Sunday, January 31, 2010

Nanny and Au Pair Review of BPA-Free Evenflo Classic Glass Nurser

Ever since the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had a press conference warning Americans to avoid plastics with BPA we have been reviewing baby bottles without the harmful chemical. The label to look for on plastic dishware, bottles, and containers is, "BPA-free. " The plastics to avoid will be labeled with, "3, 7, or PS" on the packaging.

The Evenflo Classic Glass Nurser is most popular because it's not made out of plastic and is BPA-free. The Evenflo Classic Glass Nurser gets praise from caregivers for its relative simplicity and easy cleaning. Evenflo also provides a polypropylene bottle and a tritan bottle without BPA. But in the spirit of avoiding all plastic chemicals we are asking for nannies and au pairs for their reviews of the Evenflo Classic Glass bottle. Be sure to include your review below in "comments."

Evenflo Classic Glass Nurser
Basic glass baby bottle

• BPA-free
• Easy to clean and sterilize
• Dishwasher safe
• Easy to heat
• Sturdy
• Inexpensive

• Glass bottles are heavier than plastic
• All glass bottles are somewhat vulnerable to breakage

What do you like about the Evenflo Glass Nurser?

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Weekly Trip to the Library

We have been discussing the dangers of ingesting BPA a chemical commonly used in baby bottles. This week we started reviewing 12 BPA-free baby bottles.

When you work as a nanny or au pair you will often feed infants with bottles (with breast milk of formula), especially when the mother is working. No one bottle is perfect for every child. Here is a great book to help parents and caregivers determine which bottles and pacifiers to use with the children in their care.

Balancing Breast and Bottle: Reaching Your Breastfeeding Goals
By Amy Peterson and Mindy Harmer

Although many companies claim their bottles are most like breastfeeding, no bottle nipple style is right for every baby. Balancing Breast and Bottle: Reaching Your Breastfeeding Goals provides caregivers with valuable information on how to select and use the bottle nipple or pacifier that is best for each individual breastfed baby.

Authors Amy Peterson and Mindy Harmer help mothers solve the dilemma of how to feed a breastfed baby during separation, while protecting the breastfeeding relationship, and making sure that every mother can reach her breastfeeding goals. The authors combined professions of International Board Certified Lactation Consultant and Speech-Language Pathologist bring two unique and informed perspectives in selecting and using artificial nipples for a breastfed baby.

Balancing Breast and Bottle: Reaching Your Breastfeeding Goals helps mothers understand the basics of breastfeeding and how a baby's suck can be used to select the best bottle nipple. Tips for collecting, storing, and stockpiling milk are included, along with various pumping scenarios to ensure that the baby's bottles are loaded with as much breast milk as possible. In this book, mothers will learn how to find the ideal balance between breastfeeding, pumping, and bottle-feeding for their own family. By following the tips in this book, every mother can feel confident that her baby will eat when they are apart.

What is your favorite baby bottle?

Friday, January 29, 2010

More BPA-Free Baby Bottles

Review of Dr. Brown's Natural Flow BPA-Free Baby Bottles

This week we have been discussing Bisphenol-A (BPA) a hormone-disrupting chemical that is now considered harmful to human health and the environment. It has been known that scratched and worn polycarbonate feeding bottles will leach this chemical into liquids.

This week, we have been reviewing baby bottles that are BPA-free.

Dr. Brown’s is another baby bottle manufacturer that makes BPA-free baby bottles. Designed by a doctor in 1996 and patented in 1997, the Dr. Brown’s Natural Flow® baby bottle was the first baby bottle to feature an internal vent system that eliminated the vacuum, air bubbles and negative pressure associated with conventional bottle feeding. Dr. Brown’s offers a completely safe glass bottle. But their new Dr. Brown’s plastic baby bottles and training cups are completely FREE of Bisphenol-A (BPA), PVC, lead, and phthalates.

Remember, all glass bottles are inert and cannot leach BPA chemicals into liquids, foods, or the environment.

To learn more about Dr. Brown’s Natural Flow glass bottles visit their web site by clicking here.

Dr. Brown’s Natural Flow


· BPA-free
· Dishwasher safe
· Microwave safe
· Venting system
· Easy to heat
· Can boil safely
· Durable
· Milk stays warmer longer in glass bottles than in plastic bottles
· Good variety of sizes and shapes

· Difficult to clean
· Leaks if not upright
· Doesn’t come with a protective sleeve
· Their glass bottles are more expensive than plastic bottles
· All glass bottles are somewhat vulnerable to breakage

What do you like Dr. Brown's Natural Flow BPA-free baby bottles?

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Review of Born Free Bisphenol-A Free Baby Bottles

We have been discussing the dangers of ingesting Bisphenol-A (BPA), a common chemical found in baby bottles and many food containers. To see our comments about the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) statements encouraging Americans to avoid BPA click here.

Breastfeeding is one way to reduce potential BPA exposure. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends exclusive breastfeeding for a minimum of four-months but preferably for six-months. But, as nannies and au pairs we must use baby bottles to feed infants while mothers are working. So, it is important for us to use BPA-free baby bottles.

On Monday, we reviewed the Adiri nurser and Avent Via BPA-free bottles. Yesterday, we discussed the Wee Go glass nurser by Babylife. Today, we ask nannies and au pairs how they like the Born Free plastic baby bottles.

The Born Free BPA-free baby bottles are endorsed by many organic feeding experts. These bottles are guaranteed to be free of BPA. Born Free does use not polycarbonate in their feeding bottles. All parts of the bottles are designed to withstand sterilization by regular boiling at five-to-ten minutes intervals.


· BPA-free
· Venting system
· Valve to prevent leaks
· Wide nipple base mimics breast in five flow rates
· Wide neck for easy washing and filling
· Easy to hold
· Top rack dishwasher safe
· Recyclable


· Leaks if nipple or valve not inserted correctly
· Expensive

Have you used Born Free baby bottles? What do you like about them?

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Review of Wee Go Nurser by Babylife

We have been discussing recent reports by the FDA suggesting that the chemical bisphenol A (BPA) in the plastics used to make many types of baby bottles could cause behavioral changes in babies, contribute to early onset of puberty in girls, and even to cancer. To see our list of 12 BPA-free baby bottles click here.

Yesterday we reviewed the Adiri bottle and Avent BPA-Free Via System. Today we review the Wee Go glass baby bottle by Babylife. Let us know if you have used this bottle and if you like it below.

Wee Go bottle by Babylife

Glass bottles don't contain BPA. But some people are think glass bottles can break easily. The Wee*Go bottle from BabyLife answered that concern by putting a rubbery sleeve around the outside of the bottle to protect the glass and give baby an easy surface to hold on to. The sleeves come in several colors. The entire bottle assembly is free of BPA, PVC, and polycarbonates. The bottle and sleeve can go into the dishwasher together for easy cleaning. The cap and ring should be hand washed, though.

To find out more about the bottles visit the Wee Go by Babylife web site.

  • BPA-Free glass
  • No breakage silicone covers in six fun colors
  • You can boil them safely
  • Microwave safe
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Fits most breast pumps


  • Heavier than plastic
  • Pricey
  • May be on backorder since such high demand after FDA report on dangers of BPA

Have you tried using the Wee Go nurser by Babylife? What did you like or dislike about the product?

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Review of BPA-Free Baby Bottles

What Do You Like About the Adiri Natural Nurser of Avent Via Baby Bottle?

Yesterday we posted 12 BPA-free baby bottles. Today we will start reviewing the first two BPA-free bottles from that list. We would like to know what nannies and au pairs like and dislike about the baby bottles. Please comment below to share your experiences using the following bottle.

Natural Nurser (Out of Business, But Can Still Find Them in Stores)

The Adiri claim to fame is that they are the most natural nurser bottle that resembles mommy's breast, reducing nipple confusion. But, they have gone out of business, which is sad since with the new finding by the FDA regarding BPA leaching into baby milk the company would undoubtedly found an increase in sales now. The company statement is: "We at Adiri would like to thank our loyal customers, retailers and partners for all the support you have provided Adiri and its products over the years. Unfortunately, due to the financial pressures that many businesses face today, we made the difficult decision to cease all business operations.
With gratitude, we wish you all the best of luck. Warmest regards, The Adiri Team"


• Most natural to breast
• Dishwasher safe
• 3 nipple flows
• Leak-proof cover
• Soft
• Vent system to avoid bubbles


• Difficult to warm
• Hard to clean
• May leak until you get used to using it

Avent VIA System

The only BPA-Free Avent bottles are in the Via system and they are brown-tinted. The company promotes the ease of cleaning the bottles which consists of only three components and has a cap for hygienic storage and transportation. The company boasts that their bottles are clinically proven to significantly reduce fussing. There are five different nipple flow rates available.


BPA-free (with a natural honey-colored tint are BPA-free only)
• Easy to clean and fill
• Dishwasher safe
• Valve flexes to allow air into bottle to prevent air bubbles in baby's tummy
• Easy to latch on, easy to combine breast and bottle feeding
• Good value
• Interchangeable bottle system is convenient, but other products are NOT BPA-free


• Wide nipples make in hard for some babies do not have mouths big enough for nipples
• Don’t over tighten lids or they will leak
• Many other of their interchangeable products, like their breast pump and sanitizer, are not BPA-free
• Beware: their classic bottles are not BPA-free

Tomorrow: Review of Babylife Glass Nurser

Please share what you like or dislike about these baby bottles with other nannies and au pairs.

Monday, January 25, 2010


Which Baby Bottles are Safe for Nannies and Au Pairs to Use With Infants? By Stephanie Felzenberg, Nanny & Editor Be the Best Nanny Newsletter

On January 15, 2010 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that bisphenol-A (BPA) does affect human development and they are working to take the chemical out of infant formula cans and baby bottles. Meanwhile, Canada has banned all plastics containing BPA from their markets. For now, the FDA encourages Americans to limit exposure to plastics that contain BPA. To see how to reduce exposure to BPA click here.

I work as a nanny. Since my employer is expecting a newborn any day now, I spent hours searching the World Wide Web last week trying to determine if the baby bottles they have already purchased are BPA-free. It was extremely difficult to understand the manufacturer’s long-winded customer service statements.
The jargon is so confusing that I have come to the conclusion that BPA-free plastic products will advertise that fact. If the plastic product does not say it is BPA-free, assume it is not BPA-free. In fact many of the stores I visited last week, (my local Shop Rite, Costco, Wal-Mart, and Target), already have displays of BPA-free baby bottles, sippy cups, and water bottles because it is a good market now. Some newspapers report that glass baby bottles are on back order since so many people are ordering the BPA-free glass since the report by the FDA.

The FDA also says it is working to require BPA manufacturers to report how much of the chemical they are producing and where it is being used so that it can more easily regulate the chemical. That should help consumers like us in the future.

Below is my list of BPA-free baby bottles I found on the Internet in the past week. If you know of others please feel free to share the brand names with us.

Tomorrow we will start to review the BPA-free baby bottles and ask nannies, au pairs, and parents to share why they like, or do not like, the baby bottles they have used.

Be the Best Nanny Newsletter List of BPA-Free Baby Bottles:

1. Adiri Natural Nurser

2. Avent VIA System

3. Babylife Glass Nurser (WeeGo)

4. Born Free Bisphenol-A Free

5. Dr. Brown’s Natural Flow

6. Evenflo Classic Glass Nurser

7. Green to Grow Baby Bottle

8. MAM by Sassy

9. Medela

10. Playtex Drop-Ins Premium Nurser

11. The First Years Breastflow

12. Thinkbaby

If you care for an infant, are you using BPA-free baby bottles? What do you like, or not like, about the baby bottles listed above?

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Reducing BPA Exposure to Children for Nannies and Au Pairs

Friday we asked if nannies should throw out plastics containing BPA. Yesterday we recommended two books by Alan Greene, an advocate for reducing exposure to BPA. Today we post an article by the author about reducing BPA exposure.

Reducing BPA Exposure: The FDA Finally Concerned By Alan Greene

What should parents [and caregivers] do now? The FDA has finally, in January 2010, reversed its earlier position of calling exposure to small amounts of bisphenol A (BPA) safe. They now agree with the National Toxicology Program at NIH that there is reason for some concern about the potential effects on the brain, behavior, and body of a child when exposed to small amounts of BPA before birth, during infancy, or in early childhood. Together NIH and the FDA are embarking on research for the next 18 to 24 months to answer key questions about BPA and to map out the extent of concern. In the meantime, the FDA has announced that they are taking reasonable steps to reduce human exposure to BPA in the food supply – especially for young children.

How are children exposed to BPA? BPA is the chemical used to make some plastics transparent and hard. It’s been used in many plastic bottles and food containers; it’s also used in the epoxy linings of many metal food and beverage cans. Either way it can get into what we eat and drink and has been found in the bodies of more than 90 percent of Americans tested. Just changing to BPA-containing water bottles for one week raised BPA levels by two-thirds in a recent study of Harvard college students.

I’ve been concerned about the effects of BPA on our children for years (see Raising Baby Green and Feeding Baby Green, and this interview from Stanford).

If your baby has already been exposed, there is no reason for panic. BPA has been in common use for decades. Whatever health effects BPA causes, we already see them in the general health of today’s children. It’s not that we’re expecting a new epidemic, but that reducing BPA exposure could lead to even healthier children in the future.

In sharp contrast to its earlier reassurances about the safety of BPA, the FDA is now taking welcome steps to improve the health of our children:

  • They support manufacturer’s efforts to produce BPA-free baby bottles, sippy cups, and feeding containers.

  • They support efforts to replace BPA or remove BPA from the linings of food and beverage cans.

  • They endorse the Department of Health and Human Services recommendations for infant feeding and food preparation to reduce exposure to BPA:

1. Breastfeed when possible for at least 12-months; when not an option, infant formula is the safest alternative.
2. Discard scratched or worn baby bottles and feeding cups.
3. Temperature matters. More BPA transfers when hot liquids come into contact with the plastic or can lining.
4. Check the labels on your bottles and food preparation containers. In general, plastics marked with recycling symbols 1, 2, 4, or 5 or not likely to contain BPA (remember, 12:45). Or look for products labeled BPA-free.
5. Also, “Adults and older children should follow reasonable food preparation practices to reduce exposure to BPA.”

I’m excited about the FDA’s 2010 New Year’s resolution and expect it to help babies across the country (not to mention older children and adults) have the brains, behavior, and bodies they want for years to come.

Note: Dr. Greene teamed up with BornFree in September of 2008 to help teach families about important issues concerning BPA, phthalates, and PVC.

1. Carwile, J.L., Luu, H.T., Bassett, L.S., Driscoll, D.A., Yuan, C., Chang, J.Y., Ye, X., Calafta, A.M., and Michels, K.B. “Polycarbonate Bottle Use and Urinary Bisphenol A Concentrations.” Environmental Health Perspectives, Sep 2009, 117(9):1368-1372.

2. US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). “Bisphenol A (BPA) Information for Parents.

3. US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). “Update on Bisphenol A for Use in Food Contact Applications: January 2010.

What do you think? Should we serve children meals and drinks in plastics containing BPA? Will you be throwing out plastics with BPA?

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Book Reviews for Nannies and Au Pairs Concerned About BPA

Weekly Trip to the Library: Feeding Baby Green and Raising Baby Green

In photo, Dr. Alan Greene, author of Feeding Baby Green and Raising Baby Green has a balanced approach to reducing BPA in children's diets.

Yesterday we asked nannies and au pairs if they have thrown out baby bottles that are not BPA free. To continue the discussion of reducing children’s exposure to BPA we recommend two books by Dr. Alan Greene, a leading voice of the green baby movement.

Dr. Greene is a Stanford pediatrician and author of the popular web site He has been concerned about the effects of BPA on children for years. Dr. Greene truly believes that reducing BPA exposure could lead to healthier children in the future. Below are short reviews of two of his wonderful, easy-to-use guides for feeding and raising babies organically.

Feeding Baby Green: The Earth Friendly Program for Healthy, Safe Nutrition During Pregnancy, Childhood, and Beyond
By Alan Greene

This book offers caregivers green choices for feeding children from when they are in the womb through toddler years. It includes advice on how to transform a baby's eating habits that will positively impact their health and development for the rest of their lives. Dr. Greene has included everything caregivers needs to know about creating healthy, nutritious meals that help avoid childhood obesity, and prevent childhood disease.

The book explains how what a mother eats during pregnancy effects her baby's health and eating habits for years after birth. It provides a guide to "green" feeding for babies from pregnancy to toddlers. The book is filled with practical tips and advice for selecting and preparing earth friendly meals for babies. The author shows the health benefits for babies who eat "green" with innate nutritional intelligence.

Raising Baby Green: The Earth-Friendly Guide to Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Baby Care
By Alan Greene

In this book, Dr. Alan Greene teams up with a consumer health reporter, an author of parenting books, and consumer advocate Jeanette Pavini. She includes information for making smart choices and applying green principles and specific recommendations for hundreds of products. to They include everything from choosing the best diapers to selecting nontoxic nursery paint and organic baby food is offered along with common sense advice about diaper rash and food allergies.

He also shares his own childhood eating habits and takes a nonjudgmental approach, offering specific brand suggestions for organic baby formulas knowing that some mothers need that option. Parents of picky eaters will especially appreciate the tips for engaging toddlers in new flavors and aromas.

Tomorrow we will post an article by Dr. Alan Greene about BPA in baby bottles.

Have you thrown out plastics with BPA in them yet?

Friday, January 22, 2010

Should Nannies and Au Pairs Throw Out Plastic Baby Bottles?

FDA Issues Warning About BPA Exposure

It is all over the media that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that Americans should avoid plastics with the chemical bisphenol A (BPA). The Canadian government is banning all baby bottles made with BPA. Wal-Mart and other stores are starting to pull BPA bottles off their shelves.

The FDA, National Toxicology Program (NTP), and the
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), explain BPA can leech into the milk, juice, or water in bottles. BPA may lead to health effects, including behavioral problems, diabetes, reproductive disorders, cancer, asthma, heart disease, and effects that can go from one generation to the next.

As a nanny or au pair you must show your employer's this article (and google the term BPA and you will find plenty of articles about the new FDA recommendations).

You can keep plastic dishware that is cloudy or soft. BPA is used in polycarbonate plastics to make them hard and clear. Cloudy and soft plastics are BPA-free and safe to use as bottles and dishware.

BPA is found in baby bottles, dishes, and water bottles. Follow the guidelines below from the FDA, NTP, and NIEHS. Then, clear the cabinets of plastic dishware and bottles containing BPA.

1. Look on the bottom of the plastic dish or bottles. Do not use plastic containers with a number 3 or 7 or the letters PC on package? Plastic containers with the number 3 or 7 or the letters PC are plastics containing BPA. There should be a triangle formed with arrows which contains a number. This number is a code for recycling purposes that tells you what sort of plastic is in the item.

2. Breastfeed infants for at least 12-months. If breastfeeding is impractical, iron-fortified formula should be used regardless of whether it comes in cans lined with BPA-containing plastic.

3. Discard scratched baby bottles or scratched sippy cups.

4. Don't put boiling water in BPA-containing plastic bottles. Mix powdered formula with water boiled in a BPA-free container and cooled to lukewarm.

5. Warm ready-to-feed liquid formula by running warm water over the outside of the bottle. Do not heat any kind of baby bottle in the microwave.

6. Make sure plastic bottles and containers are labeled "microwave safe" or dishwasher safe" before putting them in the appropriate appliance.

7. Discard all plastic food containers with scratches.

8. Avoid canned foods such as soups and tomato-based pastas, which had the highest levels of BPA. Canned infant formula has over 200 times the recommended safety levels of BPA. But, as mentioned in #2 the FDA recommends if breastfeeding is impractical, iron-fortified formula should be used regardless of whether it comes in cans lined with BPA-containing plastic

9. Some plastic wraps contain BPA. Check the labels for "BPA-free" wraps.

Click here to see the FDA statement on BPA.

FDA/Health and Human Services news conference, Jan. 15, 2010, with William Corr, deputy secretary, Department of Health and Human Services; Margaret Hamburg, MD, commissioner, FDA; Linda Birnbaum, PhD, director, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, National Institutes of Health; and Robin Ikeda, acting deputy director for non-communicable disease, Environmental Health and Injury Prevention, CDC. News release, American Chemistry Council. FDA news release and fact sheet. Department of Health and Human Services news release and fact sheet.

MONDAY: Which baby bottles are safe and BPA-free?

Have you thrown out plastic containers and bottles containing BPA? Why or why not?

Thursday, January 21, 2010

How to Talk to Kids About Haiti

Psychotherapist from Gives Advice to CBS for Inspiring Empathy, While Reassuring Kids

We only are posting a small portion of this copyrighted article. Please visit the CBS web site to read the entire article. We recommend donating to the American Red Cross for Haiti relief.

(CBS) It's tough enough for adults to deal with the harrowing images coming out of Haiti. But how do we explain this kind of catastrophe to children?

Psychotherapist Robi Ludwig, an author and contributor to the family website shared with the CBS The Early Show how to talk to your children about Haiti with a healthy sense of empathy, while reassuring them of their safety.

Tragedies, such as the earthquake in Haiti, Ludwig explained, can be used to give your children a sense of empathy, and it can be used to educate them about the circumstances of children from different parts of the world.

"Most children do not have a full sense of what is reality versus what is fantasy," she said. "So the most important thing to keep in mind is supervision. If you are worried about your kids being overexposed, do not let them watch TV alone. If the TV is on, sit with them. If they see graphic images on the news, you will be there in case they have any questions, or if they get frightened. Of course, you won't be able to monitor all of your child's media, not in today's society."

In addition, parents, she said, should also be aware of their computer and Internet, cell phone and iPhone usage.

"If possible, be in the room with them as they use it," she said.

So how do you talk to children of different ages?

If your child is more than six-years of age, Ludwig said it's OK to tell them all about the fact that they were privileged to be born where they are, because so many in the world have so little.

Ludwig suggested talking to your younger child about the fact that we have safer earthquake buildings, how our country is well prepared in case of emergencies, and talk to them about the availability of fresh water and food.

Also, it might be useful, she said, if you have kids of various ages, to use the older ones to help the younger ones.

Parents can also impress on their children the importance of helping others through charitable action.

Please click here to view the entire copyrighted article on CBS News.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

How to Donate for Earthquake Relief

Only Donate to Reputable Charity Organizations

Yesterday we listed ways for kids to raise money for Haiti. Today we not only urge you to donate money for earthquake relief but also know who you are donating to. Only donate money to reputable charity organizations.

Reputable nonprofits that are already staging and providing relief to Haiti include Red Cross, Doctors Without Borders, UNICEF, and The Salvation Army. Your donation can be tax deductible if your charitable organization can accept tax-exempt donations. To see a list of organizations that can and cannot accept tax deductible donations click here.

Before Donating Money to Haiti:

1. Start with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS): The IRS provides a list of all of the organizations that have received tax-exempt status. Click here to search the IRS for charities.

2. Visit the Better Business Bureau (BBB) web site: The BBB has a portion of its site devoted to donating money. It provides a database of approved organizations, as well as general advice and information for donors. Click here to visit their charity section to get reports on specific charities, ask about a charity, lodge a complaint against a charity, and get more tips on charitable giving.

3. How much goes to the cause? While some foundations give 100% of the donation to those in need, others retain a percentage to cover operating costs. Charities will be up front about this (they have to, according to the IRS) so make sure to do your research so that you end up with an arrangement that makes you comfortable.

4. Visit the Guidestar web site. Guidestar provides information about charities and can confirm that your donation will be going to the right place.

5. Don't give out your personal or financial information freely. If you give a credit card number, address, birth date, you can be a victim of identity theft.

Have you donated to a charity to help Haiti earthquake victims? What have you done to help?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Get Kids Involved in Helping Haiti

Fun Ways to Get Kids to Help Haiti Earthquake Victims

Photo: A young injured earthquake survivor holds a piece of bread in a makeshift shelter in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Thursday. A 7.0-magnitude earthquake struck Haiti — Photo by The Associated Press

The earthquake in Haiti has been catastrophic. More than three million people have been affected, and estimates are that over 50,000 have died.

We have already asked you to donate $10 to the Red Cross by texting “HAITI” to 90999 or Call 1-800-REDCROSS. But you can also donate to other reputable nonprofits that are already staging and providing relief to Haiti such as the Doctors Without Borders, UNICEF, and The Salvation Army.

To determine if your donation will be tax-exempt click here. Stop by tomorrow for more information to safely donating money to Haiti.

Here are fun ways to get children involved in raising money for this cause:

Help the children you care for, or their school, to form a hop-a-thon to raise money for Haiti earthquake victims. Invite the children’s friends and neighbors over to join in. Have adults pledge money per hop, and donate the earnings to the Red Cross or other reputable organization listed above. The children hop for one minute, with the adult timing the minute.

This is one of the most basic ways to raise money for charity. You will need to ask the school, religious organization, or boys or girls club for permission to ask parents and caregivers help children make baked goods and then buy them. All money generated should be donated to the Red Cross or other reputable charity for Haiti relief.

I am sure you must have seen these donation boxes at the cash counters in stores where you shop. But you can extend this to school, church, college, and office canteens. Advertise with the school or organization telling children, parents, and caregivers to bring in their spare change to donate to Haiti earthquake relief.

What have you done to help the earthquake victims in Haiti? Any ideas on getting the kids involved?

Monday, January 18, 2010

Martin Luther King Jr. Day Activities for Nannies and Au Pairs

Each year on the third Monday of January schools, federal offices, post offices, banks, and many offices across America close to celebrate the birth, the life, and the dream of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Martin Luther King, Jr. led the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s. His peaceful means of protest is known as passive resistance. His 1963 "I Have a Dream" speech dealing with peace and racial equality is one of the most powerful speeches in American history. Dr. King was assassinated in 1968.

To honor the civil rights activist with children do some of the activities listed below. Click here to see fun activities and songs we posted last year. Click here for a list of children's books to read to learn about this American hero.

Create a Multicultural Banquet!
One of Martin Luther King Jr.'s greatest achievements was his ability to help Americans appreciate diversity. Celebrate his birthday with an eclectic holiday dinner featuring cuisine from different countries or geographical regions. Serve Puerto Rican rice and beans, Boston clam chowder, a Chinese stir-fry, and a peach pie from Dr. King's native Atlanta. The variations on this theme are endless, and the dinner doesn't need to be time-consuming. You can achieve almost the same effect by stopping for takeout from Kentucky Fried Chicken, Taco Bell, and your local Italian pizza parlor.

If I Could Change the World...
Dr. King was a man committed to making a difference in the world around him. He wanted to see men and women of all races living peacefully with one another. Because he worked hard to make the changes he desired a reality, much of the world felt the impact of his life and work. Today, we still need boys, girls, men, and women committed to making our world a better place.

Ask the children, "If you could change the world, what change would you make?" Remember that Dr. King's work began in his own community. If you want to make a difference in the lives of others, the best place for you to start is in your own neighborhood. Brainstorm a list of five to ten steps you can take immediately to bring about in your own community the change you seek.

How Would Segregation Feel Like to You?
One of the injustices Dr. King fought was segregation. Under segregation, laws kept blacks and whites apart. They were not allowed to attend the same schools or churches, eat in the same restaurants, drink from the same water fountains, or even use the same restrooms.Imagine that similar laws were passed today, preventing people of different races and cultures from living in the same neighborhoods, going to the same schools or churches, working together, and even playing together.

Ask the Children:
1. "How would you feel about these laws? Why?"
2. "How would such laws change your community?"
3. "What percentage of your classmates would no longer attend your school?"
4. "How many friends would no longer be able to attend your house of worship?"
5. "What if your family were forced to move to another neighborhood, change schools, and churches, shop at new stores, and avoid restaurants, parks, and other places you had visited before segregation?"

Have the children write a short story about what this strange new life might be like.

Do you work today? If so, are you planning any activities to honor Martin Luther King Jr.?

Sunday, January 17, 2010

World Religion Day

Celebrating Unity Among Faiths

Today is World Religion Day. The purpose of World Religion Day is to promote the unity and similarity of spiritual faiths. We can teach children religious tolerance without denying them from accepting and practicing the faith of their parents.

An easy way to celebrate World Religion Day with children is to use stencils to draw different religious symbols. Another great resource to use with children is:

Kids Book of World Religions by Jennifer Glossop

Here are some religious symbols in alphabetical order:

Baha’i Faith









Stop by tomorrow for activities to honor Martin Luther King Jr. on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Martin Luther King Jr. Books for Children

Weekly Trip to the Library

On Monday January 18, 2010 Americans honor the great civil rights activist Dr Martin Luther King Jr. with a day of service.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day is a United States holiday marking the birth date of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., observed on the third Monday of January each year, around the time of King's birthday, January 15.

Martin Luther King Jr. led the civil rights nonviolent activism movement of the 1960's. At the age of 35, Martin Luther King Jr., was the youngest man to have received the Nobel Peace Prize. When notified of his selection, he announced that he would turn over the prize money of over $54,000 to the furtherance of the civil rights movement. He was assassinated in April 4, 1968.

Here are some books to use with children to learn more about the nonviolent civil activist.

Martin's Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
By Doreen Rappaport

This picture-book introduces Martin Luther King Jr. to young children. It uses quotes from King's writing and speeches from King's life, beginning with his childhood experience of seeing "White Only" signs sprinkled throughout his hometown. He questions his mother about their meaning, and she assures him, "You are as good as anyone." Listening to his father preach, the boy asserts that "When I grow up, I'm going to get big words, too."

The author also discusses King's role in the Montgomery bus strike that followed Rosa Park's 1955 arrest for refusing to give up her seat to a white passenger and his subsequent efforts as a civil rights crusader. After briefly describing the circumstances of his death, the story concludes, quite abruptly, with the statement, "His big words are alive for us today."

The author relies on Martin Luther King's own words to show his power, passion, and pacifism. Watercolor and cut paper collage art feature closely focused, lifelike images of King and other individuals against an inventive montage of patterns and textures. The portraits of the civil rights activist exude his spiritual strength and peaceful visage.

Martin Luther King, Jr.: Apostle of Militant Nonviolence
By James A. Colaiaco

This short book for older children discusses all the main issues and themes of the life of King. The author traces the course of events from the emergence of Martin Luther King, Jr. as a national black spokesman during the Montgomery bus boycott to his radical critique of American society and foreign policy during the last years of his life. He also provides the first in-depth analysis of King's famous Letter from Birmingham Jail - a manifesto of the American civil rights movement and an eloquent defence of non-violent protest.

Kid's Guide to African American History: More than 70 Activities
By Nancy I. Sanders

Reveiw by Carolyn Phelan

This large-format paperback introduces many aspects of African American history, from Africa to colonial America, from plantations, to emancipation. There is also information about the Underground Railroad, the Civil War, the achievements of black Americans, the civil rights movement, and hopes for the future. Throughout the book, crafts and other projects offer nannies, parents, and teachers practical ways to involve children in African American heritage.

Included are activities such as making a bead necklace, constructing a star-watching chart, and various recipes and crafts that revolve around the symbols of Kwanzaa. The pages are well designed, with illustrations in shades of gray and plenty of white space.

Stop by next Saturday for another Weekly Trip to the Library.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Make Money, Not Excuses

Make Money, Not Excuses:
Wake Up, Take Charge, and Overcome Your Financial Fears Forever
By Jean Chatsky

Jean Chatsky is a popular financial advisor with appearances on the NBC Today Show, each Wednesday at 9am EDT.

If you enjoy shopping and hate dealing with finances, then this book is for you. Jean Chatsky will gently guide you with a little prodding to quit whining and get your finances in order.

She believes if you want to get rich, if you want to be wealthier than you are today, you really need to do only four things:

1)You need to make a decent living.

2)You need to spend less than you make.

3)You need to invest the money you don't spend so that it can work as hard for you as you are working for yourself.

4)And you need to protect yourself and this financial world you've built so that a disaster -- big or small -- doesn't take it all away from you.

She also has sprinkled through out "Map to a Million" which shows you what saving and investing a certain amount of money will grow to in 20 or 30 years. Some of the amounts are really shocking. For example start investing 10% of a $35,000 income at 30 years old and you will have $457,254 at retirement.

If you are a beginner in personal finance read this book!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Prince Charming Isn't Coming

Prince Charming Isn't Coming:
How Women Get Smart About Money
By Barbara Stanny

Barbara Stanny is a money expert that has appeared on numerous national and regional television and radio programs to spread her message of financial empowerment for women. As the daughter of the R in H & R Block, she grew up relying on her father, then her husband, to manage money. But, a financial crisis became her personal wake-up call. Her journey to financial enlightenment is an inspiring story, and became the basis of her books.

Barbara Stanny offers the skills and attitudes for women to adopt. The heart of the book is her Seven Realizations of Financial Enlightenment, which provide a path to financial empowerment. You will enjoy reading about her personal journey from financial ignorance to financial strength. There is a quiz in the book that is very useful in determining your personal financial situation.

Click here to see our review of another Barbara Stanny book, Overcoming Underearning(R): A Five-Step Plan to a Richer Life.

Have you read Barbara Stanny books? How do you feel about her Seven Realizations of Financial Enlightenment?

To see our next favorite book about money management for women stop by tomorrow for Make Money, Not Excuses!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Women and Money - Owning the Power to Control Your Destiny

You have undoubtedly seen the very popular financial advisor Suze Orman on Oprah or her ET Saturday night televison series, "The Suze Orman Show."

In her book Women & Money: Owning the Power to Control Your Destiny she tackles the complicated relationship women have with personal money management.

Women & Money: Owning the Power to Control Your Destiny
By Suze Orman

Review by Daphne Durham

Money expert Suze Orman's book, Women & Money: Owning the Power to Control Your Destiny addresses the complicated (and often dysfunctional) relationship women have with personal finance.

Orman's direct, non-condescending style is perfect for this subject matter -- she begins with the premise that "Women can invest, save, and handle debt as well and skillfully as any man" and then tackles the important question --"So why don't they?"

Designed to educate and inspire, Women & Money: Owning the Power to Control Your Destinyalso offers a "Save Yourself Plan," a five-month program that "delivers genuine long-term financial security."

Read this book and you'll be "controlling your destiny" in no time.

Tomorrow: Prince Charming Isn't Coming

Have you read this book? What did you get from Suze Orman's advice?

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Financial Planning is an Emotional Issue

Book Review of Smart Women Finish Rich By David Bach
Book review by Brad Doll

Today we continue our recommendations of the best books for nannies to help manage money. Since most nannies are women, the focus of our next book is to help women understand that financial planning is as much an emotional issue as it is an intellectual one.

Smart Women Finish Rich:
9 Steps to Achieving Financial Security and Funding Your Dreams
By David Bach

David Bach's Smart Women Finish Rich: 9 Steps to Achieving Financial Security and Funding Your Dreams (Revised Edition) is a homage to the financial wisdom of his grandmother; it's also an excellent foundation for women who are starting to get their financial lives in order. He explains that people rarely know what is truly driving them emotionally when it comes to money.

In response, Bach has written a guide to money management for women based on his belief that "financial planning is as much an emotional issue as it is an intellectual one."

Are you considering your values in your work and investing? What part of your daily work is driven by your goals in life? Is your latte habit preventing you from accumulating substantial wealth? Bach addresses tax strategies, wills, insurance, retirement plans, and investments in a highly accessible manner. Smart Women Finish Rich bridges the gap between simple saving strategies and preparing for widowhood and financial independence.

Tomorrow: Owning the Power to Control Your Destiny

Monday, January 11, 2010

On My Own Two Feet: A Modern Girl's Guide to Personal Finance

By Manisha Thakor and Sharon Kedar

There are plenty of books about financial planning, how to save money, save for retirement, buy a first home, and invest money. But, how many of them are addressed to single women? If you are a single woman, On My Own Two Feet: A Modern Girl's Guide to Personal Finance, is a must-read.

Most young women haven't been taught to manage their money and go out to dinner, go to concerts and clubs they cannot afford, get manicures and pedicures, and fill their closets with Prada and Louis Vuitton. But, On My Own Two Feet: A Modern Girl's Guide to Personal Finance teaches single women how to balance their desire to live well today with the need to save and invest tomorrow.

Financial service professionals and CFAs ManishaThakor and Sharon Kedar teach single women:

1. How much of your income to save
2. How to avoid the perils of credit card debt
3. How to create a budget you can live with (and still have fun).
4. How to invest wisely using a powerful, keep-it-simple plan
5. How to deal with real life situations - such as figuring out how much home or car you can afford and how to handle money when you couple up with that someone special

The sooner you apply the basic financial concepts highlighted by the authors, the more likely it is that you'll achieve common life goals such as owning a home, providing for yourself, and taking fun vacations -- all free from financial stress.

Tomorrow: Financial Planning is an Emotional Issue.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Easiest Way to Lose Control of Your Life is to Lose Control of Your Money

Women and Money

Since most nannies are women, this week we will review our favorite books to help women manage their money.

Even in this century and new decade, many women let the men in their lives manage their money for them.

But, don't you hate women who just sit around waiting for Prince Charming to sweep them off their feet? What if you are single and you don't get married, wouldn't you still like to own a home? If you are married, shouldn't you be able to spend and invest your hard earned money smartly and as you like? The authors of A Girl Needs Cash shows women how to do that.

A Review of A Girl Needs Cash
By Joan A. Perry and Dolores A. Barclay

Many women neglect their financial lives, assuming that a "White Knight" will take care of it for them. But, the easiest way to lose control of your life is to lose control of your financial life. Joan Perry had a successful Wall Street career until a failed love affair and a lost nest egg made her rethink her priorities. She shares what she learned in her book by discussing the psychology of women where money is concerned.

Today, through her company, Take Charge Financial!, Perry helps women gain control of their money and their lives by building long-term financial well-being through smart investing. Joan Perry addresses the psychology of women where money is concerned, teaches them how to take control of their finances, and invest successfully.

Some of the important topics discussed:

Taking charge: Perry shows you step by step how to review your spending habits and develop new sources of income to create the kind of life you want to live--now and well into your future.

Creating the "money machine": Perry shows how to build a personal "money machine" to generate real cash flow with the right investment choices for you--stocks, mutual funds, real estate--and understand the tax choices that affect your cash flow.

A Girl Needs Cash is a great book to show women how to take control of their finances and how to invest successfully.

Stop by tomorrow for: On My Own Two Feet.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Books About Managing Money (For Nannies)

Weekly Trip to the Library

This week we discussed starting the new year with a new attitude towards managing your money. We told you to plan a budget and live within your means.

The next most important step is to pay-off debt. Then, you should build a savings account or emergency fund. Once your debts are paid-off and you have a good savings you should consider retirement investments and finally if there is some income left over give to charity.

Here are just a few of our favorite book choices to help you gain control over your finances.

The Money Book for the Young, Fabulous & Broke
By Suze Orman

Suze Orman has been writing financial advice books since 1995, and she makes it easy for those of us with little financial experience to understand.

This book is aimed specifically at "Generation Broke," those in their twenties and thirties who are working, yet buried in credit card debt and student loans. This user-friendly guide offers a clear introduction to practical investing and money management techniques that can turn even a dismal financial situation around.

Suze Orman has a knack for taking the fear out of money matters, and in The Money Book for the Young, Fabulous & Broke, she shows readers how to set priorities and achieve goals, whether it is to buy a house or save for retirement or pay for a child's education.

She also offers inspiration to readers to face their financial problems and get started on a solution. After all, there is good news: young people still have the time to correct problems so that they will never be broke again. Readers who find terms such as diversification and IRA rollover scary--or worse, unimportant--will learn much from this book.

She clearly explains what a FICO score is and why it's so important, offers the lowdown on stocks and mutual funds, provides career advice, and offers lots of tips on dealing with student loan debt, saving money even when times are tight, debt consolidation strategies, and the safest way for newlyweds to merge their finances. She also offers information on credit cards, including why canceling cards is not a good idea, when it makes sense to use them, and the best strategies for paying them off. It may not be the only money book you'll ever need, but it's an excellent place to start. -- Shawn Carkonen

See a review of her book The Road to Wealth: A Comprehensive Guide to Your Money: Everything You Need to Know in Good and Bad Times [ROAD TO WEALTH REV/E] below and stop by next Wednesday when we will review the book: Women & Money: Owning the Power to Control Your Destiny by Suze Orman.

Overcoming Underearning® A Five Step Plan To A Richer Life
By Barbara Stanny

So many nannies complain about how their employers buy too many clothes, waste their money throwing out so much food, buy too many toys. But, there is no reason for nannies to worry about how their employer's spend their money. They can do what they wish with their money. You only have to worry about your own money. Even the low income nanny can manage her money, improve her attitude, take control of her money, and have a high quality of life.

Overcoming Underearning(R): A Five-Step Plan to a Richer Life asks:

1. When it comes to money, are you controlled by fear?
2. Do you underestimate your worth?
3. Are you ready to go to the next level, but can't seem to get there?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may be an underearner. Underearners are self-saboteurs who don't live up to their earnings potential, says Barbara Stanny, a financial educator, motivational speaker, and career counselor. Whether they make $10 an hour or six figures a year, they tend to live paycheck to paycheck, are often in debt, and have a high tolerance for low pay. Ironically, many work incredibly hard.

The good news is that underearning is a self-imposed condition. By focusing on overcoming it, underearners will not only earn what they deserve, but live a richer life. With techniques and exercises that have helped thousands of people, Stanny teaches five essential steps to financial independence and brings a message of empowerment to all those who chronically undervalue themselves. Short homework exercises will help you to dig deeper to uncover the blocks and barriers that keep you from achieving your goals.

Stop by next Thursday when we will review the book Prince Charming Isn't Coming: How Women Get Smart About Moneyby Barbara Stanny.

The Finish Rich Workbook
By David Bach

Who doesn't love a workbook in which you can plug in your personal answers while reading a book? David Bach created a workbook to include your personal data in The Finish Rich Workbook: Creating a Personalized Plan for a Richer Future.

David Bach's message to building wealth is "values first, stuff second." With his national bestsellers Smart Women Finish Rich and Smart Couples Finish Rich, David Bach has shown millions to take control of their financial future.

Step 1: Determine if you have a credit card problem.
Step 2: Pay down your debt systematically.
Step 3: Get your credit-card company to lower your interest rate.
Step 4: Get your credit report.
Step 5: Scrutinize your credit report for mistakes.
Step 6: Know your legal rights.
Step 7: If you find a mistake, aggressively challenge it.
Step 8: Find out your fico score.
Step 9: If you are drowning in debt, get help.
Step 10: If you are in a credit-card hole, stop digging!
Step 11: Stop all those credit-card applications from filling up your mailbox.
Step 12: If you are married or have a partner, work on your debt problems together.
Step 13: Protect yourself from fraud.

Stop by next Tuesday when we will review David Bach's Smart Women Finish Rich: 9 Steps to Achieving Financial Security and Funding Your Dreams (Revised Edition).

The Road to Wealth: A Comprehensive Guide to Your Money--Everything You Need to Know in Good and Bad Times
By Suze Orman

Like most of her other Suze Orman books, The Road to Wealth: A Comprehensive Guide to Your Money--Everything You Need to Know in Good and Bad Times is written in a question/answer format with a brief introduction to each chapter, and covers the usual ground from managing debt, to stocks and bonds, and to wills and trusts. The beauty of this format is that it's easy to cover your area of interest in a short period of time. An added bonus with purchase of the book, is a free one-year subscription to her online newsletter. Practical, to-the-point, easy to understand financial information - what more can we ask? To read her other titles as well.

Other Suze Orman books we like include:
Suze Orman's Financial Guidebook: Put the 9 Steps to Work
You've Earned It, Don't Lose It : Mistakes You Can't Afford to Make When You Retire
The Courage to be Rich: Creating a Life of Material and Spiritual Abundance
Stop by next Wednesday for the review of Suze Orman's Women & Money: Owning the Power to Control Your Destiny

Next week we will post our favorite books on managing money for women.

What or who are your favorite sources for managing money for other nannies? Do you have a book or site you particularly like?