriately sensitive to the child’s emotional and biological needs, is the norm.[13] Even when engaging non-parental caregivers, attachment parents strive to maintain healthy, secure attachments with their children. AP-friendly childcare is a continuation of the nurturing care given by the parents and focuses on meeting the child’s needs. Attachment parents typically work to make caregiving arrangements that are sensitive to the child while balancing their own needs as well. While in childcare, children may suffer injuries or traumatic experiences, and this may affect their attachment to the parent. An ‘attachment injury’ may form if an AP is not present for a traumatic or severely physically painful event in the child’s life, or the AP does not partake in the primary attachment recovery process (which takes place immediately after the injury until the child is no longer in pain). Although attachment injuries are hypothesized to increase the likelihood of an insecure and unstable attachment to the parent by proponents of attachment parenting, evidence of the existence of these injuries is scarce. In effect, even researchers that have noted some deleterious consequences of child care note that the most important source of influence on attachment relationships is the caregiver and that child care quality is an important factor to consider.[14]” 1 =&6=&