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Frugal Gift Ideas

Discount Baby Products

Frugal Gift Ideas. Everybody wants to come up with something original and super fantastic for a baby’s first gift. Perhaps it’s baby’s first birthday and you want to give them something unique and memorable, but you don’t want to spend a fortune. Well, we’ve done the leg work, and we’ve found some great bargains out there! We’ve scouted a few great buys to help you with ideas for your special new baby.

No matter what type of gift you choose, remember, the important thing is to make it special and personal. A terrific gift can cost $50 or nothing at all. Some of the best gifts we receive are probably free.

“Happy Little Boy!” Wooden Tray Layette Set – Blue

Surrounded by sweet, little animals and full of practically everything a new baby boy needs, this 8-piece layette set includes booties, body suit, tiny tee, bib, hat and more. Mom will find lots of uses for the adorably decorated wooden tray, and a beautiful blue satin ribbon let’s you know a new little guy is in town! For infants 3 to 6 months.


“Cute as a Ladybug!” Wooden Tray Layette Set – Pink

Bring a gentle world full of butterflies and ladybugs to the new little girl in your life with this pretty pink layette set. Under the satiny pink bow is an adorably decorated box, destined for a multitude of uses and filled with everything a little girl needs. The 8-piece gift set includes booties, a bib, , a pink tee, a body suit, a toy and more, all adorned with cheerful, pastel ladybugs, butterflies and snails. For infants 3 to 6 months.


“Little Champ” Ten-Piece Gift Set

You’ll hit a home run with this practical-and precious-baby gift for the adorable, little “”sport”” in your life! The “”Little Champ”” Ten-Piece gift set has all Mom’s essentials for a day out with baby boy. Colorful bats, baseballs, footballs, pennants and stars decorate the items, along with a baby-blue checkered trim. “”Little Champ”” is embroidered on the front of the diaper bag, with “”champ”” spelled in different colors. Take a time-out to see what the gift set includes!• Diaper Bag• Wipe Case• Three Washcloths• Changing Pad• Burp Cloth• Bottle Warmer• Bib• BottleThe washable bibs, burp cloths and washcloths are 80% cotton and 20% polyester. This handy baby gift set comes beautifully gift-wrapped in blue tulle tied with a baby-blue, satin bow and measures 15″” h x 9″” w x 5″” d.


“Little Cutie” Ten-Piece Gift Set

Mom and baby girl will carry lovely flowers with them wherever they go! The adorable, flower-themed gift set has everything necessary for baby’s day out, including:• Diaper Bag• Wipe Case• Three Washcloths• Changing Pad• Burp Cloth• Bottle Warmer• Bib• BottleThe washable bibs, burp cloths and washcloths are 80% cotton and 20% polyester. This handy gift set comes gift-wrapped in tulle tied with a pastel-pink, satin bow and measures 15″” h x 9″” w x 5″” d.


Instant Photo Guest Book/Baby Album Instant Photo Guest Book/Baby Album

Capture the magic and memories of your baby shower with this guest book and photo album that lets you put captions with polaroid photos on the spot!Easy to use and large enough to handle up to 75 guests, both Mom and baby will have something special to look back on!


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Free Pregnancy Products!

Free Pregnancy Products!

Free Pregnancy Stuff

Free PregnancyProducts


Free Pregnancy Products! Finding Free and Gently Used Maternity Clothes Online - Shopping for maternity clothes can be fun, especially if you have money to burn. However, most pregnant women have so many things to buy for their upcoming arrival that maternity clothes fall at the end of the priority list when it comes to spending. You do need clothing for those 40 weeks of pregnancy, however, and wearing your partner’s sweatpants will only get you so far. So, if you are not prepared to spend a lot of money, be sure to shop online for used maternity clothes or clothes on clearance to save yourself money. It sure beats getting out in the heat and hitting the local garage sales and you will get much better deals that you would if you shopped at consignment stores.  I’ve seen baby and maternity clothes on Amazon and Ebay for less than a dollar.  Maternity clothes and belly under garments for a few dollars.  Now, that’s not free, but pretty darn close!

The best places to look for used maternity clothes are your friends (that’s where the free part comes in), Craigslist, Amazon, Ebay, or online discount stores. You can often find bulk packages of maternity clothes in your size.  But just the sound of “bulk” maternity wear isn’t very appealing.

You will be able to get several pieces of clothing for very little money if you have the patients to look for it. Of course, always be on the lookout for shipping costs, which can sometimes add up and not make the sale worth it for you.

Maternity Forums. In addition to online auctions, you can also find used maternity clothes on pregnant women forums.  By making friends online, some are bound to be local and have maternity wear that they may want to sell or even give you.  There are many of these online forums that will allow you to advertise pregnancy items for free. You will be able to chat with other women like yourself and possibly make some very good trades. So, be sure to check these out as well. There is nothing better than finding a place to socialize and share your pregnancy stories with other women like yourself.

Where to Find Free Baby Items.. Anyone with a small child already knows how expensive raising a baby can be; this is why someone created a wonderful thing called a baby shower. However, unless you perfect your baby registry and everyone gets you every single thing you asked for, it’s difficult to ensure you get everything you want and need. And even if you did have the perfect shower, the items you received won’t last forever. When you notice your items are dwindling, you get desperate, calling grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, godparents, etc. as the anonymous “baby” asking for more diapers to be shipped to an old, abandoned building – or else. But threatening people is not always necessary. So to avoid having to conjure up a baby voice just to get the expensive items you need, you might want to check out the numerous websites popping up that offer free baby items.

More and more websites are offering lots of free items to willing recipients. Many of these “free sites” used to offer frivolous items like pizza coupons or even sweepstakes entries, but the world of free has evolved and babies were not left behind. Now there are numerous sites available for parents to receive free baby items, free diapers, formula vouchers, and samples, usually with some type of registration required. To explore what is available out there, I took a look at some of the more popular sites for free baby items.

BabyToBee.com. Baby to Bee is a baby itself, starting officially in October of 2003. But the site has grown quickly over the years becoming very popular for offering free baby items like coupons, and information on baby cribs, clothes, furniture, toys and more.  The site is pretty easy to use and really has a lot to offer.

This site also offers tons of articles and advice on becoming a parent, including recognizing the symptoms of teething, foods to eat during pregnancy, and even when Moms can have sex after giving birth (I know … not exact about the child, right?). It also has a $2500 Baby Photo Contest.  If you haven’t looked into a baby photo contest yet, do it!  Also see the article: http://frugalbabytips.com/contests-sweepstakes/ 33 baby photo contests to look into.

BabytoBee.com. BabytoBee.com states on its site that it currently reaches one-third of the 3 million pregnant women out there and within the next year, they intend to reach up to 50% of expecting parents – quite a goal! But as they grow in popularity, and continue to serve the masses with quality information, they just may attain that goal.

Baby to Bee has a few free clubs available to join such as Growing Family, American Baby, and Gerber Life. Growing Family is a free membership where you can receive free coupons, discounts and samples as well as “milestone gifts” for parents. American Baby offers a free 6 month subscription to their magazine and special offers inside for new parents. And Gerber Life is a program that offers three months of free life insurance and a free Gerber newsletter after a registration process.  Be sure to register at JohnsonsBaby.com for new parent info and free offers there as well.  Offers are updated often so it would be a good idea to check the site frequently to keep up with current info.

Freemania.net.  Free Mania was a website created by a 14-year-old in 1996. Over a decade later the site has exploded and is one of the most popular “free sites” on the Internet – much it its success due to the offering of free baby items.

The site currently offers free baby and grocery coupons for everything from baby formula and food, to diapers and clothes. They have free coupons for Target, Chuck E Cheese, Baskin Robbins and even a free Denny’s Kids Meal. They also offer coupons for Similac and Gerber along with free samples of Bright Beginnings Formula. You can receive free recipes, potty training kits, diaper rash cream, and even a free 12-month subscription to Parents Magazine. And if you and your baby like to travel in style, you can receive coupons for Kate Spade, Babies’R’Us, Gap Maternity and more!

One thing that’s different from this site is that the majority of their free baby items are offered without the obligation to fulfill offers from sponsors. You simply click on the link that will take you to the item of choice. If it is available, you can have it – no questions asked. Nice, right?

Getmyfreebabystuff.com.  I actually heard about this website for free baby items on my local radio station, which prompted me to check their site for more information. On the radio, they talked about all of the free things you can receive just by stopping by their website, so I had to know more. When I reached the site, I was greeted by pictures of precious babies, diapers, cribs, and formula. But once I got a good look at the site, I realized that it offers significantly less than the other the previous two sites I mentioned (not that anything free isn’t good, mind you!). The items they offer at this point are: Ultimate Pampers Package, Ultimate Huggies Package, Enfamil, Similac, the Storkcraft 3-in-1 Crib, and the Graco Family Tree Package.

I was interested in learning more about how to receive one of the items so I strolled down further only to be greeted by the terms and conditions. I discovered that in order to receive any of the free baby items, a person must register, complete a user survey then complete “at least 2 Silver, 2 Gold and 4 Platinum offers.” Now I’m not a big fan of “completing offers” because it usually means I have to whip out my credit card then mark the calendar to remember to cancel what I never wanted in the first place. Not to mention the difficulty with dealing with customer service reps who want to keep giving you “3 free months.” But that’s a totally different article.

Aside from having to sign up for offers, it seems to be a good site. It doesn’t offer any additional advice or information, but being able to receive one of the items I’ve mentioned able is certainly a plus – and one more thing than you had before visiting the site!

No matter where you choose to go to find your free baby items, the fact remains – they’re free! So when you have some time, check out these free sites along with the dozens of other sites out there that might be of assistance to you. You can even benefit from them without having your own child (can we say free baby items for a shower or two?). But you didn’t hear that from me!

Maternity clothing is manufactured to cater for your expanding bust, hips and waist that naturally occurs during pregnancy. Obviously it also caters for your bump that will be sitting out in front before you know it.

Many women wonder if they really need to purchase maternity clothing at all, the answer is pretty simple. If you want to look good and stay comfortable, Yes.

If you do decide that you do-not want maternity clothing you will find pants, shirts and shorts are the hardest garments to get away with this in. Normal clothing just does not allow for a belly to poke out the way your bump will!

There is an item called a belly belt that can be very useful and some mothers manage with these for a majority of their pregnancy. It consists of various size elastic strips that have a button at one end, and a button hole at the other. It comes with different colour belly panels to insert depending on the colour of your outfit. The idea is to place the belt between your normal button and button hole allowing you to wear your normal clothes for longer into your pregnancy.

Pro- Great for the first few months. You can wear your own clothes for longer.

Con- Can only be used for clothes that have a button and zip at the front. Often as your pregnancy progresses you will still find that your normal pants, skirts or shorts end up tight in the legs and hips as these areas are the natural place for your body to store fat as it prepares for the birth of your baby. Maternity clothing is designed with this in mind.

Maternity clothing is designed to be more flattering these days then what it once was. These days most women are extremely excited about their pregnancy and want to show their ‘bumps’ to the world. You will achieve this better and remain more comfortable throughout your pregnancy by carefully selecting a few quality maternity wear garments. As most tend to do with their normal wardrobes you will have your favourite outfits that you wear constantly so you will want garments that wash and wear well. There are two main things to consider prior to making your new wardrobe purchases:

How much wear will I get out of this item?

Consider the style and think about what stages of your pregnancy you will be able to wear it. Look for garments that will look good and feel comfortable regardless of if you are 3 months pregnant or 9 months. Many are also suitable post pregnancy while you are working on getting your shape back, these are a great choice.

How comfortable will this be on my stomach?

If this is your first pregnancy it maybe a little hard to imagine what you will feel like at 8 months pregnant, but roughly it is like someone has placed a basketball inside your belly. It isn’t very flexible, doesn’t like to bend to much and doesn’t like pressure on it. So the last thing you want is something that cuts across your belly.

The good news is that you don’t have to spend a fortune on you maternity wardrobe. By carefully selecting some basic mix and match items you can keep your budget in check. Recommended must have basics would be one or two pairs of comfortable pants, a skirt – length dependant on personal preference, and depending on time of year a pair of shorts. For tops you often can get away with your own for longer then with your pants however eventually you will require more room. Although it maybe tempting to just buy larger sizes you will find they look too big around the shoulders and will be firm around the waist. Maternity tops generally are designed fuller in the bust area and have longer front hemlines to allow an even look as your bump expands, so a couple of Maternity tops and you have your wardrobe set.

With the economy being what it is these days, everybody is looking for ways to save money. Whether it’s giving up your weekly lottery ticket, not buying brand name products at the grocery store, the entire country seems to be feeling the pinch. And with a baby on the way, it may be hard for you to justify spending hundreds of dollars on a whole new wardrobe that you may only be wearing for another 6 months.

Although it’s not a particularly good idea to suffer through your pregnancy trying to squeeze your expanding body into your pre-pregnancy clothes, there are some ways that you can feel comfortable throughout your nine months without breaking the bank.

Ask Friends or Relatives for Used Maternity Clothes

Some people might not like the idea of hand-me-down clothes at the age of 26, but this is actually a very common and cost-effective way of getting maternity clothing. If you have any friends, relatives or neighbors who recently gave birth, it’s worth your while to call them and inquire about what they did with their old maternity clothes. More then likely, they bought them and only wore them for a six to seven month period of time before placing them in their closet and forgetting about them. They would probably be more then happy to see someone get some use out of them, rather then them collecting dust. Keep in mind what your body and shape is in relation to the person you are asking. If your friend Louisa was 40 pounds heavier then you pre-pregnancy, chances are her maternity clothes will be far too large for you to fit in.

Just be careful how long ago your friend or relative was pregnant and where in the house they have been storing them. You don’t want to be wearing a maternity dress from 1993 that smells like a musty attic.

Check eBay for used or discounted maternity clothes

For those who are still not familiar with eBay, this option may prove to be exhausting and difficult at first, but eBay can be a great way of finding cheap, slightly used maternity clothing if you don’t have any friends or relatives that you can borrow from. Simply by typing the words “maternity clothes” in the search box, you will find a seemingly unlimited amount of clothing options at more then reasonable prices. You can find maternity clothes ranging anywhere from brand name, never before worn maternity jeans, to complete sets of maternity outfits at next to nothing prices. A good tip to keep in mind for new eBay shoppers is to not only look at the bidding price when deciding to purchase an item. Although you might find a pair of maternity jeans that are $20.00 cheaper then anywhere else you’ve seen, depending on where the seller is located, the shipping and handling costs may push the price of your garment up by almost $30.00.

Shop Online Instead of in Stores

This can not only save you money, but can save you a major headache from having to drive from store to store looking for an outfit that suites your taste, while carrying an extra 10 pounds around your waist.

There is a financial advantage to shopping online for maternity clothes as oppose to shopping in stores, since prices are cheaper then what you would pay in person since you buy directly from a manufacturer. You can also view the various sales and promotions that each online retailer is running right from the comfort of your own home. If you see a particular maternity dress that you like, you can easily search other stores to see if they are running a cheaper sale on that same item. Most online stores will also offer you discounts on clothing if you purchase more then $50.00 – $100.00 in merchandise, or offer free shipping.

Although purchasing products online is still foreign to some people, and may make them uneasy to give away their credit card number over the internet, most online stores now have very secure payment processing methods and doing business online has become a fairly common practice.

However you decide to deal with your wardrobe issues as your body expands, they key thing to remember is that comfort is king. During these nine months, your body will be going through a lot of uncomfortable changes, and wearing clothes that feel good can go a long way in getting you through your pregnancy.

If you’re in the market for ways to save money during your pregnancy, then you will likely be interested in not just saving money, but maybe making some too! Have you ever considered entering a few photo contests or sweepstakes for baby products or even cash prizes? One of the best out there is the infamous Cute Kid Contest. Apply Here for The Cute Kid Photo Contest!


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Nanny Contracts and Nanny Pay Rates

Nanny Contracts and Nannys Pay Rates

Nanny Contracts and Nannys Pay Rates

Nanny Contracts and Nanny Pay Rates. Before you start preparing a nanny’s contract, you need to remember that a good contract is the best way to set the right expectations between you and your nanny. After all, she or he is going to be your employee and that is why the contract should cover all issues related to her employment terms. Remember, it’s better to include too many topics in your contract, than not enough. You can never get too detailed on an agreement. It may save you in the end.


One of the best ways to start editing your own contract that can fit your needs is to look for a sample nanny contract over the web. Once you have found a contract you like, the following issues should be reviewed:

(1) The basics – should cover all the hours, including over time rate, and the nanny responsibilities and duties, both child and non-child related. Also the basics should include your contribution to medical insurance, and sick/holiday/time off. The weekly and even daily schedule should be clearly laid out so that everybody understands what is expected to keep the family running smoothly.

(2) The nanny salary – what should be her salary? Does she have the experience to demand a higher salary? What was her prior pay? How frequently will the nanny be paid? Tax deducting issues – will the nanny’s pay rate be figured at gross or net?

(3) House rules – this should basically include the life style you expect from her while she is in the house or with your kids someplace else. You can specifically mention smoking, visitors, alcohol use or any other issue you find important to mention in advanced. If you find a good sample nanny contract, you will be able to find more details related to this matter.

(4) Vacation days and sickness – does she plan to take some days off during the year? When she’s sick – how much notice do you expect from her?

(5) Safety – is your nanny CPR certified? What do you expect from her in emergency situations? Who should she call first? It’s highly important to make sure she will have an emergency contacts list that is kept up to date with all work and relevant cell phone numbers.

(6) Car use policy – do you want your nanny to use your personal vehicle to take your kids to school or to their afternoon activities? Will she be able to use it for her personal use or is the car only for child purposes? The car usage plays an important role in the salary rate. If she is given access to use a family car during personal time, and she can save on getting her own car, then this could potentially save you about $500 – $650 /per month in car benefits. Meaning, it costs the average person about $500 – $650 per month to own a vehicle.

(7) Confidentiality agreement – the person you are entering into your life will be exposed to personal family information. This can be about a family member’s health, finances, career or relationships.

(8) Termination – this is part of any employment relationship. Define termination notice on both sides. Reasonable notice should be four weeks.

A details sample nanny contract will help you to prepare a good contract and set the right expectations with your nanny. By addressing all issues up front, you avoid misunderstandings, assumptions, disappointment and conflict in the future.

Most Important: Have a Trial Week!!! Don’t forget to include a trial period in your contract. Agree to hire your nanny on a 1 week trial basis.  If you wish, you can insert a clause that the trial period may be extended if both parties agree. This will give the family and nanny time to get to know each other and see if this is a good fit for everybody. By then, each party will know if this is worth pursuing together.

You can also find samples of nanny contracts through nanny resource and hiring agencies. Typically, they will supply their clients with all the forms and contracts needed for hire, including information on filing employee tax forms. They also assist in contract review.  Following are a few links to learn more about hiring Nannies and Nanny Pay Rates.



Find Great Sitters Today!

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The Nanny's Pay Rate


The Nanny’s Pay Rate.

If you consider hiring a nanny and you are actually new to the nanny world, then it’s not always easy to figure out the standard nanny pay rates, responsibilities and hours. The nanny salary can be affected by different parameters – the nanny’s age and experience, references, responsibilities, number of children, your location and specific working days. If you don’t know how to set nannies salary then read on for the latest tips and advices.

What need to be considered?

An average workweek of a full-time nanny is between 50-60 hours. When trying to determine your nanny pay rate you need to consider several important factors:

(1) Experience – how long does your nanny is working as a private childcare provider and how much experience does she have. Some nannies could perfectly fit your nanny profile however can be too expensive for you. When looking for a family helper you should find the right balance between experience and salary.

(2) References – by calling references you will be able to find out how professional your nanny is and maybe learn something about her previews fee.

(3) Responsibilities – there are many different types of nannies profile – live-in, live-out, full-time, part-time – each one can have different tasks to fulfill. As a rule of thumb – the more duties she has the more she need to be paid.

(4) Location – the nanny pay rates are usually higher is urban areas. If you live for example in the city center, a caregiver expects to get paid more.

(5) Working days – nannies who also work in weekends, on top of the regular working days in the middle of the week, should get paid more. When hiring a person to help you take care of your kids you may consider hiring two caregivers – one for the middle of the week and one for the weekends (if it’s affordable of course). That’s how you can let them rest and come back full of energy.

So, how much to pay?

Nannies salary may vary from different reasons – number of children’s, experience, full-time or part-time, age, responsibilities and more. A minimum salary for a nanny should be around $450 gross per week. This could go higher to about $850 or over $1000/per week for a more experienced and professional nanny caring for two or more children.

Learning how to set your nanny pay rate is easier then you think. You can start by asking other parents from your area how much they pay. Asking other parents what the nanny going rate is can give you a pretty good idea what should be the right range. One of the most recommended ways to figure out the right nanny rate in your area is to search for and find this information over the Web. For example – if you live in Los-Angeles, use your favorite search engine and type “nannies rates in Los-Angeles” and examine the results.

How much to pay a nanny?

The The nannies salary is always an issue when hiring a nanny. On one hand you would like to hire a good childcare provider that need to take upon him self important responsibilities and on the other hand your budget is limited. Before thinking of finding a nanny you need to know first how much you can afford to pay your nanny.

Nanny salaries may vary from different reasons – experience, age, hours, responsibilities, number of children’s and more. A minimum live-in nanny salary should be in a range of 300$-400$ gross per week. This could go higher to a range of 700$-900$ for a more experienced nanny.

Taxing Issue

During your nanny searching and interviewing process you need to understand in advanced in which terms you need to discuss the salary issue. Gross wage is before tax deduction and net wage is the actual payment to give your nanny. You should clearly define if you are withholding income taxes or you are not. Don’t forget that Social Security and Medicare taxes are under your own responsibility.

Other Nanny payments

These days’ nannies are asking other payments and compensation to be paid by the person who is hiring them. These payments may include the following:

(1) Mobile phone expenses – does her mobile is using her as part of her job?

(2) Health insurance.

(3) PTO – paid time off.

(4) Other extras like child related course.

Bottom line is that it’s up to the families and the nannies to decide what can be added to the the nannies salary. Before you take any decision try to collect some relevant information in this matter by asking your family and friends, consulting a nanny agency or just searching the web.

Special bonuses and adjustments

It is well known that nannies like any other employee in any other job need sometime incentives for keeping them on the right track and work momentum. One option is to define a half year or yearly bonus for a job well done. Set in advance the time for a review meeting between you and your nanny in order to provide her your feedback. If you are happy with your nanny a bonus can help increase her motivation.

Another option for families is to change and adjust the nanny’s payment. Families can set a clear schedule in which they can discuss with their nannies an increase in the the nannies salary. This could also help keep the good momentum on the right track.

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Best Spots to Hide a Nanny Cam

Best Spots to Hide a Nanny Cam. Hidden nanny cameras are no super spy secret anymore. Everybody knows about these gadgets, including the target, the nannies. The challenge lies in hiding these cleverly. Want to try these tips?

How to Catch Ogre Nannies.. Like your boss, you want your nanny to be productive and not waste time snoozing or using the phone for personal calls. In your case, you also want to be sure that your nanny is not mistreating your baby in any way. It goes without saying, but we’ll say it anyway, it’s better to be overly skeptical than sorry.  But nannies know about the hidden nanny cameras and they’re just as sneaky as ever.  Some nannies will even go as far as to replace nanny tapes or re-record over digital recorders; even if they’re just doing something as harmless as raiding the refrigerator.  If a nanny suddenly realizes she’s been caught doing something wrong or just mildly embarrassing, there’s no telling what they might try to do with your nanny cam.

It is a nuisance that ads for nanny cams also advise where you can hide the tiny gadgets. But you can pull a fast one by being more creative with your hidden nanny cameras.  Yes, it’s true that it’s against the law not to inform that nanny that you have electronic spies in the house.  But if you are not living in California or Massachusetts, you do not have to give the nanny a nanny cam map.  We say forget this rule if you so feel compelled.  This is your child we’re talking about.  The point of the nanny cam is to get you the information you need to protect your kids.  Consider this though, if you feel compelled to spy on your nanny, or even have a tiny hunch that something’s going on, it may be time to forget the nanny cam and hire a new nanny!

Hiding the Nanny Cameras.  So where can you hide the nanny cameras? Every conceivable place has been thought up by great spy minds. Even helpless furry teddy has been enlisted to keep an eye on the nanny! Here are some great suggestions where to hide your nanny cam:

Best Spots to Hide the Nanny Cam:
Obviously, the nanny knows there are hidden nanny cameras in the nursery. She will behave there, even without a spy camera.  But if your budget allows, hide one there anyway.  Have you thought about placing a framed picture near the head side of the crib or the baby’s bed? You can see the nanny’s face if she is smiling and being kind to your baby ..or not.

The kitchen is another popular area, but where can you set up the hidden nanny cameras without being redundant? On top of the cabinets tucked in some decor or plants.  Also, above the fridge if you can tuck something back, away from the front edge.  Any place up high is best, especially if your nanny is not exactly the athletic type to reach in high places.  Think about a wide sweep view setting and a close up to check how the nanny prepares food for the children. Hide the camera in the framework of a mirror using a tiny drill to create a camouflaged hole, or lamp on the counter where food is usually prepared, and on the ceiling install a smoke detector clone, which is in reality, a camera (that’s our favorite!)

Unfortunately, the bathroom is an accident-prone area.  Install the camera on the wall where a view of every move can be captured. Do not place the camera where movements can be obscured. Your nanny may not be able to explain the bump on your baby’s head, but the camera will tell all.  Think about installing a fake air freshener, up high, in a corner, above the door, facing the tub area.  It’s really sad, but the truth is that bath time has been said to be a high stress moment for most nannies, especially if they’re caring for more than one child and it’s been a “long day.”   This is a common time for “accidents” to happen.

Use the pinhole camera in the living room. This is where nannies spend their time watching TV. Check if she is watching adult movies instead of letting the kids watch their favorite cartoon show. Children are impressionable and pick up what they see and hear every single second. Be alert to this and make sure you know what your nanny is allowing on the television.  Of course, now with the advancement of technology, you can install other parent watch software directly on your TV now.

If you have watched YouTube videos showing nanny brutality, most of them show the nanny’s back and the baby cannot be seen. You could not see if the nanny was pinching or squeezing the baby. Avoid this oversight, place hidden nanny cameras on both walls (even if you have to risk having more than one “air freshener” on the wall.)  It’s better to have your nanny cam discovered, and have her be extra careful because she knows she’s on camera.  You have to ask if they have any problem working while being taped, then why are they working there?  Sometimes, simply be asking this question will cause your nanny to be extra cautious just because now she has reason to believe she may be recorded.

If you’ve caught the nanny being abusive on tape, even mildly verbally abusive, fire her on the spot! Don’t wait until things worsen, or more harm is done to the children.  It would be the responsible thing to do for other families in the nanny’s future to report her and let other families know not to hire her.  Unfortunately, it doesn’t take much to hurt a small child or even cause fatal brain injuries.  Most fatal injury cases report that the nanny was under great stress, very apologetic, and shocked at the severity of damage done with slight shaking or hitting.  Who knows, you may be the person who saves a child’s life in the future.  If you should have the misfortune of discovering a nanny who shouldn’t be in the business, don’t just fire her, report her to authorities and file charges so that it appears on official records.  You won’t just be doing the kids a favor, but the nanny as well.  Nobody wants or intends to lose their temper and hurt a child.  It’s a devastating reality and you can do something about it.

Get a Nanny Cam on Amazon.com.
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Questions to Ask When Hiring a Nanny.

Questions to Ask When Hiring a Nanny.. If you’ve chosen the best way for you to find quality childcare is through a nanny agency, ascertain you use one that is a trusted source. Obtaining a referral from a person you know who has used the services offered by agencies is a great way to find a company you can trust. Another way to explore the reputation of the company is by finding out whether it has any professional affiliations.

Questions To Ask Yourself First: Utilizing a nanny agency can make the process of finding childcare providers easier, faster and more convenient. Before you even start using any particular agency, you should ask yourself some important questions. For instance, how much time do you have left before you’ll have to hire a nanny?  Are you in a rush or when do you absolutely have to have a nanny by?  There are some good agencies that actually offer last minute hiring. What type of service do you need? How many hours at a time will you require a nanny to watch over your child? Would you want to be able to speak with your potential nanny first by phone before setting up an interview with her in person?

Questions To Ask Your Agency: In any case, if you think an agency is a company you really want to use, do some preliminary research first. You could contact the Better Business Bureau to find out consumers complaints regarding the particular agency. Now you can ask some important questions. Ask what costs are involved with the registration or application and if charged fees are refundable. Ask how the company conducts background checks and if you will be able to obtain a copy. Some agencies require that their applicants have special training such as CPR and First Aid, so inquire about that. Moreover, ask about the company’s policies and guarantees. For instance, what if there is a disagreement between you and the nanny? How will the company handle that? These are just some basic but very important questions to ask your nanny agency.

Top Questions to Ask When Hiring a Nanny:

  • What kind of experience do you have?
  • Do you have references?
  • Do you have any problems with your background?
  • May we do a background search?
  • What are your thoughts on discipline?
  • How do you feel about part time or full time?
  • Are you available for travel?
  • Do you want live-in or live-out nanny services?
  • Will their be any cleaning responsibilities?
  • Will the nanny have access to the entire home?
  • Will the nanny have access to a family car?
  • Will the nanny have insurance benefits?
  • Will the nanny be paid gross or net?
  • What will the exact detailed duties be?  Exactly.
  • Will the nanny earn any additional benefits or bonuses?
  • Is there anything the nanny is not comfortable with?
  • Very important to ask: “Why do you want this job?”
  • Determine the nanny’s pay rate.
  • Determine the weekly schedule.
  • Contract negotiations or agreements signed.
  • Agree to have a week long trial run before the contract can be enforced.

Remember, when hiring a nanny, it’s really like inviting another person into your home and your family.  More important than anything is to take your time and be patient enough to wait for the perfect fit.

Discover the most reputable online babysitting agencies and learn your options on how to find a babysitter online. Find a babysitter that fits your family’s needs.

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Top Traits You Want Your Nanny To Have..


Top Traits You Want Your Nanny To Have..

There are many nannies available, but parents select only those nannies who can keep their child safe, happy, and healthy. If you want to work as a nanny, you have to demonstrate that you are the best candidate for the position.  And sometimes, you may only have one shot to make your impression.

Some of the qualities that a nanny should have are as follows: Kind, Giving, Smart, Common Sense, Sense of Humor, Responsible, Reliable, Trustworthy, Confident, and Life Experienced.  See to it that nanny shows personal interest in your child and also that your child is comfortable with her.  It would be exceptional if your child took to the nanny immediately, but sometimes a friendly connection takes some time.

She should be excited in meeting your child. A good nanny will not keep thinking about money all the time.  If a nanny candidate expresses sole interest in her salary, benefits, time off, car, ect…  then that should be a red flag to move on and keep searching.  Although money is an important aspect while conducting the interview, the question of money should never precede the actual job offer and discussing duties required.

A nanny can be well paid, if she’s mindful, productive, and easy to work with. There are many nannies who solely work for paycheck, but a little child’s life is being put in the hands of a virtual stranger. Common sense would tell any parent to make sure money isn’t their only goal. You may need someone who works not for greed or money, but to protect the well being of your child. There are some nannies that get nervous on seeing a small kid, but then, they are not nannies.

Nannies should have confidence in their ability to communicate with your child and should not hesitate when asked to hold them. Make sure that she understands and respects your child beliefs and values. Some women have a set of values and rules which they want to instill in their kids. Your kids are your kids. Be sure they won’t inflict their ideas and values on your child. Your nanny should be trustworthy. Your nanny should not look in the least bit concerned when you say that you will be dropping in every once in a while. If she looks shocked or upset at the very idea, forget her. A good nanny won’t care, and frequent popping in should not pose any kind of threat or problem.

You should have a playful personality. You can find a nanny’s behavior as he or she interacts with your child. A nanny will ask how you are and engage in friendly conversation. A nanny want discuss her personal problems with you. If you want to become a nanny ask your friends or family what qualities they like in you. A nanny has Inquisitive nature. He or she will ask a lot of questions regarding the child as to what is child’s favorite food, movie, games and stuffed animals etc. To become a good nanny, you should ask questions that will make your nanny status more enjoyable and effective. A nanny should always be on time and not give any lame excuses if she is late. If you want to become a great nanny it would be nice if you come 5-10 minutes early before parents leave for work. If you are coming late, let the parents know in advance so that they can make alternative arrangements.

One final thing to remember is to create your own set of standards to help you when speaking with prospective nannies.

There are countless agencies and organizations that provide non-profit services for those hiring them, such as the International Nanny Association. Following are their standard qualifications for a nanny:

  • The individual must be at least 18 years of age.
  • The individual must have at least a high school education or have the equivalent.
  • The nanny must be in good health, including up-to-date
    immunizations required for the area they are serving, and have a
    negative TB test done.

Does the age of a nanny matter? You may be looking for someone that will be able to provide you with physical interaction with your child, for example, someone who could keep up with your three young children. Or, you may be looking for someone that has a great deal of experience and perhaps a more
meticulous outlook on child rearing. It is up to you to decide what qualifications your nanny should have. A nanny can be anyone you wish, over the age of 18 that you feel has the right qualifications you set
forth.

Although the qualifications of a nanny center on your actual preferences for them, there is one rule that should always be considered being that they should always have a genuine interest and love in children. One should respect children and truly enjoy being around them. Look for a nanny that considers this to be their career, or even their calling, as opposed to someone who looks at this as just another job.

Hilary Basile is a writer for MyGuidesUSA.com at http://www.myguidesusa.com, you will find valuable tips and resources for handling life’s major events. Whether you’re planning a wedding, buying your first home,
anxiously awaiting the birth of a child, contending with a divorce, searching for a new job, or planning for your retirement, you’ll find answers to your questions at MyGuidesUSA.com.

Charles is an expert author, who is presently working on the site live in nanny, nanny jobs. He has written many articles in various topics. For more information about nanny services, live out nanny. Visit our site nanny agencies. Contact him at noblenanny.articles@gmail.com


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Live-In Nannies and How Much To Pay Them.


Live-In Nannies and How Much To Pay Them. Nannies are employed to look after children in the family home either on a live-in or live-out basis, depending on the parent’s needs. Nanny services range from full time live-in or live out, part-time, or just for weekends.

Live-in nannies are the most flexible option as they can be called upon for last minute aid. In an emergency, however, they are present in the house and promptly help out. Their training in house keeping is also advantageous. Live-in nannies generally expect their own bedroom and bathroom although they are equally comfortable sharing a bathroom with the children. You should understand that when you have a live-in nanny, your home is their home. You have to work out beforehand how you feel about having the nanny’s friends or partners around.  Also, you would want to arrange the details about the family car too.  Is the nanny going to have full access to a family vehicle, or is it only for use with the children?  These details will be greatly appreciated if this is all spelled out for both parties.

A live-out or daily nanny often feels more like a business arrangement. The nanny only does the day’s fixed work and leaves. With a live-in, the line is less easy to define, as the nanny is with you all the time and becomes equally responsible for the general house keeping and well being of the family.

The advantages of having a live-in nanny are many; especially if you are a single working parent, you can leave your children in safe hands without a worry. Live-in nannies are likely to be the most flexible childcare option of all but also the most expensive. A nanny can offer your child individual concentrated attention and if you find one who stays for a good length of time, they become like an extended member of the family, lending a helping hand, adding to your joys and easing your worries. Your children will be cared for in their own home and receive one-on-one care that is very essential for a healthy development. A nanny is, however, an expensive option and the entire cost including tax, national insurance and increased bills, it may not be that easy on your pocket.

Employer ethics are a major issue of concern in live-in nanny cases. Your children deserve a nanny who loves her work and gives it her best effort. You can make the workplace delightful or miserable, depending on your skills as a good employer. Your good and considerate treatment of the nanny then becomes a must. The need for building a healthy relationship with your nanny further increases. She must be given some time of the day when she can enjoy privacy or meet her family and friends to rejuvenate.  It’s actually quite important to allow plenty of time for your nanny to have some time away from the house.  This will keep your nanny feeling more rested and appreciated.  To check into local live-in nanny’s salaries, consult the US Dept of Labor – Wages Listings.

There’s a great nanny site out there called, “4nannies.com”  It’s very informative and very well organized.  They cover all sorts of topics in demand:

  • The number of hours care is needed each week. A full time nanny will typically average 45 hours per week. Longer scheduled days will require additional compensation. If the work week is expected to be greater than 55 hours per week, the family is advised to split the job between two employees.
  • Geographic region of country. The highest salaries are paid in major metro markets such as Boston, New York, Washington, Atlanta, San Francisco and Seattle.
  • Whether position is live-in or live-out (in some areas a live-in nanny’s salary is less; in other parts of the country there is little or no difference)
  • The nanny’s experience
  • The number of children and the job responsibilities.
  • Benefits, such as health insurance.
  • General Wage/Salary Considerations
    Compensation Packages
    Bonuses
    Overtime
    Paydays
    Expenses
    Performance Reviews
    Calculate Nanny Payroll Tax


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Directory of Baby Product Manufacturers – Phone List

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How to Travel on a Budget.. With a Baby!


How to Travel on a Budget.. Lots of families out there want to get out and see stuff.  They want to leave their troubles behind and spread their wings!  Even if that means heading just 100 miles away to go camping.    Vacation season is in full swing and American families are hitting the road with excitement. According to AAA’s annual vacation cost survey, the combined lodging and restaurant costs for vacations have jumped up 3.7% since last year, making this year’s vacation price higher than ever before. That’s why you have to put your frugal travel hat on and get creative.

Biggest Money Wasters on Travel..

  • Purchasing tickets at the last minute.  Rates are always higher when you book it late.
  • Buying too many travel supplies and accessories than needed.
  • Stopping to buy $30 worth of snacks at every truck stop.
  • Paying for parking at the airport when you could have someone drop you off.  If you have a family, consider having a friend or family member drive your family car to the airport to drop you off and then pick you up.  This one little thing could save you hundreds!
  • Over indulging in spa services – vacationing above your means.
  • Impulse purchases – lame souvenirs that are likely to end up at Goodwill.  Souvenirs are fun and help the economy of the place you’re visiting, but be conscious of how much you’re buying and make your purchases count.
  • Dining Out – If you’re traveling alone, this is definitely a cheaper way to go if you know how to order  smart.  But when you’re traveling with kids and several family members, this can be a challenge.  Dining out with 2, 3, or even 4 kids can be fun and interesting, but it can also cost you a fortune.  Talk to your kids about the family budget and let them know that you would appreciate them doing their part.  This way, when it comes to dining out at restaurants, your kids have a good understanding that they don’t need to order everything on the menu.  If you’re traveling with infants, that’s simple.  Most of the time they’re sleeping.  But with toddlers, you want to bring something with you that you know for sure they will eat.  Typically restaurants won’t care if you bring something in for the kids.  They want them happy too.  Another dining out money saver is ordering a larger meal and splitting it between two people.  You could also try to find a “buy one entree, get one free,” coupon if you know where you’re going ahead of time.  If your hotel has a business center, you could use the internet there to find the restaurants website and do a local search.
  • Credit Cards – If you’re vacationing on credit, you’re tossing money out the window.  Unless you’re using a credit card with 0% interest, your vacation is going to cost you far more than you think!  If you must use your credit card to pay for things like airline ticket, charge only the amount that you’re sure you can pay off quickly.  You don’t want to get stuck with months of high interest payments.

Now that we’ve covered “what not to spend money on,” lets talk about what TO do to save money on travel.

The average cost of food and lodging for two adults and two children is $269 per day. It’s the lodging rates that hit the hardest, going up 7.9% since last year. Meals, on the other hand, have slid down 1.3%, making eating on the road a bit less expensive, but not enough to counteract the spike in lodging.

According to AAA, the most expensive vacation spot is Honolulu, Hawaii with an average food and lodging cost of $584 per day. New York City and Miami Beach rank second and third, costing $524 and $409 per day respectively for a family of four.  However, there is hope for U.S. travelers who wish to go out west. According to the AAA survey, Albuquerque, New Mexico averages only $165 a day and Arizona costs $180 a day for the four person family making these three cities the least costly travel spots in the U.S.  If you’re just looking for some sun and warmer weather, Arizona with sight seeing, horseback riding, and a swimming pool, might be perfect for everybody.

An unpleasant truth is that food and lodging are not the only costs involved in a vacation. Hidden costs such as tolls and parking must also be considered as well. Every dollar you spend, matters. Watch what you need to spend money on, vs. what you just want.  Entertainment is yet another cost that may go under the radar as well as souvenirs, maps and travel guides, even gum!  It all adds up.

With gas prices on the rise, the fuel it will take to get to your summer hotspot will also add to the vacation expenses. It is important to plan ahead and budget for this cost by utilizing a fuel calculator – a variety of which may be found online at Mapquest and other travel calculator websites. Simply knowing how much you will spend on gas may affect your other vacation expenses.

Ever thought about traveling with an RV?  RV traveling is not the only way to save on your vacation, but is one of many tactics to keep your vacation inexpensive while still keeping the fun. Many families take trips in two or three days, staying at a hotel half-way to their destination. A great way to avoid such mid-way lodging costs all together is, if possible, to wake up early and drive through the day. Although you may not enjoy hitting the road at 5am, thinking of the money saved on lodging will help.  This is also the perfect time to come together as a family.  You can play games, listen to music, and even make some food while dad is driving.  It’s a smart way to kick of a summer vacation.

Also, bringing food and drink along for the ride cuts food costs. Once you arrive at your destination, locate a grocery store and prepare most of your food at your home away from home. Dining out for all vacation meals will incur a large cost that can easily be avoided.  Dining out is actually one of the biggest travel expenses you will have.  You can master how to enjoy your food while traveling and keeping it cheap.  You definitely don’t have to spend a lot to eat great and have fun.

Regarding the entertainment, when traveling with children, bring your own entertainment such as movies and board games. Consider lodging where entertainment is “built-in,” such as a beach (or within walking distance to a beach), mountain or lake.  Many lodges and lakeside hotels keep complimentary paddle boats and kayaks.

Finally, seek out discount rates for airlines and hotels. Many hotels and airlines offer discounted rates when large vacancies exist.  It’s best to travel in mid week and off seasons for the best deals.  And there are great deals out there!  However, keep your guard up as there may be some deals that really are too good to be true.  Beware of offers that are non-refundable or do not disclose enough information about your travel options.  It’s best to book trips and tickets online with a reputable and established company.

Here’s a little airline tip:  If you book your flight through an online company like Travelocity, and you ever need to make changes to your flight dates, don’t call Travelocity to make the change.  Avoid the change fees that can be upwards of $220.  Instead, call the airline directly and request your new travel dates.  Airlines will sometimes have change fees too, but they are much, much less.  You may end up paying $35 instead of over $200.

These budget tips will ease vacation expenses, making you more relaxed and focussed on your family.  After all, vacations can be even more fun when you know you paid less and everybody’s happy.

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