3 mistakes to avoid while choosing an au pair
Getting an au pair for your baby is a major step. Unlike nannies, au pairs are like temporary family members who will be providing live-in childcare assistance. The most unnerving part of welcoming an au pair in your home is that you don't know them well. Moreover, the biggest challenge is to make them comfortable to develop a harmonious relationship. Therefore, while seeking the services of an au pair childcare agency, ensure that you avoid the following mistakes:
  • Overlooking the agency's credentials Your first job is to find a reliable au pair childcare agency. Make sure that the agency is accredited by respected organizations. Furthermore, inquire how they review and select the prospective au pairs. Likewise, understand how they match au pairs and families together. Crisis management is crucial when it comes to au pairs, therefore, probe on how they have handled any form of problems in the past. Since au pair services require a hefty investment, don't forget to get a clear picture of all the costs involving the application, program, and weekly stipends.
  • Not thoroughly assessing the au pair's application The au pair childcare agency will send you the application of the au pair you are interested in. So, scrutinize it and look for important details. For example, if you are expecting the au pair to drop and pick your kids from school, check if they have a valid driver's license.
  • Not communicating with them You should insist on having a word with the potential au pair as it will allow you to get to know them and their expectations better. You can come to a consensus on things like everyday duties, weekly stipends, and know if they want to take up a language course during their stay. Therefore, if you like an application, ask the au pair childcare agency to set up a phone call or video chat with the au pair. It will also be a great opportunity to convey your hopes about this alliance and avoid any confusions later.
Here are some popular au pair childcare agencies you can check.
  • The International Au Pair Exchange
  • Au Pair Foundation
  • Cultural Care Au Pair
  • Au Pair in America
  • Go Au Pair
  • Agent Au Pair
  • USAuPair
  • InterExchange Au Pair USA
Cost of the au pair exchange program if you want to host an au pair, be mindful of the financial add-ons. These include non-refundable application and processing fees, program fees, a weekly stipend, language course fees and, an overall increase in your household expenses for a year. Usually, the program fees charged by the au pair childcare services come down to a minimum of $7,000 approximately. Furthermore, the minimum weekly stipend for an au pair is around $200 per week. Likewise, an English language course can cost $500 or above approximately.
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Here's what you need to know before getting an au pair
An au pair is an adult or a young adult aged between 18 and 30 years, who belongs to a different country and provides live-in domestic childcare for approximately 10 to 12 months. An au pair can play a role of an elder sibling for your children. You can find these individuals via au pair childcare agencies that ensure protecting the rights and interests of the involved parties. By the means of this exchange program, parents get a lending hand and reliable companion for their kids. Moreover, the au pair gets an opportunity to experience the country's culture and learn its language. Au pairs are often compared to nannies. However, there are some major differences between the both such as: Age limit Agencies facilitating au pair childcare services have certain age requirements, whereas while hiring a nanny, there is no such prerequisite. Background check Au pair services make sure that they thoroughly review the prospective au pairs as well as their families to thwart exploitative activities. On the contrary, a potential nanny's records have to be verified by the parents. Working hours Au pairs are live-in caretakers but they have designated work hours that can be anywhere from 30 to 45 hours per week, which are agreed upon by both, the host family and au pair. Similarly, nannies have specific work hours, but they should abide by the country's labor laws. Nationality The au pair program's objectives revolve around positive cultural experience. Therefore, the au pair is required to be of another nationality. On the other hand, parents looking for nannies preferably want a local resident. Remuneration An au pair is supposed to receive a weekly stipend, which is usually around $200 a week. Likewise, a nanny receives a weekly or monthly salary that should meet the country's minimum wage standards. Education If the au pair wishes, they can take up a language course during their stay in the country. The host family is responsible for managing the required fees. Conversely, a nanny doesn't require a language course. Likewise, the family isn't accountable for any of their educational expenses. Employee status An au pair is considered as a temporary family member and friendly companion for the kids, while a nanny is an employee who is supposed to look after the kids mostly while the parents are away. Since an au pair isn't an employee they can quit any time they want. Responsibilities The duties of an au pair are only restricted to childcare and some light domestic work. On the contrary, a nanny's routine tasks will depend on the agreement between the nanny and the employer. The costs of au pair childcare services will vary across agencies. Typically, au pair childcare agencies charge a program fee, which can be between $7,000 and $9,000. These exclude the non-refundable application fees and minimum weekly stipend expenses.
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Baby strollers-A highly useful asset for your little one
The arrival of a baby marks the start of a whole new time and phase in the life of a parent. This is a time when love and affection take a priority even as the logistics of raising a baby into adulthood will become the uppermost concern on everyone's mind. There are several products that we tend to invest in, when a new baby is on the way. Starting from clothes to cribs and even baby strollers or prams, there are a number of things that make life easier when you have to handle a baby. It is imperative to invest in the right kind of products because handling the delicate infant is a matter of getting the position, posture and other such details correct so that the child and mother are both comfortable. For this, one will have to look into many details so that the products will actually help in taking care of the child. Here are a few tips on buying the best kind of baby stroller for your baby. Lightweight and easy to push One of the main things to remember is that you will need all your strength and both your hands at the same time for your baby. For a while, the new mother will not be able enjoy a hands-free existence unless the baby is sleeping. So, it would be best to invest in a stroller that is lightweight and easy to push rather than a very heavy duty stroller, which will cause discomfort for the mother. Brakes and other mechanics There are a number of mechanisms that have to be in place so that the baby stroller is safe to use. You will need to check the brakes and ensure that they work properly and are easy to apply. Also, ask for a demo at the store so that there is no confusion thereafter. Further, you can check for the guarantee or warranty on the stroller and find out what all it covers. Also, the wheels and other aspects should be checked properly. This is especially important so that your toddlers and older children are also safe in case they are walking beside you while you have the baby in the stroller. Expandable and foldable The average baby stroller today is one that can be expanded in terms of size and also folded so that you can easily stow the same when you are on the go. Ensure that these mechanisms work properly and check for the location of the levers so that the same is well out of the baby's reach and grasp. Try and choose a piece that can later on accommodate a toddler as well so that you do not have to invest in a new baby stroller with the growing years. Do check whether the seat can be pushed upright so that the baby can easily sit up when he or she starts to sit.
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Let your babies go mobile with baby strollers
While traveling, to keep your baby safe and comfortable, you need a stroller. For buying a stroller you do not have to shell lot of money. You can find the best baby strollers at a decent price. Strollers come in various price range and offer different features. As new parents, you may be confused to make the right choice. Don't get anxious. Our guide will help you to choose the right one for your child. Always buy a stroller that is certified by the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA). For newborns: You need a special baby stroller when you are travelling with your newborn. Until the baby is 6 months old, you need a carriage that can fully recline to support the infant. Travel system: Most of the first time parents prefer to go for a travel system that comes with a car seat and can snap into the stroller. Once the baby starts to sit up, the stroller can be used to move the baby around. Jogging stroller: For the new mothers who want to get back into shape immediately after delivery, jogging strollers are an excellent option. They have a sporty look and come with three wheels, making it easy to push while jogging. Do not buy this until you are very serious about jogging. Umbrella stroller: If your baby is older than 6 months, go for an umbrella stroller. It is very light weight and is perfect to carry while handling a toddler. How to buy the right baby stroller Before shopping for your first stroller, set a budget. It will make it easy for you to narrow down your choices. You can go for a super deluxe stroller from popular brands between the price ranges of $100 to $300 range. Things you need to test before making a purchase include the following: Make sure the stroller you are buying fits into the trunk or the back seat of your car. Ensure opening and closing of the stroller is easy. It should be convenient for you to lift and carry the stroller when it is open or folded. There should be enough storage room to fit the baby gear in the stroller. Check for cup holders and a snack tray. Ensure that you can adjust the backrest easily. Fastening and unfastening the harness should be simple. It must come with easy-to-use brakes and swivel lock mechanisms? The handle height and the grip should be comfortable for you. Warranty and return policy: The warranty offered by most manufacturers cover flaws and poor workmanship. It does not cover the malfunctions. If you happen to buy a defective baby stroller, you can get it replaced at the store where you bought it from. Buy a stroller from a store that offers long-term return policy and keep the packaging safe until you are completely satisfied with your purchase.
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How to choose a crib for a baby
Choosing the different items to bring up your baby in the best possible way is one of the most important things that every new parent must do. A crib, stroller, carrier, bath tub and other such items are some of the things that we invest in, when a baby is about to arrive. In most countries like the US, it is imperative to install a baby seat in the car and even have it checked before you take the baby home from the hospital. The crib and the stroller are also equally important, and they must be chosen and installed with great care for comfort and safety of the parents as well as the child. The crib is one of the most important things for the baby. This is the piece of furniture where the baby will spend maximum time, especially in the first three months of his or her life. Therefore, one must choose the same with care. Come and find out what all you must look at when you are choosing a crib. Safety: The wood must be soft and the textures must be smooth even as all sharp edges are rounded off and completely eliminated. This is one of the most important aspects while choosing a crib, because eventually, the baby will start to finger the rails and learn how to cruise around this space and even haul himself or herself up using the bars. Remember, this is not an expense, but an investment. Stability: This is another crucial detail that one must check and double check before buying a crib. Most cribs in the US and other such countries come with wheels attached to the legs. Therefore, you would do well to actually place a few items in the crib and check for any creaking sounds as well as the stability of the plank, which is to hold the mattress. Further, it is also important to check if there are any breaks that you can apply for these wheels so that the crib does not move and cause an injury once the baby starts to get up and lean against the bars of the same. Mattress: Another important fixture within the crib is the mattress. Now this is important because it will support the delicate spine and rest of the infant's body while the child sleeps, sits, rolls over and bounces about. So, choose something like foam which will be soft yet sturdy enough to take the shape of the baby's form and give much support. The growing child will need the best materials. Use mattress pads on the sides of the crib so that the child does not get hurt by the rails while rolling over and sitting up against the same. Also, the bedding should be soft and ideally made up of cotton and other such breathable textures. This will keep the child comfortable and also produces less risk of choking.
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Crib - A baby's best friend
The crib is the first place where you put your newborn to sleep at home. It is the best choice for your tiny one to sleep when compared to a bassinet, cradle or a bedside sleeper. When you plan to buy a crib for your baby, ensure buy a JPMA certified one. Our guide will help you buy the best piece for your baby. Buy the basic one: Just go for a crib that has no finials or scrollwork because sometimes your baby's clothes may get caught in the details and hurt the baby. The US Consumer Product Safety Commission has eliminated the drop-side models as they have been the cause of death of at least 32 infants. So the safest buy is the basic one that meets all the mandatory safety standards, has slat strength, structural integrity, and mattress support. Go for safety first: Never go for a used crib as it may not meet the safety standards. If you want to buy an old one, do not buy anything that is older than 10 years. Whether you are buying a new one or an old one, check for the spaces between the slats. It should not be wider than 2 3/8 inches. Also look for any edges that are sharp and bulging out nuts, screws, posts and knobs. Opt for a firm mattress: Do a safety check on the mattress before buying. Push it down with your hands to see if it bounces back firmly or not. Soft mattresses are one of the main causes of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) in the US. According to the Federal law, the mattress in a full-sized crib must be 27 ¼ inches wide and 51 5/8 inches long. And it should not be more than 6 inches thick. Make sure the mattress fits snugly in the crib. Also buy sheets that fit firmly to the mattress. If the sheets are loose and don't fit tightly, there is every chance of your child being entangled to the sheet. Avoid putting stuffed animals in the bed with your baby because they act as suffocation hazards in the bed. Same is the case with bumper pads that come along with bedding sets. Tips for your baby's safety: Put your baby to sleep on his or her back. Be sure to buy a crib model that has not been recalled by the manufacturer. Inspect the hardware and the screws regularly and tighten them if required. Once your baby starts pushing his or her limbs, remove the mobiles. Place the crib away from windows, drapes, blinds, toys, curtains to avoid any accidents. Keep the baby monitor's cords away and out of reach. Once your baby learns to climb out of the crib, stop using it immediately.
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Prepare for the unknown by saving your baby's umbilical stem cells
There are many different types of cells in the human body. One of the most important are the stem cells. These cells have the ability to morph into any other type of cell whenever required. They cells can be harvested from two sources a person's bone marrow and a baby's umbilical cord. While harvesting it form the bone marrow can be painful, harvesting stem cells form the umbilical cord does not harm the mother or the baby in any way. If the child happens to suffer from blood disorders or immune system disorders, these stem cells can be used to treat the child. LifeCell is India's largest stem cell bank with over 12 years of experience in dealing with umbilical stem cells. Apart from being easy to harvest, there are many reasons why umbilical stem cells are preferred over bone marrow stem cells. Firstly to use stem cells to treat a patient, it must match a number of parameters. In the case of bone marrow stem cells, all six parameters need to be a match while in the case of umbilical stem cells, only 4 parameters need to match. Harvesting the umbilical cord also allows you to preserve the cord tissue, which is not possible in the case of bone marrow harvesting. What happens with the stem cells at LifeCell? Once the blood from the umbilical cord is collected, it is sent for testing to a lab. Here it is registered, tested for infections and checked for sterility and cell count viability. The stem cells are then separated from the cord blood and the cord tissue samples. The stem cells and the cord tissue are frozen at a temperature of -196 degrees Celsius so as to be preserved until needed. LifeCell is the only stem cell bank that gives you the opportunity of dual site storage facilities. What this means is that the stem cells harvested are stored in two different places so as to protect it from being destroyed by an unforeseen disaster. Umbilical stem cells can be harvested for only upto 10 minutes after the baby's birth. Some of the reasons you should consider harvesting your baby's umbilical stem cells are: The availability of Indian donors for stem cells is particularly low and there is already a very long waiting list for these cells. If stem cell treatment is required, a person's own stem cells are the first line of treatment. Umbilical cord stem cells can be used to treat a number of conditions ranging from diabetes to autism and cerebral palsy. It can cost upto 20 lakhs to buy stem cells from a stem cell bank. Hence, though it may seem like a major investment, it is well worth saving your baby's umbilical stem cells with LifeCell.
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Stem cell banking with LifeCell
LifeCell is one of the most important global names involved in stem cell banking. Stem cell banking involves the practice of collecting blood that is still leftover in the umbilical cord of the new born baby as well as the placenta so that it may be used in the future for medical treatment purposes. There are a number of reasons why this has emerged as a major and important practice after child birth. Come and take a look at the reasons why you should get cell banking done. What are stem cells? The basic building blocks of a human body have been categorized as stem cells, and they help in the effective development and functioning of various organs. These cells can repair and replace in order to treat certain life threatening diseases. This is especially helpful for immune diseases, which can be treated with the help of stem cells because they can repair and restore normal functioning of the damaged organs. The cells that are to be used for treatment will be harvested and then processed so that the repair functions can start. Why should you bank stem cells? The stem cells of your baby must be banked because it can help in transplants to restore the functioning of damaged organs. Also, it is important because it can also help in harvesting cells of rare ethnicity in case you are in a part of the world where you cannot find that ethnicity. This makes it very important so that any kind of disease can be fixed. Where do you find stem cells? The stem cells can be found in various parts of the body like the dental pulp, menstrual blood, bone marrow, fat cells and even the peripheral blood. This is usually concentrated in the umbilical cord, which needs to be harvested for repair and restoration of diseased organs. What is the potential of stem cell banking? There are over 500 clinics that have been registered under LifeCell. These clinics are authorized to conduct transplants and other therapeutic treatments. The procedure has already helped in conducting over 5000 transplants the world over. It has the potential to become a routine practice with the mere cost of banking the stem cells at the birth of a child. The probability of a person requiring a stem-celled based transplant has gone from 1 to 217 for the average person. This also increases the scope of this procedure. What is the probability of an effective treatment? The treatment has a high matching probability if the stem cell can be found for the right patient. The existing inventory has been raised to many hundreds of thousands of units as well, which makes it that much easier to find a match. Also, there is immediate availability of frozen stem cells so that people can avail the same in case there is an emergency.
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Recent Posts
  • Five healthy drinks to aid your weight loss

    Our desire for luxury and our fast-paced life has affected everything right from our education, family life, our work to our health. It is very ironic that our ancestors who didn’t experience our sort of luxuries were the ones fitter than us and they definitely led happier and longer lives. Our health has become a real cause of concern as majority of the population suffers from cardiovascular diseases, high cholesterol, blood pressure related issues, PCOD, respiratory diseases, etc. Most of these ailments are triggered by obesity which is sadly on the rise because of the unhealthy lifestyle that everyone has adopted. Obesity in childhood is an invitation for a series of ailments that can leave us damaged for the rest of their lives. But again, where there’s a will, there’s a way.

    If losing weight is your prime motive and you sweat it out for hours in the gym or practice yoga religiously , then there’s something that can act as a catalyst in helping you achieve your goals faster. These days people resort to plenty of health drinks that guarantee faster weight loss. Some of them are genuine ones while others merely play on people’s insecurities. But here are some genuine health drinks that would aid you in your journey to lose weight.

    • Green tea is one of the most effective health drinks that almost half of the population vouches for. It increases your metabolism and boosts your immunity system. If you feel queasy after a heavy lunch, sip on some green tea, you would notice the difference right away. Also, it is a great source of antioxidants!
    • The combination of lemon, honey and hot water  has been aiding weight loss since ages. It increases your metabolism which helps you burn your calories faster. Also, the honey in this combination energizes you when you workout.
    • Vegetable juices are a very popular choice when it comes to losing weight. It has a lot of fiber that helps reduce your food cravings and satiates you. You feel fuller once you had it and you won’t be eyeing the cookie jar for the next few hours.
    • Black coffee is credited with increasing your body temperature and thereby increasing your metabolic activity. Two cups of black coffee are enough keep your food cravings at the bay for a few hours.
    • Cranberry juice aids your weight loss as it is high in antioxidants and prevents water retention in your body. The added advantage is that it tastes yummy!

    These are just some of the few health drinks that help you in your journey to lose weight. You can definitely surf the internet for different ideas to make health drinks that can  bring you closer to your goal.

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  • What are 7 days gluten free diet plans?

    The 7 days gluten free diet plans specially designed by culinary experts and nutritionists are known to offer nutritionally balanced and delicious gluten-free meals at 5 different calorie levels. These 5-calorie levels include 1200, 1400, 1600, 1800, and 2000 calories. The gluten free recipes do not include food products like barley, wheat, oats, and rye. In the meal plan are included some gluten-free products like cookies, pasta, and breads.

    Gluten Free-Diet Plan
    The 7 days gluten free diet plans for different calorie levels vary. For example, for the 1200-calorie level, the 7-Day Gluten Free Meal Plan that must be followed is as follows:
    You can have a quick breakfast such as taco, 1 medium orange, 1 cup skimmed milk on the first day, and 1 cup of honeydew melon can be eaten as the morning snack. For lunch you should eat a tossed salad (mix 1 cup with oil salad dressing and vinegar), sliced tomatoes, 1 cup skim milk, and 3 ounces cooked chicken breast without skin. For afternoon snack, it is best to have fresh baby carrots.

    Gluten Free Food for Dinner
    The last meal of the day, dinner, is also very important and you can have bistro beef tenderloin, half cup cooked brown rice, 1 medium nectarine, and half cup steamed green beans. All these food items are healthy gluten-free products that are scientifically proven as healthy foods. Including gluten-free foods in your diet is an excellent way to achieve the goal of weight loss. You can kick start your healthy regime with scientifically and nutritionally balanced breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Some of the snack time and breakfast time gluten-free foods that can be relished include gluten-free lemon buddies, homemade original chex cereal, and gluten-free chili chocolate bars.

    Meal Planning
    It is difficult and challenging at times to plan a meal, especially when you need to follow a diet that is free from gluten. You can try out the 7 days gluten-free meal plans with simple gluten-free recipes available online. Starting with Sunday, the items that can be included for breakfast are yogurt parfait to go, flax and apple raisin oatmeal, creamy green smoothie with a hint of mint, sweet potato pancakes, egg and spinach bowls, gluten-free blueberry pancakes, and pomegranate banana ginger blast.

    Delicious Gluten Free meals
    These delicious and comprehensive meal plans designed for 7 days of a week are mouth-watering and very healthy to eat. Many different types of food items can be prepared with gluten-free ingredients and the recipes of gluten free meals are available online and even in recipe books. The gluten free diet is very useful and is included in the diet for treating celiac disease. You can enjoy these delicious meals that are free of gluten in restaurants also, if they have a gluten free menu. You can make use of the 7 days gluten free diet plans even for children with gluten intolerance, to help them fight celiac disease. The items that can be included for children are gluten free mini cherry crisps and gluten free honey nut vanilla parfait.

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