Bambino Sitters Blog


Bambino Sitters knows that parenting is not easy, and neither is babysitting! These are kids we're talking about so it probably isn't designed to be. The Bambino Blog is filled with parenting hacks, sitter tips, and other info we think you'll find useful.

Summer Reading Sets Kids Ahead

Summer Reading Sets Kids Ahead

Summer reading helps kids advance in their ability and level while school is on break. Bambino wants to send you a new release!

How to Prepare for a Sitter

How to Prepare for a Sitter

Here are 5 steps you can take to ensure you get out the door without a hitch when your babysitter comes.

App Updates Coming Soon

App Updates Coming Soon

Coming very soon are some really important app updates.

In-app messaging: In the latest version of the Bambino app, there will be the ability for parents and sitters to message one another straight through the app. No more switching between platforms, now the parent can check in right through the messaging feature in the app. Need to stay out later? No problem. Just touch messages and clear it with your sitter. 

Simplified booking: Along with a new look and feel, the booking process has been simplified. Through easy quick-glance homescreens, a parent can see when sitters have responded, if it's necessary to add more sitters to a request, or when it's time to confirm a sitter and firm-up your plans for your night out. On the sitter homescreen, sitters can see what booking requests are still pending, details about upcoming sits, and if they've missed out on any opportunities by failing to respond quickly. 

Sitter starts and stops the clock: Beginning soon, it will be in the sitter's hands to stop the clock at the end of a sit.  The clock will still start automatically at the designated time, and from now on the sitter will stop the clock when the parent returns, then submits the hours for confirmation. The parent will confirm the hours and make adjustments if necessary. Then payment still happens straight through the app and a parent has a chance to rate their sitter every single time.

We will alert you when it's time to update your app.

In the meantime, rest assured that we are constantly improving so that you can find a trusted sitter whenever you need one; making at least one part of parenting easier than it once was.

Brain Building Superfoods!

Brain Building Superfoods!

Build your kiddo's brain (and yours while you're at it!) with these top Superfoods.

Brain foods are foods that are high in antioxidants, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals.  Eat them daily for good health and smarts!

  1. Avocado - It's actually a fruit, you know! And this power fruit encourages healthy blood flow which helps with healthy brain function. Eating a quarter of an avocado a day is a great way to up brain power.
  2. Berries - One of the top Superfoods anywhere on the planet! They're packed with antioxidants to help prevent memory loss and reduce the effects of stress on the brain.  Acai berries, blueberries and strawberries have been shown to slow the decline of cognitive functions as we age.   
  3. Eggs - The choline in egg yolks help with memory and the entire egg is a good source of protein which is key to better cognitive abilities.  
  4. Fish - One of the best sources of essential fatty acids (EFAs), fish contains the things our brains can't function without.  There are two types of EFAs, omega-6 and omega-3.  We get lots of the omega-6 variety from eggs, nuts and green vegetables.  But omega-3s are harder to come by, except when we turn to fish.  They're found in high numbers in wild salmon, sardines, mackerel and other deep-water fish.
  5. Nuts - It's the essential fatty acids in nuts that helps your brain to communicate, cell to cell.  Plus they're packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.  Almonds, brazil nuts, hazelnuts and walnuts are particularly perfect.  

 

 

Tips for Successful Spring Break Packing!

Tips for Successful Spring Break Packing!

Aaah, Spring Break.  You've booked your flight, chosen the hotel, now all you have to do is get there!  

Follow these 5 packing tips to get you on your way!

  1. Pack for five days, no more:  Regardless of how long you'll be getting away, you should pack clothes with five days in mind.  There are always ways to wash and dry clothes, even if it's just in the hotel sink.
  2. Use packing cubes:  This will help you keep what you pack to a minimum, and contain it nicely.  It's been suggested that, for any length of trip, adults can pack in two packing cubes while children get one cube each.
  3. Go for monochromatic:  You've heard it before but I'll say it again, take clothes that mix and match.  Especially if you have kids who like to dress themselves.  Pack them clothes that will match regardless of the top and bottom they pick out.
  4. Remember the sunscreen and medications for the kids:  You never know what will happen on the road and finding a pharmacy in a strange town isn't often convenient or easy.
  5. Print your itinerary in multiples:  In each piece of luggage, include a copy of your complete intinerary including dates, flights, hotel addresses, and your home address.  If your luggage gets lost, this could help it find its way to you.

Now get out of here and have some fun!!

xo

Mama-Bino

5 Healthy & Easy Snacks Every Sitter Should Know

5 Healthy & Easy Snacks Every Sitter Should Know

The constant bustle of watching kids, cleaning up after them, and making sure they are being productive while staying organized and on top of it. Every sitter needs a list of healthy go-to snacks to keep the kids energized, while staying healthy. Here are some of our favorites, tried and tested by Bambino Sitters! 

1. Baked Sweet Potato Fries

Allison Fishmans

Allison Fishmans

A super healthy alternative to regular french fries that are just as easy to make!

  • 2 pounds sweet potatoes (about 4 small)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Cut each sweet potato in half lengthwise, and place it flat side down on a cutting board. Cut the potato halves into 1-inch-wide wedges. In a small bowl, combine the oil, chili powder and 1 teaspoon of the salt. Place the potatoes on a roasting pan and brush with the oil mixture. Lay the potatoes flesh side down on the pan and put the pan in the oven. Cook until potatoes, turning once, are soft, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and season with remaining1/2 teaspoon salt. Let the wedges cool for a bit, and serve warm.

Bonus Tips: For dunking, ketchup always works (at 15 calories per tablespoon) or try a squeeze of fresh lime juice for a British chips-and-vinegar effect.

Recipe from Allison Fishmans You Can Trust a Skinny Cook


2. Carrots with Peanut Sauce


Trying to break the peanut butter and jelly habit in the under-12 set is no easy task, but this mellowed peanut-sesame dip just might do the trick. It's equally good with carrots or tossed with cold noodles.

DEB PEARLMAN

DEB PEARLMAN

What you need:

  • 3 tablespoons of peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • A splash of soy sauce
  • A few drops of sesame oil
  • Water to smooth
  • Carrot sticks

Mix everything but the carrot sticks together with a fork or whisk in a bowl. Add water as needed to thin mixture to a dipping consistency (all-natural peanut butter needs more; everyday brands need less).

Kids can help: Scrape carrots, stir ingredients
Extras: Torn up cilantro, basil, a squeeze of lime juice or sliced green onion tops. Try apple slices instead of carrots
Bonus tip: Store carrot sticks in water to keep them crisp and juicy

Recipe from Deb Perelman at Smitten Kitchen


3. Juice Jelly Cubes

Even if you're wary of those red and green mystery "fruit" powders, you can still give your kids the jiggly treats they want. The trick is to use a juice with ingredients you approve of and set it in a plain gelatin. These cubes are not only healthier, but they're also just as easy to make as the boxed stuff.

What you need:

  • 2 cups of your kid's favorite juice (we used grape and grapefruit in the photo)
  • 2 packets of unflavored gelatin
  • 1 tablespoon sugar or honey (optional)

Pour 1/2 cup of juice in a bowl and sprinkle gelatin over it. While this sits, heat the remaining juice to boil (can do this in the microwave for 2 to 3 minutes). Pour hot juice over juice and gelatin mixture and stir, adding in extra sugar if desired. Pour mixture into the bottom of a loaf pan and chill for three hours, or until firm. Cut into squares.

Kids can help: Measure, mix
Extras: Pour mixture into miniature or regular-sized muffin tins for different shapes.

Recipe from Deb Perelman at Smitten Kitchen


4. Coconut Cashew BonBons

The perfect snack that's on the sweeter side for kids that sticks with the healthy nutrients they need, but doesn't stray too far from the desserts they want. 

Levi Brown

Levi Brown

What You Need:

  • 1 cup crisp rice cereal
  • 1/2 cup cashew butter
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

Mix together the cereal, cashew butter, maple syrup, and salt in a medium bowl. Form the mixture into 12 1½-inch balls. Roll the balls in the coconut. Refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

Kids can help: Mix, roll

Recipe from Real Simple


5. OJ Shake

A refreshing drink to thirst their quench and give the kids some extra vitamin C after some fun at the park or running around the yard. Super easy to make and able to hold off the hunger strike until dinner!

Levi brown

Levi brown

  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 3 seedless clementines, peeled
  • 1 small banana, frozen
  • 2 ice cubes
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Puree the milk, clementines, banana, ice cubes, honey, and vanilla in a blender until frothy and smooth, 30 seconds to 1 minute.

Kids can help: Peeling fruit

Recipe from Real Simple

how to book a sitter

how to book a sitter

Watch this video for a step-by-step look at how to book a Sitter on the Bambino app!

Tips for Every Babysitter

Tips for Every Babysitter

Stay Positive

  • Keep an upbeat attitude during your time with the children.  Smile, laugh, and play with them.
  • Welcome the parents home after their night out and check in with them, let them know how your day or evening went.
  • If you have a disagreement with a child, don't let it affect your mood or the way you treat them. Make sure they are listening, but remember that you are not the parent, always be sweet and caring, and firm when necessary. 

Be Safe

  • Make sure you have the parent's phone numbers and that you know where they are going to be in case of an emergency.
  • Have your phone on you when you are out to make sure you are able to call someone if absolutely necessary.
  • Before the parents leave, ask them about who their emergency contacts are. Recommend that they have a list of emergency numbers on the fridge for you just in case.  This list should include an at-home neighbor and numbers for their family pediatrician, dentist, and preferred hospital / emergency room.

Have Fun

  • Stay active! If whether permits, make sure you spend enough time outdoors, playing soccer or other yard games. 
  • Get creative indoors as well by drawing or painting, playing with clay or playdoh.  You can play dress up, play music and have a dance party, or even race matchbox cars across the kitchen floor.  Use your imagination!
  • Read books and talk to the kids.  Remember that this is a special time for them too and they love nothing more than a "grown up" paying extra attention to them.

Be Attentive

  • Pay attention to the needs of the child, like if they're getting tired, thirsty, or hungry.
  • Don't use your phone while you're sitting, the children should be your main focus and have all of your attention.
  • Clean up after yourselves; wash the dishes, and put away toys after using them.  The parents will appreciate this more than you know!

Inside Bambino: Meet Our Founder

Inside Bambino: Meet Our Founder

From time to time, we’ll use this blog to introduce you to members of the Bambino team as well as take you behind-the-scenes at our community events and answer your most frequently asked questions. We want you to know there are real people behind our technology. Real people that are listening to your concerns, and understand the challenges of modern parenthood. Real people you can trust with your family.  

To kick things off, we thought you’d like to get personal with the man behind Bambino, our founder Sean Greene. A father of a blended family of five, Sean has been a leading figure in industry for twenty years and lives in the Palisades. Here is a glimpse into his own childhood, what he thinks makes a good sitter and what he’s typically up to with his kids most weekends.  

Tell us about your background.

SG: I was born in the suburbs of Chicago, and moved to a farm in Oklahoma when I was 9. I learned at a young age about hard work. In 5th grade, I would wake up at 5:30 am to feed the horses and clean the stables before I went to school. After school, I’d climb on a tractor and mow my neighbor’s pastures for a few bucks. I then invested that money in blow pops and would sell them for a quarter each at school. That was the beginning of my entrepreneurial career."

What were you doing professionally before Bambino?

SG: Coming out of school, my dad told me to get a real sales job, so I got a job selling yellow pages ads over the phone. I found success quickly and was promoted every 9 to 12 months for the next 15 years. Throughout my early career, we moved to 8 different states and I learned about communities all over this great Country.

I have been fortunate to hold positions a variety of roles in sales, marketing, product, business development, corporate strategy, M&A, and general management. I’ve managed start-up ventures and $200 million units with billion dollar companies. Most recently, I took over as CEO of a struggling, mid-stage, global technology company. I successfully turned the business profitable, expanded the footprint, tripled the clients, and orchestrated a successful exit to a multi-billion dollar global publishing company.

I left all of that behind to start Bambino, because I believe in the opportunity and what we are doing. Babysitting is a $15 billion business, and it is greatly underserved. It’s a business that requires scale and one that is built community by community, not unlike the yellow pages. It requires innovative thinking, viral marketing, and an intense focus on satisfying the users…both parents and sitters.

What is the first thing you notice about a sitter as a parent?

SG: It may sound basic but I notice the way he or she interacts with my kids. I think it's very telling about their desire to be a babysitter. My oldest daughter Mackenzie babysits because she really enjoys being with kids and that shows instantly.

It can be a little thing like leaning down to be on a small child’s level and be less scary. Or the questions they ask an older child to try to build rapport. And I always notice if they genuinely listen to my kids. So often kids just want that respect of someone older really hearing what they are saying.

What activities have you found your kids like to do most with a sitter?

SG: They are big fans of arts and crafts. It can be a wonderful way for a sitter (and parent) to nurture creativity and imagination while keeping them busy. Plus it’s great to have something tangible to look at and discuss when we come back together.  I love to hear about what they have created while we’ve been away.

Do you prefer sitters to focus on educational activities or just have a good time with the kids?

SG: I think a thoughtful mix of both is ideal. Let’s be honest: After a long week at school, something more educational on a Saturday may not fly. Kids often just need self-directed play outside or with their toys. So I think the most popular sitters in our house know how to gauge a child’s mood and be responsive to that mood by offering a variety of suggestions on what to do.

What are some of your favorite places to spend time with your kids near your home in the Palisades?

SG: There are so many to choose from right around the Palisades that it's hard to pick a favorite. We’re a very active family. I love hiking with the kids in the Santa Monica mountains. Or just relaxing on the beach. Our kids love to swim and bodyboard at Will Rogers Beach.

I also love weekend trips to Catalina, flying RC planes in Potrero Canyon, or watching baseball/t-ball at the Pali Rec Center. They're all a blast!

What are some of your favorite restaurants in the neighborhood?

SG: There are so many good restaurants in the Palisades, but for dinner with the kids, it's hard to beat Kay-n-Daves or Beech Street. They've both got friendly casual settings that let kids be kids.

For a date night, Casa Nostra and Ritrovo are favorites for a relaxing evening.

What do you love most about living in SoCal?

SG: I'd refer you to the last few answers: What's not to love! Biking, hiking, sailing, swimming plus great cuisine and culture – it's all available to us, and most of it is year round. I feel so fortunate not only to raise kids in a community that is so dynamic, but one that is so tightly knit and supportive.

To learn more about the idea behind Bambino, check out Our Story.  

 

Have questions? Email us: support@bambinoapp.com

Featured Sitter: Kylie

Featured Sitter: Kylie

Featured Sitter: Kylie

Kyle has been a part of the Bambino community since we launched last year, she is constantly optimistic, always interested in learning more, and motivated to help those around her succeed. She studies at UCLA and grew up in the Pacific Palisades, she’s currently studying communications and enjoys watching children for her neighbors on the weekends.

  • What are your favorite activities to do when you’re sitting?

I love staying creative and making sure that we always have new and fun things to do when I get to spend time with the kids, whether that be painting, reading books, or running around in the yard, we’re always active!

  • When did you first start babysitting?

I had younger siblings growing up and started sitting while in high-school in this community, while I’ve moved onto college and am studying for a career, I love spending time with kids, and even if it’s part time, I don’t want to stop!

  • What is your favorite hobby?

When I’m not working, studying, or spending time outdoors, I love making jewelry for my friends and family members.

  • What programs/activities are you involved with in the community?

Aside from sitting I also coach soccer for preschoolers in the area, it’s the perfect combination of being around kids and staying active!

  • What are some “secret” sitter tips you can share?

As a sitter you have to remember that their time with you is meant to be fun and exciting, keep it fun with new activities and projects!